This week, Bella McCreary, president and CEO of High Maintenance Trim Co. talks about her transition from the banking industry to leading a company that provides onsite harvesting, bucking, trimming and packaging services.
McCreary has several years experience working with cultivators of all sizes. She's overseen trimming operations for harvests as small as 12 pounds as well as clients with rolling 500-pound harvests.
Cultivators often have difficulties staffing trim teams. While some operators are harvesting every week, some operations only need help every eight to 12 weeks, which is typically when they call in Bella.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, trimming has only become more difficult, mostly as a result of social distancing restrictions. In an effort to keep both her client's staff and her own employees safe, McCreary has had to cut down the size of each team sent to cultivation sites. For example, to harvest 500 pounds, she would typically send a team of 18 to 20 people. Now, she can only send ten.
McCreary sees her business as a service for cultivators that have had problems staffing the positions in the past. Traditionally, the part-time/seasonal work lacks a decent wage, which also results in dips in both professionalism and product quality.
McCreary has not only served as a bridge for staffing, but when a client has found a good trimmer and doesn't want to lose the employee, High Maintenance Trim will offer the worker a job in the interim. Unlike a staffing agency, McCreary's workers are full-time employees with perks that include productivity bonuses.
McCreary sees her staff not just as trimmers, but as trichome preservers. While some clients have semi-automated harvesting and bucking, many still ask for 100 percent hand trimming. There are many differences between a machine-trimmed and hand-trimmed bud and though machines pump out a lot of product, McCreary says that quality is sacrificed.
High Maintenance has stayed busy throughout the pandemic and has even had to turn down work, particularly at facilities under construction or those that don't provide a safe working environment. She often finds herself dealing with quality issues as well. A little bit of mold or a bug here and there isn't necessarily a bad thing, but her teams have run into moldy products. She’s had to leave jobs in the past because they were not only a risk to her staff, but she's had to tell some clients that they shouldn't even sell the product.
Currently, High Maintenance only trims in California, but McCreary has consulted in other territories and is looking to expand her business model into other states. She thanks that one day her trichome preservers could become a franchise, like the Molly Maids of Weed.