Her CEO Journey™: The Business Finance Podcast for Mission-Driven Women Entrepreneurs

Weekly show where my featured guests and I explore the financial and business challenges women face on the entrepreneurial journey to success. You'll hear them talk about the money side of their businesses in ways you've always wanted to know about, but wouldn't dare ask. They openly share their disappointments, failures, successes, and everything in-between as they grew sales ranging from 6 to 9 figures. Knowing where your business stands financially helps you make critical decisions with confidence. It's simply the best way to be sure you grow a business that fuels the life you want to live.

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episode 126: Changing the Future of Business: Slow Growth and Sound Financial Planning are the Secrets - The Journey of Badger (Business for Good Series) [transcript]


When thinking about growing businesses, you may often think it requires heavy financing. However, not having investors doesn't mean that your company cannot scale. There are many financing options available to you. For a business that wants to focus on its impact and purpose, slow growth may be the right fit for you.

Slow growth means that you're strategic about where you put your finances. You invest in your purpose; you also use your profits as a tool to intensify your impact on people and the planet. This is precisely what Badger does.

Rebecca Hamilton, Badger’s family owner and co-CEO, joins us in this episode. We learn the company’s background and its secrets to success and stability. Rebecca also shares how strategic planning and financial planning factor into the equation. Finally, we reexamine the importance of having a CFO guide you through your company’s finances. 

Tune in to get great insights that you can readily apply to your business to ensure its success and stability! 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Learn about Badger: its inspiration, growth, and advocacy.
  2. Discover how Badger successfully grew into the business it is today through creative financial planning.
  3. Get a peek at the process of transition of leadership in business as shared by Rebecca. 

Episode Highlights

  • [05:49] Badger’s Origins
  • [07:52] Rebecca’s Background
  • [13:07] Public Benefit Corporation Legislation
  • [15:05] Badger Becomes B Corp Certified
  • [19:01] Challenges During Badger’s Early Days
  • [23:09] On Bad Margins
  • [25:35] Balancing Product Complexity
  • [27:40] Finding Your Niche 
  • [29:07] Badger’s Secret to Profitability 
  • [33:21] Badger’s Financing
  • [37:38] Badger’s Strategic Planning and Financial Planning
  • [40:25] How a CFO Can Help with Financial Planning
  • [43:09] Lessons from Transition

Enjoyed This Podcast?

Write a review and share this with your friends.

Connect With Me

Ready to transform your purpose into an impactful business financial story, profit, and joy? Schedule a chat with me at any time.

Resources

  • Visit Christina Sjahli’s website! Learn more about innovating and scaling your business through the Her CEO Journey podcast series.
  • Episode 101: Embracing Purpose Entrepreneurship and Becoming a B-Corp: The Journey of Carla Heim and Kasha Huk
  • Try out the Cash Flow Conversion Calculator to determine if your business is experiencing a cash flow issue. 
  • Badger: Facebook | Twitter | InstagramWebsite
  • Connect with Rebecca: LinkedIn


