Monday, October 16, 2017

A Birthday Post: A Reflection on Success (Finally) During 2017, Being 31, and Risk

Yesterday, after the craziest whirlwind weekend for our business wound to a close, I got a text from my mom. Apparently I'd forgotten it was my birthday! I stopped birthday celebrations at 25 but I do enjoy arbitrary dates for reflection. It was 12:45AM when I got the text, we were unloading the car after a 3-day long double-booked outdoor market (Octoberfest at the Beach). Murphy's Law was at work and my car, our employee's car AND my boyfriend's car all had car trouble at different crucial times! As it does only when you're at your busiest!

Our recently depleted shelves, I had AJ snap a quick phone shot for my birthday. Now to order supplies!

I looked up at my 2nd floor brownstone apartment window, glowing radioactive orange from our ample Halloween string lights. I was utterly exhausted, but satisfied.

All the crazy risk taking was worth it.

When I look back at my life from say 25-30 there was a lot of floundering and struggling. (And before THAT let's just say I've worked LOTS of crazy odd jobs.) I'd left the security of my copywriter day job and it was liberating at first but I soon learned I didn't want to resell vintage anymore. At my wit's end with it I, very serendipitously, ended up being able to be certified in clinical herbalism and aromatherapy. I spent a couple of years studying and learning at that school while ever-so-slowly trying to build up the confidence to start our new natural body care business venture.

I don't know if I'd have ever guessed (merely dreamed) at any age that by 31 I'd be:

  • Still living in my quirky, historic, beautiful bohemian Riverside, Jacksonville neighborhood
  • Owning a brick and mortar SHOP in my childhood favorite neighborhood/artsy area
  • AND doing exceptionally well with it + making big plans for expansion
  • A Team-builder, boss and employer
  • Eating SUPER-healthy; feeling younger/fitter each year vs. all-burger-all-the-time eating days
  • Owner of my own apothecary (dream since very young) sharing holistic care with 100s weekly
  • Constantly surrounded by interesting creative people at outdoor markets and business events
  • Constantly making sales and running my most successful business to date, the cumulative experiences of my creative experimenting paying off at last.

It's taken hard times to get here and we're still, of course, ramping up. I went broke during my transition, living off savings because I knew in my heart I had to, that I would figure things out with just a little more patience. I got used to living on the most extreme frugal lifestyle so everything could go to my new business. 

The past few years there were lots of times were I would feel hopeless, like I'd never be successful or get out of on and off creative slumps.

This weekend was a huge record sales breaker and all our data shows it's going to keep going like this.

25-30 feels like a blur. What stands out starkly in that haze are the huge risks. All the times I was scared or hurt but kept going, these are the events and experiences that paid off. The true growth zone stuff. These are what slows down time, having these missions are what makes life worth living. Having the store keeps me in that challenge zone. I lost my keys until a few minutes ago, (haha) I'm typing this between helping my team re-stocking the store, but I'm really living! 

The mid to late 20s was a lot of learning hard lessons that are paying off now. I'm enjoying rolling into the thirties with more wisdom. Now I just need some more time to craft and travel, haha... :)

Note: I had lots of posts ready to go for October but I've had lots of on-and-off trouble with the web, some possibly still Hurricane related. I update my Body&Soul Instagram regularly, I also have a personal Instagram. Our store website is here and our online store is here. 

For daily updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Vintage Halloween Decorating 2017: Retro Halloween Finds and Childhood Favorites


The best time of the year is back, it's October! This year I didn't wait and put most of my decorations up late September. I also get to decorate a local shop and LOTS of outdoor markets and pop-ups this year, too! I'm overdue for Halloween crafting and decor hunting, if I can get it in.

I thought I'd share some quick shots of my decor so far for 2017. This is a mix of stuff I've found while thrifting the past year and other things from my childhood.

And you just can't go wrong with mini haystacks.

I crafted the banner above last year. I need to make more of these!

Can't go wrong with Pumpkins and plants.

It looks I'll be out tomorrow to get a few more little things like replacements for my pumpkin and eyeball string lights, I can't wait to hook them up at art walk. Now's also he time to hit up flea markets and thrift stores, the hidden Halloween goods make their way out for purchase! Hopefully you get in some Halloween gatherings and explorations this season, we'll be doing a LOT of business events but I'm going to try my best to fit them in. There's a definite spooky and fun one I'm mixing with business at the end of the month.
For daily updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Business Update June - August: A Summer of Growth (and Succulents!) for Body&Soul

By the end of the summer we'd racked up more markets and events than ever. For September we had 16 market days scheduled though 3 were cancelled due to weather concerns. August (and even September so far) have had some record-breaking sales days. I've also realized just how routine everything's getting. Early this year I was staying in the store until 3AM trying to play catch-up. I often couldn't sleep before new markets because of the anxiety. Now I leave right when store hours end, we're far more caught-up on things, and I'm sleeping like normal again! Of course there's still problems and stressors like all start-up shops and businesses face, but still, the growth is promising.

I'll just share some bullet-points here:

- We recently had a product and a blurb about our shop featured on our local news. Seen here

- I hosted my first Succulent planting class as part of a collaboration with a local succulent grower. I learned some pointers on not killing the precious succulent babies I think I'll have to share on the blog. It's given me big-time inspiration with filling any vessel I can with loads of the beautiful desert plants.

- Damn you Florida weather, we had lots of outdoor events cancelled due to the rain all summer long with the max amount being three this week. It's great our sales were still better than ever despite this.

Our finished pots

- We now have an ad in our local Natural Awakenings magazine and host a couple of monthly open houses and tea tastings. I made some new tea blends too which is always exciting.

- Behind-the-scenes I've been writing and plotting. I'm sleeping normally I'm waking up early and having lots of tarot-studying, journaling, self-improvement journaling time and even some meditation time at night, which is nice. It doesn't make all the stress and problems go away of course but still, so much better than it was earlier this year.

The past few months have just been a lot of making stuff, packing it up for markets, taking it to markets, selling it, packing it down, rinse, repeat, save for our short eclipse reprieve. It's been so busy time's flown since May and my last business update, yet we've grown so much in terms of getting experienced that June feels like ages ago.

Another note on summer, it's been raining nearly every day here. As I type this it's raining hard outside my store's door. It's been a relaxing season to work, though. The view of the rain and wind from my store window makes the interior cozy. I put a short video above. One of these days I want to just set up a tripod and record the beautiful Florida rain. (Although there's already a very nice one here.)

* * *

I update frequently on my Body&Soul and sometimes (haha) on my personal Instagram. Our online shop of natural goodies is here.

If you're in the path of Hurricane Irma (currently heading our way where I'm located in Florida, USA) I hope you stay safe!
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