Ann Dalton's picture
Business is Growth

28 March 2014

Business is growth. It’s a fact, and it’s a beautiful thing. There’s a certain enlightenment that comes to everyone who owns and works their own business: you are building things. Yes, you share great pampering products, but have you ever stopped to think about all the resources and people you help bring together to make it happen? Have you stopped to think about the impact you have on others in your business? It touches a lot of real people. When you take a minute or two from time-to-time to see it, it’s easy to find yourself getting very passionate about what you do. Businesses run well create jobs, things, and meaning. 

Next, I want to show you just a tiny peek at some of the other magic your business helps create. It’s just a tiny glimpse at the growth I get to see as we all build Posh, and it’s inspiring.

Yesterday I looked over a new shipment of Posh wear. I love to see our army of pink and know we’re branding machines in it - but let me tell you about Andy. He delivered that shipment of new Posh wear. He PERSONALLY was also the one who decorated it. He has a shop in the town I grew up in just north of the Home Office. There, he employs himself, his wife, and four other people. They take my designs and put them on real things for you and me at really affordable prices so that we can be that pink branding army. Andy has two sons, and a nice home. He and his wife do tons of great things all over their community, for their staff, and for us. You are his biggest and his best customers. You are the lifeblood of his business, and make it possible for him to create those jobs, support his family, and contribute in his community.

Let me tell you something else about Andy. I’ve worked with him for a long, long time. I remember when he quit a job to start working for himself. I was his biggest client back then, too. When I sold my business that gave him a lot of work, and then soon after started Posh he was put in a position by a big, big company to have to choose to work with us or keep their business. He chose our relationship over much more lucrative orders. He chose to keep us. I smile every time I see someone in their Posh wear. I get giddy when I see some of you post that you LIVE in it, and wear nothing else. Realize when you’re all Poshed up, you’re not just a branding machine, but when you invest in it, you’re providing an AMAZING company with the support they need to continue to be successful. As you can imagine, we only use Andy’s shop for Posh wear. Doesn’t it feel great to be a business owner, and know you’re supporting businesses that are really invested in our success?

Today, I’m on a plane. I’m headed to one of our biggest manufacturers to see some things on the line, to wrap up decisions, costs, and packaging on all of our NEW goodies for fall, the holidays, and a few other surprises (SHAMELESS PLUG: most of them will be announced at Unconventional 3 in Las Vegas, August 7 -9 - you should be there! Registration opens May 1). I talked a little about this manufacturer at Posh at Play. I love this company. They’re a big piece of making product happen at Posh. Our fabulous pampering products are pretty darn important. This lab is located in a beautiful part of Northern California surrounded by rolling hills and farming on one side, and the rocky cliffs and crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean on the other. There are fewer places in this country more serene. There are also fewer states in this country that were harder-hit by this economy. 

Alida started this business back in the 1970s. Armed with her Masters in Chemistry from Berkley, she’s always been passionate about really great products and has been a fundamental asset to Posh since before we began. She and Rachel, our very own “Posh staff” at this lab, help me marry my insane ideas with reality, while still letting us have confidence in the quality of ingredients we use. Jeff joined Alida in the early 1980s and helps keep on top of the machinery and operations needed to pull off and keep up with my crazy ideas. Together, they grew their manufacturing business to employ HUNDREDS of workers. They have been focused on technology, sustainability, the best and trendiest ingredients, and excellent service to companies like ours who are looking for quality, private-label products. They run a smart, efficient, and innovative business. They’re truly a testament to the good you do when you own a company. 

When I had the pleasure of meeting them three years ago, they were so gracious and helpful talking to this woman with a few ideas, and no sales. Literally, I had been laughed at and hung up on more than a dozen times looking for the right manufacturers. At the end of our first meeting, Jeff gave me a hug and said, “I think you can do it, and I know we can help.” Alida jumped right in and told me where I was way off base, and holes we needed to fill in the product line to help us make sure we were really filling the right gap: fun products with the best ingredients. They believed in a little pink idea. I would find out as we became friends, that the California economy hadn’t been easy for their business. They had let faithful employees go. They had cut back on their facilities, plans, and even some things they wanted personally (like trimming back their own hours) just to keep going. They believed in Posh because they knew we could help them if they could  help us first. 

Last summer, I had the opportunity to talk to Don. He’s been a plant manager for over twenty years working with Jeff and Alida. He was wearing a Stripper t shirt that we had sent in a big box at Christmastime. He was laughing and telling me how his crew making The Stripper had all bet we’d never sell it. How on earth could anyone sell that purpley-gray muck? Then he said, he saw what we’d called it and ROLLED his eyes at us. Months later, he was making entirely NEW equipment because he was making SO much Stripper. The equipment he had on his line wasn’t enough for the much bigger batches needed to be able to keep up. He wanted to hand it to us -- he didn’t think we could pull it off. We had a good laugh. He was ecstatic it was in our top five sellers. He said he could make us as MUCH as we needed. Then he got very serious. He teared even a little, and he said, “thank you. Tell these women, “thank you”. I’m calling my old employees back to work. We’re busy. We are so grateful to have these jobs.” 

That was one of the best BIG PICTURE moments for me that I’ve had since we started Perfectly Posh. BIG. It’s so easy to think about small day-to-day things: “to do” lists, things you could be doing better, and things you wish you had more time for. Sometimes owning a business feels like something you can’t take a break from. Then some days, you’re reminded of something that shows you just how IMPORTANT what you’re doing really is. 

What a ride it is developing product with Posh. I want to shake up the whole line several times a year. We have lots of seasonal products. I get these CRAZY ideas. Jeff and Alida and their wonderful team keep up. They make it happen. Sometimes they laugh at me, and then you take what we create and BOOM - we’re just two and a half-years-old with over 8500 Consultants and we’ve sold over $11 million in fabulous pampering products (including over a million dollars each in February and March alone!). Businesses working together: your business, my business, their business. Can you even believe what we’ve accomplished? Think about what you’ve had a hand in creating. 

You’re a business owner. I’m I a business owner. We’re CREATING something that only exists because WE MAKE it happen. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s POWERFUL. We get to involve so many incredible people. We get to let them help us succeed and we get to help them succeed. Have YOU thought about your business that way? With your family? With your team? With these few great people I just got to tell you about? We are growing and building and improving people, businesses, and ourselves.

This blog post is a novel. Pat yourself on the back if you’re still with me. I’m a little passionate about this, if you couldn’t tell. Andy, Jeff, and Alida are only the tiniest of pieces in this incredible story. I could fill a wall with books of stories of things we all touch and improve as we grow. Never be afraid to share your business. When we do, we do miraculous things. Take it seriously even if you can’t give it too much of your time. Our country, our friends, and neighbors deserve it as much as we do. I’m so thankful you’re willing to work together with us as we create our USA brand and leave a big, BOLD pink exclamation point all over everyone as we grow.

Business creates. Business is growth. YOU own a business. You are a creator. Way to go.