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 2021-07-29  48m
 
 
00:02  Rebecca Hamilton
I think that a
00:02
lot of what we've always
00:04
approached things with is that
00:04
we're not trying to grow
00:07
quickly. We're trying to make
00:07
decisions that will allow us to
00:11
be successful. But we also are
00:11
looking for decisions that are
00:16
going to be successful for the
00:16
long run. I think that's been a
00:20
lot of what's led our decisions
00:20
and helped us to be stable
00:23
throughout the years.
00:25  Christina Sjahli
Slow growth
00:25
doesn't mean your business is
00:28
not growing. Not receiving money
00:28
from investors doesn't mean your
00:32
product-based business cannot
00:32
scale. For many mission-driven
00:35
businesses that have a strong
00:35
focus on impact and purpose,
00:39
slow growth simply means
00:39
directing the investment into
00:43
the purpose and seeing profit as
00:43
a tool to amplify its impact on
00:47
people and the planet. Not
00:47
having an investor means you
00:51
don't have the pressure to grow
00:51
10 times bigger in a short
00:54
period of time. At the end of
00:54
the day, slow or fast growth,
00:59
investor or no investor, that's
00:59
your choice as the founder, no
01:03
one else.
01:04
Today's guest Rebecca Hamilton,
01:04
co-CEO of Badger, a company
01:09
started by Bill Whyte, Rebecca's
01:09
father, with a simple idea:
01:13
simple ingredients to heal his
01:13
hands from crack and split into
01:17
frigid New England winter.
01:17
Twenty-five years later, their
01:22
business has expanded from one
01:22
product to hundreds of products
01:26
in 20 countries. And they
01:26
continue to be a family-owned,
01:31
family-run, family-friendly
01:31
company with healing products
01:34
and healthy business for people,
01:34
planet, and profit. In today's
01:39
episode, you will learn the
01:39
secret to their success for the
01:42
last 25 years. Among others, you
01:42
will learn how Badger stays
01:47
focused on its values and
01:47
mission, how to finance its
01:51
business creatively without a
01:51
single penny for any investor,
01:55
how to include financial
01:55
planning as part of the business
01:59
strategic planning, how Badger's
01:59
leadership team benefits from
02:03
having a part-time CFO, what is
02:03
the process to transition the
02:08
leadership team from parents to
02:08
the children.
02:12
This is the last part of the
02:12
three-part series in the
02:15
Business For Good podcast series
02:15
featuring female founders who
02:19
are building businesses to
02:19
create the future we want and
02:23
the future we need. All of these
02:23
female founders consciously
02:27
choose long-term viability over
02:27
short-term profits. They
02:31
bootstrap the business and all
02:31
of them are scaling and building
02:34
meaningful profit. They also
02:34
choose to be part of a global
02:38
community of 4000 plus B Corp
02:38
certified businesses. If you are
02:43
not yet familiar with B Corp
02:43
certification, in that case, I
02:47
encourage you to listen to
02:47
Episode 101 at
02:51
christinasjahli.com/herceojourney
02:51
where you can learn about B
02:57
Corp, why it matters, and the
02:57
certification process.
03:01
You're listening to Her CEO
03:01
Journey, the business finance
03:04
podcast for mission-driven women
03:04
entrepreneurs. I'm your host,
03:08
Christina Sjahli. If you are new
03:08
here, a big warm welcome. If we
03:13
are not connected on LinkedIn,
03:13
please reach out and say hi,
03:16
because that's where I hang out
03:16
and share my business finance
03:20
tips. If you have been listening
03:20
to this podcast for a while and
03:25
you are a regular listener, I
03:25
want you to know I appreciate
03:29
you. My podcast won't be around
03:29
without your support. This is a
03:33
free weekly show where my guests
03:33
and I want to inspires you to
03:37
balance between mission and
03:37
profit, to create an impact in
03:41
this world, and to achieve
03:41
financial equality through your
03:45
business for good.
03:47
No matter how long you have been
03:47
in business or whatever the
03:50
stage of your business, cash
03:50
flow will always be one of the
03:53
critical components, and you
03:53
cannot take your eyes off cash
03:57
flow. And once you don't have
03:57
the capacity to monitor and
04:01
manage your cash flow, make sure
04:01
you have a business finance
04:05
expert who can handle this
04:05
process for you. One of the
04:09
quick tools we suggest for a
04:09
founder to have is the cash flow
04:12
conversion cycle. That's why we
04:12
create a cash flow conversion
04:16
calculator to help you determine
04:16
if your business is experiencing
04:21
a cash flow issue. This simple
04:21
tool can also pinpoint where is
04:25
the problem. Any type of
04:25
business can use this tool. You
04:29
can find a link to the
04:29
calculator in the show notes.
04:32
Once you use the calculator and
04:32
you feel you need further help
04:36
in figuring out your business
04:36
finances, remember that we are
04:40
here to partner with you. We
04:40
understand business finance can
04:44
be confusing, but it doesn't
04:44
have to be complicated. You want
04:48
someone who is as passionate as
04:48
you are and takes your business
04:52
to the next level. Once we show
04:52
it to you, you will understand
04:55
and trust your financial number.
04:55
We make sure you are making
05:00
business decision with your
05:00
purpose front, and center.
05:03
Connect with us at
05:03
christinasjahli.com/let-s-chat.
05:08
Now, let's find out Rebecca's
05:08
CEO journey. Rebecca Hamilton,
05:13
welcome to Her CEO Journey. It
05:13
is a pleasure to have you here
05:18
today.
05:18  Rebecca Hamilton
Hi, Christina.
05:18
Thanks for having me.
05:20  Christina Sjahli
Yes, I'm very
05:20
excited to speak with you.
05:23
Badger was founded by your dad,
05:23
Bill Whyte, back in 1995. He was
05:26
a carpenter, needed a product to
05:26
heal his hand. Twenty-five years
05:30
later, it's still thriving and
05:30
still continue to be a
05:34
family-owned. So I'm curious
05:34
about your own journey just
05:39
watching your dad in the
05:39
kitchen. And now, you are the
05:42
co-CEO of Badger. If you can
05:42
share your journey with my
05:45
audience, that will be set up
05:45
the stage for our conversation.
05:49  Rebecca Hamilton
When I grew
05:49
up, we live with our whole
05:52
entire family in a very small
05:52
one room cabin out in the woods
05:57
in New Hampshire. We had no
05:57
running water. We had an
06:00
outhouse. And we had bucket
06:00
showers on the porch. And my
06:03
sister and I would have to
06:03
collect water from a stream down
06:05
the road. I was there until I
06:05
was about eight. At the time, my
06:09
parents didn't have a whole lot
06:09
of money. But at the same time,
06:13
they really were committed to
06:13
things like organic food, and
06:17
healthy living, and spending a
06:17
lot of time with family. And so,
06:20
we ended up having a lot of food
06:20
that came from gardens. They
06:24
volunteered at the local co-op.
06:24
And so, we had organic food from
06:28
there, really only rice, beans,
06:28
and oatmeal. But we had really
06:32
nice food. And so, that was kind
06:32
of a lot of the family values
06:36
that I grew up with. We're
06:36
connected to simple living from
06:40
the land and caring for good
06:40
quality food, and then products.
06:45
And so, when my father started
06:45
Badger, he wasn't really
06:50
thinking about creating a
06:50
business that would be a social
06:54
enterprise or a mission-driven
06:54
business. He wasn't thinking
06:56
about being part of the natural
06:56
products industry, or making
07:01
organic products. He was just
07:01
thinking about making a product
07:06
that healed his cracked hands.
07:06
