This summer, a young woman by the name of Mia Sakai reached out to me about starting a company designed to "deconstruct the mystery of building a business from the ground up, one story at a time", POLYNATE. She wanted to interview me, could she stop by some time? Having benefitted myself from kind strangers responding to my 'cold' emails, I was more than happy to oblige, though I have to confess there was a part of me that thought:
"Wait, me? Don't you want business owners? Oh. Right. That IS me now."
And so, on a day so hot and bright her iPad suffered a heat malfunction while recording, we sat down and talked business.
You can read the interview in its entirety here. She asked me really thoughtful and practical questions, and it turns out I had an awful lot to say about how I got here. (Said everyone about themselves ever, I know, haha!)
And while it was kinda surreal to be interviewed as a business owner for the first time, it was even MORE surreal to see my answers all laid out on her beautiful website.
And I honestly got a little dizzy when I realized this was not just a pretty graphic of hotel-esque images but rather, an actual timeline of my LIFE leading up to opening:
I often describe my year at NU Hotel during which I was a Front Desk Agent/ bar tender/ bell hop/ anything-they-effing-needed as a "montage"-- the working-my-way-up montage that I unfortunately had to live in real time with no peppy movie soundtrack at near minimum wage. But here it was! The actual montage! All finally behind me.
Yea, it's still weird. I mean, we've only been open a few days shy of three months. And we haven't even lived up here for a whole year yet. I still say things like, "We just opened". But now comes the rest of it. The running of the business not just planning for it, the continued growth. The numbers that aren't just projections but actual data from actual occupancy reports and such. The payroll taxes and re-ordering of bulk soap, the catching up on laundry, the changing menus and decisions about what types of advertising are working.
I'm happy to report I FUCKING LOVE IT.
Yes, I get tired sometimes. (Did I mention my Friday shift is fifteen hours long?) And yes, I get annoyed and overwhelmed sometimes. (No I'm sorry, I'm not gonna tell the Internet about those guests right now, haha!) But this, all of this, is what I've been working for. And it's making people happy. So happy! And that just makes me want to cry it makes me so fucking happy.
On the tough days I wonder if this is really enough to give the world. A little hotel in the middle of nowhere? But on the good days I know that this is about memory making, about giving a whole slew of people the respite and inspiration they need to go off and be better people. And that's more than enough to keep me going.