Some people tattoo themselves into the fiber of your being without your permission.

When I think back on the last 18 years of being a business owner, and a boss… so many people’s boss. Gah. Is that what I am? I didn’t set out to be that, but there it is.

When I think back on the people that have passed thru the doors of our business over the years I am suddenly hit with a dose of retrospection I did not anticipate.

There are those that have come and gone. The ones, I will admit, that I struggle to even remember their names. Then there are those that left such a damaging scar of negativity that I wonder what it was I saw about them that incited a job offer to begin with. I once had an employee who I was so intimidated by that I wouldn’t be alone in the shop with him. As embarrassing as that is, it’s true.

I’ve hired people who didn’t even bother to show up on the first day. One I fired on the first day, several on their second. One that was arrested by cops while at work, within their first week. And the list goes on.

I recently told one of my favorite current employees (moments after firing a new hire) that the worst part of owning a business is dealing with employees. About 2am that next morning I awoke with such a sharp pain of regret that I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. I had to apologize the next day.

You see, the worst part of owning a business is in fact dealing with employees. But it’s also the best.

Those of you who are small business owners will feel me in this I know. You know the struggle of going thru dry months…dry years…when making payroll means taking out a second mortgage on your own home. A forty hour work week is a joke, you eat/sleep/breathe your baby every second of your life. You may feel like you are the captain of a sinking ship, but alas, you show up every day with a smile on your face. You cannot, and will not, let them know what is at stake. You won’t let them know what’s going on behind the scenes to make sure their check goes thru. But the check will, and you’ll die making it. There is no Plan B.

The lowest point in my business was the day we had to layoff an employee who was much more than just an employee. He was a friend who felt more like family. It was the wake up call we needed to figure out how to run our business in such a way that this never happened again.

Last week we hired back a girl that we’ve regretted losing for the past three years. Someone whose DNA is as much a part of our business as ours is.

Aleesha is family. I did her hair for her wedding. She taught my daughter how to be a cheerleader. She knows things about my family and business no one else does. She’s the piece of the puzzle that makes everything work. My ride or die. She can literally read my mind and now that she’s back I have no idea how we survived without her.

The rest of our current shop is full of the same…
(See the whole HB Team here: https://heritagebrand.com/pages/our-team)

Ben.

He’s been with us 7 years. He’s like an onion. Every time we turn around we learn something even more interesting and fascinating about him. But he’ll never be the one to tell you, he makes you earn it. I’m also pretty sure he’s a ninja.

Kelsey.

There’s never been a more loyal person on the planet, and her taste is impeccable.

She’s my right hand. I trust her with my horses, and that says it all. This girl will be the first to stand up for what she believes, and her heart is bigger than the state of Texas.

Rylan.

We can’t quite keep up with how fast his brain fires, but we’re trying. His parents gave him a double dose of work ethic and common sense. We’re still trying to get him to audition for Jeopardy, and hoping we get a percentage of his winnings. And he’s super likable to boot.

Emily.

Get in line boys. This one is not for the faint of heart. Her moral compass is set in concrete, her sense of adventure has no bounds, and she can probably fix your truck better than you can. We hit the jackpot with this one and tell her constantly we’ll come find her if she tries to leave.

Amanda.

Have you ever been around someone so in love with life that you start to get it too? That’s Amanda. I’ve actually had to tell her not to laugh so much. True story. She’s a crazy hard worker and a ray of sunshine wherever she lands.

All of this to say that I have never had a more amazing group of employees as we do right now. Each and every one is such a huge blessing to me, and if/when the day comes that they have to leave they will have left a stamp on me and my business that won’t be forgotten.

~Jess

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