It’s an unusual day when you consider yourself lucky because there’s “only” a 200-foot pine tree lying on your house.
It’s New Orleans in September 2005, and Hurricane Katrina paid you a visit last month.
But on the bright side of things, you’re able to pay an exorbitant price to a crew to have the tree removed. Thank goodness for that because Hurricane Rita slams into your house the next day. But your house is mostly OK and the tree didn’t become a centerpiece on your dining room table.
Even better, you’re in Atlanta when this happens because you fled to live there at your brother's house when Katrina was on the way. You weren’t able to bring many material goods, just some flip flops and shorts. But you were able to bring your 78-year-old father, his 12-year-old yellow lab, your husband and your 6th- and 10th-grade sons.
So, you enroll your father in an Atlanta hospital because he’s in between heart surgeries and there’s no medical care available in New Orleans. Plus, his doctor’s office is underwater anyway (as are your sons’ schools).Your business as a retail stockbroker for Morgan Stanley (Stock Quote: MS) is tanking because all of your high net worth clients have fled the Big Easy.
Meet Barbara Cranner, a fifth-generation resident of New Orleans, and today the successful owner of Dr. Holmquist Healthcare, a micro firm that makes a product that is sold in CVS drugstores nationwide.
“After the hurricanes hit, nothing was status quo,” she says. “It’s easy to think outside the box when your box is gone.”
Cranner’s extended family members had always joked about packaging and selling a medicinal-type salve made from a family recipe that had been handed down for generations.
“The hurricanes were a catalyst,” says Cranner. “It was clear that someone in the family needed to focus on this business if it was to go anywhere.”
Today she works out of her tree-free home, using a manufacturer and distributor to help her build demand for Bruise Relief, a salve that aims to speed the healing of bumps and bruises.