After a looooong winter, it feels like we have perfected the majority of our bath and body products, along with candles, wax melts, pillow mist and linen spray. There was a lot of trial and error. There were days that I thought bath bombs might make me jump off a bridge, but finally, after 7 different combinations of ingredients, we found a formula that comes out smooth and rock hard every time. I don't even want to count the number of batches that got tossed because they were too wet, or not wet enough, or cracked. My granddaughters were loving all the mistakes they were getting to take home!
While I battled bombs, Jerry was having similar issues with lotion.
All in all, it was a successful winter, and we are both really happy with our final creations.
Next, we got ourselves signed up for a bunch of craft shows around our area. Neither of us really knew what to expect with the shows. We spent a lot of time designing our booth, and deciding where to put things. Jerry built a couple of beautiful display shelves with old wood and corrugated tin from one of our old shed roofs, and we spend a day at home with a folding table trying a variety of layouts and settled on one we thought looked really pretty.
Our first sale was a very small craft show at a local church. There were only about 30 vendors, and we thought this would be a great spot to get our feet wet. I was super nervous. It's one thing to sell online, and totally another thing to be face to face with people and have them give their opinions on products that you have poured your heart into for months. I was really hoping people would love our lavender products as much as we do, but at the same time I was very very nervous about what the responses might be. Would people think the scent was too strong? Not strong enough? Not like the packaging? Ignore us completely?
What I found out at that first sale, and at every sale since then, is that people are awesome. They are kind and supportive even if they aren't buying anything. People love hearing our story and Jerry sure loves telling it! They are genuinely curious and interested in hearing more. They want to be able to visit the farm. I think later this summer when the plants are blooming and we have an open house, we will have more visitors than we even imagined.
Being out in public and getting feedback is exactly the positive reinforcement we needed at this point. We now know for sure that our soaps and lotions and everything else we've worked so hard on are products that other people love too.
If anyone out there reading this is just starting out, all I can say is, believe in your dream. Create something you are proud of and then bite the bullet and get it out there in front of people. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming niceness of people. Of course, there are some who aren't interested, or who don't love what you have to offer, but that's ok. You don't need everyone to get it. The ones who do get it make it all worthwhile!