This week’s interview is the second in our series ‘Life After Anthro’. My former intern, Samantha Davis, is now a successful entrepreneur within the birth industry, and has spent the last four years, along with her husband, building and connecting with local industry leaders to help improve the quality of postpartum care to new mothers within the Southern California area. She has continued to develop their team of experts to accommodate the ever-growing demand for placenta encapsulation as a unique, but necessary, postpartum care resource. Her business began just after the birth of her daughter, and subsequently, towards the end of her career at Anthropologie; the end of an era, but the beginning to an exciting new chapter! She currently resides in Los Angeles County with her 4-year-old daughter and husband.
Mommy Made Encapsulation SoCal
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Michelle: Hey there. I'm Michelle Sherrier and this is the Retail whore Podcast, The Stories and Lessons from the life and retail.
Michelle: Hello Hello. Hello. Happy Wednesday. Today's episode is number two in our series Life After Anthropologie. I am lucky enough to catch up with Samantha Davis, who is also coincidentally one of my past interns. And if you know me, you know, I absolutely adore mentoring. I think it's the biggest gift you can make. And I also feel so strongly about developing the next generation of retailers. And Samantha had the chance to work with us for, I think, a year and a half. She was there during the time when we were doing the displays for the LA marque, for the elevator lobbies and the lobby itself, which was for the most part the heyday of the Le Mart building. Samantha had to leave me to go pursue a career at Anthropologie. I have a chance to catch up with her on what she's doing now, as well as talk to her about her lessons from Anthropologie, the good standards that she took from that brand and how she uses them for her brand now that she started a few years ago. She is part of a franchise called Mommy and Me Encapsulation. And you couldn't go further from retail if you possibly tried. Mommy, me encapsulation is placenta encapsulation and she absolutely loves it. She is a mommy herself, so she's able to talk to us about the benefits of it and the benefits of working anthropology prior to starting your own brand. So without further ado, please enjoy my interview with.
Michelle: Miss Samantha Davis. Hi. Thank you so much for being here and thank you for your time because I know you're extremely busy even on Sunday. So welcome to the retail podcast.
Samantha Davis: Thank you so much.
Samantha Davis: I'm so I've literally been so excited to do this series. I mean, like, there's so many I've said it for all the interviews. Like there's so much great thing, so much great things that everyone's gone on to do. I think yours is the most interesting because it's so, so not on the radar. It's like, not at all like.
Samantha Davis: No.
Michelle: But and that's what I can't wait to get into. So old were you when you first started working?
Samantha Davis: I was 15.
Michelle: My God, we're all like this stupid, crazy early years.
Yes. As soon as I can have a job, as soon as I can.
Samantha Davis: Like, I need 114 at the what? So what was your first job?
Samantha Davis: Why are you a sandwich girl?
Yes. Sandwiches. I was the sandwich bitch. Yes.
Samantha Davis: The which bitch?
Samantha Davis: Yeah, the which way? Yes, exactly. And that that was then I got into retail. I worked at like a bakers and I got into the whole working at the mall thing and all of that. So but yeah, Quiznos is my first.
Michelle: You know what I've realized? Because I had a restaurant job, it wasn't like, well, I guess Haagen-Dazs was kind of that same where you're. Oh, yeah. I really realized, like, the relationships that I had in Restaurant World are so different than the ones I had in retail that I found like they were almost closer than your retail people. Did you find that or is that just me?
Samantha Davis: I don't know that I was at Quiznos long enough. I mean.
Michelle: That's hilarious.
Samantha Davis: Conversation. I know. Yeah. No, I don't know that I was I mean, but I see what you mean. And I've seen it in people that have worked in restaurants, like servers and like they go out together. They, there's like a very like close knit group with them.
Samantha Davis: Yeah. Because I still write yearly because I still am in contact clearly. But I just realized it's like, I don't know why that just came up. So that's probably going to be edited anyway. So, you know, like.
Samantha Davis: My, my, never mind. Yeah, that was funny.
Michelle: I'm like, you're crazy aunt or something. Yeah. Is that what you're about to say?
Samantha Davis: Like the kind of conversations, like, even just hear myself talk about that, though, like my first job, Quiznos. Like, it's just sounds so I don't know.
Michelle: It sounds funny. I realize, like I said, like there everybody that is successful. Now I've realized this that from Gary Vee to Tony Robbins to like our little hustler group, like everybody started working really early and that that drive to either make money or to get out there or just to get out of the house or whatever it is that drives like seems. And that's why I added it to the question that drives seems to carry on through everybody's life and they everyone still seems to be still on that same path of like wanting to push and wanting to get out that wanting to do.
Samantha Davis: I think that's a really good point because I don't understand like it doesn't make sense to me when I hear or see kids or young, young adults even like 1920 that haven't had a job or don't have jobs. I'm like, so what do you do with your life?
Michelle: Like, I really like I mean, it's that this generation and that's why I think like with you and so back story for everybody is Sammy was one of my interns and Sammy Sammy came along when we were doing the Le Mart.
Michelle: Yeah, LA Mart.
Michelle: So my companies would do all the LA Mart art displays. So Sammy came along with us and did her thing and contributed and was with us for three years. Four years?
Samantha Davis: Yeah. It felt like such a long time. It was the entire time I was at college. And then I came back to you for a quick like. I feel like it wasn't quite a year, maybe like six months or so, and then went on to Anthro because I remember I got your blessing. That's how like it all started.
Michelle: I'm so proud of that. So that's why when people are listening to this, they're like, How do you know her?
Samantha Davis: Like, Yeah, so why is she here?
Michelle: And the Quizno's part is not part of that. Yeah. So. So, okay, so you went on from me and then you went on to Anthro. Tell me about what, how when you started there, what was your position and then what did you end up ultimately growing into for your final, whatever.
Samantha Davis: Final days, final tour? Yep. So I started so I started at Anthro as an intern, I think before I started your internship. I'm pretty sure.
Michelle: There as an intern.
Samantha Davis: Yeah, it was. It was when I was in college as an as a display coordinator. Intern. Gosh, it might have. I don't think it was simultaneously because you would have known that I was there. I don't know. It was one of those. It was some at some point in college that I was an intern and it was just a super quick like it was like holiday. And then after that it was no more. And then when.
Samantha Davis: I like they only brought in interns for of course.
Samantha Davis: It was. Well, no, because you know what it was. Okay, so remember when you were prepping for holiday and it was crazy busy and you needed all the help? This was before interns got like. I think now the interns are even paid. Interns are paid. Yes. So now interns are paid. I mean, like it was just slave labor. Like I was.
Michelle & Samantha: Working for free. I didn't care. And it's so funny because it's like I remember like everybody. Well, at least during I mean, you started during holiday, which is the same time and it's just it's 16 hours and the display coordinators were taking stuff home at that point. Oh, yeah.
Samantha Davis: Oh, absolutely. That was we would have parties and I quote this party is display parties. No, you're just working from home. What is that?
Samantha Davis: Yeah. And unfortunately, they did get completely busted on that. And I you know, and just to sideline this conversation, my favorite is when I talked to you and it was Christmas time and you guys, you were at Newport Beach at this point, you guys had the brilliant sense of having. Orange County housewives come in and do crafts with you guys. Oh, which they got a chance to. And I know, like, honestly, like, I'm sure there is a ton of people that want to see behind.
Michelle & Samantha: The curtain of what so many.
Michelle & Samantha: So people, I'm sure were like, yes, I'll do it for free. We're just in the world of fucking marketing. That was the most fucking brilliant. Brilliant on earth.
Samantha Davis: Brilliant.
Michelle: Only Anthro.
Samantha Davis: Yeah. Because it's literally people were so excited to be part of the display and like they were making things because it's that like assembly line where it's like you needed a thousand cut leaves, whatever. They're just sitting there cutting leaves for you. And it's like, This is amazing.
