When did you first realize that this GroVia thing "was real" and was going to take off as a business? What was going through your mind at the time?
When we relocated from being a home-based business to our first store/warehouse location almost 7 years ago. My mind was still in tact, though local customer feed-back and the amount of goods we were bringing in to the store made it clear that things were progressing forward , but still in a timely way. What I mean is, we didn't get big-headed or let things get away from us that we couldn't make clear decisions on what was best for our family and our customers.
Did you and Kim ever have a "sit down" conversation about what it would take for you to provide the family support that you have...or did that just evolve naturally over time?
You know, we have always had many 'talks' about the business, and continue to do so. It is important we are both on the same page. We just continue to grow forward, and more importantly to not it allow to consume our family but to be a good provider as parents of our now 6 children. I guess it does come down to evolving and moving on with whatever came our way. There have been many long nights for Kim after the kids went to sleep, from the very first almost 10 years ago when I still worked as an engineer with the telephone company and Kim had me install shelving in our laundry room for her new on-line retail store.
Would you do anything differently next time in planning for the "growing pains" of a business and family?
There is nothing we would do differently in how things started and where they are now, mainly because then we didn't know what the heck we were getting into. It was begun because our 2nd child was a premie baby and Kim wanted to find out better options to take care of him, and it carried over to helping friends and acquaintances, then to the store and beyond. So, we just began, made mistakes, learned, grew, made more mistakes to learn from, yet nothing was done in such a way to know that today we would have such a wonderful business that has helped so many and grown to be what it is today.
What is the most challenging part of juggling GroVia/TNBC and your family in your household? What is the most rewarding?
Juggling business with family can be difficult at times. You have to know when to separate yourself from the challenges that come with business, and being there for what is more important, your kids and family time. We are not perfect, and have made our share of wrong choices/decisions, but in the end I believe what is far more important is that our children know we are there for them, and we love them unconditionally.
What is the wildest / most interesting / most memorable / etc. memory that you have about growing this business?
The wildest memories from growing the business….man there are probably more than I can remember. From coming home from work that day and Kim wanting me to install 4, 3 foot wide shelves in our laundry room to hold her 'complete' stock of items she had to sell from her on-line retail store, to when we had our first warehouse on East Frontage Rd and having to unload a full semi-trailer by myself, to pouring 'Magic Stick' into the push-up containers by hand at home in the evenings before bed time. This created enough of an aroma our whole house smelled of Magic Stick until the next day. As our 6 year son would say…Good Times, Good Times.
Describe "a day in the life" of Duane Ormsby.
A day in the life for me starts off taking care of our cats and dogs before our 2 year old wakes up with 'daddy I awake, I awake', to my first cup of coffee from the expert espresso lady Kim. But then, I am no different than any Dad who tries to do what he can to make sure his children are taken care of with breakfast ands lunches and off to school, then spend time at work and the warehouse, before heading home with and taking care of our 2 year old and doing work around the house before picking kids up after school. Evenings are spent fitting in family time, homework, and making sure everyone brushes their teeth and gets in some reading before bed. There are of course the usual questions at lights out, like how many days until my birthday, is the tooth fairy coming, and what are we doing this weekend and so on.
What do people say / how do they react when you explain you are a "stay at home dad"?
Its funny, I never really think of myself as a stay at home dad because it sometimes conjurs up those thoughts that I have received like 'man you are so lucky to not have to work' but hang around the house playing until everyone gets home from school or work which is so far from the truth. I take on the task of doing and getting as much done (entertaining my 2 year old, cleaning, mowing the lawn, painting, being a fixer upper, unclogging toilets etc) as my 2 year old allows until the kids are home from school and Kim from the office.
Would you do it all over again?
Do it all over again? Yes, it has meant the world to Kim and myself to be able to provide products and information to so many that it hopefully has enriched their lives in a way that they can pass it on to others who pass it on again and so forth. Do it differently, no…..because we did it by ourselves, from initial financing whether through maxing out our credit cards or using some of my retirement money, to making decisions on the creative aspect of our manufactured products and the level of growth we could handle, we did it our way. And today we have so many wonderful people working with us to continue on the same course, we consider ourselves very fortunate.
What kind of cars do you drive?
Ahh vehicles we drive…started off with a Subaru outback and a VW jetta, progressed to the purchase of a VW Eurovan new in 2002 of which I still proudly drive today, and as the family grew and our 6th child arrived we are now the owners of the 'beast' of a car …a Nissan NV passenger van that will be racking up miles on family road trips.
What are your favorite GroVia products?
My favorite GroVia products, love the all-in-one and the shells and soaker pads. The shells with bio-soakers work great on road trips or visits out of town when washing is at a premium too. Bottom line, all the products are great, because time was spent with each one to make sure if we use them on our own children we can recommend their quality and effectiveness for others too.