And then being a serial
07:09
entrepreneur, every idea turned
07:09
into a business. And so, then he
07:12
thought, "If there are other
07:12
carpenters out there who have
07:14
cracked hands, they might need
07:14
something like this. Maybe I
07:17
could sell something to them."
07:17
But Badger really became what it
07:21
is today, because the foundation
07:21
of it is the family values that
07:27
I grew up with, and that both of
07:27
my parents had. Over the years,
07:32
Badger has really morphed into,
07:32
what I think it was always meant
07:36
to be, which is a really strong
07:36
leading social enterprise that
07:41
has a really strong focus on
07:41
organic ingredients and
07:46
high-quality ingredients. And to
07:46
all of these things that we are
07:48
today come from that origin
07:48
story.
07:52  Christina Sjahli
When did you
07:52
start thinking of joining your
07:56
dad?
07:57  Rebecca Hamilton
Well, I did
07:57
not think I was going to join
08:00
the family business at first. I
08:00
was the one who is gonna leave
08:05
Gilsum. Gilsum is a town of 718
08:05
people that I
08:11
was literally
08:11
born in, homebirth here. So I
08:11  Christina Sjahli
That's small.
08:13
Oh.
08:15  Rebecca Hamilton
So I was
08:15
totally flat out rejected and so
08:15
left, went to boarding schoo
08:15
when I was a teenager. And the
08:19
after that, I went to work o
08:19
sailboats out in the Caribbean
08:24
traditionally-rigged educationa
08:24
boats where we took coll
08:26
ge students out on semester at
08:26
ea programs. And I was do
08:31
ng outdoor education and a wh
08:31
le lot of things that were
08:34
't coming back to work in
08:34
he family business. And in my m
08:37
d-20s, I decided I was goin
08:37
to go back to school. I was
08:41
ctually inspired to go back to c
08:41
llege because I decided I'd lear
08:45  ed about ethnobotany
the stud
08:45
of how people use plants for
08:50
ealing purposes, and also the ec
08:50
nomic impacts of plants being us
08:56
d in supply chains and prod
08:56
cts. And I got really interest
08:59
d in that. I went to India b
08:59
cause I'd heard about an ethnob
09:02
tany project. And I thought,
09:02
I can just go and show up there
09:07
and volunteer there, and I
09:07
ll work for free. And they'll
09:11
teach me about ethnobotany
09:11
" So I had another connectio
09:15
in that town in India. So
09:15
I went over to Oroville, s
09:19
owed up at the project and
09:19
they basically looked me u
09:22
and down and said, "Well, you
09:22
don't speak Tamil. You don't kn
09:26
w anything about botany, ethnobo
09:26
any, anthropology. We don't
09:30
ave time to have you even volunt
09:30
er. Go away."
09:41
that, "Well, I guess I should go
09:41
back to college if I actually
09:44
want to do anything with this. I
09:44
went to the University of
09:46
Hawaii, which is one of the few
09:46
places in the country, or in the
09:50
world that actually have a
09:50
program in ethnobotany. Probably
09:54
a lot of your listeners have no
09:54
idea what that is because it's
09:56
pretty obsure.
09:59  Christina Sjahli
I don't know
09:59
what that is either.
10:01  Rebecca Hamilton
Yeah, it is
10:01
obscure. It's basically it's the
10:05
interaction between plants and
10:05
people. And so, there's a few
10:09
different areas you can study
10:09
within ethnobotany. One of them
10:13
is traditional uses of plants
10:13
for healing purposes. One of
10:16
them is the economic impacts of
10:16
plants being used in supply
10:21
chains, like for products. And
10:21
then another one is the
10:24
ecological impacts of product
10:24
plants being used for economic
10:27
purposes. You might think from
10:27
the outside that there's a clear
10:31
connection to ethnobotany and a
10:31
company that makes healing
10:35
products using agricultural
10:35
ingredients. But at the time, I
10:39
didn't see that connection. I
10:39
thought that I was going to go
10:42
travel the world, that I would
10:42
be doing something in academia,
10:46
that I would have nothing to do
10:46
with businesses.
10:49
And about halfway through my
10:49
college education, I found
10:53
myself having started what we
10:53
call, our Lady's Lotion Night,
10:57
which is a group of
10:57
ethnobotanist, all women. And we
11:00
were making skincare products
11:00
for each other. Just like for
11:03
fun, we would go make little
11:03
lotions, and balms, and oils,
11:07
and lip balms, and the medicinal
11:07
things because we were all in
11:10
medicinal plant classes. And I
11:10
started thinking about actual
11:15
legitimate career opportunities,
11:15
and realized that really the
11:19
best career opportunity for an
11:19
ethnobotanist is to work at a
11:23
natural products company, doing
11:23
product development, or supply
11:26
chain management, and thinking
11:26
about the impacts of a company
11:31
and how that, when we use our
11:31
agricultural products, looking
11:35
at how do you have equitable
11:35
supply chains? How do you create
11:38
healing products based on
11:38
traditional knowledge? And so, I
11:43
decided to come back and work at
11:43
my family's business.
11:46  Christina Sjahli
It's right in
11:46
front of your eyes, right?
11:50  Rebecca Hamilton
At that point,
11:50
I changed my degree around,
11:53
decided to focus it more on
11:53
exactly what I'd be doing. So I
11:56
created a degree that was a
11:56
combination of the economic
12:01
botany supply chain management.
12:01
I did a whole special project on
12:05
fair trade, and how we could
12:05
have equitable trade. And I
12:09
studied chemistry, and medicinal
12:09
plants, and marketing, and
12:14
business for the natural
12:14
products industry, so a wide
12:17
range of things. And so, I was
12:17
in my third year of that, or
12:22
maybe fourth year, and my
12:22
parents asked me to come back.
12:26
They said, "We're ready to
12:26
retire in three years. You and
12:29
your sister need to be back at
12:29
the business." That was like
12:33  Christina Sjahli
No argument?
12:34  Rebecca Hamilton
Fifteen years
12:34
ago, I don't think that... My
12:36
mother hasn't retired yet. And
12:36
my father only retired two years
12:39
ago. So it was maybe a little
12:39
bit earlier than they were
12:42
actually going to retire. But
12:42
that was another instigator to
12:46
draw me into the business. And
12:46
so, for the first 10 years that
12:50
I was here, my sister, my
12:50
father, and my mother, and I all
12:53
co-led the business together.
12:55  Christina Sjahli
I know that
12:55
Badger was involved in
13:00
basically, the law surrounding
13:00
public benefit company in New
13:05
Hampshire. Is that correct?
13:07  Rebecca Hamilton
Yeah,
13:07
absolutely. When we became
13:11
certified B Corp in 2011, when
13:11
you become a B Corp, you have to
13:15
pass a certain score on the
13:15
impact assessment. That's the
13:18
first thing. Second thing is you
13:18
have to sign a declaration of
13:22
interdependence saying that
13:22
you're in a community of other
13:25
social businesses that are
13:25
trying to be a force for good.
13:29
And the third thing is that you
13:29
need to change your articles of
13:32
incorporation so that your
13:32
purpose for being in business is
13:36
not just to maximize earnings,
13:36
or maximize profits and return
13:40
earnings to shareholders, but
13:40
that your purpose is actually a
13:43
combination of making profits
13:43
along with your social
13:47
environmental mission.
13:48
And what I was really shocked to
13:48
see in New Hampshire is not only
13:53
did we not have Benefit Corp
13:53
Legislation passed, but in the
13:57
state of New Hampshire, we
13:57
legally couldn't change our
14:00
purpose for being in business,
14:00
that all C Corps are in business
14:05
to maximize profits and return
14:05
earnings to shareholders. And
14:08
so, that felt disingenuous to me
14:08
