We are SO excited to have made the top 10 in the 5xHIVE Seed Grant through Wunderkammer in Fort Wayne. And Megan Elizabeth's cousin, Andrea, was also pretty excited. (Remember Andrea? She asks a lot of questions!).
In her excitement, she, of course, had some extra questions for us. And we are happy to answer them!
Andrea: How to you plan to expand your business?
Traci: Right now our focus is on getting a storefront, expanding past our own kitchens to a place where we can interact with our customers in a space designed just for this project.
Megan Elizabeth: I believe that our business values will lead us to meeting the needs of our customers. With a strong base, anything can grow. I'd like to see the Narwhal and the Manatee be the hub for expansion all around the world. Fort Wayne could act as our solid center, similar to what Vera Bradley is in the world of purses and bags!
Andrea: What do you see as your gateway to success?
Traci: Persistence and our faith in what we are creating and trying to accomplish. We know that we can have small failures along the way and that we can overcome them. The bumps along the way aren't going to stop us, they will drive us.
Megan Elizabeth: Honesty. Traci and I both live our lives with a high expectation of integrity, which also applies to our business. I believe that being transparent in what we are making and how we relate to our employees and customers will be what sets us apart and launches our business forward.
Andrea: Where do you see yourselves in five years?
Both: We believe we will have a manufacturing hub in Fort Wayne, a strong online presence and shops in various cities all over the USA (and maybe the world!).
Traci: My personal goal is that I want to be finishing up my Master's degree in whatever form of European history that I can.
Megan Elizabeth: Traveling, both for research and for pleasure. I want to be able to see the whole world and bring what I learn back to help make this community stronger. I want my children to grow with an understanding that life looks different in other places, and those lives are exciting and enriching. I want my husband and I to grow closer and gain more tools for raising responsible adults (which, in my opinion, is the greatest gift I could ever give to the world).
This is Andrea. She is 16 and beautiful. She's spent a LOT of time with Megan Elizabeth and Traci, helping in the kitchen, going on vacations, and keeping them both on their toes. She's smart and thoughtful. We are SO proud of her and super happy that she keeps asking questions. It keeps us thinking and dreaming. Keep it up, Andrea!
"It's that time of year, when the world falls in love, every song you hear seems to say, merry Christmas." And, yes! It is that time of year! Thanksgiving is past and now it's time to crank up the Christmas tunes, put up a tree, and wrap ourselves in the coziest time of the year. We love Christmas, in particular, Traci LOVES Christmas. One of her main love languages is gift giving. The receiving part is pretty ok too ;) With the idea of lovingly sharing gifts this year, Megs and Traci put together some holiday specific items. We will be getting these items loaded onto our shop for purchasing but this gives you a sneak peek at what we've been working on. Cheers, everyone!
The two fizzies shown above have been topped with the sugar scrub frosting that our brains, experienced in both baking and body care making, have whipped up. As far as we can tell, this is an N&M exclusive. The frosting most closely resembles a baker's buttercream. We chose shea butter and coconut oil to provide silky moisturizing along with granulated sugar to give your skin a gentle scrub. What we love about this topping is that it gives your skin and your bath the ultimate in moisturizing possibilities.
These fizzies are designed to just plop in the top and let 'em go. Everything will dissolve away and leave you with a luxurious bath experience. They aren't as packed full of oils and butters as the other fizzies but they are still designed to soften and cleanse the skin. Baking soda is a gentle cleanser and we used both Mango and Cocoa butter in the base of these pretty treats.
These are the fizzies we have available for our Holiday gift line. We are so looking forward to them finding a new home in your home! Keep an eye out for the shop being launched early next week and be ready to order. We only have a limited number of each of these and don't want anyone to miss out.
Megan Elizabeth's awesome and inquisitive cousin, Andrea, is SUPER excited about the Narwhal and the Manatee. And, of course, she had a million questions. Ok, not a million...but a lot. We had her write them down and we are answering them RIGHT NOW!
Andrea: What sparked the idea of starting a business together?
Traci: Why not? I feel really confident in our skills to be together.
Megan Elizabeth: We have brilliant ideas and tons of skills. This is an awesome way to put those things together while being able to care for our families.
Andrea: How did you two come up with the name "the Narwhal and the Manatee"?
Traci: We've had various discussions regarding our power animals and while the responses have been many, the two that stick out are the narwhal and the manatee.
Megan Elizabeth: I'm basically a unicorn and Traci is a mermaid. These two creatures are basically those things in the sea and who doesn't want to be a little bit mystical?
Andrea: What is your favorite item to make?
Traci: Things that are challenging and require research, infusions and thought. The infusions are probably my overall favorite.
Megan Elizabeth: I like things that smell like roses.
Andrea: Is there anything you've made that you both said you would never make again?
Traci: I hate lip balm tubes. Now we put them in tins. I like that a lot better.
Megan Elizabeth: Lotions frustrate me. I'll make them again...but I won't like it.
Andrea: What's the messiest item to make?
Both: Bath fizzies. The baking soda gets all over every possible surface.
Andrea: What excites you most about growing this business together?
Traci: Franchising and being everywhere. Learning about perfumes and fragrances.
Megan Elizabeth: Being able to combine my experience with the cooperate world with my experience in nonprofits. I want to be a good steward. I want to travel. I want others to have opportunities and I want to give it to them.
Megan is a genius and thinks of the best things. Which is why I absolutely love working with her. Our best times together have always been when we are creating things and this time we created a RAINBOW!!! For your shower. The idea for Roy G. Biv shower steamers hit Megan and the next day we knew we had to make them.
For anyone that hasn't used the shower steamers yet, these little guys are for setting in the bottom of your shower and dissolving into puddles of happy fragrances to help you start your day or end it. Fragrance can be such a delightful addition to the daily shower routine. Which color/fragrance do you think will be your favorite?
The plan this week is to crank out some fun and beautiful bath fizzies, experiment with different types of "icings" and fragrances, and, of course, have a good time doing it :) The experimenting with what works with what and how to put things together is one of the perks of the job. It's what makes us so keen to share this experience with YOU! Keep up with us to see what our next steps look like!