Celebrating Small (but mighty!) Business Saturday
Dear Rasa Fam,
We moved out of my garage in September of this year. Say what?
Yes, we were legit operating out of my garage until 2 months ago!
To be fair, by the time we moved out, Rasa had taken over my basement, a shipping container in my driveway, the garage attic, and a shed in the yard. It was hell on wheels for work-life balance, let me tell you! 😱 We were bursting at the seams and were long overdue to get out, but COVID kept us garage-bound a little longer than originally intended.
On this Small Business Saturday, I want to set the record straight: we are a small business. Not tiny, not a one-woman show (by any means!) but we’re also not big enough to have 24 hour customer service. (Haha, I still get Rasa order DM’s in my personal social media accounts...and on the other hand, we also get customers in a tizzy because we don’t have 24/7 support!)
Speaking of 24/7 support (and how we don’t have it)...one thing I want everyone to know is that I am committed to keeping our team as close to home as possible. Most of us live near Boulder, CO…(yes, even the fulfillment team, who pack your pretty Rasa orders!)
And, not everyone thinks this is the best way to do business.
I for one have been amazed at how many times someone has looked at our company and said,
“You need to lay off ½ (or more!) of your staff and outsource everything to the Philippines/Mexico/India and get the cheapest labor you can. That’s the only way you’re going to grow and scale!”
And...while I understand the business advantages, I personally view that approach as exploitative and treating people as tools for profit. It’s capitalism at its worst, and Rasa’s not here for it.
I am determined to prove them wrong: that scale and treating people as whole, beautiful humans are not mutually exclusive.
According to the Small Business Association of America, coffee and tea manufacturers constitute a small business if you have 750 employees or less. So, ok, ok. By those standards, we are tardigrade-level-tiny...because...we are currently a team of 14 people, 9 of whom are full time!
We are small, mighty and we are GROWING!
I believe that with scale, we can make the most meaningful difference not only in the lives of our customers, but in our society…
because the more people’s lives are changed by transforming their relationship to energy, the more people will actively enact subtle shifts in our culture that prioritize energy health.
And I believe that by treating our team as humans, we can make another layer of impact—perhaps even deeper—because we are showing that you don’t have to be an exploitative jerkface to scale a society-shifting business, and meanwhile, we can help our team grow as professionals, and as whole-humans.
Are we perfect at the latter? Of course not. My mind is constantly filled with all the places we still have to grow and simply don’t have the bandwidth (or capital) yet to actualize the fullness of our vision. If there’s one thing that could be the death of me as an entrepreneur, it’s probably being too hard on myself for not being there yet. (And the more I learn and build my capacity, the more there seems to get further away.)
But hopefully, if 2020 has taught us all anything, it’s that humans are remarkably resilient. (Yes, that means you, too!)
Life is hard, and modern life even without a pandemic/possibly-necessary social collapse/earth-on-fire/can’t-even-keep-up-with-the-doomscroll-mania...is a lot. It’s actually not sustainable, even for those of us with a ton of privilege.
And when there’s this much going on in the world...it’s ok to be easy on ourselves. To breathe easy in ourselves (go ahead, take a full breath with me now).
To not judge ourselves for failing to meet the impossible standards of perfectly curated highlight-reels on social media.
We make progress in the ways that we can. Step by step. If we are up against a big system like corporate capitalism or racism or any other ism, for that matter...it’s going to take time. And yes, we have to work at it, but we also have to take care of ourselves so that we have a full cup to pour from.
That’s deep energy: filling your cup so you can do what is uniquely yours to do.
We’re here to help you fill your cup with the nourishing magic of the best herbs we know of…
And because we know that everything is connected, every step those herbs took to get into your cup was infused with care and passion for a brighter, better you—and in turn, a brighter, better world.
So keep on keepin’ on, you brilliant locus of possibility.
With love from my garage attic (my little office in the eaves!), 😉
Author: Lopa van der Mersch