Michelle: But God, brilliant.
Samantha Davis: It's free labor.
Michelle: Yeah, it's called getting around the rules. Yes. You know, I mean, I have to say, like, really, it's pretty fucking smart. It's genius. And they they solve the problem of display coordinators being overtime and whatnot still ended up pumping. I mean, it's like I actually like talk about thinking out of the fucking box.
Michelle: That was. Yeah.
Michelle: So sorry.
Samantha Davis: But no, no, but the, the thing too with that is, is we all wanted to do it like you remember, you're like, whatever it takes, like, yeah, I'll go to do a display party for 5 hours on a Friday night at the DC's House. Like no problem because you genuinely loved it. Like that's the culty part.
Michelle: You did passion and really like that passion and that drive for, you know, Elaine talked about it like where the stores were kind of up against each other and your whole goal was to be shared with the company. Yes. So you are. So I just remember being like so driven by wanting to be the best and to be recognized, which is still a horrible problem I have.
Samantha Davis: Yes. Yes, I think.
Samantha Davis: It's a shame.
Samantha Davis: But it's also innate. Regardless, you would always want to do this. So it was just the right fit for you. Yeah, go figure.
Michelle: So your insurance, so they. They you do an internship and then you're done after a holiday season?
Samantha Davis: Yeah, it was kind of one of those, you know, when you do like seasonal employees, like you do seasonal employees, but we were like seasonal interns, so we were there for holiday. And then I think one of the girls did end up staying on as like a sales associate or something like that. But I just went back to school. I was like, okay, this was great. I think, Oh, now it's coming full circle. I needed that internship for credit for school. So that ended. It was like once my quarter ended for school, the internship ended, that was over ten years ago. So it's a little foggy there. So, so I did that and then I eventually came back as a part time sales associate, realized that there was this whole visual side to anthropology. And I was like, I have to do it. That's what I have to do. I wanted to do that.
Samantha Davis: So when you were doing the internship with the Visual Unit realized it was a different division that like visual and merchandising is one part of the group, and then.
Samantha Davis: The merchandising part was newer to me, the DC part I knew of, but the merchandising part was, I think, the one that was like a little foggy because the DC part was very like it was building and there was so much to.
Samantha Davis: For those who are listening..DC
Samantha Davis: Yeah, sorry. Display Coordinator. Yes, display coordinator. Realizing that that was kind of one piece of it, but we didn't really deal much with the merchandising side when I did that short spurt of of an internship. And so when I was actually a sales associate, that's where I learned more about the merchandising part, because it was how to fold this, where this goes, how the concepts changed all that. It was more focused on that part that time around.
Michelle: So did your merchandiser? Did they go this is what I love about the merchandising team is that did they go? Is the reason why you're more interested in that? Because they went through and showed you like the who, what wise? I always say now like did they or is it just something you saw as a sales salesperson saw from the sideline?
Samantha Davis: Just something I saw. It was the the visual merchandising aspect was always very like. So I want to use a really nice word. Like we were mean. They were so mean. Oh, my gosh. Yeah.
Michelle: Yeah. I mean, I realize because I said to somebody, because I have to with my stores now, still, it's like, you know, you write a fine line of, like, mean as a freelance mean, even getting in there and get in and get out and make sure it looks beautiful and pretty. And then you come back a week later and it was like, Oh, what happened? What? Like what? You know, the store did a lot of sales. Yeah. I find myself like, God, like I'm having now. It's funny, this is just happened over the last couple of months like I'm having now to step back and go, okay, I'm so used to being there by myself and I, I'm in there and I'm working, I'm in my own world and I'm and it's not like you have a team of people working with you. It's like in your thing and you buy things. You guys legislate, you know, this is over here now. This is over there. I realize now because they don't understand. They just think you're like this mean person that calls out them out there for.
Michelle: Free or.
Michelle: Because it's not stocked. And I realize like back going back to my old days of Anthro, it's like I have to slow down and I have to explain why things are here, what the stock level needs to be. And when you clean it, it has to go back to because holy shit, like the 30 000 sure. Like we do a set and it would be like all week long we'd do a concept and it was so fucking tight and it was like packed. It was like exactly where and like, you know, Third Street Promenade like or Newport Beach, you leave on a Friday and like, oh no, no. Stores are doing $60,000 a day and like 60,000 a day in sales is a shit ton of people shit up and yep. And the poor staff is I just trying to make sure no one's.
Samantha Davis: No one just trying to survive. Yeah.
Michelle: And like the whole you get back on a Monday and it's all oh the worst. And like Monday mornings, Monday morning walkthroughs. Oh the staff you just could see this and you just and I remember now I feel bad because I'd stand up. So let's talk about what happened to this space.
Samantha Davis: Yes, yes. So what about the clothes last night?
Michelle: Oh, everything about our walkthroughs, what I would be doing. But it's honestly like now do you see like as far as the standards, as much as assholes as the merchandisers were, like how it level of expectation of standards, how it quickly taught everybody or it quickly made you hate.
Samantha Davis: Either one or made them hate you either one.
Michelle: Yeah. So with, with being you don't have with being PC tell me your thoughts of when.
Samantha Davis: So it was definitely like they were intimidating. That's the best word. Intimidating as fuck, but intimidating nonetheless. So but I think there was this like this draw to like I could be creative, but it didn't necessarily have to be with the whole building and, and using power tools and all that which like, sure, I loved and I could definitely learn, but it wasn't my wheelhouse, you know, and going to school for what I did. So going to fit them and being in the visual communications major, that was what I felt like. Yes, I could do that. And so I did the part time sales. I'm trying to figure out when I came to you because.
Michelle: You were before you were at Anthro all together. Like all together. Yeah. Because you you couldn't help out anymore. Like, because you now have a job and. Right. You didn't start out in Newport Beach, did you?
Samantha Davis: No. No. So I. Yeah, you're right. You're right. So this must have been ahead so OC when as the sales associate and then eventually worked my way up to merchandiser at Pasadena. So Pasadena was like my home store. That's where I started because it was the closest to me. So started there as a visual merchandiser and then from there had the most amazing visual manager. So it's merchandiser visual manager. She taught me so much about like actually managing people and the process I think her name was. And I'm drawing a blank now. Stacey, Stacey, I she might not be there. She might be there, but she was she was very quiet, but she was impactful. She believed in me, which was one thing I didn't have from the first vision. Manager I had. And she believed in me. She gave me. She. She. She made me feel valued. And that was a huge turning point for me in my career with Anthro because from there she put me up for a promotion at Santa Monica, and that's when I ended up at Santa Monica under her, because she had moved to that store, too. And she's like, Yeah, I want you to be our visual manager. Our visual merchandiser here went there to Santa Monica, saw the whole show. That is the third street promenade.
Samantha Davis: God damn I, I Well, that's a whole nother story, but, but I love hearing that, that, I mean, this is like one of the biggest. And for those who are listening right now, the the biggest thing you can show an employee is. Is both respect and bringing them under your wing and letting them know that they are worthy and they're of value. And it's that and appreciation and those things. Groom and build an employee up so much like you really like that. That ends up so fundamental to an employee's development and how they because the better they feel about themselves, the more the more they'll do, the more solid they are and the more passion. And and I don't think and I'm so glad you said that, because I don't think like all retailers think like that. They think no, thanks so much. But that's the thing. And it's like, no, there's so much more about developing an employee and really making them feel important. And and then the what you get back is tenfold.
Samantha Davis: Your return on investment is huge. Yeah. And it's funny. Even how many years later, she's still top of mind. Like I. I have so much respect for her and what she did for my growth and my career. You know, essentially she and that's one thing Anthro I thought was really good at and it was tough because it wasn't for everybody. Like, you didn't always have someone take you under their wing like that, but when you did, that's when you got places.