in terms of how we actually
14:14
wanted to describe our purpose
14:14
for being in business. So I
14:17
pushed, I actually connected
14:17
with a legislators, State
14:21
Senator Molly Kelly at the time,
14:21
and asked her she would help me
14:25
to push this legislation
14:25
forward. And so, we got support
14:28
from other community members and
14:28
got it passed in New Hampshire.
14:32
So that Badger, along with other
14:32
companies could rewrite our
14:36
Articles of Incorporation.
14:38  Christina Sjahli
When you
14:38
decided, or when Badger decided
14:41
to become a B Corp, was it your
14:41
idea? Was that your family idea?
14:48
I know the foundation was
14:48
already there, but I know B Corp
14:51
certification is also make it
14:51
more formal. There's got to be a
14:56
process. There's got to be a
14:56
documentation because if not,
14:58
you're not going to get that 80
14:58
points, at the minimum. And then
15:01
now, you guys are at 140.
15:05  Rebecca Hamilton
So it was my
15:05
idea. Because I was in the
15:10
position that I was pushing for
15:10
new certifications and
15:14
standards, and how can Badger be
15:14
up at this higher level of
15:18
quality and excellence. That
15:18
said, at the time, I wasn't
15:22
actually looking at becoming a
15:22
certified B Corp. So we're in
15:26
the process of breaking ground
15:26
on building this new beautiful
15:29
building that my father was
15:29
designing. And my mother had
15:32
just done this whole process
15:32
with the family to really
15:34
distill down what our mission is
15:34
and our principles. And I had
15:40
this question of like, "What
15:40
happens as you transition? How
15:43
do you build your mission and
15:43
principles into the DNA of your
15:47
business as you grow?" Because
15:47
we were in a rapid growth period
15:50
at that time as well. And so, I
15:50
wanted to take the impact
15:53
assessment to measure where we
15:53
were and understand where our
15:57
path is for becoming a better
15:57
business and where we are
16:00
currently. And in the process,
16:00
we actually were able to just
16:06
barely sweep by 80%, which we
16:06
were, of course, appalled by
16:12
because at the time were like,
16:12
"Well, we're this great
16:14
mission-driven business, how can
16:14
we be at the bottom of all B
16:18
Corps?"
16:18
So to be fair, at 80%, 80 points
16:18
is really hard to get. But a lot
16:25
of times when small businesses
16:25
first take the assessment, there
16:29
is a huge difference between
16:29
your vision, and your intention,
16:32
and what's living in each
16:32
individual owner or maybe, in
16:35
some of your top leadership. And
16:35
then taking that mission and
16:40
putting it into your standard
16:40
operating procedures so that
16:43
it's enduring as you grow, that
16:43
every new employee that comes on
16:47
can repeatedly enact that
16:47
mission in all of their work.
16:51
And so, that was the work that
16:51
we really need needed to do to
16:54
get us from 80 points to 140,
16:54
was we need to look at every
16:58
aspect of the business and not
16:58
just have an aspiration of how
17:02
we're going to be mission
17:02
aligned, but actually have the
17:05
nuts and bolts of it written out
17:05
in a way that it could be
17:08
carried out at every level of
17:08
the company.
17:10
We have one person who takes the
17:10
actual assessment. So who
17:15
coordinates the efforts, who
17:15
gathers data and information
17:18
from each department. But it's
17:18
really a company-wide effort to
17:22
be able to get the points
17:22
because you can't just have a
17:26
living in as a responsibility of
17:26
one person. Every single person
17:29
in the company needs to hold
17:29
their piece because what's
17:33
really powerful about the
17:33
assessment is that it is looking
17:36
at the entire company. And so,
17:36
the way that we've actually
17:38
worked with it is that we start
17:38
at our annual shareholder's
17:43
meeting. We bring a gap analysis
17:43
from the last impact report
17:48
which shows areas for
17:48
improvement. We vote on which
17:52
ones we think are most core for
17:52
the business or which ones we
17:54
want to focus on. And then we
17:54
bring it into our strategic
17:58
planning with our leadership.
17:58
And then we do strategic
18:02
planning with our entire
18:02
company. And that's where we
18:06
build out action plans each
18:06
department can take. And then
18:10
that gets brought back to when
18:10
we recertify.
18:13  Christina Sjahli
I got to go
18:13
back to the strategic planning
18:15
later in our discussion because
18:15
I'm curious about the whole
18:18
process of taking it strategic
18:18
planning with the entire
18:22
company. And then really...
18:26  Rebecca Hamilton
It's fresh on
18:26
my mind right now because we
18:28
have a retreat in next week.
18:30  Christina Sjahli
Okay, good.
18:31  Rebecca Hamilton
In one week, I
18:31
can say that for sure.
18:34  Christina Sjahli
In every
18:34
interview that you spoke to, you
18:37
talk about business can actually
18:37
do good for people and a planet.
18:41
But you need profit. Profit is
18:41
not the ultimate goal, but it's
18:45
the tool to get you to amplify
18:45
this mission of doing good for
18:51
people and the planet. What were
18:51
the challenges that Badger faced
18:56
during its early days?
19:01  Rebecca Hamilton
So I would say
19:01
that we actually have written
19:04
into our mission that money is a
19:04
fuel and not a goal. And we put
19:08
it there because having a
19:08
healthy business does require
19:11
profit. It does require money.
19:11
If we want to have organic
19:15
lunches for our employees and
19:15
pay our employees well, and have
19:17
high-quality ingredients, all of
19:17
those require being successful.
19:22
So I think that there's been ups
19:22
and downs throughout the entire
19:26
history of our business because
19:26
running a business is
19:29
challenging. And there's always
19:29
changing environments and things
19:32
that you have to address. So in
19:32
the early days, it was just
19:37
being able to sell enough
19:37
products to be able to expand,
19:40
and to be able to take on
19:40
whatever is next, or to be able
19:46
to go from, say, regular
19:46
extra-virgin olive oil to
19:51
organic extra-virgin olive oil,
19:51
and to certified organic
19:54
product. And so, I think that
19:54
had certainly ups and down to
20:00
get there.
20:01
A big transition period for
20:01
Badger was when we launched
20:05
sunscreen. And sunscreen really
20:05
transformed the business. We had
20:11
an employee at Badger who had
20:11
been diagnosed with skin cancer,
20:15
and was told by her doctor that
20:15
she had to use sunscreen every
20:19
day of the year. And she had
20:19
brought into work her sunscreen
20:22
and it was a oxybenzone-based
20:22
sunscreen. And my father had
20:26
recently read about some of the
20:26
potential health concerns which
20:30
now are much more prevalent,
20:30
even the FDA has it under
20:34
review, and there's a lot of
20:34
concerns around that ingredient.
20:37
But at the time, it was pretty
20:37
new that there were concerns and
20:40
he felt that to have a person
20:40
that was told that they need to
20:45
protect themselves from the sun
20:45
using a product that contains an
20:49
ingredient that might be harmful
20:49
that was, didn't seem right.
20:52
And so, we created our first
20:52
sunscreen, which is a zinc
20:57
oxide, really simple ingredient
20:57
sunscreen that was in a balm
21:03
base like our other products
21:03
that had only organic
21:06
ingredients and zinc oxide. And
21:06
we thought, "Well, this is going
21:09
to be something that only the
21:09
far, far, far left of anybody
21:13
would ever use because it's
21:13
thick, and it's whitening, and
21:16
it's greasy, but it's going to
21:16
