Yes, I know it is a long title, but there is no simpler way to sum up the many hats I wear here at Maple Valley. Maybe one day I will come up with an umbrella term that covers it all. Anyway, It is time to peel back the curtain and give you a peek at the woman behind the blog: me. For this, our latest edition to our Getting to Know You series, I will be doing something I rarely do: writing in first person! I will do my best to tell you all about my role at Maple Valley and how I got here. Lets get started!
Many Titles, One Person
I’ll start off by trying to sum up what it is I do here at Maple Valley Coop. Though there is no such thing as a typical day for me, I spend part of time each day in my Customer Service role; answering customer emails, messages, phone calls, and helping customers who stop into our storefront.
The rest of my time is spent on Social Media and Marketing. These are the roles that add a good amount of variety to my job. At any given time I could be taking photos, writing blog entries, making recipes, editing visuals, scheduling posts, analyzing data, emailing contacts, attending events, researching topics, or any other random task associated with Social Media. I’m usually the “voice” of the coop online. In the Marketing role, I also put together advertisements & promotional support for our sales team. Graphic design and promotions are also a part of Marketing. There are also miscellaneous projects and managerial tasks that I regularly take on that don’t fit into any specific category.
A New Chapter In Life
How did I end up doing all of this you might ask? I started here at Maple Valley a year ago, in May of 2017. At that time, my title only consisted of Shipping & Customer Service Manager. After 17 years of working every type of job you can imagine, including starting & running an organic arts cafe, I was about to start a new chapter in life. The time had finally come for me to buy a hobby farm. Homesteading was a dream of mine that was about to come true.
At the time, I was working for a large company in La Crosse, WI where I had been employed for 2 years. The monotony of the job was starting to get to me and the commute was about to get much worse once I moved. Ideally, I knew I wanted to buy land in Vernon County Wisconsin (so many organic farms!) near my significant other’s job in Cashton, WI. I decided to start looking for work in that area.
I found the Maple Valley position posted on Craigslist and thought it looked intriguing. The idea of working for a small, organic company was very appealing to me as it matched my values and my experience. I decided to apply. Two interviews later, I had the job. Even better, the job lead to land! General Manager Renee referred me to a hobby farm her friend was selling nearby. It was ideal.
My role at Maple Valley began to evolve shortly after it had begun. At the time, the social media platforms, website, and email were being run by several different people and were not unified or well organized. I volunteered to put together a plan to organize everything and begin the process of defining our brand’s online image. From there, my title as Social Media Manager emerged as I took on more responsibility. The title of Marketing Manager came shortly after that when there became a need to include wholesale marking in our brand unification mission.
The mission continues today as Maple Valley grows and my role within it. It has been a year since I made my move to Maple Valley Cooperative and the Cashton area, and I couldn’t be happier. I have really been enjoying my work here at the cooperative and I am excited about its future. I have also been learning so much at home on the hobby farm. We now have farm animals and a big organic garden as well as an orchard. We even tapped a tree this past spring! Life is good.