Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Quirky Zen House Airbnb Experience in Gainesville, Florida + Our 60s Mod Room

This weekend I employed my niece and took her an hour south to Gainesville, Florida for a Body&Soul sales event. The venue was the gorgeous new-ish Depot Park. We, along with all the other vendors, discovered they'd lied about many details of the event. It wasn't the blockbuster turn-out we were expecting but with hard work we made it profitable and made some fun memories, too.

This event happened to be during the same weekend of the biggest football game in Florida. So I'm told, I'm not going to fact-check that, I hate sports! And now I hate the related sports partying because the night we arrived we maybe slept 3 hours if we were lucky! The whole block was pulsating, it felt like trying to sleep in an actual dance club. It made our Zen House NOT so Zen.

Despite the location and grumpiness of a guy we're assuming lives in or helps run the Airbnb, I adored the home itself. Sunny yellow, multiple gongs, spatial harmony, zen garden, ladder to the roof, history?! My kind of kitschy place. Different details gave it the appearance of an old fashioned church, juxtaposing that with zen trappings was delightful and spiritually uplifting to look at.

(1) the 60s mod "art room" we stayed in. (2) The entrway and our colorful room door (3) Beautiful bedazzled flower of life on the sidewalk outside the house

We stayed in the Art Room, I loved what they did with the tall ceilings and the bookshelf full of new-age books. I was clearly in the midst of fellow Japanophiles with the house name. The "learning Japanese" workbooks in the shelves were completely filled-out, too.

The gate on the side of the property

The gardens and exterior looked perfect but you could tell different spaces on the inside were under construction. I like staying at places that are a little unfinished, picturing the potential is invigorating.

And the communal kitchen bought back memories of all my favorite types of hippie shared-living places. The bathroom had a huge tub and I loved the old painted wood walls.

A picture of the courtyard I snuck through the fence, it was locked. I seemed like this was an airbnb and communal living space?

Multiple drunk asses rung the gongs loudly at night while we were trying to rest for long outdoor market days, the guests next to us were too loud and the location of this place near the busy Main St. means every weekend probably gets too loud, but it was still wonderful to get away from my normal environment even for a couple of days and just for work. I'm definitely planning to do more trips to Gainesville for more chakra healing (we did a trade for one and it was awesome!) and artistic and spiritual inspiration.

BTW: I extended my online sale until Sunday if you're looking for Gift-giving, I ship things same-day so they arrive in time for Christmas. You don't have to type in a code, just click here.
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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cyber Monday Sale for Natural Body Care Goodness: 20% Off Everything Online

Just a heads-up, we're running a Cyber Monday sale! Everything in the online shop will be 20% off!

Favorite items include aromatherapy inhalers they last six months and heal headaches, lack of focus, anxiety, sinus problems and more.

Our miracle deodorant gets RAVE reviews. They last ALL day. You just put them on and then don't have to think about it or worry about it again.

Our herbal bitters and our tooth care collection (with yes, that popular whitening charcoal tooth care) does well! And of course our gemstones are inexpensive and make great gifts for Christmas! They have sexy new packaging I didn't get to photograph yet :D

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Biz Behind-the-Scenes: One Year of Brick and Mortar Shop Ownership Success

A showing I did yesterday in collaboration with First Coast Magazine, a quick phone shot
The Friday coming up (Black Friday, we're having a Big Sale at the store, come if you're local! 20-40% off everything) will be the ONE YEAR anniversary of our shop opening! And since we started the growth has been INCREDIBLE! The first months were hard as we adjusted, now we're going through new growing pains...the pains of trying to keep up with demand!

We ordered pizza and beer for our first group work-day, then proceeded to destroy the place making as much product as possible! I'm still trying to get the place cleaned up again, haha. 

Just some random Brick and Mortar Shop growth facts: 

- When we started we had outdoor markets and pop-ups about once a week, twice at the most. Five to seven events per week is the new norm!

- During the early months the stress from keeping up the shop and just having the fewer markets we had kept me in the shop sometimes until 3am every night AND it was SUPER hard for me to sleep before our big showings. I was a raw bundle of nerves. Now I've adapted to the stressors, I consider it a "level up" not unlike a video game, haha.

- And sales! With all these markets we're making so many! We were short of a five figure month last month but not far, this and next month we're projected to hit the five figures and then some.

- ... Of course a lot of that goes back into supplies, market expenses, and employees, but the details are a story for another day

- We started with AJ, myself, and my mom as a part-time contractor helping with our soap and product production. This week we hired our third employee so we a staff of six and a couple of floating part-timers (these are my nieces, they always want to help, haha).

- We tested loads of products and formulations and came up with a winning collection that's developed a devoted fan base! The fan favorites are our aromatherapy inhalers they last six months and heal headaches, lack of focus, anxiety, sinus problems and more, our miracle deodorant that lasts all day, our herbal bitters, and our tooth care collection

I'm excited to make the lines even better! I had to rush the design and product photos but I want more time to get the website/social media/labels to my standards, I've just had no choice but to neglect it because I'm so busy making the stuff!

When we started a year ago I'd have my doubts sometimes, it was a big leap without a ton of pre-planning. The shop and business has taken over our lives BUT we've learned and grown from it so much. No matter how mad a mistake makes me (yesterday while loading our car a $49 investment was stolen when I left it alone for a couple of minutes, and oh, the expensive car troubles this year from frequent car-use), or how frustrating any one situation can be it just doesn't feel like work. We are so satisfied with what we're creating. I'm excited to keep growing this beautiful creative messy thing!

Of course as a business/marketing lover I want to share all the behind-the-scenes details of the steps we took to turn a business that once made $0 at a market showing to regularly making hundreds at them and all the other little things, like running a team, I'll come back to all that in future posts. I miss blogging but I've got a team to steer and I've decided to prioritize sleep over trying to squeeze out posts from stolen rest like I used to. I do feel like I'm getting to the point where I can write again.

How's your business/early holiday season chaos been going? I'm going to step around some mess to get out of the store's office and go actually spend time with people I haven't seen for a bit because although it's been fun this store does rob nearly every hour of my daylight time! It's my first Sunday off in weeks and probably my last 'til Christmas, haha!

Expect some Black Friday/Cyber Monday codes from me soon, too.  I update my Body&Soul Instagram regularly, I also have a personal Instagram. Our store website is here and our online store is here. 
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