[quote style=”boxed”]Relax and reset. I draw a very clear line in our house for relaxation. Even if it’s just going out for a quick lunch, or watching a movie at the end of the night, there is a time for work and there is a time for relaxation.[/quote]
Megan Vick is the co-owner of Shorganics, located in North Carolina. Shorganics handcrafts personal care and home products using organic, vegan, and fairly traded ingredients. Shorganics is bringing healthy, happy bath and body products to the world at an affordable price. It offers lotions, lip balms, deodorants, face creams, soy candles, and much more. With no animal ingredients, no animal testing, no petroleum based ingredients, and no phthalates, consumers can feel great about what they use in their homes.
Megan, and her husband Matt, started Shorganics after several years of making their own products to suit their skin sensitivities. Prior to starting Shorganics, Megan managed a location for a nationally known bridal store and dabbled in the hospitality industry with various internships. She received her B.S. in Hospitality Management with a concentration in Event Planning and Tourism and a minor in Business Administration. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors.
Megan has a passion for all animals, the environment, and food. She is working on transitioning from a vegetarian diet to a vegan lifestyle. With the help of her husband, Megan is regaining her healthy lifestyle back. You can usually find Megan reading, writing, or traveling to the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina to her hometown of Manteo.
What are you working on right now?
We are finishing development on our Advanced Skin Regimen (ASR). The ASR is a complete skin care package with day and night creams, serum, toner, and an eye balm. We are also developing bar soap and shampoo. We have some Men’s products in the works too!
Where did the idea for Shorganics come from?
Matt and I both have sensitive skin. In college, especially our senior year, we were constantly stressed and the combination of stress, poor diet, and harsh chemicals in our personal care products started to take a toll on us. We got rid of all our “mainstream” body care products and replaced them with what we thought were “natural” products. When we didn’t see any changes, we did more research and found out how many “natural” products were still full of the same junk! We started experimenting with making our own lip balms and lotions. We liked what we made so much that we thought it would be a good business because we couldn’t find anything similar out there. When we got married in 2011, we gave Shorganics products as favors to our guests. They were such a hit; we knew it was time to get serious as a business.
What does your typical day look like?
We read a lot! So much is changing in our industry from day to day. Whether it’s a new regulation from the FDA, or a new product from one of our suppliers, we have a lot of information to sift through each day. Matt formulates our products, sources ingredients and packaging, maintains our website, product photography, labeling, and inventory. He pretty much does everything, now that I think about it. I work on social media, our blog, develop relationships with store owners, and make the bulk of the products. We also both have full-time jobs while Shorganics is still so new and growing.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It takes time and energy. We both have many broad ideas and big goals for the company, but we have to remember to work with what we’ve got. Matt is the genius behind this whole operation. He is able to take an idea (usually a jumbled idea in my brain), understand what the result of the product should be, and formulate a ‘recipe’ to create it. We work together to come up with the best ingredients to put in the product and after some experimentation, we have a new product. Then, we usually have our family and a few close friends try it out. We’ll take their feedback and make the product even better.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I am so excited that veganism is becoming mainstream. If you don’t have a circle of friends who are vegan, it can be hard to be social sometimes. More restaurants are offering vegan options, or at least accommodating substitutions to “veganize” a meal. I’m also really happy to see the local and organic food movement making its way to NC. Finally, more and more citizens are visiting farmers markets, signing up for food co-ops, and growing their own herbs and produce. Every little bit people can do will benefit our world. It’s great to see, especially in my state.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job I ever had was an internship at a country club right after college. It was low-pay, but decent hours. I was a catering sales manager for the country club, but the club was in financial turmoil. No one was playing golf because it was a luxury people couldn’t afford after the 2008 downturn, and no one was eating or booking events at the overpriced country club. It was extremely stressful. I learned more of what not to do instead of what to do. It was in this job that I learned a leader should never show fear or disorganization because it completely kills employee morale. I also learned to be ahead of the curve. While that might be a cliché, if the club had been able to adapt quickly with a lower cost, lower priced menu for the restaurant and events, we could have easily gotten more business.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
That’s a hard question to answer. If I started again, I don’t think I’d do anything differently. It’s all been such a great learning experience. Each mistake made is a lesson learned and I am proud to say I’ve learned plenty.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Relax and reset. I draw a very clear line in our house for relaxation. Even if it’s just going out for a quick lunch, or watching a movie at the end of the night, there is a time for work and there is a time for relaxation. I’ve seen some really great people burn themselves out because they work too much. Without enough sleep, exercise, and play time, I am not at the top of my professional game. It’s a tricky balance, but it’s so essential.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
A big failure we’ve had is managing our productivity and efficiency. In the beginning, we had a problem with time management. We knew about a craft fair for several months in advance, yet for whatever reason, we would wait until the night before we had to leave to make all our products. We would be tired and grumpy. It wasn’t a good use of our time. I started scheduling our production out so we could make one batch of something each night, or several in one weekend. Now, things are running much more efficiently and we’re not pulling all nighters. A planner is the best thing you can have when you own your own business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There is a place and a business for everything in this world. If you’re passionate about something, make it, sell it, or build it better than everyone else and you’ve got the business of your dreams. It’s that simple.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would change the clean water issue that over 1 billion people face in our world. So many people don’t have suitable drinking water and have to walk miles to get it. Water is the key to prosperity in so many developing regions. With clean water comes the ability to grow healthy and nutritious food, have higher hygiene standards, and work and go to school. It is the biggest issue our world faces and one of the easiest to fix.
