It’s hard to believe but Etta + Billie turns 9 this month! I know, it feels like I just started the business yesterday (ok, maybe not yesterday but it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been 9 years). As many of you already know, Etta + Billie was created as a way to escape the dreariness of my 9-5 job and express a creative drive I never knew I had. That teeny tiny body care business has grown so much over the past 9 years. From apartment kitchen to studio space from a biz of just one to a team of 4 (plus my very sweet husband and friends), from part-time gig to how I pay my rent every month. Pretty amazing!
I rarely take time to reflect on how much I’ve achieved and how much I’ve learned over the years. When I think about it, it’s funny that I’m even here because I had never wanted to own my own business. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Why? I’ve never had a job that was constantly fulfilling and challenging. This “job” has taught me so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I’ve had to push myself into uncomfortable rolls and I’ve had to sacrifice time, money, and energy to keep things going. Occasionally I haven’t paid myself so that I could pay employees. It is just part of the process. I appreciate the challenges I’ve faced and overcome because I know that those lessons have helped me grow in one way or another.
I am so thankful for these last 9 years and to all the customers, family members, employees, interns, fellow makers, photographers, designers, bookkeepers, virtual assistants, friends, and vendors who’ve helped make this happen. And of course, my biggest supporter, my husband. He has done everything in the business from sales to wrapping product to handling IT tragedies to hauling 50 pound boxes up multiple flights of stairs. It truly takes a village and my dream is a reality because of all the folks that have helped me along the way. Thank you!
Bonus, I’ll be showcasing some new goodies LIVE on Facebook this Sunday, April 8th on the Artisan Made Show, details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2049844035273897/
Time to take a walk down memory lane! Here’s a peek at the first few years and keep an eye out for a new post each week for the next few weeks where you can see more of the E+B journey.
Etta + Billie – The Early Years
We launch on Etsy with photos I took in my living room using a “homemade” lightbox and a digital camera. Very high tech!
First ever soaps sold – Lavender + Peppermint Lime (which are still customer favorites)
Other highlights: my first wholesale account (I almost peed myself I was so excited) with my dream store Paxton Gate (who still carries E+B) and my first craft show (see the very proud pic of me above).
My first soap conference! Yes, there is an annual conference dedicated to soap and cosmetics put on by the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild, and its great! I got to meet so many people who were just as passionate about soap as I was. Dreamy.
Launch my first Limited Edition Collection for Valentines Day. My photos skills have improved a bit. Were you one of the lucky few who got one of those bars?
Moved from a one bedroom apartment that the business had taken over, into a 3 bedroom apartment where I got an entire room just for E+B.
Keep at the business, taking classes, doing shows and all that good stuff.
Completed application and lengthy review process to become the first cosmetics company in San Francisco to receive Green Business Certification
Chosen by Banana Republic to be a part of their SF Made Pop Up Shop!
Oh and I got hitched. 😉