This is a hard post to write. I’m making some major changes in my life this year, and I wrote this post to explain my plans as well as a little about the reasons behind them. I apologize that this news will come as a surprise, but this seems like the only way to handle things. I think the changes can be a win/win for everyone over the long term, though I regret that this news will be disappointing to some in the short term.
I have decided that it is time for me to find someone to take over SSS from me. Given my physical limitations, I have had to restrict orders to what I can handle, and I would enjoy seeing SSS go to someone who could take it further and allow it to grow more. Someone new could keep the store open 365 days a year, could do more international shipping, and could say yes to some of the numerous boutiques that have wanted to carry SSS. I’m in conversation with people and am confident that I can place SSS in good hands.
I’ve had a good, long run since 2004, but I need to do some other things that I can’t do when I’m busy with SSS. I want to remain active in the fragrance community because I love the friends I have made here. This is an amazing group of bright, caring, creative, generous people.
I have been thinking about making this change for a while, and a number of things in addition to my own needs have factored into the current timing. My parents are amazing for their ages, but they are in their eighties and I want to have more time for them. My Dad is likely having some surgery soon, which is scary at his age even though he is in great shape. Also, my assistant of three years has taken another job and can’t do my part-time job anymore (I have been blessed with several wonderful assistants over the years). Everything is coming together now leading me to make this change.
I’m not going to put the cart back up, but I have juice left for some of the scents and will take some orders for bottles via email during the last week or two of January and all of February (UPDATE: Now Sold Out). I will take orders in the order of the emails I receive at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will not be doing sample orders, and I am out of 17 ml sprayers. I can offer 34 ml plus 5 ml and 10 ml travel sprays. I will start a new post for info/questions about ordering the remaining stock.
I understand that someone new will likely want to make changes to the scent lineup over time (and add new things!), but it makes sense to keep the most popular SSS scents going. I will be sure to leave SSS with someone who will treat customers well because that is a core brand value that I want to see carried forward. I will be available to help with anything needed for a while during and after the transition.
Long term, I would love to do some freelance work supporting small artisan businesses by helping with projects in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I enjoy working on websites and auxiliary branding items like sample cards, business cards, labels, brochures, website images, signs, and flyers. Small artisans rarely have access to Adobe Illustrator and can’t always afford a graphic artist, so this might be a niche I could serve, especially given that I have direct experience with producing these items for fragrance products. This work would be low key compared to running a perfume business and would be much easier for me (the projects would be more limited in scope and would not require inventory, batching, pipette work, or shipping).
I plan to keep my blog, though I will eventually transition away from its focus on SSS. I’d like to cover topics that relate to artisan and indie businesses, with an emphasis on perfume but also branching out a bit to other areas. We have a thriving artisan community here in Sonoma County, and it would be fun to feature some of our local artisans too.
When I first started SSS, I was recovering from a painful divorce (is there any other kind?) and inventing ways to work around a difficult set of physical limitations. SSS helped me feel useful and gave me lots of new things to learn, both about perfumery and about small business. Growing SSS has brought me much satisfaction over the years. I’ve loved getting to know people in the fragrance community and hearing customers say that my scents have added pleasure to their lives. Even though I often regret my limitations (don’t we all!), I feel fortunate that SSS has done as well as it has.
This announcement will likely bring me quite a few email responses, more than I can answer in a timely fashion, but I will do my best to get back to people over the next few weeks. I thank you ahead for your patience and understanding.
I will enjoy having more time to spend with family, being able to take better care of my health, and being able to do some other activities in daily life. I would also be thrilled to see SSS grow and thrive with someone new. I can’t thank everyone enough for your support and encouragement over the years, and for so many of you touching my life and enriching it. I will still be here, just changing roles, and I hope to keep my fragrance friendships going beyond SSS. Much love to you all.