be safe, and it's going to be
21:19
effective. And that's the
21:19
priority." And so, we came out
21:23
with that product in 2005. And
21:23
we, of course, barely sold any,
21:28
terrible margins. It was just
21:28
not a great product for us. It
21:33
was okay. We felt like it was a
21:33
product that just should be out
21:36
there.
21:37
And then in 2006, the
21:37
Environmental Working Group
21:42
released a pretty striking study
21:42
where they said one in four
21:46
sunscreens don't provide
21:46
adequate UVA protection. And
21:51
many of them are containing
21:51
these potentially harmful
21:53
ingredients. And they just blew
21:53
this whole issue out of the
21:57
water with this study that they
21:57
released. And then what they
22:00
also did was they listed, I
22:00
think, 700 sunscreens that were
22:04
out on the market, based on
22:04
safety and efficacy, and
22:06
enlisted Badgers as number one.
22:06
And that was picked up by Good
22:11
Morning America and all these
22:11
other things. This is one where
22:13
we're quite a small company at
22:13
the time. And so, we sold out of
22:16
a year supply in about a week.
22:16
And then what happened from
22:20
there was we started seeing
22:20
steady growth in our mineral
22:24
sunscreens. At the time, there
22:24
was maybe one or two other
22:27
mineral sunscreens in the US
22:27
market. It was just not a big
22:31
thing to have zinc oxide
22:31
sunscreens. And so, that's
22:34
really been catapulting our
22:34
growth all these years. This
22:38
business is always an
22:38
interesting challenge to balance
22:43
out in terms of profit and how
22:43
to run your mission-driven
22:47
business.
22:48  Christina Sjahli
So just take
22:48
an example from the sunscreen.
22:53
It's one of your best seller,
22:53
likely, in the business. But at
22:57
the very beginning, it was a bad
22:57
margin. How did you even
23:02
overcome that feeling? Thinking
23:02
that, "Oh, man. This is a bad
23:06
margin. Should we continue doing
23:06
this?"
23:09  Rebecca Hamilton
Well, I think
23:09
it's always a blend. We had... A
23:13
couple years ago, we were really
23:13
excited to come out with a new
23:18
bug spray, bug and tick
23:18
repellant. And we're hoping to
23:21
have one that was EPA approved.
23:21
And there's a limited number of
23:26
ingredients that you can use for
23:26
EPA approved bug sprays. And we
23:30
found one that we were really
23:30
excited about. We had almost a
23:34
year's worth of development
23:34
working with that, before we
23:37
were able to dig far enough to
23:37
see how much animal testing was
23:40
required for it. And so, we
23:40
ended up choosing not to release
23:44
that product because it didn't
23:44
meet our mission principles,
23:46
even though I am certain that it
23:46
would be among our top-selling
23:50
products had we gone forward
23:50
with it. And so, we've had a
23:54
number of those times where
23:54
we've had to stop. And we've not
23:57
chosen to make the product
23:57
because it didn't meet our
24:00
ingredient standards. We've also
24:00
looked at really trying to
24:05
understand what those
24:05
ingredients standards mean, and
24:08
make ones that feel the right
24:08
balance of a product that is
24:12
going to be the best on the
24:12
market and being able to create
24:15
that product.
24:16
If we held ourselves to 100%
24:16
perfection, we would have no
24:20
products. We are moving out of
24:20
plastic and as many products as
24:25
we can, but we still have some
24:25
products in plastic. And we
24:28
recognize that it's a journey to
24:28
get to where we want to go. And
24:31
the same is with everything that
24:31
we're creating is that we have
24:35
aspirations which are really
24:35
high and mighty. And we have to
24:40
recognize where we are, and do
24:40
the best we can, and take it
24:43
step by step, moving toward that
24:43
aspirational goal. And so, with
24:47
products, there are products
24:47
that have been good products
24:50
that have low margins that we've
24:50
discontinued. But if a product
24:54
is really important that we feel
24:54
like we're doing something
24:56
different and that we're
24:56
offering the service, then
24:59
that's something that makes a
24:59
big difference in wanting to
25:02
continue to make that product.
25:02
And in the case of the
25:04
sunscreens, we eventually took
25:04
it in house. We manufacture it
25:07
ourselves. We were able to
25:07
improve the margins and make it
25:10
something that's viable.
25:12  Christina Sjahli
Okay, so at
25:12
the very beginning, it was
25:15
manufactured somewhere else,
25:15
then?
25:17  Rebecca Hamilton
Yup.
25:18  Christina Sjahli
Now, your
25:18
product is ranging from one to
25:21
hundred over the years. How do
25:21
you balance that complexity? Is
25:26
it just an idea that just come
25:26
up like with the sunscreen, and
25:30
then you just give it a try, and
25:30
then you just pass the market,
25:33
and then see how it goes?
25:35  Rebecca Hamilton
Well, I would
25:35
say that in the early days,
25:37
that's exactly what we did.
25:37
Because all the products were
25:40  just coming from inspiration
a
25:40
friend or a family member which
25:43
I really need. I had sinus
25:43
infections when I was younger
25:47
and my dad made an aromatic
25:47
chest rub. My mother said that
25:50
she wanted something to help her
25:50
changing and evolving body and
25:55
so he made the, he called it,
25:55
wrinkle-crinkle-shrinkle care,
25:58
like evolving body balm. It's a
25:58
rose beauty balm, whatever we
26:02
want to call it to help your
26:02
changing and evolving skin. So a
26:06
lot of those early products were
26:06
just based on women inspiration.
26:11
I would say that today, I am
26:11
thinking about it in a much more
26:15
strategic way because we're in a
26:15
different landscape. It's not as
26:18
much of the Wild West. There's a
26:18
lot more products on the market.
26:23
And so, what I've been really
26:23
thinking about lately is what
26:26
are Badger's strengths? What do
26:26
we do really well? What can we
26:30
offer to our customers? When we
26:30
think about making a product for
26:33
someone we love, I want to keep
26:33
that intention. But I don't just
26:36
want to make it for somebody
26:36
who's right here in front of me,
26:39
I want to make it for all of our
26:39
customers. And so, it's a little
26:42
bit of a more outward strategic
26:42
visioning.
26:46
So I've been actually doing a
26:46
lot of work, right now, on
26:51
looking at each of our lines.
26:51
And over the next few years,
26:53
we're doing a lot of work on
26:53
figuring out do we have the
26:57
right products nationwide? Maybe
26:57
in some lines will discontinue
27:00
some products and add some other
27:00
products. We want to have an
27:03
assortment that really meets our
27:03
customers needs in a way that, I
27:06
think, are a bit of our
27:06
entrepreneurial hodgepodge
27:09
product development process
27:09
hasn't done in the past. It has
27:13
built really loyal following
27:13
because we have some very unique
27:16
products. And I want to continue
27:16
to keep those really unique
27:19
products, and go deeper on the
27:19
things that make Badger unique,
27:23
or that we really excel in. And
27:23
I want to have it really be
27:27
cohesive and and communicate
27:27
well to our customers.
27:31  Christina Sjahli
When you say
27:31
you're looking at the product
27:33
and you're trying to find a
27:33
niche, what type of information
27:37
are you looking at to help you
27:37
making those decision?
27:40  Rebecca Hamilton
We still talk
27:40
to our friends, family,
27:43
community. We talk to our larger
27:43
community: our customers, our
27:47
social media community. We have
27:47
a group of customers who are
27:52
very avid customers who have
27:52
agreed to give us feedback. And
