In Celebration of Russell
Posted on March 02 2015
Since my role is mostly marketing and customer service, you hear a lot from me. I write our blog, our newsletter, and all our social medias. I'm the voice of Outlaw Soaps.
But this isn't just my business. Russ has an equal role, and in many ways more responsibilities than I do. It seems like a good opportunity to share a little about Russell Vincent, Chief Operations Officer of Outlaw Soaps.
Meet Your Maker
As of January 1, Russ is the only soapmaker for Outlaw Soaps. Every bar of soap that you get is personally made and cut by him. His attention to detail, process, and improvement have made him the best person for this job.
Because it's all handcrafted, there's variety between the batches. Every time he has a batch he's particularly proud of, he brings it into the house and we talk about what worked and what could be better. Before this business, neither of us knew anything about how to make soap. Now, he is an expert craftsman at soapmaking.
Not only that, he has scaled our soapmaking system from batches of 35 bars to batches of 200+ bars.
This means that he has increased our monthly production capacity from 1,750 to 10,000. Holy shit, right? (not that we even remotely approach those kind of sales, but it's nice to know that we could when we need to)
Can he build it? Yes.
An excellent builder, he also designs and builds all our cure racks and molds. He has designed his workspace for maximum efficiency, arranging literally hundreds of pounds of supplies on shelves, tables, and even the floor.
Just today, on the recommendation of our Amazing Postal Lady, he built a bigger mailbox for our outgoing packages. It took him something like five minutes, because he's amazing.
And many people are surprised to hear that Russ is the best namer of the two of us... Outlaw Soaps? That was his idea. Blazing Saddles? His idea. Hair of the Dog? His. Fire in the Hole? Yep, him. True Grit? Bingo. The Stick-Up? His again. The Gambler? Right again.
Somehow, he was born with this magical naming ability. It blows me away and I've stopped even second guessing it.
Probably most importantly, he is the voice of temperance in our business. I tend to charge off, guns blazing, in all directions. On many occasions, Russ has calmly and compassionately worked with me to rethink my enthusiastic crusades.
In his book on entrepreneurs, Jim Collins says that successful leaders fire bullets, then cannon balls. This way, they can calibrate their aim before investing all their gunpowder (capital) on missed marks. I am a cannon ball shooter. Russ is a sharp shooter, committing the least possible resources to figure out the viability of an idea.
It's a good partnership.
Production and temperance isn't the kind of thing people run advertising campaigns about, but without it, this business would be a smoldering rubble.
Here's to Russell Vincent, my husband, my outlaw, and my business partner!