We’re fortunate here at Lewis to have all-stars like Toni to ensure our properties are running smoothly. In addition to her role as the Business Manager at Homecoming Eastvale, Toni has a side gig in handcrafted soap making. Read below to learn more about Toni’s career with Lewis, launching a highly-rated 5-star shop, and similarities between the two.
What do you do at Lewis and what does a typical day look like?
Toni: I am the Business Manager at Homecoming Eastvale and have been in this position at this location for 17 years. I was asked what a typical day looks like, but ever since the Covid Pandemic started, there has not been a typical day. We are constantly adapting to the new bills concerning rents and the shifting Riverside County mandates. I still do the same tasks such as preparing final statements for vacating residents and the disposition of their security deposit and handling rents and notices but how I do some of those tasks has changed.
What drew you to working at Lewis?
Toni: When I first started with Lewis in 1993 it was still Lewis Homes. I was looking for a position with a company that I could make a career out of and not just finding a job. I was afraid of becoming bored or even worse, not liking what I was doing. I started as a leasing consultant at Del Mar and was immediately struck by how much I liked the people that I was working with. Over the years, I have discovered that Lewis hires some awesome people.
Can you tell us a bit about your Etsy shop?
Toni: While working at Lewis, one of our Activity Directors made a sugar scrub as a craft for the residents to make. I thought it was a great idea for gifts at Christmas time and started looking online for recipes to make on my own. I discovered a whole world on YouTube of craft videos including soapmaking, bath bombs and other fun products for the bath and became hooked. I was attracted to the chemistry of soapmaking and the artistic side, while also using wholesome ingredients that create a usable and fun bath product.
Favorite part of making your items?
Toni: I love that I can change the qualities of the soap depending on which oils and butters I use. I planned on starting a little business that I could do when I retired, which is just a few years away. Opening my Etsy shop was a step in that direction. It probably wouldn’t have happened before I actually retired, but my son pushed me a bit and was holding me accountable to my goals.
Similarities between the two different industries?
Toni: The skills that I have learned at Lewis have easily translated into skills that I need for my business, especially when it comes to dealing with customers and creating a product that I can be proud of selling.