As I sit here with my cup of coffee nursing a back injury, I thought we should sit down and have a heart to heart...
Over the past 2 years, we've made friends with a lot of small business owners. While many of us have different products or services, we all have one thing in common - We are trying to follow a dream! Whether it be Summer who makes Arts and Crafts and now owns an Etsy Store, George who totally found his love for insect breeding and expanded from Discoids to all sorts of Insects, Donna who sells Discoids locally, or Scott who breeds Discoids. There is Rocky who breeds Snakes and discovered his love for big-scale Mice/Rat breeding or Tonya who decided to make a go of it with customized Arts. In short, there is a wide variety of people out there trying to make a living working for themselves, whether they are working towards their business being a primary source of income or whether they've discovered it's a solid way to supplement your income. I doubt any of us imagined that this would be where life took us.
For us, it was the Perfect Storm. Chris worked as a Tower Climber for many years, one accident destroyed that career. A few years later he broke his back in a car accident. A few more years later, his love for wildlife and specifically insects would come in handy. All it took was him posting a picture of his single Discoid bin somewhere and that ended up spawning Luna Roaches into existence.
Don't let me fool you. It's hard work, and I mean HARD work! Running an insect business is not a cushy job. Chris comes in days and looks like he's been through a war. Covered in Dust from shaking out endless bins, tired arms and back from sorting bugs, and wore out from making improvements to his workflow or the Barn itself. He works long hours. Somedays he heads up at 9 am in the morning and isn't done until 9-10 pm at night. Because it's not just fulfilling orders. It's all the other stuff that needs to be done too. Temperature regulations, feedings, watering, cleaning, optimizing bins for breeding, setting up new bins, making improvements to the habitat, optimizing layouts and workflows. There is shopping for Roach food, coming up with new recipes, trying out new breeding layouts, customer pickups, etc. And that is just on the back end. There is also customer communication, website work, ordering supplies, taxes, bookkeeping, research to assure we're up to date on the latest Insect research, our Social Media accounts, our "Think Tank" over dinner when we discuss new ideas for Luna Roaches, where we consider feedback or issues we may have encountered. We talk about growth, inventory, individual customer feedback, we throw around ideas either of us had for improvements and the list goes on and on.
That is just the business-related stuff! On top of that, we also try to maintain a family life, tackle what needs to be done to the property, go to appointments plus my regular full-time job. Add to that the occasional health issues, and most often we wish there were 48 hours in a day.
That's the gritty stuff but there is also hearing music blasting from the Barn and checking in to see Chris dancing through the rows to his latest earworm! There is Chris sneaking out 321987 times a day to make sure everything is well in the Barn - it truly is his SANCTUARY! His place of peace and happiness! He is happiest when he is working when he is among his "little Buddies"...
Then there are also the customer pickups! We have met some AMAZING people from all walks of life that have come over to pick up their roaches. There is nothing like meeting someone and you know their Roach Journey is just beginning. We were you... once upon a time!
Every small business owner can attest to the fact that your blood, sweat, and tears truly are the Cornerstones of what Dreams are made of. So... Is it worth it? 100%
I wish you could be a fly on the wall in our home when we get a 5-Star review somewhere. When our Customers let us know that their Roaches arrive all well and that they are happy with their purchase or when we get any sort of feedback! It fuels us, it elates us, it's the thing that makes us get up every morning with a smile on our faces no matter how hard the day ahead may be. Yes, we ship your roaches to you, and you and your companion pet hopefully enjoy them, but you... YOU give us so much more than enjoyment. You breathe life into our days! You make us love what we do every single minute and while every single purchase is important to us, no amount of money in the world can be placed on how much we value each and every single one of you, whether you're a one time customer or have been with us since inception. You truly are that which fuels our fire!
And as I am going to ice my back and make my husband take a well-deserved break before the day continues, know this... without YOU, we wouldn't exist!
Mel & Chris