Every year since this business started, we've had to relocate because we outgrow our current space. It happened in LA within just a few months, in Oakland, then in Antioch, then in Colfax, and it has happened twice in Grass Valley... and now, here we are, preparing to move again... but this time, it's different! We're moving to a NEW STATE: NEVADA!
Why the move?
In the past month, we've experienced quite a few challenges related to our location.
We've struggled mightily and publicly (and mighty publicly) with the rolling power outages which have compromised our ability to fulfill orders and make product during our busiest season.
And less publicly, we've been struggling with the challenges of finding a big enough labor pool. Production is physically challenging work, and our work requires steadfast persistence and dependability, in addition to being physically mighty. It has been a challenge to find sufficient workforce who meets these criteria. We've found a handful of amazing folks (I'll talk about them in a bit), but as we expand, it'll be increasingly challenging to find a stable workforce.
Nevada's just on the other side of Lake Tahoe, so it's easy to go scout property and potential people. We first drove over the mountain through Reno decades ago on our first trip to Burning Man (which we did not take together... but where we eventually met!).
Side note: One of the original reasons we moved to Colfax, California was because I used to stop for coffee there all the time on my way to and from Burning Man. There was this great antique shop that I went in every time I went through there... and that shop eventually was the place we rented and set up our production facility in! What a funny small world, right?
Aside from it being a lovely state, the fact that taxes are heavily subsidized by The Gambler's favorite pass time (*cough* I couldn't resist that plug) means that not only are the roads like velvet ribbons, there's a much lighter tax burden on our business, our employees, and our customers (lots of our customers are in California, and the fact that we will no longer have a "nexus" in California means we don't have to collect sales tax... these are the fun things I have learned after spending hours reading tax law online. Isn't that super?).
Specifically, the Sparks/Reno area is a growing manufacturing hub, which means that lots of our suppliers of things like our shipping boxes and our little linen bags are there in Sparks/Reno. This means we don't have to pay hundreds of dollars every month to have stuff shipped up the hill for us.
And on the topic of shipping, we are hopeful that since Reno's a much bigger shipping hub than Grass Valley, shipping both to us and to you will be faster and cheaper. We've not quite done the gritty evaluation of that (we're kind of busy doing gritty evaluations of things like rental properties at the moment), but I think it'll be better for all of us.
What about the employees?
Over the past two years, we have made some really great friends and brought on some outstanding people. When we announced we were moving (and that we'd be giving folks a severance, but would not be providing relocation), three of our production employees decided to stay with us until the end, and four of them decided to leave.
We hired some additional seasonal workers to fill in the gaps in our coverage and so far, those folks are kicking butt also.
And, naturally I'm spending a lot of time on the production floor cussing at the manual labeling machine and getting blisters on my fingers from over-tightening lotion bottles (yes, all of those lotion bottles are hand-filled and hand-tightened).
Because we have such a kick-ass production team and we know jobs are kind of hard to find, we decided to keep the production going in Grass Valley through March. That gives everyone time to find a new gig (when it isn't the holidays) and gives us some time to get the production going elsewhere.
Thank you for being on this adventure with us! We're so grateful for your kindness and enthusiasm.