Michelle: You know what I loved about Elaine? I mean Elaine. Exactly. I mean, Elaine is like, just like the shit when it comes to work.
Samantha Davis: I mean, right.
Michelle: So passionate and so, I mean, she just is like the epitome of an excellent manager and it's so excited to have her on an interview because her what she says is so relevant to like anybody running a store. And this whole series of interviews like what I love about it is just getting these bits of knowledge from everyone. And in it, like the experience of the anthropology experience, good, better and different because there were some bad times. It is so, so much of what who we are now is because of that organization.
Samantha Davis: Absolutely. There have been so many points in my just running my own business where I thought back to what I learned from my mentors at Anthro from how to run a business reporting. I mean, just tough conversations like so many pieces.
Michelle: So did you. So how long were you at Santa Monica before you were promoted to. And just so people know, the climb of of how you go into management, like some people are hired in as visual merchandisers. Like I didn't I didn't start in a sales like I had to. And I guess you go through back in the day, you would have to you'd have to present a project to get it right. And thank fucking God I didn't. Because how you said you didn't connect with the district, the display coordinator aspect. I don't. I'm like most merchandisers I think are big picture. Yes. Clay coordinators are the ones who are responsible for all those tiny little details that take a shit ton of patients, which I do not.
Samantha Davis: I understand.
Michelle: That. So. So how like so for you, starting in the foot and then going when? How long of a time did you have to spend in position A before you got to Pasadena's Management and then from Pasadena to Santa Monica? How how long was that window? It was.
Samantha Davis: No. So I would spend no more than about a year in each position. So the internship was just seasonal sales associate was maybe six months or so. Then the visual merchandising position was probably split into like two full years between Pasadena and then Santa Monica and then at Santa Monica. There was a lot of growth happening because of different store openings. I feel like the company as a whole was going through a really big like store opening boom. We opened tons of different locations and so there was lots of different movement happening out there on the West Side. So that's when I was promoted to assistant visual manager at Santa Monica. And then I was I was doing that for a few months, not too long when a visual manager position opened at Corona, which is like lowest volume store in the entire Corona. Well, it's actually a really funny story because it was this really high end shopping center that that was the purpose of it, because there were all of these new housing developments. There's this really hoity toity area up there in the Corona Hills. This is what they self proclaimed. Corona Hills. And so it was. Host to be a really, really great place with high end retailers. But that's when the that 2000 something or other where the market crashed. Yes, exactly. So the the economy crashed and everything went with it. Right. So retail was I mean, it it took it took a dive. All the everything basically stopped all of the developments, all of the construction. So that's why it was the most expensive store to date that they have built because of the architecture and the design. It was actually in some design book. It was a trippy layout with like an atrium inside. I mean, wow, gorgeous.
Michelle: Yeah, it's still open?
Samantha Davis: No, it's closed. They closed it actually, as I moved to Newport Beach, I think like a year later it closed.
Michelle: So sad. I have to wonder where I got to look up what that store is now, because.
Samantha Davis: I honestly just because now I live near it, it's no, I think it's it's empty still. It's like a still vacant.
Michelle: That's crazy that beautiful because those buildings, those build outs and those facades are like so thought out and so fucking beautiful. I can't even imagine that's still sitting there empty. That's so. Yeah.
Samantha Davis: And that was actually why they didn't want to close it sooner because it was so expensive to build. It was like, do we need to? Are we fingers crossed that someday it could revive itself. But it's no, not any time soon. At least I know. So it started so went to Corona for as my first visual manager position. And I was there again I think maybe two years, maybe a year and a half or so. And then that's when I got brought over to Newport Beach to help open the large format store. So the first large format, meaning it had home, it had showrooms, it had a shoe department, it had an intimate department.
Michelle: And that's it started the bath and spa department, right. Because I remember Bath and spa was super small and then Newport Beach for the new became less massive spa department like.
Samantha Davis: Yes yes or well yeah, yeah, yeah. That actually happened like several months after they opened because a lot changed from what it opened as to what it is now and I'm sure continues like they opened a petite department. But then that whole I forget, I think it was just called beauty because there was like makeup wellness was a newer one, all of the like expanded spa lines. I mean, it was it was beautiful, but there was a lot of figuring out to do when that store opened because like you mentioned earlier, it was like 60 to 80000 days with staffing meant for, you know, 30 to 40. So it's just as a whole went through so many growing pains, which now is is so I feel so happy to have been a part of because going, you know, you're shaking your head, you know, when you go through those hugely transitional and challenging times with a group of people from Anthropologie who are just as invested and just as passionate and business driven, you get a magic happens and the things you get from the things you learn from it are are things you'll take with you forever.
Michelle: You know, I love what my one of my takeaways from during my time there is, you know, the Monday morning recap business or when you now I've heard there's a portal that you all go into to look at all your sales against because yes, back in the day it used to be you get this massive FedEx box and in it was all your sales reports and all the the store wide sales.
Samantha Davis: Yes.
Michelle: Velocity report. Yes. You know that the reporting and you know, there's a story that I, I still tell and it will be like the fourth time I've said this.
Michelle: Everyone listening, I apologize.
Michelle: But there was this stupid, hideous, glossy report. It was the number one wall decor item, and I fucking hated it. It was a fish, a beaten fish wall hook. And this thing was a velocity item for fucking years. And I hated it. So I would hide it in every oh time. Like the part and the brilliance of the velocity reports and all these reports you have to go through is like it is very clear when something that is a velocity item is not on your show up on your report. There's three things that happened. Either it's not on the floor or it's on the floor and no one can find it. In my case, it was on the floor and you couldn't find it.
Samantha Davis: But it was on the floor. Check mark there.
Michelle: But it. Incredible now, because now there's a few accounts. I go through their reports every Monday I can see and it's like you can see like what? Like what happened to this? And it's like you start asking, is it on the floor? Do we do we receive it? Did it I know it arrived. Is it did it make it on the floor or where where is it? It's it's those reports. And for anybody that has store report systems and they don't utilize them and it's always the first person, it's like that is your biggest and best tool in the world like that. And that, for a takeaway from Anthro is like hands down, like my one of my favorites. And that that has nothing to do with I mean, it does have to do something to do with merchandising, but it's more management. Yeah, right. Right.
Samantha Davis: Which is going to have to have that. And then the with the portal system that came out, that was I think tenfold because you could carry that around with you while you're merchandising. You have it on your tablet while you're merchandising. Check this real quick. Okay. Where do I have that top ten item like it was just the accessibility transformed the way you merchandise and you approach your business, which in turn made you more money.
Michelle: Add something I think a lot of people don't realize is that, you know, I say it a lot is just because it looks good doesn't mean right. If it doesn't sell, it doesn't matter how pretty it is. And those reports you take me through, like for merchandising, like for people that don't know, say you have an item like the blouse, the blouse division or like the is it cut? And so so you're cutting so division and you're merchandising your floor for apparel. Tell me a little bit about like how that report played into how you merchandise.
Samantha Davis: That's a good question. So and I'm putting my merchandiser hat back on, so let me see. So I'm sitting in front of my blank space. And so this is what I would do is. I have a lot of thoughts happening right now. You would take a look at what's your what's on your what's on the company's top ten? What's on those report systems that show what the company is buying into one and trying to push to sell? And also, what are your what's your specific market? So your district reporting what is what is comping high there as well because you don't want.
Michelle: To West Coast will sell different things.
Samantha Davis: Exactly right. Even like the southern states versus, you know, I mean, really anywhere in California, it's different. California is just unique. So you really also want to look at like your regional and your district comps, too, because you want to see what your local target audience is is being driven to, in addition to what the company is buying into as a whole. So what I would do is when you're setting your samples, so you've got your entire rack of this is what's meant for this concept. You've got a handful of cotton, so you've got blouses, you've got great outfitting so that there's pairings there. You want to set your bread and butter. And for us and as a company, we were always top cut. And so is your bread and butter. That's what is your money driver, right? You've got really beautiful accent pieces that are maybe higher price points that great. If you sell one or two, that's fantastic. But if you sell 20 of this cut and so that's even better. So you place those cut and sell pieces on your floor wherever your space is in very focal points. You're balancing your color. You're making sure it's aesthetically pleasing. Yes. But also it's in those high traffic areas. It's also and I think they approach it very differently now. So what I'm saying, I think, is my.
