"Live a good life, and in the end, it's not the years in the life, it's the life in the years."

Smelling success in this new series

By on November 24, 2020 in Columnist with 0 Comments
Mike Cassidy

By Mike Cassidy


In a previous journalism life, I owned and edited monthly business journals.

We had all of the usual business stories — new companies coming to town, profiles of local business leaders, news of expansions — but my favorite feature was something we developed called Business Births.

As the title might indicate, we contacted folks taking out new business licenses and then wrote six to eight paragraphs on these births.

The fun was the joy shown by the new owners. And why not? Creating a business takes imagination, confidence and a willingness to try something new. Just like the underlying emotions in most of our stories in The Good Life.

In taking photos of the new business people, I once went to a worksite in south Wenatchee where the owner was skinning bark from small logs to be used as supports for rows of grapes in the new vineyards sprouting up locally.

Standing among the peeled poles and bark, the business owner waved around his nose, sniffed hard and said, “You know you’re going to be a success when you love the smell of where you work.”

Now honestly, I don’t know if he was a success or not, and besides, success can be measured in a number of different ways, not just longevity.

But his comment has stayed with me, because as editor of the business journal, I often did press checks when the paper was printed, and I did indeed love the smell of ink hitting paper at high speeds.

Anyway, this is a lot of words before getting to the point, which is we are starting a new, occasional feature called “Made Here” about local entrepreneurs chasing their business dreams.

Our kick-off story is by Marlene Farrell, who writes about Shawna Villalvazo, owner of The Bubblery in Leavenworth.

Said Marlene in talking about the genesis of the story: “I had been an occasional shopper at The Bubblery over the years, but I got to know Shawna better through my work at Cascade Medical Foundation, collaborating with her for the Think Pink fundraiser. 

“I didn’t even know that Think Pink had been her brainchild, but I was moved by Shawna’s quiet passion and cheerful enthusiasm to help women who couldn’t afford mammograms. 

“And in her shop, she’s either working on crafting beautiful products or engaging gently with customers. I thought, ‘She deserves some limelight.’”

Touching on the theme of loving the smell of where you work, Marlene said Shawna’s shop is filled with floral and spicy aromas among beautiful hand-cut soaps.

The Made Here story we have lined up for the January issue also involves a business where the smells can drive you wild — in a good way.

Maybe we should change the name of this series to: Smelling Good Here.

It takes more than loving the smell of money to be a successful entrepreneur. Enjoy The Good Life.

— Mike 

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