So how does one end up growing a tea tree oil business? Well, that’s a very good question. You see this is my third start-up. It almost seems like a life time ago when Doug and I began our first company, DreamLife Properties, a property acquisition and rental business that focused on providing quality housing for patients that needed a safe quiet place to heal from drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness. It has been very successful and has afforded us the flexibility and freedom to pursue our next projects…..
Which leads us to project #2, Slime Sandwich Inc, a small indie game company. This was my husband’s baby. We moved ourselves, our two kids, and two dogs into one of our own two bedroom duplexes and Doug, who is a third generation attorney, practiced law during the day to support growing our game company at night. I was the silent, but often not so silent partner. With lots of love and attention, our company grew and eventually we pitched the business to the young and very successful entrepreneur, Alex Welch, the Founder and CEO of Photobucket (which sold for 300M). He loved it, took out his checkbook, and wrote a very large check, setting it on the desk of our upstairs bedroom in our two bedroom duplex. All he said was, “Here, make it grow……
And so we did. It grew and grew to the point where we needed more programmers and graphic designers. When the right time came, we pitched the business again to several VCs in Palo Alto. Talk about a surreal experience. And we got some offers which we accepted and this time moved our family from the small city of Pueblo north to Denver to hire a team and set up shop. The guys were wonderful and although incredibly stressful, it was so much fun.
And then it wasn’t. Technology changed so quickly. We saw WebKinz come and go. Then Farmville. Then computer games altogether with the advent of mobile gaming. And Slime Sandwich could not keep up so after 10 years we finally shut the doors last summer.
You might wonder what happens when you shut the doors on a dream after 10 years. Well, this is what happens. You have a little neck surgery, hunker down in your house, love each other until it hurts and while it hurts, and eventually you take the lessons you’ve learned, get up, brush off the dirt into a large plantar, and begin to plant, fertilize, and grow a tea tree business.
In my next blog post, I’ll tell you a bit more about why we chose tea tree seeds and what those seeds store within them that if cared for may grow into an incredible tree.