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A family trip with our 2-year-old son to Saratoga, California inspired the brand name “Saratoga Home.” Later, we would add the regional Red Fir leaf as part of our logo. Loving the idea of creating home decor designs, we set out to create our first products. First up was a party ice bucket, under a sister brand called “My Amazing Ice Bucket.”
Our daughter was born and all those early mornings and weekends started paying off, with customers loving our ice bucket. Orders grew and we set our sights on growing our product line.
A real challenge was finding time to work on the business. Popular advice is to work “evenings and weekends” but after a full day of work, commute, dinner and bedtime routine for the kids, we found ourselves staring at the computer just wanting to fall asleep. After months of frustration, John trialed waking up at 4 am everyday. It was rough going at first but the house was always quiet and focus was easy to come by.
And this habit has stuck to this day - early mornings to reflect and work on creating amazing products while the kids are sound asleep.
While continuing to work full time jobs and raising two children, we painstakingly designed and launched three more products under the Saratoga Home home decor brand: hanging storage bins, farmhouse-styled salt and pepper shakers, and a cute planter pot with tray set. It might not sound like much but going from 1 to 4 products was a big leap for us!
John was often traveling internationally for work, with Melissa working tirelessly caring for the children at the home base. New product samples were rerouted to hotels for John to check and relay details back to Melissa. Together, they made it work.
The three summer product launches didn’t go off without a hitch. A “small” labeling mistake, caused customers ordering planter pots to get storage bins and vice versa! After pulling all of the products from Amazon to a third party warehouse, relabeling, creating new online listings and resending in—phew—we were ready to relaunch. Thankfully, after the costly mistake the product relaunches went extremely well and new customers to the Saratoga Home brand discovered and loved our new designs.
With the business growing and after much thought, John took the deepest of breaths and decided to leave his full-time corporate job with great benefits to work in a part-time corporate job to bridge the gap—creating more time for family and the brand. We were getting closer to realizing our dreams! This year saw not one but two Saratoga Home rebrandings, with the result being the packaging you receive today when you purchase any Saratoga Home product.
A further focus this year was the development of more products and working on better staying in stock.
Well we all know what happened in 2020, right? Covid-19 grinded sales to a halt in March and John was quickly furloughed from his aviation industry part-time job. He spent his early mornings pacing outside in the cold late-winter temperatures trying to piece everything together.
After the first few weeks of shock as people started getting sick across the world, the stock market collapsed, and mass layoffs occurred, many turned to the convenience of buying online. Things quickly turned around for us. Stuck inside, it turned out that everyone wanted to beautify their homes.
With all this newfound time, we spent much more time together making family memories indoors—baby shark dance parties, puzzles, and probably too many snacks in retrospect.
This year also saw us launching three more products - the farmhouse napkin holder, canisters for kitchen countertop, and our newly designed rustic sponge holder. This time we got the labeling right.
To cap off a wild year, we welcomed our third child to the world in late December! So a year that began with fear ended with great joy.
Today Melissa and John are both working full time on the business with products featured in homes, stores, and restaurants throughout the USA and Canada. Our farmhouse decor items have been featured on broadway sets, the TV series JAG, and even a Miami Dolphins party!
Stay tuned for many more new products on the way!
Want to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you. We’re just an email away at firstname.lastname@example.org.