You can mix chocolate and peanut butter. You can mix apples and cinnamon. But you can’t mix family and business. Ever. Isn’t that the rule? Confession: I’m not the best at “following rules.”
And with that – today my daughter, Rachael, officially joins our office staff as a full-time employee and I’m absolutely thrilled. She also joins her big brother (my oldest child) Devin, who has been part of our Brownie Brittle™ team for nearly a year.
Years ago when I started my business, I didn’t think about how my family would be getting involved. They just WERE involved. They had to be. I was starting a business and as any entrepreneur knows, resources are tight and you do what needs to be done. Whatever it takes. My kids at the time were about 12 and 15. I would wake them early in the morning to assist with making trays of brownies for delivery. They would wipe the sleepers from their eyes and hobble out to the kitchen mindlessly cutting, wrapping, packing, cutting, wrapping, packing, repeat. And, they never complained. But that was then. Would they still want to join me now?
When I launched Brownie Brittle, I remember telling people that if the business grew the way I envisioned it would, I wanted my kids working with me. I knew they’d be terrific additions.
My oldest child, Devin is in his 30s. Devin has two daughters (Marissa is 16 and Juliana is 4 – our office comes complete with a bicycle, toy desk and BigWheel®, and PLENTY of Brownie Brittle snacks so they’ll visit often). Devin began working with me nearly a year ago. He manages all of our online fulfillment, getting trade show items out on time, shipping samples out to prospective retailers and a host of other things. He is a stickler for detail. He’s incredibly organized and has never seen himself as “too good” to help out with ANYTHING, from moving pallets around, driving back and forth to pick up boxes, shopping for baking ingredients, installing shelving and more. Devin is the guy you call when you need it done right…the first time. If you’ve seen the Brownie Brittle truck out and about, chances are Devin was at the wheel. I’m so proud of him and what he’s done for our business since joining. And I just love seeing him every day I’m in the office (and out of the office). And as he often reminds me…without him, I’d have no grandkids! Ok, Devin. I love you for that, too!!! 😀
Rachael is my youngest and she’s also in her 30s. She’s joining us full-time this week, and I’m ecstatic. She is a dedicated worker with a great business mind. She loves numbers and is also very detail-oriented (like her brother). She grounds me and I often turn to her for her opinion/advice because she is so level-headed. She does all of our payroll, manages our billing, payments and a host of other tasks (we keep adding…I hope she doesn’t notice that!). When she was born, it was not the best of times in my marriage. But looking at her face and holding her tight, I just knew something deep inside of me like only a mother could. My bond with her was and is truly special. She knows me better than I know myself most times and can finish any sentence for me. I’m grateful each and every day to have her in my life. I love you so much, “Ray-Chill!”
We have a favorite expression in our family – which actually came from Rachael who came home one day from kindergarten with “The Best Rester” award and exclaimed “today was my BEST DAY.” As I walk around the office today, everyone is made aware of the fact that “today is my BEST DAY.”
A special thanks to both Devin and Rachael – life is definitely better with the both of you in it! Thanks for joining the family business and sharing this amazing journey with me. I only wish you liked to bake! Maybe there’s hope for Marissa and/or Juliana!