Can you dig it? Imagine spending hours concocting euphoric blends of scented body oils, hand-dipped incense, and gourmet, made-to-order products for bath and body! That is one part of Itiel McVay’s daily life, and the rest is equally blissful! A happy marriage, and the blessing of being able to home school their two beautiful daughters. For this Execumama, life is as sweet as it smells!
Name: Itiel McVay
Execu-gig: Chief Operating Officer, Mixologist, and co-owner, with her husband,
of Smell Goods 1998™
Mama gig: Happily in love with her business partner and husband of 15 years, and their
two Warrior Princesses.
As a wife, a homeschooling mom and an entrepreneur, how do you stay focused on each task without sacrificing quality in your parenting, your role as a wife, or as a business owner?
I learned pretty early that it is ALL important. I completely enjoy all my roles. So that nothing falls by the wayside: I make my lists, I wake up early to work, I schedule work time after homeschooling time, I simply take the time for my husband and my children, and the weekend belongs to family.
Although all my roles are important, some days, one role can supersede the other. I use true wisdom in a lot of my decisions. However, if a situation is staring me right in the face, I act on it. We are a unit andfriends in this home. Whatever I cannot get to, I know that I cancount on my “friends” to help me out.
Since you and your husband run your business together, what are some of the pros and cons of that?
I enjoy working with my husband. I often call him a genius. He really knows how to make sense of a lot of things. A pro: We both understand and respect each others’ strengths. I work on the creative, customer service, marketing (social) side of the business. He works on the audio and video (marketing), technical (website) side of the business. We assist in each others’ roles if needed. He is also excellent in coming up with names for fragrances, and ideas for promotions. In the early, early stages of this business journey, I would say one con was ME… wanting it done the right way (my way). I (we) can laugh at that now. That was turned into a positive as I allowed myself to see how awesome my husband was.
What are some of the benefits of Smell Goods products in particular?
When I am creating, the focus is on healthy skin, conditioned skin, and smelling good. I always strive for excellence and an experience when creating for our customers. I want customers to like what the product comes in, I want their noses to dance and their mouths to water; I want them to notice the luxuriousness, and then I want them to have the “Oh” Factor. “Oh, this is healthy for my skin too!”; “Oh, this is safe for my personal space too!” To achieve the “Oh” Factor, I blend with pure plant and fruit oils, infuse with wild-crafted herbs, use raw, mineral enriched ingredients.
Did you ever feel you were sacrificing some element of parenting to nurture your business, especially when your girls were younger?
No, I did not think that. I spend quality time with my children. We have fun time, we have mommy/daughter time, and we have learning time. In that learning time, it is not just all about books, but also about life. In being mommy, in knowing that it is ALL important, I started teaching my daughters how to be self-sufficient early on. I taught them how to help around the house, how to take care of personal hygiene, how to fix a quick meal, how to sit down and just be, etc. Of course I still love to do things for them (I’m mommy!), but on days when the business is saying, “Itiel!!!”, everything that I taught them kicks into action. When children are younger, an established routine is important.
How do you make time for Itiel with all these pots on the fire?
Glad you asked! I totally love exercising, and have always had some form of exercise in my life—the more unique and challenging, the better. I enjoy staying fit, and my normal routine is getting in exercise at least five days out of the week. I also am a spa girl. Surprised? Hanging out with good friends, and taking in nature also helps me to unwind. I also enjoy date nights with my husband. And simply lying on my sofa suits me just fine.
The Execumama Credo is to Define, Design, and Live your fullest version of woman. How do you do strive to do that each day?
Each day I wake with thanksgiving in my heart and mind. I am happy for another day to get IT right. I purposely live in a mindset of peace and integrity. Things do pop up to try and move me, but I am a fighter by nature. I fight to keep myself out of my way, so that I can live my fullest potential. My fullest potential at being a wife, mother, business woman, and woman. After becoming a mother, I soon realized that I did not have to tolerate nonsense. If things are not productive for my business and life, do not bring peace and balance to my family, and is negative, I walk away from it. I always strive to be like the Virtuous Woman. I live knowing that I am spirit first, and that what is seen physically is to just survive on this earth. Therefore, I have matured into defining, designing, and living my life by my spirit. I have also matured into not taking myself too seriously. I know now that it is never too late to be what I might have been.