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Announcing the New Owner of Gratitude Soapery (2017)

The last time I made this announcement, I never thought I would be doing it again!

After three fabulous years of managing Gratitude Soapery, Preston & Tyler have decided to move their lives forward in a new direction, which allowed us to host a second Give Gratitude campaign to find a new owner! We received some really fantastic applications and announced the finalists two weeks ago.

Every single applicant was inspiring to us, and I will be over here cheering each and every single one of them on as they move their dreams forward. But now, we’re turning our laser focus over to bringing the new owner up to speed and getting her on track for success!

So, who is the new owner of Gratitude Soapery?

Gratitude Soapery's new owner, Michelle!
Gratitude Soapery’s new owner, Michelle!

Gratitude Soapery is heading back to California, in the hands of Michelle Birnie!

Like Preston & Tyler three years ago, Michelle is a relatively new soapmaker, who has been making cold process soap for a year. But as she has progressed in soapmaking, she has paid special attention to the practices of building a soap business, with the intention of one day boarding the business owner rocketship.

I found parallels with Michelle in her work experience, as she has worked in the retail industry over the last eight years, with a focus on inventory management, finance, sales, and inventory analysis. I know that the skills she has from working in these specialized retail fields will serve Gratitude extremely well!

Michelle put together a great video application that showcased her understanding of business, with ambitious goals backed by a thorough plan to accomplish them with Gratitude Soapery.

I want to share a couple snippets from her application, because it wasn’t just her personality, work experience, and planning that landed her the gig:

What inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by the San Francisco Bay Area – the natural beauty of the bay, the vibrant, diverse people, and the thousands of small businesses thriving in the entrepreneurial environment.  I learned who I am and what I value in this warm, inclusive atmosphere.  Through Gratitude Soapery I will strive to enact positive change for people who experience homelessness and exclusion in our Bay Area communities and beyond.

What makes you unique?

Every person brings a unique blend of values to the world.  Here are a few of the values that define who I am:

  • I am confident, analytical and extremely driven, and I believe in utilizing my strengths to the maximum.
  • I believe every single person deserves equal love and respect.
  • I believe in open communication, even when the topic is difficult or we disagree.  The more we see the world through each other’s eyes, the more empathy we build.
  • I believe in self-care.  Putting my needs first is a good thing; I am a better friend/partner/entrepreneur when I am healthy and whole.

What piece of advice would you give yourself ten years ago?

I would tell my 10-year-ago self two things:

  • First, why are you working in wealth management??  That isn’t your passion!  Start a business, create something with your hands, and grow roots in your community and you will be happier than you can imagine.
  • Second, love and cherish your community – your life partner, friends, family and the two dogs you’ll adopt in 2015.  You are going to build an awesome community that brings you joy and belonging.  They will support and center you when times get hard.  Love them fiercely and show them how much you care.

I am beyond excited to see how Gratitude Soapery shapes up with her hands at the steering wheel!

Want to know more about her plans for Gratitude Soapery? Guess you’ll have to stay tuned and keep an eye on her! 😉

For now, make sure to stop by and say hi via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! In the mean time, Preston, Tyler, Stephanie, Michelle, and I will be diving into transitioning the company and getting our strategies for relaunch planned out. If Michelle is up for it, I’ll definitely be sharing more in the future!

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7 Responses

  1. That is such fantastic news! Congratulations to Preston & Tyler as they take up their new challenge & to Michelle I wish you much success! And to you! What a beautiful thing you have done by creating this pay it forward entrepreneurial phenomena!

  2. Kenna and Preston and Tyler – thank you so much for this amazing opportunity! I’m so inspired by you and by the amazing soap makers in this community. I can’t wait to join your ranks as a soapy business owner, to continue learning and growing, and to change the world through Gratitude Soapery!

  3. Michelle Birnie!!! So very proud of you! Good job! I love soap…..so you have a customer in me! Happy birthday too 🎂🎊🎉

    Terri Shaw

  4. Hi Michelle, every time I I have the privilege to be around you, I feel blessed. You are a kind, intelligent human being. Just like Terry Shaw said “I love soap”! Well, I love soap too! Looking forward to ordering some from you!

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