This month we are excited to welcome a new leader to our Orange County Chapter. Greg has been involved with and support of the chapter over the last year as it has gotten off the ground and we are thrilled to have him serve as a leader for this next year!
Q: Introduce yourself. What do you make and how did you get started?
A: Hi! I'm Gregory Jueneman, the owner of Baltic + Pine, a handmade bath & body company in Santa Ana, CA. I make artisanal soap, bath bombs, scrubs and lotions that pamper your body in luxury. Soap making started as a hobby to help with my chronically dry skin and eczema. After perfecting my super moisturizing soap recipe I just couldn't keep it all to myself and started selling at local farmers markets and craft shows. Our line of skin products grew and today Baltic + Pine has become my full time job!
Q: Tell us about ways you've been working with makers already?
A: I'm constantly asking fellow vendors at markets and shows if they have heard of AHAS. I love building our local community of makers and creatives and I'm very proud to say that since the founding of the OC AHAS chapter I havent missed a single meeting! I've learned so much from my fellow members and I'm looking forward to helping others that are just getting started on their journey.
Q: Share a little about what you love about the handmade community in OC.
A: I love how open and friendly the makers in Orange County are! I have yet to meet a maker at a show or market that hasent been happy to help with setting up a popup tent or offer advice. Out chapter members are just as friendly, I've felt welcomed and supported from our very first meeting.
Q: What's your favorite thing about OC?
A: One word: Disneyland. Ok, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge Disneyland nerd, it's my favorite place to decompress, unwind, and just have some fun. If I'm feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with my business I'll hop in the car and drive 10 minutes down the 5 to Disneyland. More than once I've had an ah-ha moment while taking a grand circle tour on the Disneyland Railroad or screaming with glee on Space Mountain.
Q: What's the most important thing makers should remember when running their businesses?
A: Don't be afraid to let go! When I first started Baltic + Pine I was adamant that all I wanted to sell was handmade soap. After my partner convinced me to try another product line I was amazed, not only were more customers stopping by my booth, my sales doubled! Today soap is a relatively small part of my business, I had pinned myself into a corner because I didn't want to let go of what I thought Baltic + Pine was all about. Running your own business can be hard, but remember to be flexible and listen to your instincts, even if it means letting go.