Michelle: Era is what it's not even that. What I love is like what you're explaining is how still to this day, how people should be looking at their floors.
Samantha Davis: Yeah, right. It's because it's a holistic approach. You need to look at it from all aspects of from your reporting, your company, your district, but also where are your high traffic areas? What types of outfits are you putting together? Is it all outfitted or are you able to have moments of just a cut? And so so that they're focusing on just that piece, just that category. They started doing this kind of towards the end of my time, but doing a lot more class driven merchandising. Do you see? I haven't been into an answer.
Michelle: So I would do I go back and forth and for people that don't know what class merchandising it is, is basically putting all of your blouses in one place. And, you know, it's very like department store, like, right. It's like here's like just giant like circular racks of stuff. But when it's done right, it does definitely drive categories. And I've done it on some level, but I still have a hard time having just be that like I, I, I still cut other elements into it just because it, it still reads so department store to me. But the sales do like values candles like I'd cross merchandise Valencia candles and I just realize they just sell better when they're all fucking together and I hate it, you know? And literally, like, I had this conversation because I was getting their new like they put out all these new new fragrances, new colors, like so gorgeous. And I was already thinking of like, where we can put it in, like, just fucking put it with the other ones. Like, I don't, don't fix what's broken. But right there are as a general, I don't like it. But with that it's like you are going to drive more sales like that for sure.
Samantha Davis: Exactly. Well, that's where that whole conversation changed is when, oh, they went through a big restructure and just entire their entire strategy across the board changed.
Michelle: And when the new president came in. Yes. Yeah.
Michelle: Because he's.
Michelle: Under Armour. So so again. So everyone knows like Glen Sync was the vice president or the president for years, he and Dick Cain, who started Urban Outfitters. Urban Outfitters is the umbrella of Anthro and all the other lines, the divisions underneath it. But they I think it sounds like they did away with all the very high payroll and they brought in this guy from under I'm sorry, I don't have his name, but they brought in him from Under Armour, who has a proven success driving business. But it's it's so fucking polar different than what anthropology was as it is as a brand.
Samantha Davis: Am I right? Absolutely. Oh, completely different. And like you said, yeah, it is very department store driven that that strategy and was very. Very difficult for merchandisers and visual managers and anyone within that visual field to understand conceptually. I mean, we would set a concept, someone would come in, okay, we have to redo it. It's not like they want it. It's not like they want it. I mean, I remember hearing that so many times and this this happened when I got back from maternity leave. So I had my baby came back and it had all blown up. So I was like, I'm sorry, you want me to do what? I want to get it.
Samantha Davis: What am I doing?
Samantha Davis: I think this is not what I know how to do, because it was it was like, okay, your blouses aren't the majority of your blouses are in this concept. The majority of your denim is going to be all in this concept. And it went from having these really sweet shop in shops to like a denim shop. Totally understand that. Yes. And there is a place and it totally makes sense to very much like cut and sew here, blouse is here, which is difficult. But again, they've also found a way to put the anthro spin on it so it hasn't disrupted the customer experience.
Samantha Davis: And so people want it.
Samantha Davis: Yes. No.
Michelle: I always say that with my customers where they're like, I think it looks like shit. I'm like, honestly, like your customer is not going to notice the difference up here. They're they're still looking at the overall.
Samantha Davis: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. It's just about their experience versus what they're like piecing it apart or why are there so many t shirts right here? I don't understand that that's not what they're thinking. But and I think, like I said, there is still an element of driving your sales and you're making your money with a strategy like this, but also implementing moments of outfitting moments of home cross merchandising where you've got apparel and a really beautiful blue spot candle you want to highlight or taking those moments of cross merch and having them double exposed should you have the inventory to do so?
Michelle: That's the biggest. No, no. And it's like.
Samantha Davis: No way really. Oh, double exposure. Oh, yes, yes.
Michelle & Samantha: No, it's the same item at two places. That's still like my biggest peeve. It's like, keep everything together. Oh, my God, I love it. Never mind what I just said. I just like it's it's I mean, it makes sense because also you wouldn't just get. 12 candles, you get 500. And I mean, in order to push those sales and if you have a store, a space as big as Anthro.
Samantha Davis: Right.
Michelle: Newport Beach store. And you have an opportunity to show it to places. Absolutely. That totally make sense.
Samantha Davis: That's a really good point. And I should have prefaced that because at Newport there was this whole strategy with their back stock, which if you were if you've worked at Anthro, you know all about backlog, it's a whole other conversation. But you so you would you would hide things in back stock. You didn't want to put out you would put your fish fish would be in the back side or you would do a limited quantity of something. But I think what they wanted to do with these new large format stores and really with all of their new stores opening is create larger back of house spaces. So one, you couldn't house as much back stock and you you well basically that is the reason you don't want as much back suck you want it all out on the floor so we had to to really use our spaces creatively and effectively. So we had to double expose because like you said, we were getting 500 of something versus before we'd get 20 of something great, we put ten out, we have ten in the back, we restock as needed. It was like, no, we didn't have the space to house anything in the back. So what do I do with 500 of one scented goji berry blues? The Candle? Okay, so yeah, I'm going to double exposure up front in the back, in the kitchen.
Michelle: You know, it's so funny because so do you. And this is I'm getting so far away from the topic, but do you feel like they went away from lots of different things to much more? Like much more edited. Yes. Where instead they'd have 20 different candle lines. They went to just four different of lines. And instead of doing all the sense, they just went really deep. And for the sense.
Samantha Davis: I can't I can't like checkmark that but in my experience I feel like yes and they were only continuing to move in that direction, you know, because we would have to do with this large format store. We did have to do reporting to the buying team in those first few months. I remember every Friday or every whatever what was once a week, we'd sit there with the entire upper management team and talk about things that we saw that was on the website that we really would want in in store, like things that we we thought would sell. And a lot of it would come back to say, Well, that's like an online thing. That's an online thing. We can't have that in the store because we got what we got in the stores, which was two of the $0.16. And then all of the other scented candles were online, you know, because it made sense from a from a buying strategy, you know, so.
Michelle: So now because we've kind of crossed into some of what I was going to ask you on. When what was your. This will be a short question. What was your favorite part of being an Anthro?
Samantha Davis: My favorite part. Oh, it's hard. There were there were like not looking back. It's like there are a lot of favorite parts and. I think my favorite part was being able to be creative day in and day out. Now that I'm not in that or not in that field or that realm at all, I miss it. I crave it. You know, I mean.
Michelle: So you don't have. We'll go to what you're doing in a second. But you don't have any really creative outlet anymore?
Samantha Davis: No, I mean, graphic bedroom. Yeah. My my house, which is nice. Just before it got no love. Like, I didn't decorate for Christmas. I didn't. I mean, you know, we had things, but it was like the focus was my store. My store was like my home, you know? Yeah, I spent a lot of time there, but I, it's, yeah, it's the creative piece. And then I think being part of the creative process to the decision making, even the language, the conversations I got to have with our display coordinator, because once I got to Newport Beach, I was the home visual manager and then crossed over when I came back from maternity leave to be apparel visual manager. So I got to see both sides. And I just I miss having this exact type of conversation. I'm like now realizing how excited it's making me to talk about cross merchandising and, you know, like colors and, and material testing. And I don't know, there's so many different parts of it that I really miss, but it all comes back to the ability to be creative and have that outlet.
Michelle: What were what what do you think was your biggest takeaway from your time there.
