Do you ever watch a Disney movie all the way to the end? I watch them until the bitter end because I want to (a) see if there’s a treat at the end for sitting through the entire credit reel and get excited when there is something special and (b) to see the list of babies that were born during the creation of that movie. According to “Toy Story 3” director, Lee Unkrich, “It’s like our family lives are permanently woven into the movies.” (SFGate.com, June 13, 2010)
Much like those babies born during the production of a movie, the family lives of our almost 400 employees are woven into every product we make. Some of our best products were developed because of a family experience or a new mom asked us, “Why don’t you have a product for that?”
Last month, a new Hyland’s baby was added to the family and it made me stop and think about our own Hyland’s babies. We welcome babies into our growing family every year and we cheer when those babies grow up and bring a new generation of Hyland’s babies into the world.
I didn’t realize until I thought about it that I am the second of four generations of Hyland’s babies in my family. My grandmother worked for a homeopathic physician who used Standard Homeopathic remedies on my mother. My mother used Hyland’s products on my sisters and me. When my sister was visiting me with her children (before I worked for Hyland’s), she sent me to the store to buy Hyland’s Teething Tablets for my niece. I obviously give Hyland’s medicines to my children. My niece, for whom I purchased those Teething Tablets over 25 years ago, uses Hyland’s medicines for her children.
Barbara and I have worked together for the better part of 26 years. We both had babies during our tenure at Hyland’s and when her twins turned 21 in January, we were talking about all of the babies we have held sitting right there in our offices. There were more than we could count.
I say this because when we get a question from a frustrated care giver or a concerned parent, we try to always take the time to answer with compassion and experience. I often start the responses with “As a parent myself….” because I truly can put myself in that person’s shoes.
As parents, we come to work every day and do what we do to give options to parents for how they will care for their children. We are not just nameless, faceless people who are just collecting paychecks. We care about your children. Your families. You.
A couple of years ago, we collected photos of our employees’ Hyland’s “Production” babies. I call them that because all of these were born while employees were working here at Hyland’s. Some of them (like mine and Barbara’s), are well past the baby phase, but they are our babies and we thank Hyland’s for helping us get through many of the milestones of growing up.
A New Home
My family had a ranch in northern New Mexico. The house was old, built well before our time there, and started out as a one room house. As the family that lived there at the time grew, the house grew with them. They built a bedroom off of the kitchen. Then they needed another bedroom, but it wasn’t really nestled up against the other bedroom, it was hooked onto the house through the bathroom. Then they needed a living room with a fireplace to get warm, so they sort of stuck that to the other side of a bedroom wall. The house resembled something built out of Legos – not much of an obvious plan, but it certainly met the needs of the family who lived there at the time and those who followed.
Standard Homeopathic Company is the parent company to Hyland’s, Inc. Standard Homeopathic Company was founded in 1903 by eight physicians right here in Los Angeles. The original pharmacy was located at Eighth and Olive in downtown Los Angeles. As the company grew, so did our manufacturing needs. So, the factory was relocated farther south in Los Angeles, on the edge of the city, away from the bustle of downtown. There our factory has remained for these 60 plus years.
Our Hyland’s factory and offices remind me of that house in New Mexico. We had an original building and then added another building next to it and they were joined by a ramp. Then, as our operation grew, we secured another building that made a “campus” because it linked our operation together via a parking lot. We stayed in those three buildings for a long time, until we were busting at the seams. We literally used every square foot of space in those three buildings for manufacturing, shipping, receiving, marketing, customer service and accounting. We doubled up on offices and, quite frankly, ran out of space for our administrative efforts.
So, we moved all administration to an office space that would work for about nine years. The only problem was it was nine miles down the road from our factory. The road was well traveled between the campuses.
Now we find ourselves in the same situation as nine years ago. Our current building is too small for our growing administrative needs. As we increased our investments in our supply chain management, research and development, quality assurance and marketing endeavors, we found ourselves out of space once again.
So we packed up all our desks and moved into a new corporate office. This new workspace is innovative, collaborative and designed for growth. It is only 2.5 miles from the factory - practically close enough to walk if you aren’t in a rush (we are in Los Angeles and the occurrence of snow is really just about never).
When I joined the company 26 years ago, we had roughly 60 employees. Today, we have almost 400 scattered across the United States and Canada. Most are in Los Angeles, but there are also operations in Canada and Philadelphia, PA and sales team members throughout the country.
We are proud of our heritage and while sometimes it might appear on the surface that we are built like a Lego town, there is a method to the madness. Our FDA compliant buildings ensure we can continue to provide the highest quality homeopathic medicines at accessible prices. Our new home is one we hope to live in for a long time, but if we have to move it will only be as a result of a growing market and the need to always do what we need to do to serve our customers.
I’m not going to lie, I am in awe of how far we have come… Legos and all.