The past few weeks have consisted of a little bit of everything in my world. I have been working on the flour blends, writing away on my cookbook, recipe testing in the midst of it all, and I finally launched the blog (obviously)!!
Here are a few updates :)
Remember when I had a million and one questions a couple weeks ago about bringing my flour blends to market?? Well, I answered a few! Turns out getting UPC codes is super easy – I have no idea what I was so freaked out about. After doing a little bit of research it became very clear that there was one and only one reputable source for UPC codes and that was GS1.
I went to the GS1 website, poked around a little, and applied for my prefix. It was ridiculously easy and I became so enthralled by the process as a whole. Every single company that uses barcodes has a company prefix. The UPC is then made up of a string of numbers, partly your company’s prefix but also other numbers, known as GTINs or GLNs, that refer to your unique product(s) or your products location. Then, on top of that, barcodes vary depending on if your product is being sold online, in a retail shop, or moving through a warehouse. There are barcodes that identify units, cartons, cases, and pallets! It really is wild and absolutely mind blowing how these barcodes essentially organize industries worldwide to sell nearly every single product you buy. Boom, poof, blam, AMAZING!!
I could go on for days I find it so fascinating!! I’ll hold back though and just leave it at this: I’ve got my prefix and am ready to create barcodes when the time comes!
Reaching out to companies has been quite a doozy. I decided to reach out to all companies, big and small, family owned, corporate, certified organic or not, you name it. I figure I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain so I went for it…
Of the first 9 companies I reached out to, most of them didn’t even bother to get back to me, one of them politely said no, and one of the companies popped me onto their waitlist for the fall when they’ll start accepting new products again (yay!).
Despite the lack of communication from several companies, I checked back in a week a later to follow up. Crickets still.
To be honest, I find this extremely frustrating and I am sure it is quite common. I remember dealing with this when I was trying to find a job many years ago and how infuriating it was. In fact, it made me so angry that I promised myself when opening RylieCakes that I would always get back to everyone who inquired or applied for a job and that I would also respond to someone within a week after an in person interview.
For me, it comes down to the basic human need to feel appreciated; it comes down to respect, and to kindness. When someone is applying for a job or like me, searching for a manufacturer, they are putting themselves out there; they are often pouring out their hearts, speaking to their passion, chasing a goal, a dream, a future. It takes guts and courage to do all of the above and I think that ought to be acknowledged. Even if someone doesn’t fit the bill, didn’t get the job, or in my case, will not be considered for production, I think it is only common decency to respond back with an answer, be it yes or no.
I know life is unfair, it can be tough, and it can be a bitch, but it doesn’t have to be all the time. As ridiculous as this may sound, I believe it all starts with treating people how you want to be treated, the good ol’ Golden Rule.
I hope responding to everyone who ever came my way gave them peace of mind, made them feel valued, and hopefully, encouraged them to keep on trying.
Regardless of the lack of responses I have received, I know I am incredible, that my flour blends are extraordinary, and I will keep on trying!!
As for the cookbook, I’ve just started writing on chapter four. There are five chapters in total so I feel great about my progress! I’ve set up my photographer for the first or second week in May, which I am so thrilled about and have somehow managed to fit in recipe testing along the way though I have more recipes left to go than I’ve yet perfected…
I’ve decided to shoot the book in Ben’s new house!! Ben is a contractor and can do just about anything but mostly, he builds houses. His current house is amazing!! I couldn’t be more proud of him!! And the kitchen is huge, open, bright, modern, and connected to a roomy deck in a treed-in back yard. It is perfect!! And will be a brilliant location for the book :)
Work has been keeping me busy but more importantly, it has me smiling, waking up each morning itching to get started, and going to bed every night anticipating what is to come. It is a beautiful feeling and I am so thankful for this season in my life allowing me to learn, grow, and create every single day.
On a quick personal note…
I planted a chicken friendly seed mix for the girls in the back yard and laid sod in the coop to keep them occupied while the seeds germinate. I weeded and prepped the front yard to get it ready for spring/summer; so excited to plant new flowers, herbs, and tomatoes!
Our family welcomed Oma and Opa back home to Seattle for summer, which means many, many more fantastic adventures to come! Chewy Cat got a new harness so he can enjoy the summer months with us outside. Let’s just say he is still getting used to it... Barkley had his annual check up and passed with flying colors. Fun fact, Barkley loves to go to the vet, it’s adorable.
And last but not least, we upgraded to a 30-gallon fish tank and added some darling new additions to the crew! Meet Oscar, Napoleon, Simon, and Grizzly below!!
P.s. What are your dreams and goals?! You’ve got the whole week to attack them!! Join me and get cruising on an adventure all your own :)
Lick the Bowl – You Only Live Once,