Samantha Davis: Was how to manage people. It was my biggest struggle. Ask anyone that worked with me or for me or above me. I mean, managing was not my that wasn't my expertise. It was really difficult for me to connect with people on that management level. I love working with people side by side, but as soon as you have to put me in charge of something, the panic, the anxiety, all of that kicks in and disrupts the the communication for me. So what was the question?
Samantha Davis: I think, oh my God. I was like, why am I talking about how hard is this?
Samantha Davis: I'm having flashbacks. I'm very triggered by that question.
Michelle: Oh. No. I mean, because I just for people that don't know, you're not just a merchandiser. You don't just like your responsibilities, not just like putting stuff out and making it look pretty. No, I have to manage people underneath you. So just super quickly. Like what? What how can you explain your title and the people who did you manage? Like just because most have no idea how the structure of.
Samantha Davis: Right structurally so as so in let's just talk about Newport Beach so Newport Beach is a large format. I had a visual merchant not know a there was a person above me in the large format store kind of equivalent to a district manager. Right. But she just oversaw the store. That's how big it was. Then there was myself, so I was a visual manager, but I had a visual merchandiser underneath me that was like my right hand. Like she did everything with me. We were a team. And then under that I may have had like a visual sales associate. So they are like part time sales associate, part time visual assistant. So there were anywhere from one to maybe three max, three people that we would have to manage. And this was after they took away our responsibilities for the display coordinator because in a traditional store you also oversee the display coordinator, which adds on an entirely other, an entire other level of responsibility. So that was great. But it kind of gives you a play on how much you really have to manage in a in a store that.
Michelle: Also did you also because for when I was there as a visual manager, I we were visual managers of apparel and visual managers of home. Yes, we did both. And then in that, we had to like, you know, as a manager, you still managed the home team and the apparel team. You you didn't manage them directly, but you might pull them aside and have separate conversations with them and like they work with you side by side and you still had that level of management as well. And that might explain everybody a little bit better about like it's it's it's not you don't it's not just one person. You as a manager still within the system, you're still management and there's still other people that may not even be directly underneath you.
Samantha Davis: Exactly. Not directly. You're still you're still checking in with the home supervisor, with the home department manager whose sales side.
Samantha Davis: So many, so many titles. And then in a traditional store, it's you and the store manager that are coming together to oversee the entire team. So you have all the conversations together. You have you everything is done together if you have a strong partnership. And then let's talk about the partnership. I mean, come on, can we spend like hours on this conversation? It's a lot. It's a lot managing a team and to the level and the expectations that are set for you. And from what you've seen, too, you want to mirror what your mentors have shown you. So the level that the expectations are very high.
Michelle: It's I mean, it's I can only imagine now and that was the next question is the lessons that you learned and your takeaways from Anthro on the management side of it. Because now that you're not in in like I can only imagine you brought that forward and in the same breath tell people what your company you left Anthropologie, you started a brand that is completely like completely off off the highway from what you were doing. So tell me about like how you made that transition and how did it all come about? Because it's it's it's so so when everyone hears this, it is literally so leftfield.
Samantha Davis: So I when I had my daughter, life completely changed and that old kind of career path didn't feel true. And I didn't feel as passionate for it as I now did about birth and pregnancy. Not so much. I mean, kids are great. It wasn't so much about the kids and the babies. It's so it was much more about that maternal experience. And so we started a company down here in Southern California called Mommy Made Encapsulation Southern California. And it was a brand. It's a it's almost like a franchise of a brand that a friend of mine started in Bakersfield and she encapsulated. So what do we do? We encapsulate placentas. So we support moms. During their postpartum journey. So once they give birth, they deliver the placenta and we turn that placenta for them into like a postpartum vitamin. So it's part of traditional Chinese medicine in rebalancing the key and bringing warmth back into the body once it's delivered, the baby delivered the placenta, so forth. So that's what we do.
Michelle: Did you do this when you were pregnant?
Michelle: So. Okay.
Samantha Davis: Exactly. So that's how I decided I wanted to do this. Here is that friend of mine in Bakersfield that started the brand. Mommy made encapsulation. She encapsulated my placenta. And then about four months later, after I gave birth and had a great experience with it, I was like, Girl, I want to do this here. Like, so we partnered together. We started this whole I mean, it was Mondo and I were kind of crazy people. We weren't sleeping. We had a four month old.
Michelle: I just I mean, tell people about how it works, because you were still when you started this, you were still in Anthro. And you tell people about like how this works. Like it's no joke because I just remember like thinking how how are you? So tell people like how it works and like there is no timeline for babies obviously. So yes everyone how this works like from somebody orders it you know that they're you're you're waiting for the baby to come.
Samantha Davis: So what we do is we they have there's there's a whole signup process. So we initiate the conversation. We share with you what the experience will be like, the process will be like, and we send you a reservation form. From there, we have you. We're basically like you mentioned babies. They come on their own time where so we're essentially on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Because when your due date maybe says May 16th, it could be February 24th. If you have a premature baby, you never know. So we we once you give birth to the baby, we collect your placenta within 1 to 2 hours from any one of our Southern California hospitals.
Michelle: Do you get a text? How does that.
Samantha Davis: Yes. So we found that email feels very impersonal. And so text messaging is the most effective way of communication because it's instant, it's responsive, it feels personal. So a lot of our business is done via text, which is very it's on demand. My phones are attached to me 24 hours a day. Even when I sleep, I'm like I'm like the doctor.
Michelle: I mean, you really are like you're you're on call.
Samantha Davis: That that idea. Yeah, exactly. And and so we get a text and we say they let us know, hey, you know, I'm in labor. I'm such and such. We confirm the hospital, we send them some quick reference points for during labor when it's safe, when it's not safe, you know, because lots of things happen during labor and a lot of things can come up. So we're also very responsive to what's happening to them in labor. So say for example, they're they're in labor and something happens and they get they know that they're going to be rushed in for an emergency C-section. And it's 2 a.m.. We answer that call. We answer that message because they ask us, hey, is this okay? Is this safe? So the response, like.
Michelle: A liaison between the doctor.
Samantha Davis: Exactly. Right. And it's difficult because the doctors we have a very refined and tried and true process. We have facilities with stainless steel workstations, food grade plastics, medical grade de contaminants, food grade sanitizer. So it's a very sterile environment with several critical control points within the process. So it's not like we're picking up your placenta and taking it to our kitchen to.
Michelle: Throw it in the igloo and let's go.
Samantha Davis: Go. Yes, exactly. Exactly. So, unfortunately, the doctors in the hospitals don't understand that, nor is it necessarily their place. I completely understand. But it allows us or it's very important for us to be that liaison because the doctors information will be very different versus what we know to be tried and true. You know, for example, they say you have GBS for anyone that's had babies, it's a bacteria that can colonize in the vaginal canal. Once you you're.
Michelle: Like, I'm going to love this. Well, I don't have a baby.
Samantha Davis: Let's talk about vaginas in the podcast today. That was my motive. I really had to say that. So, yes. So we know that our process will eliminate any type of. Bacteria because of the high heated temperatures. The doctors say it's not safe, it's a bacteria. Why would you want to do this? Because they don't understand the measures and the precautions we take. We have our certification through OSHA in handling blood borne pathogens. We have our food handler's license through the county of San Bernardino, along with a double certification in placenta preparation through two different certifying programs.
Michelle: So because we are not I mean, for those who this is not a this is something new. This is not something like in the past, in my mom's days and even like if I had a kid 30 years ago, the placenta was thrown away. Correct. And I'm sure a lot of doctors have to be convinced that, like, you know, people don't like change. And we know there's a lot of old doctors that way. And I can only imagine how frustrating that must be to the mom having the baby. And like this, she wants this and having to have this conversation with a doctor who's just like, Nope, I don't know what you're talking about. Like, I can totally like. So it's like, what a great service that you guys are able to do that with knowledge and with love and with passion. And, you know, it's so. So you I just remember asking you at one point, when do you sleep? Because we're still going to Anthro and work.
