We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Serag and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
One thing is for sure: life as small business owners often has us burning the candle at both ends. At Honey & Hive Boards, there is always more to do and we do it all! From sourcing ingredients, inventory, marketing, sales, and deliveries – there is a steady flow of important decisions we make on a daily basis. Despite the fact that we may feel the need to get it all done and never like saying “no” to a last-minute order, the simple truth is that there are only so many hours in a day.
Maintaining work-life balance is one of our biggest challenges for Honey & Hive Boards. Work-life balance is not considered one of the defining characteristics of the life of small business owners, especially a newly established one like ours. We often find the need to reassess, reexamine our goals and determine that this isn’t a race for us, this is a journey. Something that has really worked for Honey & Hive Boards is developing trust in the natural ebb and flow of the nature of our business. There are weeks during the busy holiday season where we are working around the clock, struggling to keep up. Over the past year we’ve learned to adapt to the holiday rush, often knowing that there will be days that follow with little to no orders. Instead of stressing over the quiet days, we have learned to embrace them as time to rest and recover.
We see maintaining work-life balance as a way of life rather than an accomplishment, which for us removes the pressure and the guilt when we find ourselves out of balance. When we find ourselves out of balance, it’s our cue to reset and regain our footing. We are constantly reestablishing our boundaries in order for us to remain successful long-term. Sometimes that means establishing “phone free” hours, and waiting until the next day to respond to an email, provide a proposal, or accommodate a special request.
While it’s difficult for us to say no to last minute orders, and setting limits to the number of orders we can accept, we have found that this is one of the best ways for us to maintain balance. In doing so, Honey & Hive Boards can focus on building solid relationships with our customers and focus on quality over quantity.
Now, when small business life has us spinning in circles, we see it as a signal on our dashboard. It’s a warning that we won’t be able to navigate the road ahead at the current pace. By slowing down, blocking off dates on our calendar, and taking the weekend off we avoid the burnout and fatigue. Currently, the Honey & Hive Boards family is planning our first family vacation as small business owners, which when we first started seemed like an impossible dream. We look forward to taking time to recalibrate and invest our energy into creating a healthier work-life balance.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We started Honey & Hive Boards as a passion project in February 2020 as a way to share inspirational curated boards. The pandemic challenged us to recalibrate our business plan and our products. We initially had planned on creating beautiful party platters and boards that could serve hundreds of people, but had to pivot and create a product that could serve small families enjoying time at home. Now that we are finally resuming normal life again and events are resuming, we are excited to be able to offer stunning grazing tables that serve hundreds of people in addition to our diverse offerings of personalized and custom charcuterie and cheeseboards. We believe that sharing a stunning graze should be an experience, elevating the way we entertain, and a time to reconnect with what’s important.
We are true believers that we eat with our eyes first. We love the concept of arranging various items together on the same board and gathering with friends and family for an interactive experience. Every event, shower, and wedding fuels us with a desire to curate something beautiful and delicious – edible art!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ammatoli, Long Beach, CA We love to treat our guests to a delightful mezze experience with the sounds of the city all around us. Ending our meal with hot mint tea with a salty sweet kunafe fresh out of the oven is a must.
Duffy Boat Cruise with a Honey & Hive Board, Newport Beach, CA
Of course no trip to the city is complete without a detour on a Duffy Boat! We love curating special boards just perfect for cruising on a boat!
Getty Center, Los Angeles
Love getting lost in the artwork at the Getty. The outdoor grounds make for a nice escape from the urban jungle.
Treasure Island Beach, Laguna
A must for all guests is the perfect Southern California beach day and some vitamin sea!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Honey & Hive Boards would not be possible without the constant support and encouragement from my husband Yasir, my children, and my incredible support network of friends. I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to them for constantly motivating me to keep going even on my hardest days.
Atiyeh Amiri, Tiya Studios