Dec 6, 2012

Calling All Snackers.


I worked for twenty five years for hotel companies and ad agencies.  Reflecting upon those years, I think the greatest benefits were health insurance, free parking, and not snacking.   Then Brook and I decided to start our business — out of space attached to my garage—   which her brother Wayne- the- interior-designer tricked out like a “real office.”  Our “real office” was not the only thing that needs the air quotes — most people we knew asked us when we were going to get a “real job.”

Anybody who thinks generating your own income, promoting your own business, paying for your own health insurance and owning a car with all of its attendant costs is not a real job should try it.  At any rate, we stuck it out — when we could go to movies when we wanted, start and finish work when we wanted — it turns out that the “real jobs” were not all that tempting.

After being pretty highly paid in the ad biz, our first paycheck at Garvey + Gramann was $285.  No kidding.  But we had worked twice as hard as we ever had before to earn that money (other income from our business was spent on health insurance, computers and office equipment.)  We rectified the pathetic paycheck thing almost immediately when Island Insurance’s Wayne Arakaki gave us our first big job in 1991.  Thank you Wayne!

The main problem with working at home — only for me — was that I could indulge in my favorite past time — snacking.

I spent twenty five years working for “real businesses” and I was skinny the whole time.  Since I have been working at home, or in small offices in buildings and warehouses in Kailua, I have been snacking.  That leads to trouble, I found, and I have recently trained myself out of snacking — but it will take a long time to erase the damage it has done.  Brook likes to snack when she reads, but she is a disciplined person and aware of what the potential downside of excessive snacking is.  Not me.

In 2005 we started Lanikai Bath and Body.  Now it is a going concern.  We are very excited about this brand and have worked very hard to make it happen.  We have also supported it entirely, no thanks to banks and the SBA.  And guess what:  we’re not rich, but we are JOB CREATORS.  I kind of doubt that the small businesses of America will shut down if taxes are raised on the top 2%.  It is not small businesses who are threatening to lay off employees or really doing it.  Small businesses owners work their butts off to be successful and usually they treat their employees like family.

We have created a place that pays well and offers jobs to young women and men who are in college and need to fill in the blanks in their schedule, and earn the money to pay for it. (those student loans!).  It is ridiculous to say companies with 500 employees are small.  And unless the owners are close to the daily work of the business, you can assume that they are not JOB CREATORS.    

Hello Everyone.  I used to be a full time snacker.  I am still a JOB CREATOR.

1 Comment

  • I love the story. You are my hero!

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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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