Winter at Sleepy Bees
The holiday shopping is over, the lavender plants are put to bed for the winter, and the new plants for 2019 are ordered. What are we going to do with ourselves for the next few months? Well, hopefully this is the calm before the storm, and we will spend our quiet months getting organized and prepared.
It's fantastic to not have to worry about getting out and driving to work when it's 2 degrees out or when we get 8 inches of snow overnight. That is definitely one of the great parts of our new life. If we get snowed in for a few days, no biggie. It's a lot easier to appreciate how pretty the snow actually is when you can be at home and admire it from inside!
Basically, the winter months will be all the behind the scenes work. No working outside in the fresh air and sunshine right now, it's all indoor work. One thing we are learning is that staying organized is the key to success. The more things that we can get planned out and done ahead of time, the better. Documenting everything at the time we do it is another lesson we are learning. It's so much easier to do it as you go than it is to try and catch up several months worth of receipts, packing lists, etc.
First up getting together everything for taxes. Having your own business means keeping track of absolutely everything. We are learning the hard way, but we ARE learning. The more we have ready to go for the accountant, the less it will cost us. So going through every single order we made for products, packaging, promotions, advertising and a million other little things was pretty time consuming, but it is done and out of the way.
Next up, we are making a thorough inventory of all our products, packaging, labels, mailing boxes. More numbers, another spreadsheet. Boo!
Researching where the farmer's markets and craft fairs are and getting applications in for as many as we can handle this spring and summer is another project we are working on.
We are also taking sample bags of products around to local businesses to get our brand out there in the public eye a little more.
My personal favorite project at the moment is getting a shop ready here on the farm so people can come out one or two days a week and shop in person if they want to. I think that is going to be a lot of fun.
Last, but definitely not least, we have a ton of products to make. We need to be fully stocked before the spring hits and the outdoor work begins.
So, I guess the point to this story is that even though it is our "slow season", there is still more than enough to keep us busy. Every time we talk about it one of us comes up with something else we need to get done over the winter.
2019 is going to be a very exciting year for us. Along with opening the onsite shop, we will be having an open house at the farm when the lavender is blooming so people can come and cut their own lavender and see what we have and what is planned for the future. We are psyched to start selling fresh and dried lavender as well as our existing products at farmer's markets. We have high hopes that our bees will make it through the winter and we will have a great lavender honey harvest in 2019. We have several new products in the planning stages too.
For now, I hope you all stay warm and safe for the winter, and I can't wait to share more of Sleepy Bee's Lavender news with you! If you have taken the time to read this blog post, or any of the others, leave me a comment with where you are from. I'd love to see who is interested!
Received some of your lovely products from our Aunt Fran Lewis (Nate Lewis’ Mom) & LOVE them! Enjoyed reading your blog about your lavender & honey bee journey…please keep posting 🙂
Will try to rustle up some Southern California customers for you,