First time here?? Be Warned. This email isn't for everyone.
[Britni] Hi diary.
This isn't a "fun" email.. it's more of a "Britni-email-therapy" email. No success story packed with perfectly placed memes and laughs. This will be more like an unorganized puke, a little glimpse into the chaos that is currently my life and the really ridiculous bullshit that goes on in my head.
Someone recently wrote me and wanted to let me know that many of my emails have a "woe is me" vibe, that as a customer, she would feel more inclined to buy if I had more of a "yay, everything is awesome and funny" message.
That said, especially in this psych-ward email episode, I feel I should give another one of those fair warnings so that you can choose to leave now, if a little real-time, raw account of "what it is like to own and operate a small business is like" is not your cup of tea.
Here's my warning:
This. ain't. Instagram, bitches. This email is not about me trying to wrap our life up in a bow to impress anyone or making it look like we have it all together. Nope. It's the email diaries. It's whatever I am going through. I hope it's mostly funny, positive polly and awesomesauce, but even I don't know what it will be about in the future [insert white girl shrugging like she don't know emoji]. IT'S A DIARY. It's me processing, sharing, thinking these things through and owning my experience so hard that I am willing to share it with the world. In realtime. And while the goal of this email, oddly, is to sell salt - I know it is much more than that. I have a unique opportunity to tell my bizarre story and it is a good story because it is real. #sohumble [insert laughing emoji] #howbeesare
Don't know what it's gonna be about...
You're still here after the warning? Alright. Let's do this.
Let me paint the scene for you.
I'm unloading my kids from the car after coming home from work. We are sorting through the garpage pit that has become my back seat, grabbing all their school gear, my work bag, because work never stops at work. Making sure we grab boots, hats, suits and gloves since they will likely need washed and dried and be ready for school in the morning (our kids go to school outside like little badasses - which is awesome but it is cold af and their gear takes a lot of upkeep). The kids are bickering as we shuffle our way in the house. I yell "be out there soon" to my horse Ash who is out whinnying at me that it's time for dinner, which reminds me, the kids need dinner and the chickens probably expect some sort of care tonight, too. As we walk in the door I'm literally tripping over a recycling pile and am met with the fragrant reminder that I desperately need to clean out the litter box. [insert gagging emoji].
We waddle over the laundry mountain and up the stairs where the kitchen is full of dirty dishes and the dining table is covered in our wreath making project, maybe you saw that on TikTok already. We have had a tradition with our friends to go get a Christmas tree each year and after we bought an artificial tree I thought we'd keep the tradition alive by making a "real" wreath every year, except, I'm Britni and I can't just do some reasonable amount of normal shit so I was like "Let's make wreaths for fucking EVERYONE!" A wreath for my parents, a wreath for Casey's family, a wreath for each salt co staff person, a wreath for our foster child's biological family (so two of them) oh, and a wreath for our house and our neighbor's houses. Yes, I realize I have an illness, or several..
Anyway, I'm just trying to find a place to set my stuff down and can hear Hotdog crying in her kennel to get let out to go pee. I walk past my art table to get to her and see a giant, and I mean GIANT blank white canvas just taking up the whole room and reminding me that I owe 3 people paintings, theoretically, in time for Christmas. Which reminds me, man, if it's possible I'd really like to paint a few paintings for Christmas this year so we don't have to buy everyone's gifts this year because we are on a bit of a tight budget at the moment. We wouldn't be on such a tight budget if we weren't going on that trip to Mexico at the end of the month (and I have spent WAY too much time thinking about whether or not I should mention this little trip in my diary because, you know, COVID and debt "how are you going on a trip to Mexico when you have some serious business and personal debt?") and THEN I go on down to Guilt town where I tell myself I should have never committed to this trip in the first place, it's irresponsible and selfish. Here's how I justified it in the first place: We were invited by friends who have a timeshare to tag along on a little trip to Cancun. We could book the whole trip on airline miles. "The whole trip will cost basically nothing" I told myself and Casey. [insert I'm a grown ass adult who knows better emoji].
Besides, Casey and I have not gone on a vacation together since we started the Salt Company... Because Salt Co. is like a newborn little baby, that cannot survive without us for very long, but if we put in enough tender loving care and all the money you can dream of, eventually it will be able to take care of itself and maybe even make us some money. We clocked into the salt factory 3 years ago and haven't found the clock out button yet. BUT WHY WORK SO MUCH AND SO HARD IF YOU CAN'T TAKE ONE WEEK OUT OF THE ENTIRE YEAR OFF TO DAY DRINK ON THE BEACH SOMEWHERE!? Ya know, if you want to go on a vacation, you gotta work a lot. Save up. earn it. At the time we booked out flights, I was feeling like "yep. I fucking earned this shit and I am going." (I think it was back in July).
But now, it's mid December. It's time to buy Christmas gifts. Buy winter tires. It's time to think about bonuses for staff. But we are going to have to eat enough food to survive while we are in Mexico, so we will need to save up a little. Oh yeah, It's Casey's birthday this month.
