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.)

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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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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Great American Eclipse 2017: A Short Savannah Stay and Eclipse Viewing Mini-Vacay

This past Sunday we stayed in Savannah, Georgia so we could drive to South Carolina the next day to be in the line of Totality for the 2017 solar eclipse! Clouds came and completely obscured the sun right in time for the total eclipse, haha! But it was still amazing to be there and nice to get a short break. We've been working nonstop in the shop and doing pop-ups like crazy and even a one-day break is helpful for coming back to home and work with a different perspective amid chaos.

Staying at  and photographing hotels is a favorite passtime. I'm a rolling stone gypsy at heart! This Travelodge in Savannah Georgia wasn't bad for the price. The indoor salt water pool was closed though, boo!

An awesome thing about running a natural body care shop and business, right before we left I grabbed a bunch of our goodies so make my hotel room stay spa like, short though it was. Coming back home after a hotel say gives you a fresh perspective. Inspired to get to work on lots of kits and travel sets for the shop.

The next day after not enough sleep (boo again, the breakfast wasn't worth getting up for, note to self for next trip, sleep the hell in!) we drove until we were well into the path of totality for seeing the eclipse and luckily found parking in the packed rest stop, haha.

This is a quick shot AJ took of me setting up the camera. Poor AJ, what an unflattering shot of him, haha, but I liked the moment.

And a quick bad shot of the eclipse with the eclipse glasses we bought over the camera lens. You couldn't look at the sun and see it (ah, your poor eyes!) but it was neat to watch the moon slowly create a crescent sun when wearing the correct protective eyewear! It was like phases of the sun.

Then right before totality was going to begin the clouds came and completely obscured the sun, haha!

It started slowly getting darker. The street lights came on. People took our their cameras.

Above is the sky with the eclipse at totality. It didn't get pitch black like we thought it would. It was still neat to the sky so dark at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Above a crane operator snaps some shots. The sky was beautiful! It wasn't twilight or golden hour colors. The tints were different. You can't predict the future, but AJ and I hope to be around and together for the next American Eclipse in 2024. We'll fly out to Texas where it starts and where it hopefully won't be cloudy, haha ;)

Did you get to see any part of The Great American Eclipse of 2017?
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Our New One-Eared Cat: Yack the Black Tail. Adventures in Stray Adoption.

Our household now has two cats! Marianne (my roommate) named him Meow but I call him Squeak, Squeaker or Yack because he has a raspy barely-there meow from talking too much, according to the Vet. AJ call him "Black Tail".

Black tail fits because he's a raggedy pirate cat.

We let him in one rainy day when he came meowing to our door. He's missing half his right ear, he had fleas, flea allergies, and a hole in his paw. He's also missing a lot of his teeth.

He was aged between 7-9. You can tell he's been through a lot in his life.

Yack is mostly mild-mannered except when it comes to food. He begs for it all day! If you leave food alone for a moment he will swipe it up in his mostly toothless jaws in a moment and chow down! The vet says this is from his rough life outdoors. He never knew when he was going to eat again so he's always searching for food. We may never train that opportunistic eating out of him.

The photo above is a rare example of Yuko and Yack actually being near each other peacefully, Yuko's still territorial and fighting with him a couple of months later. Regardless of the adjustments, I feel good that Yack's off the streets and being fed and watered regularly. If anyone has tips on getting two cats acclimatized to each other or abating the hunger of a forever-ravenous cat, let me know!
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