Samantha Davis: Hours at Anthro for anyone that doesn't move. We're like, you start at 5 a.m. and 3 a.m..
Samantha Davis: Sometimes to 3 a.m.. No, not all the time, but at the large format stores. Yeah, we just need it. No, no. Like this was like between three and five. We would have a start time depending on the workload. So we're like, All right, we got to come in earlier because the store would get so crazy you couldn't work. I'm sure things have changed now, but.
Michelle: No, I think it's the I mean, I and I can only imagine what it's like now with max minimum capacity and the masks and all that. Weird. Oh, true. Like, but it's I just so. So you one are living in Corona and you're doing. Yeah. To Newport Beach and you have start times at three AMS and you have just picked up placenta. It's a midnight across town. What do you do. You drop off the cooler to the the facility and then you get in your car and you drive from Corona to Newport Beach.
Samantha Davis: Oh, and then let's add in having to take a newborn to grandma's house so that. Yes, yes.
Michelle: It is.
Samantha Davis: I don't understand. I don't know, I, I literally don't know.
Michelle: It's I guess it's kind of like they say, like, I don't know this, but when you have a baby, you forget all the pain and everything, like through childbirth, you forget all that. Like I can only imagine, like, because you built this business like you, you you are you partners with the sisters.
Samantha Davis: You think about it like a franchise. But we're all independently owned and operated, running under the same brand.
Michelle: So you built this because I watched it grow. I mean, like crazy. And we'll talk about you. You have literally built this business on pure sweat and lack of sleep. And it's that that is so commendable. I mean, again, like, it's I swear to God, like starting work at 14 years old, having the hustle to do to not just one job, two jobs. Three jobs is a new mom and a brand new baby. And and like to like just because that that drive for success and for something that's your own business. Like it is amazing. I mean, it's like I can say this from watching it from afar because I know people say, Oh my God, you do so much. And it's like, I am in bed at 8:00 at night every night. I'm not answering phones at like midnight. And I, I have dogs that I can put in a room and say goodnight and close the door. And it doesn't matter if they cry like I just from afar. This is it's been so amazing to watch this journey. So so how you left Anthropologie and then you put all full time efforts on what point did you see? Because you really look like you. You grew really. I know it wasn't really fast, but also I could see you had new employees and you were expanding. Like how what was the from the time you left anthro and you put full time efforts into this. At what point did it to this point? How much time has that been.
Samantha Davis: So is actually after the the only reason I even left anthro because we were we were just making it all happen. Granted we did like five placentas a month then versus 125 like we're doing now. But so it was, it was manageable within reason, you know, coming home after work after a newborn and then putting her to bed. Why am I coding so much today? You know, like so so putting Nova to bed and then going down and, you know, doing what we needed to do to manage and run the business. And it's whether it's posting through social media or stepping out and having to go process like there was, there was so many moving pieces, but it kind of worked, you know, and I think because of not just sleeping, because of a newborn, because I was also nursing for the first two years. So I was up several times a night anyway.
Michelle: And you were used to running on.
Samantha Davis: Exactly. Yeah, I'm very used to running on little to no sleep or interrupted sleep actually. And so. My thought was, Oh, my God.
Michelle: No, honestly, what was I saying? Thing I do. I'm 55. How old are you?
Samantha Davis: I'll be 32, and I'm already having partial memory loss. But honestly, what was the question?
Michelle: Like the growth time between.
Samantha Davis: Yes, that's what it was. Yes, the growth time. Okay. So we would do that. And then actually what happened? So okay. So the reason I left Anthro let's go back to that was Mondo decided to start up his own company and so he started something. I was able to leave Anthro and go to work for the company he was working for, which is a really small, so wonderful family owned wholesale leather business. And I think I talked to you once when I had transitioned there and I was doing graphic design work. We set up their Wix website like very like, you know, small, small game, graphic design stuff. So I still got a little hit of creativity, which was nice. And then from there, Corona hit. And when that happened, I got let go because they couldn't afford to keep us on staff. And that was the point where Mondo had left his startup. So that wasn't happening anymore. He was doing Mommy made stuff while I was working at this other job, and then it was both of us sitting down during, what, March of 2020 saying, We this is all we have right now. All of our eggs are going into this one basket. It has to work.
Michelle: That's amazing. One of the questions is, is like 2020 was an insane. What were your takeaways? I mean, I say this all the time is like the universe has a really weird way of putting obstacles in your way. And and at the point it may seem like this horrible thing, but for the people that kind of embrace the suck and look at it as an option, I mean, you don't even know if you're at that point looking at it as an opportunity, but to to take like for for my my big change of when I left anthro, I had I was sailing through it. I was doing my thing. It was like I wasn't that into it anymore. It was obviously very clear I wasn't into it anymore because they brought in a new DM and she called me out on my shit and it she made me just uncomfortable enough to finally just go, I'm going to quit. And I'm so grateful for that. And it's I have to believe that's kind of the universe's way of just making it just uncomfortable enough for you to act on something that you you were doing, you're into, but you weren't balls to the wall. I'm just going to do this. And it's like it seems like COVID that was a COVID was a huge gift. I mean.
Michelle: Know people are going to be like, oh, my gosh.
Samantha Davis: Don't say that.
Michelle: I know. I know a lot of people like horrible things have happened in people's lives. But I do recognize like that in a sense, COVID gave people a push or pull moment, like you're either going to push forward or you're going to pull back and you're going to wait for everything to get better. Or and it's like life is never going to be like what it was before. And it's like for those who sat and waited and thought, Oh, I'm going to wait till it gets better or tell their it's never going to be. I mean, it will get better, but it's never going to be like what you thought it was like before and what you're still waiting because there's a shit ton of retailers that are just like not comfortable with having to do lives now. And like everything's.
Michelle: And there's a whole bunch and it's like they have not changed, they haven't embraced it. And for you guys, like you guys literally embraced it. It was like, this was your go moment.
Samantha Davis: That's right. Well, I mean, we were at the point where we were working so much, but the financial gain wasn't there anyway. I mean, we were having to choose between, okay, let's pay our mortgage on time or let's buy groceries for the week for the three of us. I mean, we like I said, we were we were working, working, working. But the benefit, the financial benefit wasn't there. And it was like it was one of those points where we knew we should, like, how do I say it? We, we knew it wasn't working the way it was working. I was overworked. He was stressed out like we weren't spending enough time as a family. It was just nothing was flowing. And as soon as that hit, it was like, well, you know, things are things are kind of hard as it is right now. Like it's either going to suck worse or something magic is going to happen out of this. But we have to take the chance. And we did and think. Whoever you pray to that it worked, you know, and through lots of different efforts. I mean, it wasn't like it was an easy thing, but the, the adapting to new marketing strategies, to exposure, putting yourself out there in different ways.
Samantha Davis: Was it paid off? You know, and we we've been very successful since. And like you mentioned, we've been able to hire on a full time specialist. He now has an assistant. I have an assistant. It made life. I mean, yeah, we we now know we can't live our lives without them. And we're so grateful for them because it's small enough that it still feels like a family. Each of them is. They're so important to us and they mean so much to us. And I think with the Anthro piece, it's learning the things I didn't like and I did like about people that managed me, about how I had to have tough conversations or how to do my favorite one that I remember just all the time. The the positive, negative, positive. Right. The sandwich. Yeah. That will wrap it up real nice. A little bow on top, you know, just slide it inside and then. Yeah, like things like that are, I.
Michelle: Mean that, that philosophy, the sandwich philosophy now when you're absolutely correct someone.
