This year, thanks to you (and a whole lot of good fortune that led folks like you to us), we've grown a lot. But even at a whoppin' 12 employees (that's six times what we had last year at this time!), we're still a tiny little business in a huge ocean.
So on this Small Business Saturday, I thought I'd give you a run-down of where your dollars go when you shop with this small business...
The solid cologne you see in the header comes from a friend of ours in Vancouver, Washington. I met her at a soapers' convention (don't laugh, that's a real thing) in Phoenix in 2013 or 2014, and we've been working together ever since. The recipe she uses to make these solid colognes is based on a recipe her mom passed down to her for solid hand balms (which is why I use my Badlands Solid Cologne as a cuticle oil when I'm stuck in traffic).
One of the coolest things about this year's growth has been our ability to hire more local folks! We've got an outstandingly kick-ass team who enjoys above-average pay for the area, flexible schedules, and employee discounts. This year, we created eight positions for locals in Grass Valley.
I've been living in Reno for the past week, and one of the things I miss most is going into the office (who ever says THAT?) and working with all my amazing co-workers.
This year, in addition to the team you helped us hire locally, you also helped us hire folks who aren't local! Yep, because we are an internet company, we can hire folks from across the country... which we've done. Our customer service team has grown!
Last year at this time, you know who was doing customer service? Our Fulfillment Manager, Elysia! She was swamped. This year, because we wanted to make sure we gave every person the time and attention you deserve, we hired a Customer Satisfaction Manager (aka Bobby aka "The Fixer") and a Customer Service Rep (aka Joseph) who are remote workers (still in the ol' US of A - though Bobby travels a lot and is in Honduras right now).
It may not seem very glamorous to talk about suppliers, but we put a lot of care and attention into sourcing our products, packaging, and ingredients. This year, we grew our supplier network to include a family-owned business who is making milled soap for us (more on that coming VERY SOON). We also have started working with some US-based contract manufacturers to help us scale our production capacity so we could focus on what we're great at: handmade bar soap and amazing customer service/fulfillment.
All told, when you shop small this year, your dollars go directly to people... real people who love what they do and are so glad to have the opportunity to do it! Your dollars make an impact, and for that, and on behalf of all the people you touch, we thank you.