As a small business owner, it can be challenging to get the balance right between sharing too much about yourself, and not sharing enough. As a relatively private person, I've opted to keep business and life quite separate, up until now. However, there's something important going on in my life, and because Santosa is a huge part of my life, I feel it's right to share it all with you too. So at the risk of swinging towards sharing too much, I've written this post, to give you a little insight as to whats going on behind the scenes at Santosa HQ.
Most of you will know that I'm Katie - the one who responds to your emails, chats with you at Markets and packs your orders with those little handwritten 'Thank you' love notes . The joy of small business is that I'm also the product creator, the logistics orderer, the accounting guru, and I also attempt to keep in touch (semi-regularly) via social media and emails (an area I promise I'm working on!).
I started Santosa when my eldest, who is now 4 and a half, was 8 weeks old. I was on maternity leave from my Primary School Teaching job, and found myself with a little time on my hands to develop my little seed of an idea. What started out with friends and family, word quickly grew to friends of friends, through to markets and then onto my first ever stockist. Fast forward to today, I now have another little 'helper' in the form of an 18 month old and so whilst life is very busy, Santosa is definitely part of our family and I wouldn't have it any other way.
One of the main reasons that I became a lot more conscious and aware of what products we were consuming and using in our lives, began when my late Mother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, back in 2011. It became even more meaningful in 2014, when I found out that I too (like my beautiful Mother) am a carrier of the BRCA gene mutation. For those who aren't aware, the BRCA gene mutation (also the one Angelina Jolie carries) significantly increases your chances of developing Breast and Ovarian Cancer within your lifetime. After finding out that I was a carrier, we made it a priority to complete our family, whilst I regularly underwent breast screening (MRI's, Mammograms and Ultrasounds) every six months.
It has now come to the time that our family is complete and I'm scheduled to have a Prophylactic Double Mastectomy next month. It has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions and decisions to get to this point, and one which has not been made lightly. There have been good days where I keep perspective and look at all of the positives, there have been down days with more tears than I care to count, and there has been a whole heap of learning for which I'm eternally grateful for. I was very reluctant to share this personal news, however in the spirit of transparency and vulnerability, I'm pushing outside my comfort zone!
Obviously this may have a wee impact on orders being dispatched for the week that I am in hopsital as well as delays afterwards whilst I recover, however we will keep you regularly updated on the website.
We thank you in advance for your patience, your understanding and love during this time. And from my little family, to yours - thank you for your continued support - we really appreciate it!