Out of the G train. Another windy walk to the old Pfizer manufacturing facility where we work alongside 100 other small businesses and a bunch of rock bands. I open the metal sliding door to enter the light-filled room we call Shea Brand HQ. A low-fi indie song fills the room. It’s an OK song, but the sight it leads me to is joyful. Nicole, our Administrative Assistant smiles and says hello as she packs up orders, never missing a beat. My dog Milou, the unofficial Shea Brand mascot, runs up to say hello before bounding off to offer his energy to Sydney, our Assistant Designer who is responsible for the indie music and who I always offer pizza because for some reason I cannot for the life of me remember that she’s vegan and for which I will continue to apologize. I turn left to see my co-founders, Krystal and Marie who always remain composed and positive even with work piled up on their desks and hundreds of emails in their inboxes. They’ve both been my inspiration since the day we began working together over 3 years ago.
On the last day in our office in 2019, I tumbled over a few boxes before sitting down at my desk and taking stock of all that we’ve done. As any business owner will tell you, with the light shining in there also comes darkness, and success only comes through tackling your challenges and building your vision with constant dedication. As a team, we’ve grown 500% since last year and reached milestones (like getting press in Oprah Magazine) that were once only a dream. But I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled to celebrate the small and large victories along the way even though I feel joy on a daily basis thanks to the feedback we get from our customers.
In this moment, however, I’m overwhelmed with a sense of pride in the people who work in this office with me as well as the outside partners who have allowed us to get to this point that is so rich with energy, texture, and gratitude. It sometimes feels like a dream. I’m reminded of some of the early conversations that Krystal, Marie, and I would have about the type of company we wanted to build. An inviting, inventive, and people-driven community that could change the world through meaningful and enjoyable connections, as well as effective, solution-driven products.
While I can’t say what will come tomorrow, I can say right now that we’ve accomplished what we set out to do, and that is why we will continue to do everything in our power to push our vision even further. On behalf of the Shea Brand team, we want to say thank you to all who have supported us – you are the reason we live and breathe Shea brand, and we couldn’t do any of this without you.
Here’s to 2020 and a brand new decade.
Austin Katz, President & Co-Founder of Shea Brand