And then my phone makes the Salt Co "ding" (our work messaging app, Cliq) and it's an update on order fulfillment for the day. We finally got our unfulfilled orders under the 300 mark (it was over 600 at one point) and have a ways to go to get them out in time for Christmas. And just when you catch up on orders, it generally means you need to figure out how to get more of them. Our payroll is currently over $20,000 per month. PER MONTH. Which means, to cover the costs of goods and operations, we need to do $50,000 per month as a bottom line, to break even. Which $50,000 is, a lot of fucking salt it turns out. [insert sweating emoji]. But you wanted this Britni. You wanted to go big, go hard and not just have another mom n' pop business. YOU WANTED TO SHAKE SHIT UP!! THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED!!
And there I stood, standing in the kitchen, with my kids asking me what is for dinner and I was at the early stages of hyperventilating.
I had to tell myself to take deep breaths to calm down and I ran to the sink because I thought I was going to puke [and not from the litter box smell (or the thing in the trash or whatever is in the fridge), but from stress]. Luckily I did not stress puke in front of my kids.. But this little episode is the second one I've had since the TikTok happened.
So. After I got the kids read, fed and in bed (because Casey was still at work instead of being a house husband [ha kidding, he got a kick out of that in the last email]) I found myself wondering where to start. Hm, maybe the laundry, get that started so clothes can wash while I start on the dishes and sweep the wreath mess to the side. Oh yeah, still need to go out and feed Ash and the chickens (but need to wait until the kids fall asleep because Hadley gets freaked out when there's no one in the house... but what she doesn't know doesn't hurt her:) Or should I start with the smell sources since they are clearly demanding the most attention, speaking of, I could really use a shower. Or just get the Salt Co. work out of the way first to make sure everything is lined out for staff who get there before me in the morning... ding [get's email notification] Oh yeah. Coastal Studies board meeting tomorrow night, which reminds me I need to sell 10 raffle tickets by TOMORROW. fuck. Oh, and if there's a meeting tomorrow night I need to cancel dinner plans with Auntie April that I just made two minutes ago in the car. She's only in town a few more days and just offered to make dinner tomorrow, dang, I really want to spend some time with her. How can I fit that in between the board meeting and our foster parent, family visit tomorrow afternoon.
And my heart begins to race.
GAH! Britni. Don't go there again, just take a deep breath and get to work on something.
and.. here I am typing this instead of doing all that other stuff. because I needed to. Even at the risk of sounding like a complete idiot.
Because when I read what I have written, it sounds ridiculous. and it IS ridiculous. And for some reason, writing this makes me feel better and sometimes makes salt sales... But I realize how dumb it is.. I do.. "Boo, I can't buy ALL the Christmas presents AND eat food in Mexico AND have a clean house and have to think strategically about my own business everyday, and my house and car are a mess WAH-WAH-FUCKING-WAH!!
Pull your shit together, Britni.
I'm just perioding and having a moment of being overwhelmed. Everything is OK. Everything is more than OK. We are so damn blessed.
I did earn that trip. and I'm going on it and I'm not going to feel one bit bad. It's going to be some late nights, but you bet your ass I'm going to go over the top with some hand made Christmas gifts and IT WILL BE ENOUGH. I AM ENOUGH. I work hard AND I am a good mom. I am going to get every single order out in time for Christmas because I have an incredible team working their asses off who care about Salt Co. and want it to grow and succeed as badly as I do. AND I'm going to figure out a way to get those people a good Holiday bonus because they fucking deserve that shit too. I CAN DO IT. And my kids are going to go to school in clean, dry gear everyday and I'm going to figure out how to spend some special time with each of them. I can do it. I can do all of it. I don't know how yet but I'll figure it out. Besides the house. and my messy car and some of the paintings probably. Because I'm notChuck Norris. I'm britni. and I'm not perfect but I'm doing my best.
[insert a big ole deep breath emoji] [insert everything is ok emoji]
I am ok. and, I feel way better after writing this.
But I seriously do have to go feed some animals and wash some stuff so I'm going to go now. If you're reading this still, well, I hope at the very least it made you feel better about yourself.
If any part of this compelled you to want to spend money (literally nothing surprises me anymore). Then please consider a Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies raffle ticket! Yay! Tickets are $100 and you could win $2,500 dollars!!! AND 1 in 10 will win a cash prize. Please read all the info here if you're interested in supporting this amazing non-profit organization and buying a ticket. Aaaand you'd be helping a sista out (and brotha, apparently I take the sales lane in all areas of our lives and Casey needs to sell his 10 also) [insert we got this emoji] [insert convincing myself we got this emoji]. [insert we have had this deadline since June, what is wrong with us emoji]
If you do want to buy one, please email me with your phone number and we will get in touch with you about a ticket purchase (yes, even out of staters can participate). AND this has to be done like tomorrow (Thursday or maybe Friday but let's say Thursday the 10th to be safe). Please reply to this email and change the subject to: "I WANNA WIN SOME HARD CASH" in the subject line of your email so the ticket emails don't get lost in the mix. I'd recommend copy / paste for the subject line.. but you do you.
Love you guys. Signing off here..
I'll be back soon with some funnies. Promise.
Harvested by hand with love and respect for the ocean.