Let me start by saying that this is my very first blog post ever! I'll do my best not to ramble on too much.
I purchased The Brass Butterfly just about 6 weeks ago. It was about a year in a half worth of back and forth with the previous owners, with some down time in between while I thought about whether I really wanted, or was up to, the challenge of a third business. Yes, i know what you're probably thinking, a third business? Yes, my third, and yes, i think i may be a touch crazy. I am 35 and a mother of two beautiful children ages 9 and 2. In 2008 I saw an ad for an assistant manager position with a small local company I had never heard of. I do not have a college degree, but do have some employee management experience, so i figured i'd apply. What could it possibly hurt? Much to my surprise, I not only got an interview, but was hired on the spot. I never really knew exactly what I wanted to have for a career, but one thing i did know, was that i wanted to own my own business someday, and figured a management job was one step closer. I also knew that i wanted a job that was meaningful, i could be proud of, and serve my community or country in some way. Much to my surprise, the business that hired me was a non-profit manufacturing company that employed individuals with disabilities. I hit the jackpot! Although not literally, as i took a sizable pay cut taking the this new job, but it was worth it to me. Two years into my job, the General Manager abruptly retired, leaving me in charge of the company. I had to quickly learn how to run the business, and along with that i learned that the company had not been doing well financially. They had been functioning off of savings for several years, and were almost broke. I knew i had to do something, I just couldn't see all the wonderful and deserving employees lose their jobs. The unfortunate truth to the situation was that yes, i could save the company, but not in the time frame i was given. In the year that i had taken over as general manager i had been able to bring in enough business to start turning the financials around, we could make our monthly bills, but not enough to catch up on back bills. I thought long and hard, and decided i knew what i needed to do. I gathered all my strength and courage, and made a proposal to the board of directors to purchase the company. I didn't have a lot to offer, other than the determination of a bull to keep this business alive, and the willingness to do whatever it takes. Much to my amazement, the board of directors accepted my offer! I will forever be grateful to those individuals who saw the potential in me, and had faith that i could do it. In 2011 it became official, and the company was mine. We recently had our 5 year anniversary, and have far surpassed even my expectations. We have more than tripled in business, and went from 3 employees to 12. Along with the manufacturing company i also acquired a small bike rack company that was given to them in early 2000. This has also more than doubled in sales. I still have a mission to employ people with disabilities, but have broadened that to people with barriers to employment, such as those with criminal backgrounds or anything that may cause them hardships in finding employment. My thoughts are this, if it wasn't for that board of directors seeing something in me and giving me a chance, i wouldn't be hear today writing this blog. Everyone needs someone to give them that chance, and i am happy to be that someone.
That leads me to The Brass Butterfly. The Brass Butterfly had been in business for well over 30 years in the small town of Poultney, Vermont. In it's years of business it had been quite successful, and had over 25 employees at one time, some of which had disabilities. I had heard that they were closing their doors in January of 2015 through my manager. He introduced me to the products the company manufactured and it caught my eye. As a lover of plants and gardening, i just couldn't see why the company was failing. I also flashed back to when my own company was preparing to close it's doors, and a flame was sparked once again. I loved the products the company produced, and i just hated the idea of another small family owned business closing it's doors for good. I do have to admit that i thought and pondered on this one a lot longer than my current company, but i finally told myself to stop thinking and start doing. I made that leap, and now almost two years after closing it's doors, The Brass Butterfly is open once again. My hopes is that i can get it back to it's old glory, maybe even better! The Brass Butterfly proudly handcrafts each individual item we offer for sale right in our own shop. We do not use automated machinery. When you purchase one of our plant rooters or accessories, you can be assured that each one was hand cut, bent and welded by our talented employees. No two are identical, and what makes them even better is that we source all of our materials right in the united states!
I hope this has given you a little insight into what my business mission is, and maybe even given you a little inspiration. One of my favorite sayings is, "Where there is a will, there is a way". I truly believe if you put your heart into something you can make it happen. I also believe that everyone deserves a chance. I hope with these businesses i have been blessed with, that i can continue to inspire others to chase after their dreams, and continue offering chances to those in need.