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FAQ 1; Who are the Harrisons (and why do we like them)?
Alec and Annalisa Harrison are beautiful people, fantastic parents, creative artists, committed community members, and some of our dearest friends. We've shared meals, drinks, laughs, holidays, countless conversations, advice, support and all of the trappings of the adult equivalent of BFFs 4Ever. We met in 2016, and fell into an easy friendship. We were both transplants to Claresholm. We make similar pop culture references. We enjoy riffing on politics and current events. We found great counterparts in one another. We like them for all these reasons, and love them for so many more.
FAQ 2; When did the Harrisons get involved (and why do we trust them)?
Our friendship grew to become one of the deepest that Judith and I have ever shared. Alec and Annalisa became some of our closest confidants and advisers as we progressed through our first pregnancy. They even convinced us that it was perfectly legal for the hospital to let us leave with an infant!!! Without having any sort of parenting certificate or anything!?!?!?! They have never led us astray, and because of this, we trust them fully.
In late January, the Sweeneys sat down to dinner with the Harrisons to celebrate the birth of baby bubbler Keira Sweeney. As the night wined on, the conversation turned to the future and we dropped a bombshell, the Sweeneys were moving east. We explained the reasons why we wanted to move (family), and expressed our concerns about Bubbles & Balms; should we sell it? should we transition it to online only? should we try to run the store from afar? was there a future for Bubbles & Balms?? how could we possibly try to make this work without leaving a gap behind in our beloved Claresholm?
It was at this moment, on this night, that the Harrisons got involved.
FAQ 3; How are the Harrisons involved (and what is Harri-Weeney Incorporated)?
It started with a hypothetical, what if we four (Harrisons & Sweeneys) partner to create an even bigger and better business!?! So we pursued this new idea with vigour. We thought about combining our names to create the incorporation, but Harri-Weeney Incorporated just didn't hit us quite right! We tried to lay out all the nuts and bolts of how it would work, and created a number of options. After evaluating the alternatives, we decided as a group that building two separate, but mutually loving and supportive businesses would be the best route. Since then, we have been working hand in hand to develop our dreams.
FAQ 4; What is Gratitude (and was Boston right, is it more than a feeling)?
YES!!! Gratitude is more than just the feeling that we have for all of our bubblers, it is the name of the dream being crafted by the Harrisons. Gratitude will be a boutique style shop that will operate out of 130 - 50th Avenue West in Claresholm. The boutique will carry Bubbles & Balms products, bathing products created by Annalisa that complement the BnB line, candles, toys, games and books. The boutique will create smiles on a daily basis.
The Sweeneys are building upon the Bubbles & Balms dream. We are focusing on completing the rebrand for all our labels, developing new packaging, updating and upgrading our website, creating an online environment for sharing and accessing expertise, and then seeking out retail partners like the Harrisons who want a naturally loved product line with exceptional support. This will allow us to pursue building Bubbles & Balms, while also seeing to the needs of our very young family.
FAQ 5; But didn't the Harrisons partner, buy, try to manage, or become employees?
No, but it could be easy to think so...
We four had talked about a buyout as one of the options, but it was quickly dismissed.
We four looked at partnering more seriously than a buyout. For about 3 weeks in February, we tried to figure out a design that made sense. In the end, it became confusing and too hard to design a management structure that made sense with us on opposite sides of the country.
The Sweeneys continue to manage the Bubbles & Balms store from afar.
Annalisa has been a fantastic help ensuring that the store has remained open while we four did the behind the scenes work to shape the transition.
FAQ 6; What is this transition/handoff all about?
We four agreed that maintaining a presence at 130 - 50th avenue at all times was very important. We wanted to be sure that there was no gap left when the Sweeneys migrated towards more family in the east. We also wanted to be sure that the Bubbles and Balms supporters felt as minimal a disruption as possible in accessing their products. It would also take time for the Harrisons to build Gratitude to the point where it was ready to launch.
Operating the Bubbles & Balms store, until it was time to switch to Gratitude, ensured no gap, consistent service, and time to build Gratitude and revamp BnB. During the past two months, the back rooms at 130 - 50th Ave have been renovated, new displays were brought in, and new products were stockpiled for Gratitude. The Harrisons are ready to start the renovations on the front portion of the store. The current BnB store will be closing so those renovations can take place, Gratitude can be launched, and Bubbles and Balms can focus wholeheartedly on delivering the best natural products.
FAQ 7; How will the handoff happen (and will we need to stock up on products)?
Bubbles & Balms is auctioning off the remaining decor and displays/furniture to make space for the new displays and design of Gratitude. The auction will run from June 21 through June 27. The final day open will be June 28. On June 29 and 30, products will be packed for storage during the upcoming renovations, pickup of decor and displays will take place, and the windows will be papered. The Bubbles & Balms sign will come down at this time. Over the next two weeks, renovations will take place, with a soft launch of Gratitude happening on or before Monday, July 16. The Grand Opening launch of Gratitude will happen in August, during the festivities of the annual Claresholm Fair Days.
Bubbles and Balms will seamlessly continue to offer all products through the website. Gratitude will carry the vast majority of products as we move forward (soaps, face products, bath bombs, butters, bubble truffles, salts, essential oils and deodorants) and will be a free shipping location for any other website products that may not be onsite. We ask for patience over the first month or two as we work out any kinks.