Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Melesko.
Samantha, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I received my Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Rhode Island in May of 2011. After college, I began working as a Registered Nurse in the medical-surgical area then the Emergency Department in Providence, Rhode Island. I realized quickly during this time that many patients were not being given the appropriate information they needed to heal and that many treatments revolved around pharmaceuticals.
After three years in this setting, I was given the opportunity to move to San Diego, CA with my now husband Nick and became a Registered Credentialed School Nurse in the elementary school setting for San Diego Public Schools. I began to love nursing again as I am able to interact with and educate students on topics I am passionate about. This career change also gave me the time and opportunity to pursue my true entrepreneurial passions. I had helped four other businesses develop while being a nurse and being in San Diego inspired me to finally start my own business.
Along with the career change I was also making drastic changes in my own diet, switching to a plant based, fully organic lifestyle. I have been visiting Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for ten years and each time returning back to America with a new-found sense of health and wellbeing. I started incorporating the practices I was learning and watching my life transform. As my diet became purer, I found that conventional body products were filled with toxins and chemicals and I began to research and develop products I could make myself with organic ingredients.
Over time I began sharing those products with friends and family and that was how Sam’s Organics began. I used the business skills I learned from helping other companies to create my very own handcrafted, small batch, organic skin care line with website and shop. I also began to sell products in local San Diego yoga studios and I was receiving great feedback from the community. During this time, my dear friend and local yoga teacher Lauren Ursch approached me about doing wellness events together.
We worked together in 2017 to create three sold out wellness experiences across San Diego. The first was a Spring into Wellness day retreat at The Point in Mission Bay, San Diego. We combined raw food teaching/menu, yin yoga, meditation, essential oil education, kayaking, and other holistic healing principles with pure human connection to create an unforgettable experience. Our next event was a Fall into Wellness overnight glamping retreat at The Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center. Another incredible healing experience from start to finish with an entirely vegan menu, yin yoga with sound healing, DIY organic product making, meditation, and more. Our final event of 2017 was a vegan community Thanksgiving with yoga by the sea in Pacific Beach.
Through hosting, c0-leading, and experiencing these retreats I was inspired to become a certified raw vegan chef this February 2018. Going forward I already plan to use these new skills to create an even better retreat experience. On April 14-15th we’ll be hosting our second annual Spring into Wellness event at The Keys Creek Lavender Farm and in July, our first international retreat in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
Going forward I hope Sam’s Organics will grow into an umbrella wellness company, offering organic skincare products (always!), while hosting wellness retreats across the country and internationally, private in-home catering and chef work, and an overall educational experience towards a holistic, plant based, lifestyle. I was lucky enough to just win San Diego’s Best Vegan Manufacturer of 2017 by Vegan in San Diego and I just re-launched my entire product line on www.samsorganics.com! Looking forward to more blessings and growth!
Sam will be receiving her raw food chef certification in 2018 and hopes to continue to provide educational retreats and organic products that will heal and allow people to feel their best!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I owned another company with my father (Hood Clothing Inc) before I opened Sam’s Organics so I feel like that allowed me to experience struggles and growth within business. I was able to plan better with Sam’s Organics, be more organized, and focused in my direction. Luckily for me I also have a team of incredible designers, photographers, and web developers within my very close family that helps me tremendously.
As for specific obstacles. Every day you are met with something that is a learning experience or opportunity to grow. I have been trying to let these ebb and flow rather than stressing over every one. Some examples though in this past year have been 1. prepping 30+ hours for the vegan Thanksgiving and realizing mid yoga class before the meal I forgot the 10lbs of mashed potatoes across town. I sprinted in my apron to my car, drove too fast, ran through my building, and ran out with the mashed potatoes to arrive just in time to heat them before the meal. Talk about anxiety/stress. I called that my Mashed Potato Meltdown 2. Who knew you have to pay sales tax and your regular taxes at separate times in the year… not me haha! 3. Struggling to stay working my “real job” while I am simultaneously growing my business, being patient with the process.
Please tell us about Sam’s Organics.
Sam’s Organics offers handcrafted, all-natural bath and body products that perfectly suit anyone looking to indulge in a daily self-care routine. We also feel it is important to support local, organic, farmers so we often feature their products and use their ingredients in our shop! The pure essential oils used to scent each product are also meant to relax the mind and allow each user to reach a calmer state of being.
Sam’s Organics host’s wellness retreats around the San Diego area as well as a yearly international retreat. These whole-body healing retreats, provide many unique experiences for our community. In the past, I have taught DIY organic product lessons, provided educational lessons on essential oils, veganism, and equipment used in a vegan lifestyle as well as hands on cooking lessons. Sam’s Organics also just won San Diego’s Best Vegan Manufacturer of 2017 by Vegan in San Diego.
The whole-body approach to Sam’s Organics is what separates it from other organic skincare companies. I love offering organic skincare products to people who need them, but my true passion is teaching the community how to live this lifestyle themselves. I love to create experiences with food and change people’s minds about “healthy living” by incorporating flavor and texture into our raw food lessons and retreat experiences. I hope through the use of my Wellness Webinar Series I run on my website, the wellness retreats, offering handcrafted organic products and continuing to spread this message through my raw food creations, that I will live out my true dharma and intention for Sam’s Organics.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Since I started Sam’s Organics two years ago, I’ve underwent a re-branding with packaging, labeling, and brand image. If I could start over, I would have spent more time organizing my image, brand, mission, and researching/creating the best possible version of all of the products. This would have saved time, energy, money, and would have introduced the brand initially in a better more professional light.
As you experience though, you grow, and that is how change occurs. If it wasn’t for the initial branding, I would have never thought to re-do it entirely and make it better. I think everything happens as it should and we are learning and growing. It’s important not to get too hard on yourself when things are not perfect or have to be redone.
- Spring into Wellness: Lavender Farm Retreat Day Pass 4/14/18 $175
- Spring into Wellness: Lavender Farm Glamping Pass 4/14-4/15/18 $375
- The Pura Vida Wellness Retreat Santa Teresa, Costa Rica 7/9-7/15/18 $1875
- Sam’s Organics Handcrafted Products Pricing Ranging $4-25
- Website: www.samsorganics.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: samsorganics
- Facebook: SamsOrganics