27:55
we look at market research. And
27:55
we look at what the landscape
27:58
looks like. We know what Badger
27:58
is good at and we know where our
28:02
strengths are. Is there a place
28:02
in the market where we can
28:05
create something that's
28:05
different and needed? I don't
28:08
really want to create a widget.
28:08
I don't want to create something
28:10
that we're just pushing sales
28:10
on. I want to create something
28:13
that there actually is a need
28:13
for it.
28:15  Christina Sjahli
So do you look
28:15
at any financial information at
28:19
all when you are making this
28:19
decision, or it's more towards
28:22
the market research and the
28:22
customer who needs it and all
28:26
that stuff?
28:26  Rebecca Hamilton
We do have to
28:26
look at financial information
28:29
for sure. We do look at margins
28:29
and we balance out the margins
28:33
based on the need. But we'll be
28:33
willing to take a lower set of
28:36
margins if we think it's more
28:36
important product, but we were
28:40
looking at viability. So first
28:40
we want to look at what are we
28:44
inspired by? What product do we
28:44
think we want to create that we
28:47
think there's a need for that we
28:47
do really well and it's
28:49
mission-aligned? And then we
28:49
look at the feasibility of it.
28:52
Can we make it? What are the
28:52
margins? What's the cost? Where
28:55
are the ingredients coming from?
28:55
What's the feasibility of
28:58
actually making it happen?
28:59  Christina Sjahli
So over the
28:59
years, how long did it take your
29:03
parents to get Badger to
29:03
profitability? Can you share
29:06
that journey?
29:07  Rebecca Hamilton
Yeah, I think
29:07
Badger was profitable from the
29:09
beginning. We had a very small
29:09
amount of profit. So when we
29:14
were a million-dollar company,
29:14
we had profit, but it was just a
29:17
very small amount of profit.
29:17
We've only had a couple of years
29:20
where we weren't profitable. I
29:20
would say we're modestly
29:23
profitable. We're not raking in
29:23
the profits. But we've been able
29:27
to maintain the values that we
29:27
have as a business and continue
29:31
to grow, being completely and
29:31
totally family-owned without
29:36
taking on outside investors.
29:38  Christina Sjahli
That is where
29:38
I'm getting at. Because I know
29:41
you are still family-owned, but
29:41
the innovation that you guys are
29:46
doing is huge. So to see how
29:46
Badger is growing slowly but
29:54
surely without losing any sight
29:54
on what truly matters. You guys
30:00
purchase a land and building
30:00
manufacturing facility. You are
30:04
exporting to 20 countries. And
30:04
then the most recent one: you
30:09
basically built solar power
30:09
plant completed in eight months
30:14
in the middle of a pandemic.
30:14
There's got to be something that
30:21
you are doing right because it's
30:21
25 years later, it's profitable,
30:26
and you still care about your
30:26
employees. What's the secret?
30:33  Rebecca Hamilton
Oh, gosh,
30:33
that's a good question. I
30:36
mean...
30:40  Christina Sjahli
To be able not
30:40
to go out there and be intrigued
30:44
to raise fund from outside the
30:44
business, it's something.
30:50  Rebecca Hamilton
I think that a
30:50
lot of what we've always
30:52
approached things with is that
30:52
we're not trying to grow
30:55
quickly. I remember my first
30:55
entrepreneurship class in
31:00
college. And the first day of
31:00
the class, the lesson was on
31:03
exit strategy. When you start a
31:03
business, know your exit
31:07
strategy. And I was like, "Wow,
31:07
that is so different from the
31:11
business that I grew up in."
31:11
Because we don't have an exit
31:14
strategy. Our plan is just to
31:14
ideally, we keep it in their
31:18
family for generations to come,
31:18
or we're not looking to use the
31:22
business as a tool for financial
31:22
growth for the owners. We, as
31:28
owners, we just take salaries
31:28
like everyone else. We don't
31:31
take dividends. We don't pay
31:31
ourselves a different amount.
31:34
We've set a salary structure. We
31:34
pay ourselves within the salary
31:37
structure that we set for
31:37
everyone else.
31:39
So what that does is when we
31:39
make decisions for the business,
31:43
we're trying to make decisions
31:43
that lead towards stability.
31:46
We're trying to make decisions
31:46
that will allow us to be
31:50
successful. But we also are
31:50
looking for decisions that are
31:55
going to be successful for the
31:55
long run. So an example might be
31:58
in our building where we have
31:58
one of the largest posts and
32:03
beam buildings in New England.
32:03
And we built this building to
32:07
last hundreds of years. And
32:07
that's because we have no
32:11
intention of moving Badger from
32:11
here. And so, that's the
32:13
mentality that we've had with
32:13
the decisions we make.
32:16
I remember when we first went to
32:16
sell in Target. They had been
32:22
approaching us for a couple of
32:22
years. And we said no to begin
32:26
with, because we didn't feel
32:26
like we're at the place to
32:28
expand a lot and be able to
32:28
handle it if they didn't
32:31
continue to take our business.
32:31
And so, when we actually did go
32:34
into Target, we have exactly
32:34
that happened. We started out
32:38
with the wrong set of products.
32:38
And we asked them to only take
32:42
it in our core natural sets that
32:42
they did. And then it didn't do
32:45
as well as it needed to. And so
32:45
then they took it out. But we
32:48
were, that didn't impact us very
32:48
much one way or the other
32:50
because we went into it so
32:50
cautiously. So now, we can
32:54
approach it again while we're at
32:54
a more stable place in terms of
32:58
we were in transition from our
32:58
manufacturing being external to
33:01
internal. And so, now we're at a
33:01
really solid place where we
33:03
could look at it again. And so,
33:03
I think that's been a lot of
33:08
what's led our decisions and
33:08
helped us to be stable
33:11
throughout the years.
33:12  Christina Sjahli
When Badger
33:12
purchased the land and built the
33:15
manufacturing facility, is it
33:15
all coming from organic profit,
33:19
there is no external financing?
33:21  Rebecca Hamilton
A lot of it
33:21
was just our own financing, but
33:24
we did take bank loans, but no
33:24
investment outside of bank
33:29
loans.
33:30  Christina Sjahli
I also know
33:30
for your solar power plant, you
33:34
actually work together with
33:34
another B Corp to finance it.
33:38  Rebecca Hamilton
Yes. Yeah. We
33:38
worked with ReVision Energy. We
33:42
put together, basically, we
33:42
purchased our own right. So
33:46
each, we pay each month as if
33:46
we're paying our regular
33:49
electricity bill, but that's
33:49
paying toward the bottom line.
33:53
And eventually, we'll be able to
33:53
purchase it and own it.
33:57  Christina Sjahli
I find those,
33:57
those are like creative solution
34:00
where you don't need an investor
34:00
to do that. And you can do it
34:05
project by project. For example,
34:05
for the land purchase and the
34:09
building the manufacturing
34:09
facility, you said you get a
34:12
bank loan is also using the
34:12
organic profitability.
34:16  Rebecca Hamilton
And our bank
34:16
that we got the loan from is
34:18
actually also a B Corp.
34:20  Christina Sjahli
Ah, okay. So
34:20
what has been your experience
34:25
dealing with another B Corp in
34:25
this type of financing? What is
34:31
the process?
34:32  Rebecca Hamilton
Well, we
34:32
always try and work with other B
34:34
Corps if there's an option to
34:34
because knowing that someone is
34:38
a B Corp in business, a B Corp
34:38
means they have a baseline
34:41
alignment in terms of mission
34:41
and values. And that's something
34:44
that's really important to us.
