With balance comes clarity. A year of taking chances, accepting risks, and setting lofty goals
by Kelly Perkins
2021 Year-End Letter From Our Founder
Wow, what a year 2021 has been. So much self-examination, so much change, and so much to be thankful for. I learned a lot this year – about myself, about my business, about taking chances, about balance, and about growth. I secretly thought (hoped) that the simple click of the clock at 12:01am on January 1st, 2021 would wipe out the year that 2020 was. Unfortunately, for the business, 2021 was actually more challenging than 2020. For the first half of the year, it seemed that work in the wholesale world stopped. Category reviews (the review of new products being offered in the grocery departments) ceased, wave after wave of Covid had the category managers busy just trying to keep their shelves stocked in a rapidly evolving retail environment. The first half of the year was rough, I will just leave it at that, but better times definitely came in the second half of the year.
We took the work-cation plunge
After a camping trip with my BFF and her husband last summer, and with very little forethought (and maybe a touch of day drinking), Mister Sisters and I went and bought a Airstream Basecamp travel trailer on our 15th anniversary, and I felt like suddenly I was coming back to life again. Enter work/life balance. It is something I preach about to my employees all the time, but something I was not doing for myself. It was such a simple thing, buying this trailer, but why did we wait so long? I have never wanted a trailer before, but then again, I never thought I would own a forklift either…so, there you go.
We took several “work-cations” this summer – working from camping sites on the Rio Grande River in NM, from a mountain-top in CO, from the side of a mountain bike trail in WY, and even on a road-trip to FL to see family. It was heaven. It gave me the opportunity to step away from our production facility and think bigger-picture of what I wanted Spinster Sisters Co. to stand for, and where I want to take the company in the future. It has been a life-changing opportunity for the business, and for us, personally. Plus, Craig (AKA Mister Sisters, AKA Sugar Buns) is so fun to camp with. We have been having a blast!
It was on one of these “work-cation” trips that it came to me – exactly what direction I want to take the company in. I want Spinster Sisters Co. to be the first commercially available, plastic free skin care company in the country. This is where our new “Free From” skincare collection was born. Free From water, Free From plastic, Free From preservatives, and Free From nasty ingredients. We have offered plastic free shampoo/conditioner bars for years, but we have expanded that line to include face care, and body care. All delivered in biodegradable FSC-Certified paperboard boxes, printed with soy ink. The line is entirely plant-based, and safe for the environment. And let me tell you, the Sugar Scrub bars and Body Butter bars will change your world.
From big idea to big launch
We launched the collection in November, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. You, our tribe, showed up in a big way. Additionally, we have received orders and commitments from several chains (Mom’s Organic Market, Central Market, Bristol Farms and Scheels, to name a few) bringing these new products in, now, and early in 2022. We have a long way to go to being entirely plastic free on our traditional line as all pumps and sprayers are made of plastic. We have big goals though, and will be diligently working towards them. It makes me happy that so many of our amazing customers have taken the chance on trying our products in a new bar form, and are loving it. We are all taking a stand to help rid our planet of plastic waste. Can’t wait for you to see the new product line in stores near you soon!
The growth plan
In 2021, we executed our first equity investment crowdfunding campaign, and are also launching a second round starting in a week or two (https://wefunder.com/spinster-sisters-co). This investment is being used to lease and purchase manufacturing equipment and to grow our online and brick & mortar presence. We are so excited to see how these investment funds can help us expand our footprint in the world (while continuously working to reduce our carbon footprint). I was particularly keen to go the crowdfunding route, because it gave us the opportunity to have you all, our tribe, as partial owners of the company. There are no better brand ambassadors in the world, than someone that is using the products, and personally invested in the products. You help spread the good word about our company, and I am so grateful to have each and every one of you on our team.
We became a Public Benefit Corporation in 2021, for our focused sustainability mission, and were named a runner up to Ball Corp., for Colorado’s Most Ethical Manufacturer, by CoBiz Magazine. I will take runner-up to one of the largest manufacturers in the world, and an amazing company, any day!
We hired our first full-time Brand/Marketing Manager, and we are already seeing great results from the industry knowledge and experience she brings to the table. We have new members on our Production Team as well, who have absolutely kicked ass this year, making our products, and getting them out the door and into your hands. We are also offering new benefits and opportunities to our employees, which I feel very good about. Our team, both new, and seasoned, are what make Spinster Sisters a family, and a company that I am proud of. If you have to be stuck with folks during a pandemic, I personally highly recommend doing it with a group of people that care so much for one another, have each other's back, and that make you laugh every single day – like my teammates do. It has been a tough couple of years, but when you have great people, propping each other up during the toughest times, well, you just can’t ask for much better than that.
Doing right matters so we stay focused
At Spinster Sisters, it was a year of taking chances, of accepting risks, of setting lofty goals and intentions, and of believing in all we can accomplish, together. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.
The future looks super bright, and this dream could never have happened without your support and loyalty. I cannot thank you enough for making it all happen. You make the world a better place every day through your choices for clean, healthy, and sustainable food, beverage, lifestyle, and personal care products. Thank you for being a part of the #spinsterhood.
I hope you all are able to enjoy some peace this holiday season. Health, love, and prosperity is my wish for you in 2022.
With so much love,
Loved your letter and am so happy to hear the company is doing well. With your enthusiastic outlook, you can’t help but to succeed. I wish you & yours the best in 2022 & years beyond. Love your products & will continue to use them.
Happy New Year to you & yours, Judy
Thanks for making me, as a customer, feel special and included.