Closing Our Business - The Shorganics story
Since 2011, we've had our own business, Shorganics. Entrepreneurs in some way, we started a bath and body company and launched it on our wedding day. At the time, what we were doing was difficult, challenging, and we set ourselves apart by creating only vegan products with organic and synthetic-free ingredients.
Ready, Set, Go - Shorganics
Shorganics quickly became our focus. After the recession of 2008 and working less-than-awesome jobs following college graduation in 2009, we knew entrepreneurship was the only way to ensure our financial future. I was really into natural and organic products and I wanted to ensure our health by not putting terrible products on our skin and hair. Once I found my first lip balm recipe online, I was hooked on making my own products where I could control the quality of ingredients in it.
I had the brilliant idea of starting a business. Wide-eyed and optimistic, the hubby had to bring me into reality multiple times, but I knew this was going to be it for us. Couplepreneurs. Husband & Wife taking on the big cosmetic companies and changing the world with a message of positivity, happiness, and animal rights. We even adopted the vegan lifestyle to fully commit to our brand. By 2012, we were going to festivals, craft fairs, and we even secured our spot at a local farmers market.
The Peak and Tipping Point
I remember the first time we made over $200 at a farmers market day. What a rush! All I wanted to do was make my little business massive. I wanted to create jobs and contribute to society and have a product everyone would be proud to use. We actively looked for partner stores who would buy our products wholesale and sell them to folks we may never to get to see. It was a climb, but I knew it would be worth it.
That climb never stopped. In 5 years, only three shops picked up our products. They are great stores and we worked with great people. One day, I realized Shorganics was on a tipping point. We could go one way, possibly make it big and see Shorganics in massive retailers across the country OR we could go the other way and stay small, working for nothing, and being miserable trying to juggle full time work, family, and regular life. Or we could close down the operation.
For a long time, maybe a year, I searched the depths of my soul. Was I a quitter? Was I giving up on my dream? I questioned if I let my partner, nay, my husband, down? My parents helped to financially support the fledgling business - was I letting them down? I was lost. I was afraid of being labeled as a quitter and I was afraid of letting everyone down who supported us.
Then I realized that despite all my fears, I wasn't happy. I dreaded having to make that next batch of lotion. Hated that the hubby had to do so much work because he works from home and I go into an office for my full-time job. Worst of all, our precious time together was spent working on separate tasks. And most of all, we weren't making any money to justify the frustrations.
Despite having our labor calculations on point and our costs accurate and our pricing structure working in our favor. We weren't doing enough business in large enough quantities for our time to be worth it. We could spend a lot of money on organic certification to potentially get a purchase order from a national retailer, but that was not guaranteed. The gamble with a bank loan, or worse, family loans, to get us to the next stage didn't feel right. It was time to close our doors.
So, we pulled the trigger. We halted operations entirely. We sold the remaining product and called it done. And you know what? The world didn't end. A few people expressed sadness. I'll admit, it hurt to let down our long time customers, but we made our choice. We re-did our third bedroom and changed it from a warehouse/product room to a proper office and craft/hobby room.
I never felt better. I feel as free as I did when we first decided to start Shorganics. Balance feels restored. Since we made it official, I've been sleeping better, enjoying time with the hubby more, and I feel creative again. I am crafting and crocheting. I have time to read and learn and grow.
At the end of the day, it's okay to start and close a business. It's okay to change your plans, reassess your goals, and have different dreams today than you did 5 years ago. Whatever you do, don't let yourself get stuck in a rut.