34:44
For banking, we've always banked
34:48
with the same community bank. We
34:48
help them to become a B Corp. So
34:52
that was we just have a really
34:52
strong long-standing
34:55
relationship with them and that
34:55
helps both for getting lines of
34:59
credit. If we need to weather
34:59
the ups and downs of the year or
35:02
if we want to make investment in
35:02
the future. They've been a
35:05
really good partner. And we've
35:05
gone that route rather than
35:07
getting venture capital
35:07
investors or someone who might
35:10
want to have an impact and how
35:10
we run our business. Because we
35:13
don't want to have somebody
35:13
coming in and telling us we have
35:18
to run it in a way that might go
35:18
against what we think is most
35:21
important.
35:23  Christina Sjahli
Did anybody
35:23
ever approach you guys and then
35:25
offer some investment?
35:27  Rebecca Hamilton
I get emails
35:27
every week.
35:31  Christina Sjahli
Did you ever
35:31
feel intrigued?
35:33  Rebecca Hamilton
I mean, I
35:33
probably should be nicer and
35:37
respond to more of them. But my
35:37
father, actually, when he was
35:41
CEO, he used to respond to them
35:41
because it would be interesting
35:44
to have conversations. And so,
35:44
every once in a while, I'll
35:47
respond and set up a call and
35:47
like, "I think it's nice to hear
35:50
how somebody is evaluating your
35:50
business and what they see your
35:53
strengths or weaknesses. But
35:53
it's just not something that
35:56
we've had an interest in."
35:59  Christina Sjahli
What about
35:59
exporting to 20 countries? How
36:02
did you finance that process?
36:02
How do you manage this whole
36:06
process, making sure that you
36:06
are still using the same
36:09
ingredients, but still
36:09
profitable?
36:13  Rebecca Hamilton
I would say
36:13
for the ingredients, one of the
36:15
big values we've had is to have
36:15
short supply chains with
36:19
long-term relationships. And
36:19
what that does is it helps us to
36:22
have a better knowledge, both of
36:22
the ingredients, and then a
36:26
strong relationship that helps
36:26
us to whether ups and downs,
36:29
whether it's a drought somewhere
36:29
or something financial where we
36:34
we partner with that supplier,
36:34
and they can help us if we're in
36:37
a downtime. We can help them if
36:37
they're in a downtime.
36:40
And then on the other side in
36:40
terms of having international
36:44
sales, we've, for better or
36:44
worse, it's taking a little bit
36:47
of a let-them-come-to-us
36:47
approach, which is that when we
36:52
go to trade shows and other
36:52
places like that, we'll have
36:54
distributors who reach out to
36:54
us, and come visit us, and say,
36:58
"We would like to bring your
36:58
product to this country." And
37:02
then if it's a country that's on
37:02
our list of what we want to
37:05
expand into them, we'll start
37:05
interviewing them and seeing if
37:08
they're a good partnership. But
37:08
the distributors take along a
37:10
lot of the responsibility of
37:10
bringing it into the new
37:13
country.
37:13  Christina Sjahli
Slow growth is
37:13
really, doesn't mean you're not
37:17
profitable, doesn't mean that
37:17
you don't have a healthy
37:19
business. Slow growth can mean
37:19
that you are just being
37:22
strategic. You just finished the
37:22
strategic planning with the
37:26
entire company. Can you share
37:26
the process? What exactly, as
37:31
the leadership team, how do you
37:31
guide the employees and the
37:35
entire company in this whole
37:35
strategic process?
37:38  Rebecca Hamilton
Each year is a
37:38
little bit different. And this
37:40
year, we've taken three
37:40
strategic priorities. And we're
37:44
separating the company into
37:44
three groups. And we're running
37:47
them through sessions on each of
37:47
the strategic priorities. And
37:50
the sessions are going to be a
37:50
combination of presentations,
37:53
and interactive workshops, and
37:53
activities that will help for
37:59
each of the team members to
37:59
understand what the strategic
38:01
priorities are, and then
38:01
understand how it might impact
38:04
them in their department.
38:04
Usually, the actual department
38:07
strategic planning comes
38:07
afterwards where they've held
38:11
this piece of where the company
38:11
is going as a whole. These are
38:15
our priorities that are going to
38:15
impact every single department.
38:18
And so, that's where it brings
38:18
it to this company-wide
38:20
strategic level. And then each
38:20
individual can take time after
38:24
that to think about how it
38:24
impacts them in their work.
38:27  Christina Sjahli
And where is
38:27
the financial planning fit in in
38:31
this whole strategic planning
38:31
picture?
38:34  Rebecca Hamilton
Typically, we
38:34
would do the financial planning
38:38
after the strategic planning, or
38:38
we will do it in tandem. So when
38:43
we're doing the financial
38:43
planning, we usually start with
38:47
each department leader brings a
38:47
combination of their wish lists:
38:52
things that they think they need
38:52
to spend for the company and
38:54
things that they would like to
38:54
spend for their area department.
38:58
Then we do forecasting and
38:58
budget flow forecasting. And
39:04
then we layer them all together
39:04
to see whether we think our
39:08
budgeted revenue is going to
39:08
match up with what we see our
39:13
expenses are. And then we adjust
39:13
it.
39:17  Christina Sjahli
You adjust
39:17
that throughout the year
39:19
because...
39:20  Rebecca Hamilton
We adjusted
39:20
throughout the year, but we
39:22
adjusted, we balance the budget
39:22
to begin with. So we'll look at
39:25
it before we started the year.
39:25
We'll have come with the whole
39:28
wish list of all the things that
39:28
our departments want to spend
39:32
money on. And then what we think
39:32
our sales projections are. And
39:36
then if it doesn't match up,
39:36
then we either cut costs, or we
39:44
reevaluate whether or not we
39:44
think that we can be less
39:47
conservative if it's important
39:47
for some expenses, or it's
39:51
really that balancing act. And
39:51
then throughout the year, we'll
39:55
regularly finesse if we need to.
39:58  Christina Sjahli
Now, in a
39:58
small business world, I
40:00
understand that financial
40:00
planning or having a strategic
40:04
financial partner like a
40:04
part-time or full-time CFO is
40:09
considered a luxury. But in
40:09
order for business to be
40:13
profitable, there is a need for
40:13
have a strong financial planning
40:20
process. Who takes on the role
40:20
for this at Badger?
40:25  Rebecca Hamilton
So we do have
40:25
a part-time CFO, and we have an
40:30
accounting team with a
40:30
controller. My sister and I
40:33
decide on the final budget, but
40:33
we have people who are more
40:37
experienced than we are in
40:37
finance to give us
40:40
recommendations, and to help put
40:40
together the budgets, and help
40:44
us with projections, and ROIs if
40:44
we're making investments, and
40:48
all that.
40:49  Christina Sjahli
So what help
40:49
that you get from the part-time
40:52
CFO, Rebecca?
40:53  Rebecca Hamilton
We have our
40:53
monthly financial meetings where
40:55
we'll look at the health of the
40:55
company, and he has indicators
40:59
on the health, everything from
40:59
inventory management to budget
41:04
flow to where we are on our
41:04
sales versus expenses. And so,
41:10
he has a pretty robust set of
41:10
things that he's bringing to us
41:13
for discussion. He helps with
41:13
the budgeting process in the
41:17
beginning of the year. If we
41:17
have an investment that we want
41:19
to take on, then he'll do ROIs
41:19
on the investment. If we are
41:25
looking at wanting to make
41:25
improvements in process, he'll
41:28
do analysis on that, or he'll
