So, before I start, let me say how disappointed I am in myself for delaying my second blog post this long. I had every intention of making this a “thing”. I even had several “titles” that I couldn’t wait to get started on. But, life happens… And sometimes, it can throw a curve ball so wicked that one simply doesn’t know how to adjust. That’s my “story”…for now.
Here’s to moving forward, hopefully in the right direction. And, maybe it’s not….but, it’s a heck of a lot better than not moving at all. I am dedicating this blog post to my team. And, our fans. Because, to be honest, Opulent Blends is NOTHING without your genuine support and love for our products. Now, that last part just came out of nowhere so I will come back to that and gush about your awesomeness in a different blog ;). (You are also getting a true idea of how I write…I am usually all over the place, ha.) So, moving forward, meet our team. We are a small but mighty network :).
Though she is not the founder, nor an owner, I am going to introduce my mom first. Without her, Opulent could truly not exist. She is THE BACKBONE of this awesome company. Geez, how do I even begin to list her duties…ummm EVERYTHING!!! I mean, she DOES IT ALL! Her primary duty is “cooking”. The only product I’ve actually ever made is bar soap….and that is ALWAYS with wine in hand so that it remains a “hobby”. With cooking comes labeling, packaging and cleaning…the “ugh” stuff.
To balance that, we put her at the opposite end of the spectrum: event spokesperson. Chances are, if you attend any of our vendor events, you will have the pleasure of meeting my mom. She is a genuine people person and extremely extroverted. When she’s not occupied with those things, she helps me with wholesale deliveries, post office runs and driving the kids. She even squeezes in taking care of me. It’s not uncommon for her to make me lunch at the shop.
Man, how lucky we are to have Melissa. She is our “get it done” girl. It’s hard to believe we got her from simply posting “help wanted” on our Facebook page. Melissa is EXACTLY what I was looking for, a stay at home mom who was looking for “something” to do outside the house that wouldn’t interfere with her top priority: her kids. The ten hours a week she spends helping us is usually spent on processing and shipping orders. If there is time left in her shift (which is rare), she moves over to helping Karen with labeling and packaging. I am 200% confident that Melissa can not only handle any “job” I give her, but she will do it WELL and with a SMILE :). People like that are NOT REPLACEABLE!
Simply put, I consider him our “leader”. Marc is a true entrepreneur. When he sets his mind to something, consider it DONE! One could say: On a whim, Marc founded Opulent Blends. He was still making video games at the time. The video game industry is very time consuming and risky, which leads to significant stress. He started making bar soap as a hobby to “relax”. But, if there is one thing Marc is terrible at, it’s relaxing. His mind just doesn’t know how to “shut down”. He found himself in a “formulating” rabbit hole of sorts. So, it’s not surprising that his “hobby” turned into a full on production of personal care products.
Marc has since moved on to his next “adventure”, but we still count on him quite a bit. He still experiments and formulates potential products. He is also our problem solver (sometimes we just can’t get a recipe right).
- The Minis “Blake (16), Nicholas (14) and Aspen (12)”
Our kids are Opulent Blends’ “worker bees”. They pretty much do anything and EVERYTHING we need at any given time. This could be dishes (which they hate), packaging, labeling, stocking, processing orders, shipping, accounting, etc. The only thing they really don’t do is cook and customer service. When they are in the right state of mind, they are AMAZING help. When they don’t want to be there, I think it’s their goal to be “fired”, haha. Overall, they are good kids and a great help to our small family business. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.
The easiest title for my positon would be CEO. However, that title seems too mighty for such a small company. I feel silly referring to myself as that and try to avoid giving myself a “title” at all. Basically, I manage Opulent Blends and am responsible for keeping its door open. I would have to say my most important obligations are business development and customer service.
- Business Development: Argh, this is a never ending battle. And getting ahead???....forget about it. There is just SO MUCH to do and account for. When you own a small business you realize there just AREN'T ENOUGH HOURS IN A DAY….EVER. Can’t forget about the setbacks too. Sometimes, we have to waste A LOT of product and materials before we can trouble shoot a problem. It’s always disheartening. That is when Marc comes in handy with those “magic hands”.
- Customer Service: The Distraction!!! This is the area I can’t account for in regards to time. Sometimes, it can take up half my day. It can ruin my day too, though I have gotten much better at not taking it personally and understanding that I simply can’t make every single customer happy. That IS my goal, but I have to stay true to myself and fair to Opulent Blends as well. Thankfully, I would say that 99.9% of our customers are AWESOME and tend to make my day more often than not. I love being small enough that I get to engage with fans personally. I have met a lot of awesome ladies and even gained a few friends.
I hope you enjoyed getting a little more insight into our small team. Marc and I will each continue to write for the journal. While my entries will tend to be more personal, his will be on the products themselves.