Tell us a secret.
We used to rescue exotic animals and find them good homes. At one time, our house had 9 chinchillas, 3 rabbits, 2 sugar gliders, 2 chameleons, a fish tank, and a cat. Now, we have 4 rescue cats.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
I love Google Alerts, Pinterest, and WordPress. Google alerts are fantastic for staying up to date on the topics most interesting to you. You can type in any word or phrase and you’ll get an email with current news stories, blog posts, and commentary from the web. I call Pinterest my “productive time waster.” It doesn’t seem like I’m working, but I am reaching new fans for Shorganics, finding awesome vegan recipes to make, and seeing all kinds of cute animals, beautiful destinations, and new fashion. I, of course, love WordPress because it makes blogging super easy and user friendly. WordPress is also insanely powerful if you’ve got the tools and the know how to bend it to your will.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the best book/series ever. There are so many life lessons wrapped in this amazing adventure, you don’t realize you’re learning. I love the different story lines because there is a character for nearly every type of personality. Each of those characters experiences adversity and we all can learn how to handle (or how not to handle) any given situation. On top of all that goodness, there are so many inspirational quotes that apply to the business world. My favorite quote:
Frodo: “I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Wil Wheaton is terribly funny and a bit of tech-geek. He’s got some tweets for fun and tweets for learning. He’s been in Star Trek and on The Big Bang Theory too! Overall, he’s got something for everyone.
Everyone should follow Forks Over Knives (and watch the documentary) because they share inspiring stories of people who turned their lives around by altering their diets. They also have so much science and research behind the philosophy of a plant-based diet, it’s kind of hard to refute.
And, anyone who has a website or an online business needs to follow Matt Cutts. He is the head of the web spam team at Google and he offers insight and knowledge into how and why Google does some of the things they do. He’s also incredibly down to earth and even makes fun of himself. All three of these twitter handles are great and won’t disappoint.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh out loud every day, multiple times per day. I am a very goofy person, so I laugh at myself more often than anything. Matt keeps me laughing, as do our little kitties. If you’re not laughing every day, you’re doing it wrong.
Who is your hero?
Matt Damon. He’s an amazing actor, activist, father, and he doesn’t try to sugar coat some of the ugly truths in our world. He’s very real. Not to mention, he’s Jason Bourne. He also just began promoting UnReal, which is a company that makes “junk-free” candy. No corn syrup, no GMOs, no preservatives- just decent ingredients. Who doesn’t love Matt Damon?!
What is the best part about being an entrepreneur?
I love the control I have with running my own business. If we make a great decision, or land a new contract, we get to take credit and celebrate in our way. On the flip side, if I make a stupid decision, I have to own it completely. Being an entrepreneur and building your business from the ground up helps to keep you level-headed. There is no delegation, there is no blame, and there is no chain of command. For better or worse, that’s the life of an entrepreneur, and for me, I love it.
How do you feel about the upcoming generation of employees and entrepreneurs?
I’m nervous and excited. I know I’m considered to be a part of this “next generation” too. People my age face a weird conundrum in the workplace. Many of our supervisors have the mentality that employees are devoted to their jobs and will work all day, every day for an “opportunity.” It’s been my experience that most of my generation will put their wants and desires first, followed by what’s best for their families, followed by what works for the employer. I see a lot of great companies losing some fantastic employees if companies don’t become more flexible. On the other hand, I see a lot of people my age starting their own businesses because they can’t find the type of boss they want to work for. The changing-of-the-guard in the upcoming years will certainly be interesting as to how it affects both the workforce and the consumers.
Shorganics Website: www.shorganics.com
Shorganics on Facebook: www.facebook.com/shorganics
Megan Vicki on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/meganvick1
Shorganics on Twitter: @shorganics
Megan Vick on Twitter: @meganvick12
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.