41:28
look at an analysis of inventory
41:33
or out of stocks and what
41:33
potential sales we could have
41:37
for that. Or if we're going to
41:37
create new products, and we have
41:40
to discontinue something, he
41:40
might help us with analysis of
41:43
that. So it's really strategic
41:43
financial analysis.
41:47  Christina Sjahli
So at what
41:47
point you think it makes sense
41:49
for a business to have a part
41:49
time CFO?
41:52  Rebecca Hamilton
I think that
41:52
on day one, unless you're a
41:55
financial person, you should
41:55
have, at minimum, some financial
41:59
support, somebody who can guide
41:59
you through making sure you're
42:05
properly doing the books, and
42:05
properly doing payroll, and
42:08
properly doing all the different
42:08
aspects through to taxes. And
42:13
then, I think, within the first
42:13
few years, even just having a
42:18
financial advisor who can meet
42:18
with you quarterly, I think is
42:23
valuable for anyone. I think a
42:23
lot of times a mistake
42:25
businesses make is to let poor
42:25
financial planning go on too
42:33
long and you set up the wrong
42:33
structures. Even from day one, I
42:37
would recommend you talk to
42:37
somebody who has that you trust
42:40
as good financial expertise who
42:40
can look at your business plan.
42:43
I don't think it's too early.
42:43
It's just a matter of how much
42:46
you need them. So day one, it
42:46
might be one meeting. Year one,
42:50
it might be two meetings a year.
42:50
Year two, maybe it's quarterly.
42:55  Christina Sjahli
Last question
42:55
for you: can you share any
42:57
important lesson that you have
42:57
gained since you took over the
43:02
company together with your
43:02
sister?
43:05  Rebecca Hamilton
One lesson
43:05
that I've had, this come to mind
43:08
recently, is that when we took
43:08
over the company, we had been
43:12
co-leading the business for
43:12
years with our parents. And so,
43:17
we went around each department
43:17
and individuals to talk about
43:20
this transition in leadership.
43:20
And we said, "Well, nothing's
43:25
really going to change. It's all
43:25
going to where it's just going
43:28
to be a smooth transition of
43:28
leadership." And what we very
43:31
quickly realized is that that
43:31
wasn't true. That even though we
43:36
continue to have all four of us
43:36
in leadership in the company,
43:39
that subtle shift in who is
43:39
really leading the future made a
43:45
big difference. And that my
43:45
sister and I being the future of
43:52
the company is in that next
43:52
generation. So we have a
43:55
different way of looking at
43:55
things that our parents did. And
43:57
so, that's made a big shift in
43:57
the company. And so, I think I
44:01
see that you can't underestimate
44:01
the change that shifting
44:08
leadership will bring.
44:09  Christina Sjahli
Did it create
44:09
any issue with the employees or
44:13
the culture of the company?
44:14  Rebecca Hamilton
Well, I think
44:14
it's hard to really tell because
44:17
we shifted into the leadership
44:17
position. And at the same time,
44:22
we started manufacturing
44:22
sunscreens, became an FDA
44:25
facility. And then we had a lot
44:25
of changes out in the
44:29
marketplace that changed our
44:29
business model. And then we had
44:31
a pandemic. So it's been a lot
44:31
of learning and a lot of change
44:37
and shifting. And I don't...
44:37
It's hard to identify which
44:40
parts of that come from the
44:40
shift of leadership or which
44:42
parts of that come from
44:42
responding to what's going on
44:46
out in the world.
44:47  Christina Sjahli
I know that
44:47
sometimes in a family-owned
44:50
business, it's hard to let go
44:50
for the parents because I've
44:54
seen it with some of my clients.
44:54
Where is your parents right now,
44:59
in terms of are they completely
44:59
retired or are they still
45:03
involved in some part of the
45:03
operations?
45:07  Rebecca Hamilton
My mother is
45:07
very much involved. She has
45:10
shifted into a role of being our
45:10
Chief Mission Keeper, which is
45:15
pretty amazing to have her in
45:15
that role. Because over the
45:17
years, she has been really the
45:17
family member that's held a lot
45:22
of the community aspects of
45:22
Badger: the lunch program, the
45:26
gardens, the babies at work
45:26
program, and a lot of these
45:30
things that have made Badger
45:30
unique. And so, she's shifting
45:33
into that role and holding that
45:33
along with a lot of our
45:36
sustainability initiatives. And
45:36
my father is retired, but he'll
45:41
still come and sit-in our weekly
45:41
strategy meetings.
45:44
My father was CEO until about
45:44
two years ago. But two years
45:47
before that, we expanded our
45:47
manufacturing facility, and he
45:52
loves being part of building and
45:52
getting new machinery and things
45:55
like that. And so, he took on
45:55
working on that project, and
45:59
then took on as general
45:59
contractor for the new building.
46:03
So he really was just focused on
46:03
the new building. And then when
46:06
he was done with that, he
46:06
decided to build another house
46:10
for himself and for my mother.
46:10
So then he wasn't really coming
46:14
to work at all. Then about
46:14
halfway through the year that he
46:16
wasn't coming to work, we said,
46:16
"Are you retired or on
46:22
sabbatical?" "Just sabbatical."
46:22
"Okay." So then another year
46:27
goes by, or another half year
46:27
goes by, and he's like, "This
46:30
title of CEO, I don't think it
46:30
really suits me. I'm really not
46:34
here very much. So I think I'm
46:34
ready to move into the founder
46:38
role.
46:38
So that what was interesting
46:38
about thatand this is why I
46:41
said it was such a learning for
46:41
me to realize how much change
46:44
happened when my sister I
46:44
officially took overis that we
46:47
were running the company for
46:47
three years in that interim
46:50
where he was really not as
46:50
present because he was focused
46:53
on these other things. But we
46:53
were holding that space for him.
46:57
And so, when he officially made
46:57
that transition, it gave us
47:01
permission to really think about
47:01
what is the future of the
47:04
company that we want to see. And
47:04
that led to us reevaluating how
47:10
we're running the business and
47:10
if there are things that we felt
47:12
like needed to be changed, and,
47:12
of course, also responding to
47:14
all the other things going on.
47:14
So there's... It's been a both a
47:18
really beautiful time of change,
47:18
and also a really challenging
47:21
time of change.
47:21  Christina Sjahli
Yeah. I can
47:21
imagine that. A lot of my
47:24
clients experienced similar
47:24
things that you just explained
47:28
so I get it. Rebecca, it has
47:28
been a pleasure. So where can my
47:32
audience connect with you and
47:32
the Badger community?
47:35  Rebecca Hamilton
They could
47:35
connect with us certainly, in
47:37  social media
on Instagram, or
47:37
Facebook. Or when the pandemic
47:42
is officially over, you can come
47:42
to Badger and get a tour with my
47:45
father.
47:46  Christina Sjahli
Rebecca, thank
47:46
you so much for being here.
47:48  Rebecca Hamilton
Thank you,
47:48
Christina. It's a pleasure to be
47:51
here.
47:52  Christina Sjahli
And that
47:52
brings us to the end of another
47:54
show. Thank you so much for
47:54
listening to another episode of
47:58
Her CEO Journey, the business
47:58
finance podcast for women
48:02
entrepreneurs. If you want to
48:02
create a proactive financial
48:06
plan and process for your
48:06
business, so you are ready to
48:10
weather the financial storm over
48:10
the next few months, let's chat
48:14
and see what's possible for you.
48:14
Book in a time to speak with me
48:18
at
48:18
christinasjahli.com/let-s-chat.