Samantha Davis: Any kind of conversation I feel like that I have with them. I always come back to that or some point in my time with Anthro about how someone spoke to me that I didn't love or loved like Stacy going back to what I loved and got so much from from her, how do I make my people feel the same? Feel the same way, you know? Yeah. It's so valuable.
Michelle: It's, I mean, it's, it's just in the management aspect of being an anthro. I think that's the merchandising lessons were huge, but sometimes it's like almost like the management lessons were bigger lessons for all of us than, than the merchandising aspect of it, because absolutely. I think you're talented already by the point that you're at that place. But I think that, yes, the the expectation of managing visual and aesthetic and people is is part of the piece that I don't think a lot of people really realize when it comes to the the organization that is anthropology.
Samantha Davis: Absolutely. And, you know, being 25 years old, managing a handful of people, I mean, I myself, like looking back and like you did not know what you were doing. Like, you know.
Michelle: That's the beauty of it. That's where you I mean, it's I've always said that the 90% of who I am is because of sink or swim situations. Yes. Somebody believed in you and you like a lot of us, you're like a hustler. And it was like, I will take this ball and I will run as fucking far as I can with it until someone stops me. And it's like, that's the only way you learn is if you're willing to run with the ball and go as far as you can. And that's how you learn. It's like somebody dies you back or somebody stops you, and it's like.
Michelle: How you that's truly what I think is the best school of of the best education for me has always been sink or swim situations. Like you guys all went to school, Crystal went to FIDM, you went to Jenny went to foot on like you guys all went to FIDM and all learned everything. But I, I may be wrong, but I feel like majority of what you re are takeaway and your real lessons have been on the job, on the fly like sink or swim moments or as opposed to what you learned in a book. And I'm not going to say I'm not going away. I'm going to school. Don't go to school, kids. I feel like real life lessons are more applicable to day to day situations in real. I mean, like in real time.
Samantha Davis: Yeah, no. 100%. And it's so funny that you mention that because my first like lessons were from you that I was going to school and I'm learning more. I'm learning certain things from there. But like you said, the best lessons I learned were from you. Life lessons. Like I remember the very I think it was like the first but it's yeah, you can see I went through my.
Michelle: Divorce and I just started grow in front of, you.
Samantha Davis: Know, knowing what happened way before. This was like my first maybe even like second week with you, something like that. And it was when Crystal was going to be moving to tech. No, she was moving somewhere. And you were looking for someone to refill to fill her position. And it was between me or one of the other girls that you would you had hired us both. We were both interns. And I got strep throat. And I remember telling you, like, okay, like I. I've strep throat, I can't come in. But I hadn't had, like, a real. I don't know. It was I was like 19 years old. I wasn't all there, you know, and and and I didn't call the next day to tell you, like.
Samantha Davis: Hey.
Samantha Davis: I'm. I'm still sick, you know, like, I can't come in. And I think I went Mia for like a week or something. And it was finally like, Yeah, well, this is how much it meant to me because I was like, Dude, you fucked up. Like what? Like, you can't do that, you know? And, but you, you welcome me back and you're like, okay, like, you know, you can absolutely come back, but, you know, so-and-so is going to be taking over Crystal's position. And to me, I was like, okay, so if I really wanted something, I had to push myself. Because obviously, like, like you do you know that life lesson that like, I didn't put enough into it and look what happened. Someone else got the position. I guess that's where I'm going with it. You know, like you put in, you get out of something what you put into something. And it was just, I don't know, it just it's something that's followed me because I go back to that and I'm like, okay, is this something you really want? You got to push for it. Because what's going to happen is if you don't, someone else is going to get it or it's going to pass you by and then you're going to you're going to you're going to regret what happened. You're going to regret not taking that step. Yeah. I mean, you were my you were my first Michelle. I know Quiznos and everything. But like like everything I feel like I learned as an adult in the working world watching you. It all. It all came from my time with you. It burns. I'm you.
Michelle: It's you know, it's funny. Dave's like he's Dave called you guys my mini me's and he's like, you really like and it's funny now because I work so by myself and I don't have and I realize, like, and this just came up with a client and I go in at four, five or six in the morning. I by myself, I try and get in and get out. I can't talk a lot to people because I'm so like I'm under the gun for time and yeah, in your own world and you know, you start getting into something and it's like what you're working on is like a puzzle. And it's, it's different than when you're a salesperson. You can hang out and talk to each other. You don't. I can't I can't process that. I can't. And it comes off as standoffish and it comes out, oh, yeah, you don't part of the team, but you are part of the team because you're contributing to what the overall package is. And I Dave said because I was super upset about it and I'm still there's you know, it hasn't come out what's happened and I'm still upset about it and I you know, it does Dave did point I like you I just realized now when I see you work because you're by yourself and he's like when you were with Crystal and the girls, you had this camaraderie and you're talking and you were laughing.
Michelle: And I really miss that. And it's like I'm you guys are like all like my kids, like where you were under my wing. And it was so great to, like, develop and watch you guys grow and more importantly, watch you guys grow and now who you are. And and it does talking to you and talking to Crystal does really make me miss having, whether it be an assistant or a sidebar. And it's like, I really miss that. And it's like you saying that. It's like, thank you so much. Because that means a lot. Because it just it is it is something I'm really proud of and watching you guys all and I sound like a total mom because you guys are kids.
Samantha Davis: I mean, right.
Michelle: I'm watching you guys all grow up and, like, have kids in your own careers and, like, watching you really grow and and and it just it worked out. Great to have you on this because you are from anthropology and it is you know, this whole thing is about what everyone's done in anthropology after anthropology. But more importantly, because you're my kid.
Samantha Davis: Because I love you, I don't know what I mean. That whole the time I spent with you is just I mean, it's something I can. I could never get from anyone else. And I could I it's. It's forever, you know? It's something I carry with me forever.
Michelle: Oh, thank you. I want to cry.
Samantha Davis: Yeah, I know what you mean, though, about the whole working by yourself. And and it's like before we had anyone else with us, and it was just Mondo and I. It's like it's lonely and it's isolating sometimes, you know? And you miss that. That was part of what I missed about Anthro, too, is I got to talk to.
Michelle: People, you know? I mean, it's like I have there are people around me all the time and there there's some clients I have the the beginning cut up and so like that. But I just, you know, it's it's to me, the only way I can put it, it's like very Rain Man is like this is very much a puzzle like, oh, absolutely. And what's going to go? Where and what's going to go here. All the different elements from risers to how much product to it has. Whatever I'm working on has no concept, and it's like trying to make something up. You get so deep in your head that it's really like, i. I. It's I don't even stop to eat. So it's it's very hard and then having a conversation. But I've gotten called out on it and it's it's definitely made me feel like, okay, I've got to step back and at least try and explain to people what I'm doing and what not. But it's got to be like at the end of the day, not like in the middle of it, but it is like it's become so, so isolating. Like it's yeah. And I have conversations with you and like, and like Elaine and like I really and I miss mostly like being able to, like, throw ideas around like and collaborate on something like. What do you think about this? Because it's like it's my way is not the only way. And it's like you very much get stuck in that. So that's so off topic.
Samantha Davis: But no, but, but I get it though because I remember being called out for it to at work like you're not at Anthro, like you're not personable, you don't connect, but it's you really are. You're and you almost get to this high. Well, for me, this high level of anxiety when you're doing it because you're like, I'm on the clock, I.
Michelle: Only hear it for hours. The panic merchandising is what?
Samantha Davis: Yes. Yeah, you're adrenal. What is it? You're you're running. What is it not? Your adrenal glands made fun of me the other day when.
Samantha Davis: I said yeah ah.
Samantha Davis: So hot is so high and constant because you're were and especially because you're a freelancer. So it's like your time is your money, you know?
