Veteran team member Mila on the importance of Smithey’s internal community.
Mila, tell us how you came to Smithey and a bit about your role here.
It’s hard to remember how I even got here [laughs] because I feel as if I’ve been working at Smithey forever! And describing what I do here, well, how much time do you have? Hah! A little of everything, right? My work is the warehouse. My work and my world. In the beginning, I was unpacking boxes—which I still do, by the way, but, then, who around here doesn’t! After that, I learned to do other things, like seasoning skillets.
So, in other words, you make things happen.
I suppose so. But, you know, working at Smithey doesn’t feel like work to me. How so? It’s comfortable. You leave one home in the morning, come to another home to do your job, and then go back again.
That’s such a nice way to put it.
Well, I love the people I work with in the warehouse. We are a family. And I love the whole process of seeing the pieces as they begin and end. When I learned how to season, I felt I was truly a part of that. I have never had a job like this before.
Speaking of the team being like a family, you guys love to do pot luck meals together.
Oh, yes. Everyone brings a dish, which is nice because we have people from everywhere. Lots of food, lots of languages, lots of fun eating together.
What’s your specialty?
Oh, I like recipes but I like eating what everyone else brings more!
Love that. What are we forgetting to ask?
One thing that I wanted to say about my experience is this. For me, there was a language barrier and an education barrier. None of us really knew what we were doing when we started because, really, unless you've been in this kind of work before or you’re a blacksmith or you have made cast iron, you don't know how to do all those things in advance. And I’m a woman, too. But that’s what is also so great about Smithey. It has become really important to create this community right inside these walls. People showed me what to do, and I learned. Now I show others. And that’s how I realized that the barriers I thought I was facing were never actually real in the first place.