Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Michael Salamida

>> Who: Michael Salamida
Wife: Lisa Salamida, Savor

>> When I met Lisa...
We met almost 10 years ago. We were newswire editors working at a high-rise above downtown San Francisco. I think initially we discovered that we both still listened to the Digable Planets. Then we were the only two in the office that understood the "all your base belong to us" meme.

“I drew a caricature of her in MS Word. I think that was the All Systems Go moment. ”

She was very much into playing the Sims game and using her computer to design objects for herself and for other Sims players. I drew a caricature of her in MS Word. I think that was the All Systems Go moment.

Last 5 infatuations:

Nike+ running gear




Summery-dry gardening

1. What would you say are the three most important things that you do to support Lisa in her soaping business?

1) I started picking up Lisa after work (day job). This saves 20-30 minutes waiting for the bus every day. We share a car and would alternate taking the bus. Added up over a week, that's a night's work created out of a simple change in routine. Also, since we're both getting home at the same time, it marks a transition for getting into soap mode.

2) I've become the default home-keeper between maid service. (By the way, maid service saves us a ton of grief and is definitely something worth fitting into the budget.) We have very different sleep schedules and I'm usually up well before sunrise (sometimes, not much longer before Lisa goes to bed.) On weekends, when we make most of the soap, it's my role to get the house chores out of the way before the soaping starts.

3) Lisa pretty much handles customer interaction, marketing, and product development. I’m mostly a second opinion on that stuff. I’m more involved with the grunt work: soap making, packaging, shipping, and general errand running. I’m cool with that. It helps clear my brain after the work day.

2. Living with someone who works long and irregular hours can be tough... from missed dinners to not being able to do simple things like relaxing or watching your favorite shows together as often as you'd like... How do you stop the craziness from impacting your relationship? Can you please offer some survival tips for those in similar situations?

“...it’s rewarding to see someone you love come into their own and flourish.”

I think it’s important to keep things in perspective. There are definitely times when we’d rather be doing other things. There are definitely sacrifices. But we’ve come to accept the shop as part of our lives; something that contributes to achieving our long-term family goals. I know that it’s way more personal for Lisa. For me, it’s rewarding to see someone you love come into their own and flourish. Plus, for the most part, we have fun doing this together. For the grunt work, we’ll turn up the music and just be goofy.

I think it’s important to be an active partner. We’re fortunate that the nature of the product allows both of us to be involved. Thinking back to our first holiday season when we were completely swamped and under lots of pressure, what I mostly remember is rolling up our sleeves and pushing through together.

3. Could you give us a sense of what it's like living with the soaping maven? Please describe what typically happens once you come home from work [door opens]...

“Once we do get home from work, we’ll usually have dinner, relax with the cats for a bit, then start soaping.”

This question would’ve been more fun before we bought our house. Before, the shop would take over our entire apartment. Stuff was everywhere. If it weren’t for the maids, we’d probably sleep on bubble wrap boxes. Nowadays, though, the shop is confined to specific rooms. We both have demanding day jobs, so having a house that feels like a home and not a warehouse helps transition from being at work, being home, and soaping. Once we do get home from work, we’ll usually have dinner, relax with the cats for a bit, then start soaping.

4. What was the strangest thing you've done to support Lisa in what she does?

I can’t really think of one thing in particular. In general, it’s strange when considering our lives from a couple years ago. The last time I got my haircut, I heard the shop owner lamenting “Don’t tell me about working 10-12 hour days. When you own a business, your work day is never over.” It’s strange that I can totally relate to that.

“We have a similar twisted, nerdy sense of humor.”

5. What is the easiest and hardest thing about being Lisa's other half?

Easiest: We have a similar twisted, nerdy sense of humor.

Hardest: While we have some common favorites, we have enough differences in music and movies and entertainment in general that watching something or listening to music together often involves some compromise.

6. What's your all-time favorite Savor product?

I’d say it’s her Creme Brulee soap bar because it looks like the actual dessert – as if it’d been flamed with a torch. Lisa's family has a tradition of great cooking and the Creme Brulee showed that she could express that part of herself through soaping.

Thank you Mike!!

>> Read more "The Other Half"


b a i l e y d o e s n ' t b a r k said...

This is great! Mike, thanks for sharing! I am a Savor fan and I'm happy to learn more about the Other Half.

Unknown said...

How awesome! I love that they both have a nerdy/goofy sense of humor! You KNOW I am down with that! And if I am correct in guessing that Mike is Fillpino, I say...whoo hoo! ( Marichelle knows my hubby is too) Thanks for this you three, it is so great to hear more about the lovely lady behind wonderful savor!

Unknown said...

Wow, Mike sounds as awesome as Lisa. That's pretty freaking awesome. The last time I ordered soap I joked about creating a soap moustache so Lisa could always smell her soap at work. This reminds me I need to stock up on Savor soap...

Nicole said...

That was SO much fun to read, Mike and Lisa! Being friends with Lisa is amazing in and of itself, and it's really wonderful to read your thoughts on being her better half! I know how much she adores you, and it's clearly evident you adore her as much!

"All your base are belong to us."
Takes me back to college. And made me laugh out loud here.

Lisa said...

Yep, Mike's Filipino! Yay for Filipino husbands, haha :)

Julia said...

Yay for Lisa and Mike! You guys do an amazing, amazing job with Savor. I can't even fathom how you keep the other pieces of your life together. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Excellent interview--Michael sounds like a wonderful partner, and I like the geeky references! It sounds like they have a lot of fun together!

Brenda said...

Such a wonderful interview! Mike is just about the coolest guy on the planet and I love how Lisa and Mike put the partner in partnership. I saw the apartment reality (hehe) - so excited about the house and hope to see it one of these day! xoxo Brenda