So I got the idea that I would try to do some freelancing or consulting work - put together some advertising cards (which I sent out in come of my holiday cards), created a website and emailed all my friends and former business associates looking for potential gigs. And SURPRISE - I did get a gig, but by these conventional (read LinkdIn) means - no, got it via Instagram!
Now - in order to tell this story, I have to tell you another story.... back about 1996? 1997? in a quest to find some spiritual satisfaction, I stumbled into this lovely group of ladies in New Jersey who were into herbalism - some of them had some pretty serious herbal-type jobs (a historical herbalist) and some just felt the health benefits of using tinctures and other herbal products. I learned a lot and through them, got to attend some wonderful conferences where I saw many lovely people making their own tinctures, packaging them beautifully and selling them. Around the same time I began working in the pharmaceutical industry but never thought that perhaps one would impact the other.
So I know about herbs and herbalists and I know about clinical trials (because I have managed them) and I know about FDA regulatory (because I've done that too) of course put it all together and it is not surprise that my first client is an herbalist! What makes this business different is that they want to make themselves FDA compliant. Is that really a thing? Oh yes!
Side note: if you are looking for some odd but interesting reading, take a gander at the Federal Code of Regulations - these are the rules created by our congress that cover just about anything you can think of from the FDA/USDA to Indian Affairs, the Postal Service, the ATF, Housing and Urban Development.... you get the picture!
This has been quite the learning experience for me, deciphering Title 21 Part 111 and making that information work for my client, but I have to tell you - I am really enjoying myself! It is factinating to see something at the bottom - at the starting point - and watching how it will grow. At the same time, it is a bit scary because there are a LOT of herbalists out there creating their products in their kitches, putting labels on their bottles and making claims they cannot or have not substantiated (and against the FCR) which ultimately puts themselves in the FDA (not to mention the Federal Trade Commission's) cross hairs - and most of them have no idea they are crossing the line they should be towing.
All this has made me change my focus a bit and I find myself thinking maybe I can make a go of this business? I don't know. What I do know is that for a while now, I have been open to part time work - still working to pay that rent - but having time for this, too.
Wish me luck! I need a LOT of it!