Thursday, February 14, 2013

mom was right.

Hi Everyone,

So, the more I chat with people, the more I hear that people actually read this blog! And with that, I have a small confession to make- while I am very well aware that I should blog more, I don't, and it is for this main reason:

99% of the time, I cannot for the life of me come up with a decent post title. 

This is the truth- I just can't. I look at song lyrics for inspiration or try to convince myself that the title is really no big deal, but it just won’t do. I think I should probably just write something anyway and then hopefully come up with a decent title. And even if I don't, I am pretty sure we will all be ok.

I should also mention that I started this post on... Saturday?

What's been going on since the last post on December 17th, 2012Lots. Some of it I can mention here, most of it is top secret. (I'm really just looking out for you- having that kind of knowledge is not safe for everyone.)

I believe a little thing called 'Christmas' happened. It was nice- I had most of the 24th, 25th, (unexpectedly) 26th, and January 1st off. Unfortunately not a whole lot to report for Zimt with respect to Christmas, except that sales were slightly better than steady and I was really sleep deprived.

To touch on the top secret information, let's just say that Zimt has been getting a lot more attention by some more prominent and influential figures. Hopefully they are people who can help me take this up a few notches. And here is where the title ties in! (It is important!)

For the first year and a bit of my working on Zimt, I was a little bitter. And you may hate me for the reason, because it will make me sound like the spoiled, whiney princess I am (P.S. buy me shiny stuff and drive me places). I was a little bitter because, for that first while, anyone I encountered seemed to not care less about my having gotten my undergrad in business. My university education was totally irrelevant and I felt like I worked really, really (and I mean really) hard for not much. A piece of paper. In fact, the other day, I was in my old house and I was looking for two things in our jam-packed storage room- bags I had purchased for packaging cacao butter to sell wholesale and my degree. My mum came by to take care of our cat who still lives there, and she was helping me to look, being the wonderful human being that she is. After a while, I just said "I don't even care about the degree, let's just focus on finding the cacao bags." The purpose for finding the degree was not Zimt related. Finding six pouch bags to hold cacao butter was. University honours degree from a highly acclaimed business school vs plastic bags- clearly, we have a winner.

I can't say that my brain has retained much of what I slaved away to learn, but I saw that one coming anyway- it happened in high school (I know I learned about the digestive system of different worm species in grade 11 bio, and that alone took a lot out of me. I remember sitting in my room for days, just before final exams, with the sun shining outside, making up acronyms for worm stuff, walking around my room repeating them, colour coding everything, highlighting all over the place, typing out notes, writing out notes, making posters, you name it. Despite this, I have unfortunately not managed to retain that information, nor much else from high school. ... maybe a good thing?).

So, you see- all of this academic turmoil seemed to be for naught. I was definitely not one of those kids who could read a page a couple of times, or do a few math problems, and then be set. It was a bit of torture and I can honestly say that I hated it. I wanted to be smart, book smart, but my brain and attention span had other intentions. It was sort of a battle- it was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  And being around all the natural academics I was around, I felt pretty out of place.

And for what? Now I was actually doing something I loved- working towards a goal I knew I could achieve (building a successful and creative company seemed infinitely more possible than being hired for a desk job), and nobody cared about my credentials.

Until now. Two of the contacts I am currently working with have asked me about my academic background and not only knew what I was talking about when I told them, but were actually impressed. These are some seemingly vital individuals, and all I can say about that is... go mom.

She is the one who put me through all this schooling because she always wanted me to have an education to fall back on- she knew the importance of being self-sufficient, and that getting some education was a good way to do so.  If worst came to worst, I could plunk those credentials on a resume.  For now, though, it is a good "in" for making that initial connection with well(formally)-educated people. And for now, she is still helping me. A lot. I deeply question whether or not I could survive more than three hours without her in my life.  I'm definitely not saying I have to (nor would necessarily want to) see her every three hours, but she is just a really kind and thoughtful and helpful person and I would probably be at the bottom of a river if I didn't have her.

Mom was right.

Thank you for not only driving me to pick up ingredients from the US but also taking me out for lunch. Really, she does not have the greatest kids and I am shocked that she has not yet disowned either of us. Saint!
However, and that is a big however, having a piece of paper is not a shoe-in for professional success. But, who doesn't find it more impressive when someone works their way up, with absolutely no experience, no formal training at all, and maybe from a really rough place in life? Sometimes, when people find out I went to this school, I try to downplay it a bit, saying (truthfully), that I really don't remember much of what I was taught there. Because when it comes down to it, you got it or you don't, I think.  Which is why the majority of my classmates now have stable jobs, working for others, and get off at 5 or 6 everyday.

And she just asked me this afternoon, whether or not I actually thought I could make a decent living selling chocolate bars. Chocolate bars. The market is beyond competitive, and, yeah, I see a huge need for product diversification. Hence the new products. But I am also a little risk adverse, in that I would like to not have to invest hugely in packaging before getting the go-ahead from my biggest accounts. What if I came up with a whole line of products, asked Jordan to design the packaging, paid for the packaging and the graphic design, and then got a negative from my favourite American conglomerate? So bad.

That being addressed, I also am fairly confident that the market for chocolate bars is here to stay. At least until we all start nourishing ourselves exclusively via pills that taste like the real deal or through some sort of light therapy. So the bars are here to stay.  It is purely a matter of letting people know that Zimt bars are the only kind they want to be eating. Or at least 90% of the time, usually.

Thank you for making it this far- I appreciate your reading my ramblings and feel more than welcome to leave a comment below, telling us all about how things are going for you.


PS: click here to feed animals who need it
PPS: click here to get a tasty recipe, sans animals. You could even make these for your gluten-sensitive sweetie on V-day! <3

PPPS: Just this afternoon, I was driving to my office after making a couple of deliveries and I thought to myself- I should be really, really... good-feeling about having finished my degree because I worked really, really hard for it. And it, obviously, isn't useless. A somewhat painful experience, yes, but no pain no improvement.


  1. I like your writing style Emma. You've got a nice sense of humour and a very cool mom. Props to you for making it this far in your business - and your education probably helps in ways you don't realize - like staying focused, thinking critically, absorbing new material....

    1. Thank you, Tasleem! I definitely need a sense of humor to survive what I welcome into my life =) And, yes, she is very, very cool.

      Yikes- cannot imagine how it would be if I hadn't been to business school!