When I think about everything that has happened in the past 12 months, it’s truly unbelievable. Despite how unfortunate, depressing, and infuriating this year has been for myself and so many others, I can’t ignore that 2020 was also the single most important year for the success of this company and its future. Here are 10 ways that Birch Boys, Inc. has grown from this difficult year.
2020 was the first time this notion had ever been brought into question.
It would be no exaggeration to say that some parts of this business belong on the TV show Dirtiest Jobs. Oh yes, everything I own is stained in a layer of rusty brown Chaga dust. This year, the steps we had taken to prioritize internal harvesting and manufacturing took center stage. In the past, I've been told that these efforts were unnecessary. Yet as we entered the era of COVID-19, having our own rock-solid supply chain became our most valuable asset. #MadeInUSA
This was particularly wonderful given that wild North American Reishi's growing patterns are often unpredictable. The first Reishi season we knowingly participated in was during the summer of 2018. At that time, we were vaguely aware that Reishi may only grow every other year. In 2019, this proved to be true, so it didn’t take long to run out. We prayed that Mother Earth would bring more in 2020. And boy, did she! Flush after flush, we built a surplus of this wild, rampant, radiant, red, Adirondack REISHI!
Despite the tantalizing lust of all this fresh Reishi, we were able to refocus by recognizing that Chaga is the very reason that we are the Birch Boys. Chaga has always been the MVP. So as soon as we secured enough Reishi to last, we devoted ourselves to better understanding what makes Chaga so special. We asked ourselves, What is it that makes Chaga the King of Mushrooms & Herbs? What is it that makes Chaga the most potent source of antioxidants on Earth? Why does Chaga seem so relevant during this pandemic?
It seems I almost forgot that in highschool and college, I was a rigorous academic. Discouraged by what seemed like poor international leadership responses to COVID-19, I was compelled to do my small part. I reached out to one of the smartest people I know, a fellow student (now graduate of Chemistry) from Clarkson University. Together we built a lab and invented a novel patent-pending process to extract & isolate melanin from Chaga. We expect the impact of this research to become significant & widely applicable once it becomes published in 2022.
I’ll just be honest. One year ago today, we were nearly drowning... But we never considered giving up. Today, we are swimming, and we are STRONG. 2020 is our very first calendar year in our company history to checkout as profitable. Despite the ambitious expenditures we incurred due to our voluntary research, we are well in the black. This is the most significant milestone I have achieved in my entrepreneurial journey. I share this as I hope it encourages others to NEVER GIVE UP on your dream. Where there is a will, there is a way.
My experience acting as a boss / manager has never been easy given that I am only 22 years old and lack years of experience. This year, that has changed, and much of that is due to our general manager Kim Carpenter. So thank you, Kim. And thank you to my board of directors for the instrumental mentorship.
Whether you have ordered from us once, twice, five times, or ten times, I am so thankful for your support. I have found so many friendships within our customer base. I have learned so much from you all, and I am so inspired by the things you share with me. If you ever find yourself dissatisfied with Birch Boys for any reason, don’t hesitate to reach out, because YOU are worth fighting for, and we will prove it. I seriously love you all.
I’ve embraced my role as a healer, and I fully understand the power of the incredible resources I wield.
I guess you could say that it took me witnessing the depth of evil that exists before I ever recognized God. This year, I have been blessed by the love of God. I now recognize that this has always been the case. God has always had my back, silently guiding me in the direction I'm meant to be going. And it is through God’s magnificent unadulterated creation that I have been afforded the wisdom & resources to build this company. I am merely a passionate vessel to some greater will that I trust with the faith of a child.
It is for these 10 reasons that 2020 will go down as a special year for myself and this company. I hope that my positive attitude will not be mistaken for selfishness or insensitivity... But right now I refuse to be pessimistic. My outlook is confident, hopeful, & proud. I hope that yours is too, as we welcome this New Year together.