Thursday, September 10, 2015

Construct your Hops Garden

Well, our hops are sending out shoots and that means that we need to trellis them FAST!!!  There are a lot of different ways to do it (which I'll share in another post), but I wanted to share how Eric is building our hop garden out of old plumbing pipes we used for another home improvement project.

He started with a 14ft pipe that he hammered into the ground.  This pipe is the main pipe that all of our coconut rope runs from/through.  From there, he has created a 'spider web' from which all 11 plants will run up! It's a fairly simple project that takes all of 2 hours to create.  Below are our pictures of the re-useable pipes.  Scroll down to the bottom to see how it held up as the hops grew!  I'm impressed!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Meet Morgan From Buffalo City Jug Shop

Attention North Carolina, Handbrewed Soaps can be found at Buffalo City Jug Shop in Nags Head! (I think Eric and I are going to have to fly out and visit this fine establishment!!!)  I got a chance to ask the owner, Morgan Myshin, his inspiration behind the store (which opened about a month ago), what his favorite beer is, and advice for those that are thinking about going into the beer industry. Here is what he had to say:

Who you are and what inspired you to open your store?

Morgan Myshin- I grew up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and after brief experiences in teaching elementary school and working in the film business, I moved to Tahoe to work at Heavenly. While in California, I fell in love with craft beer, and it became a real passion for me. After moving back to the beach in NC, I noticed that the craft beer business was booming in North Carolina. Currently there are over 90 breweries in the state. My small beach town was lacking a bottle shop that could showcase NC beers to the over 1 million vistors to the area each summer. After a year of traveling around the country looking at bottle shops and growler filling stations, Buffalo City Jug Shop was born.

What is your favorite beer / beer style and why?

My favorite beer style is Stout. Not sure why, just a dark beer kind of guy. I do love a nice punch in the face with hops from time to time too though.

What advice can you give someone who wants to go into the beer industry?

My advice is to ask questions. I have found that most people in the industry are really receptive to helping out others in the business, so pick brains!! The advice I have received from across the country has been priceless, and has allowed me to avoid a lot of common mistakes. Also, get to know your local beer reps and breweries. Those individuals can help make or break your business!

Thanks Morgan for your thoughts!  Looking forward to meeting you in person!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

3 Effective Ways To Train An Intern

Meet our newest intern, Matthew! We are excited to have him as our newest addition to the Handbrewed Soaps Team! Over the next few months, we will be training him in the ways of soaping. We are pretty hard-core around here, so we will definitely be watching him to see if he’s cut out for the soaping lifestyle.  He’ll be going through some intense training that I can recommend for all businesses.

1) Find out what your intern is naturally interested in or wants to learn more about. You might find that he/she has strength in an area that you need to be filled.

2) Allow your intern to experience all responsibilities in your company.  There will be days when you really need to make your product, but priorities have shifted.  You need to get a large order out and write an article for a partner company.  By having your intern educated on multiple aspects of your business, you can have he/she do tasks that will free you up to do what you need to do!

3) Provide feedback in a reflective way.  Let’s be honest, no one likes to be yelled at when learning a new skill.  So phrases like, “What the hell are you doing?” is probably not the best approach.  I like to find about 10 -15 minutes at the end of each training session to talk to the intern about their learning. Most people know when they do not understand something and will most likely discuss it with you.  If not, you can constructively add it to the conversation.  Some questions I usually ask are:
  • So how did today go for you? 
  • What are your 3 biggest takeaways or ‘ah-huh’ moments?
  • What are some things you would like to know more about? 
  • What area’s do you think you need more practice? 
  • What questions do you have for me? 
  • If something that you want to point out doesn’t come out in the conversation, you might want to say,  “I’ve noticed that …..  I suggest you try it this way, as it has worked best for me….”

So now you might be wondering where our newest member fits into this?  We are pleased to report that Matthew is cut out for the life of soaping.  He currently enjoys working as the supervisor in our packaging department.  He serves as a great reminder not to drop the soap… or him!   lol
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