Michelle: And P.S. like, I have to be on the road. And the other panic part is, which is horrible. And I, you know, there's moments where you just have to let it go and go fuck it. It's going to be a four hour commute home. Oh, there's nothing. And it's only until that point that I can kind of calm down. But it's true. You are. You are on a time. You're under the gun for time. I'm in another job. I have to make sure by the time I leave this is wrapped up. Same thing as like it has to be shoppable. It can't be. I mean, it's like you can leave some piles underneath things, right? But you for the most part, it needs to be wrapped up and done by the time you walk away so customers can shop it. And it's like that pressure is just crazy. And it's what I call literally like panic merchandising, where it's not even at this point now, it's not even going to look good. It's just like got. Yes, I literally I there are so many times where I've hit that point where I am just manic panic merchandise. Yep, yep. And you really you really check out at that point. Like at that point you're so deep in your head and it's like, I have to. This is like a whole nother podcast. It's like, what?
Samantha Davis: Yeah, it really should. Because I think you're not the like, we're not the only people that feel that. I really feel like that mentality set me up for kind of this, like, pathway of high, intense anxiety. Living like work always has to be intense and anxiety ridden and pressure like, constantly, you know. But some there are people in the world that don't live like that.
Michelle: Like I listen to a lot of podcasts and everything, and one of them is like, your stress is not a badge of honor.
Samantha Davis: Yes, but it feels like.
Michelle: Yep, yeah. Because it's like, you know, and people do you do get caught up in ego like, oh my God, you know? And it's like, I've been working for this and I've got this and it's like you're I find myself sometimes now only when I listen to it on podcast, it's like it's like that is not a badge of honor like that. That is not a good, pure panic. And like the, the stress and like how much you're working and how much you have been sleeping. Like, that's not a good thing. And sometimes it was like empowering in the sense to know that you did it.
Samantha Davis: Like you're capable of. Yeah, big things.
Michelle: I think that's the part where I would, I would. It's like, okay, it's not a badge of honor, but it is in some sick way. It is empowering to know how much you can get done in a day and how when you need to. And it's I think now for me, last year was the big lesson with breaking my foot and yeah, having to, not just like having to ask for help. And in some cases I actually had to demand that there was somebody there to help me because I couldn't do it. And then that's a whole other mind fuck about like not being able to do something. But I realized in that that I do need help and there there was no if an or but I couldn't get around like right. And, and it's like that, that badge of honor. You didn't have that anymore because it was you had people helping. And I realize that was such a better way to work. Like, yeah, in owning that and, and putting myself first as far as like I can't, I can't do that. And that's, that's been a hard I mean, at this age, that's a hard, hard lesson to be like I can't do that. Like, I have to worry about me and my sanity and my. I stress level and my lack of sleep and because it at the end of the day it's not it doesn't help you but it's certainly in the Anthro like it certainly has taught me that you can do it and you need it when you need to. You can.
Samantha Davis: When you need to, you can. Right? That's a good way of looking at it.
Michelle: So my last question is going to be because we're all super creative and now that you're not doing a super, could you elements that are so creative as far as your social media and how do you find inspiration now? Like at Anthro, we had a mandatory we had to go out and get. But how do you where do you find inspiration now? And do you do you feel the need to go find it or are you finding it through other avenues with with the service that you're doing now?
Samantha Davis: That's a good question. I think inspiration looks different for me now, whereas before it was very like home design focused, right? It was. Who are we looking at? Magazines, bloggers, Instagram accounts that we, you know, following and loving now it's like inspirational in terms of who do I love that's running what female business, female owned business am I loving? That's like killing it in any industry. What is she? What's inspiring about her? What does their social media look like? What type of content are they running? What type of lifestyle do they have? I think it's very much like more of a of a what businesses inspire me and what are they doing like right now. So it's a great question because lately there's one company called Bite. There are these sustainable toothpaste tablets that they come in these jars and they send you refillable tablets via like a biodegradable bag. So it's like these companies that are changing the game in terms of products, environmental issues, whether it's there's another one and I forget the name of it, but they're, they're like detergent sheets, like a dryer sheet, but it's a detergent sheet and you throw that in the laundry instead of having these giant plastic containers. So it's inspiring me to look at like waste I'm creating at home, like with my kids toys. Oh, my goodness. The amount of plastic toys is insane. Barbies are plastic. They come with teeny, tiny little pieces that are plastic. I mean, it's wild. And then companies like Peanut, which is one of my favorite motherhood centric apps that we just did a collab with last week to roll out one of their new features. They are female driven. They are all about feeling like empowerment in all aspects of motherhood, from infertility to pregnancy and beyond. There's just lots of different companies out there that are just super inspiring with what they're looking to do. Their mission. I really feel the need to contribute to that, to have businesses that that have a passion, have a mission to help people support people in whatever way or shape that may be.
Michelle: What are some big collabs because you just mentioned a collaboration, what are the collaborations that you're doing in Where can people find them? Because we'll have all of the links for your company and we'll have everything in the show notes. But what, what's what's one of the collaborations you have or what do you have coming up?
Samantha Davis: So we just wrapped up with Peanut with that app I was mentioning to help them roll out a new pods feature. So that was really exciting. And then up and coming, we're starting a new series where we're reaching out to several different resources for parents and motherhood. So we did a couple back in April. I'm starting to put the calendar together for May. We have one coming up tomorrow with a hypnotherapist. So we're trying to pull as many different resources for mothers through pregnancy and beyond to just kind of support and create a larger village for them, especially after COVID. It's definitely something that's lacking the connection, the support. You know, we talk about it and we say we need it, but a lot of the times people don't know how, especially women don't know who or how to reach out to these people. They don't know that like there's this kind of funny one, you know, the whole you have a baby, you pee your pants the rest of your life. It's just normal, you know, you pee when you sneeze. It's a thing. And I realized that there is pelvic floor physical therapists out there that can actually help you not do that can help you with prolapse. There's there's people and resources out there to make life. Easier. We just don't know about them. So we're starting a series of just introducing those people and healing modalities and resources to our online community so you can look out for that.
Michelle: So where this is my last question of the day. Where do you see yourself in ten years in your business? Oh.
Samantha Davis: Definitely. Oh, my gosh. I don't even know that I see myself in a specific place, but just it's more of a feeling I want to have. Freedom, freedom of time, freedom of to disconnect when I want I want our business to be able to run in a way that doesn't mean me to be so actively hands on so I can spend more time with my family, with my baby, with my my person, my partner.
Michelle: By that point, she'll be driving.
Samantha Davis: She'll be like, Yeah, I'm cool, Mom. Thanks. You really turned into that that sentimental moment into like, Oh, well, you know what? All right, thanks. Yeah, no, you're right. You're right. But I think just having the freedom to to create a life is what I want sooner rather than later. But I think one of them, too, is to move back home, you know, move back towards not necessarily the west side, but, you know, we move to to the kind of Ontario Corona area. You know, we bought our first home. It's a great place to kind of have that first experience, but really finding like a forever home, a forever place that we can establish ourselves and maybe grow another brand. We're working on a really exciting new project that I will be sharing soon that is like a tech platform for parents. So yeah, that's, that's definitely that's definitely a ten year where I see myself in ten years is something.
Michelle: That I see with you connecting all these parts and creating one big community.
Samantha Davis: Yes, absolutely. We want to be we want to be there to support parents during this wild, wild, transitional phase of growing little people. It's it's a thing.
Michelle: I love it. Babies are not going anywhere and babies and babies are going to be around forever. So I think you are creating an amazing community. I'm so proud of you.
Samantha Davis: Thank you.
Michelle: Thank you for your time.
Samantha Davis: Thank you so much. It was nice to chat with you.
Michelle: And that is a wrap. Thank you all so much for joining me on today's episode. I really appreciate.
Michelle: It. And be sure to tune in every Wednesday for more stories and.
Michelle: Lessons from a life.
Michelle: In retail. And don't forget to follow us on Instagram at the retail horror podcast, and you can find us online.
Michelle: At the Retail Whore podcast.