Mountain Girl’s – Top 11 for 2011
Yes, it has taken me until December of 2011 to actually post something on the Mountain Girl Organics blog. I guess it’s good I’ve been so busy that blogging has been something that kept getting shoved lower on the priority list. But as December opens the closing chapter of 2011 it does feel good to look back at what has made my crazy year of Mountain Girl Organics memorable. There would be no way for me to rank this list as each of these was vitality important at some point this year. Except maybe the support of my husband Scott, he is #1 in too many ways to list, or how sitting around the table wrapping soap with my sons Daniel and Jason is now one of my favorite activities.
- Global Mama’s: It warms my heart to now get our Shea Butter directly from the women in Ghana, Africa who use this industry to support themselves and their families. The quality of the Shea is out of this world, the price is better and I know the women are getting fair wages for their work and efforts. Great job Global Mamas!
- Solstice Candle Company: Markets and other events are somewhat like the first day of school, you always wonder who your classmates (boothmates) will be, and hope you don’t get stuck next to the weird kid. At Evergreen’s Winterfest this year I met the great ladies who make up the Solstice Candle Company. Their handcrafted soy candles are beautifully done in cut down wine bottles (yes, you can have custom candles done from your sentimental bottles!) but also Janet and Denise are the kind of spirited women that you are immediately drawn to (and hope will invite you to play at recess!).
- New Belgium Beer: When I first adopted Mountain Girl I jokingly said how awesome it would be to get New Belgium as a private label client. Well, this August I sent a ‘cold call’ email to their generic ‘contact us’ page on the website. To my surprise I got an email back from Andi Rose – her title is ‘Creative’ for NBB – and so started the fulfillment of Mountain Girl Organics being the distributor for New Belgium Beer’s Soap Suds Soap. It has started as something just for the Holidays, but I am hopeful it will turn into a year round deal.
- Friends & Family: From helping make product, label product, drop-off product, deliver orders, set up booths, break down booths, work at the booths, host parties, babysit Sam, lift heavy objects, listen to me complain, process problems, willingly test new products and smell new stuff – I am definitely not a one woman show! Scott, Daniel, Jason, Jim & Sally, Beth and Dottie help me look like I know what I’m doing and without them MGO would look a lot different. My life is full of great people and I am so grateful for each of them.
- The Denver Merchandise Mart: A random, last minute, not well thought out decision (like many of my ideas) that really turned out well. I learned so much about the process of getting buyers and managing wholesale accounts that it was a great experience. And I got some great accounts out of it. I am still undecided if I will do it again in 2012, but maybe this year I will be able to put more thought into it…or not, it’s just a couple months away!
- Piece, Love & Chocolate: It was the last hour of the last day of the Merchandise Mart in February and in blows this lady who asks one question, “What do you have with Chocolate?”. That started a fun relationship with Boulder’s best chocolatier, Piece, Love & Chocolate. Heidi, the gift Guru for PLC, is a warm woman who draws you in with her genuine smile and happy eyes. I have loved coming up with creative products for them, like the Sweet Orange Sugar Scrub with Cocoa Nibs. And it doesn’t hurt that every time we deliver we are thanked with an amazing Chocolate treat!
- Bevier Creative: Since I know very little about creating or maintaining a website, Charles patiently answers my random questions without making me feel like someone more comfortable with the Lawrence Welk Show (not that I am old enough to know what that is) than YouTube. Thanks Bevier Creative for making me a website I can (sorta) manage!
- The Graphic Goddess: Hillary Osmack is another victim of my lack of skills. Hillary does much of my graphic work, changes, new projects, and last minute projects. She is so easy to work with and eager to help me create a profession a look. And she never complains about my last minute requests!
- The Soap Savant, Laurie Teason: In all honesty, without Laurie, MGO wouldn’t exist. Even before I bought it Laurie was an integral part of its evolution. When I have a problem with a soap recipe, Shea Butter, or want to just brain storm new ideas I am always inspired by Laurie’s knowledge and ideas. But really it’s not Laurie’s remarkable knowledge of soap that I appreciate, it’s Laurie’s persona. She is gracious, kind, open and genuinely vested in my success. She is like the big sister I never had!
- Rocky Mountain National Park Gift Store: When Xanterra Corporation placed a very large order with me at the Mart, I didn’t know enough to know the value of this business relationship. Then when another vendor at the Mart said, “Oh, you got Xanterra? Wow!”, I googled them (because that’s what we do these days). It was a huge compliment to know MGO would be at RMNP, even if it was their seasonal gift store. They placed more orders as the summer wore on and I hope they will have me back next year.
- The Busy Bookkeeper: I hired Christy Warthen as new fitness instructor a few years back when I was the Fitness Coordinator for the City of Lakewood. Who knew I would hire her again to be the person who does the most tedious job for MGO – bookkeeping. Having her do this helps keep me on top of Mountain Girl’s progress and allows me to see where I can improve in the future. Interestingly, I have no desire to learn what she does, but it really does motivate me to see it all there in black and white.
A special thanks to my online customers and all my wholesale customers! I hope you can look back on 2011 and come up with an amazing “Top 11”.