Hello everyone and welcome to Face It Friday.
This week, we will be discussing something a little bit different from at home spa treatments and product showcases. Today, Elizabeth is telling her story from the formulation of The Narwhal and The Manatee to her cancer diagnosis two and a half years ago.
If you didn't see on our Facebook and Instagram, Elizabeth had another area of melanoma appear a couple of weeks ago that needed to be removed immediately. As of today, she is at home and recovering and in good spirits, but your continued support and kindness are so appreciated. This video was filmed before the most recent surgery.
Here is a letter from Elizabeth:
I think everyone realizes that a small business owner wears many, many hats. We work very hard to create, run, and maintain every aspect of the business as well as our personal lives. Often, we don’t consider or make room for things that upset the long-range goal. I know I didn’t.
The last thing I ever expected was a cancer diagnosis. But 2 ½ years ago that’s what I got. I was in the midst of a new start-up, a mom, a wife, a professional and everything came to a screeching halt. I felt like every possible area of my life suffered. I suffered.
Nothing I was experiencing was easy. I think we all know that parenting is not easy. Maintaining a marriage is not easy. Owning a business is not easy. Each one of those things on their own offers layers of complexity. When cancer is introduced, it brings a whole lotta baggage that just makes every role in one’s life more complicated.
I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember how the business kept going in the months after my diagnosis, surgery, and treatment. I know I participated. I know I made big decisions. I also know that mistakes were made. Quality was not kept to a standard that I started the business with. Relationships were compromised.
However, I do know that many people worked really hard alongside me to help keep this business going. I had employees and investors that supported the movement forward. My husband put in countless hours helping me make product, fulfill orders, reminding me of meetings, and the list is too long to remember. He helped a LOT.
I tried really hard to maintain the high standards for the Narwhal and the Manatee that I had when the business started. When I had all the energy and time to research and learn and dive into business ownership. But that energy shifted drastically when I suddenly had to research and learn everything I could about cancer. It was literally a life-or-death situation.
This story isn’t being offered as an attempt to get pity, but more as an attempt toward understanding. Behind every small business are a series of people whose lives are, in some way, impacted by the customer. My life changed and I did everything I could to hide that from my customers where, in reality, I should have let all of you in on the truth.
The truth is I have melanoma, stage 3. I had major surgery and months of treatments. I have life-long side-effects from those treatments that have impacted my recovery and my ability to live my life like I did before cancer.
The truth is my dedication to environmental sustainability has never been stronger. My commitment to making products without added chemicals is more fervent than ever before. My goals for the Narwhal and the Manatee have been recommitted in a deep, more honest way. These things that I really did believe in before are now backed with a very personal, very real reason: if I can help someone have a healthier life that prevents cancer, I’m going to do it.
THAT is what having my small business means to me. I want a beautiful product. Of course, I want to make money. But I really want to help people understand their skin. My skin is my priority. And your skin is my priority.
I am here, a survivor of cancer, with a lot more research and a lot more understanding about how to live a healthy life. I also own this business, which is dedicated to nurturing healthy skin. We are renewed. We are rejuvenated. We are ready.