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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Farewell to One Heck of a Year 2010

One more day to go and we must say farewell to the first decade of the new millenium.
This past year has been a challenge and that is an understatement. It has been a year since Meadow Muffin Gardens was born as far as going from the nudges of family members to being in print on the license. How exciting it was when we first opened that envelope. And then when my son got my website up and running....
To see your own name online is so very cool. There is no other way to describe it.

Just learning the necessary computer skills took me on such a roller coaster of emotions. Sooo many times I wanted to just quit. I just wanted to be out in my gardens and tinkering around in the kitchen with the many recipe ideas. I hadn't the time to be struggling with my inadequecies dealing with this necessary gadget (it was great when it worked).

I discovered Etsy in March from a magazine at the laundramat of all places. Suddenly I had to learn to understand my camera in order to have decent pictures for the listings. I had to rediscover my creative writing skills long buried in the all assuming pace of raising a family. The task of finding out where to get the containers for these products and the labeling for those containers was a story in itself. Granted it was fun to set up the shop but it got to the point I wasn't getting my everyday work done.

With so much competition with other sellars on Etsy it is easy to feel like you're invisible in cyberspace somewhere. Imagine the excitement when I had my first sale! It was in May and the item was the Tension Headache Massage Oil. I was shipping all the way to California.
But then there was the education of how our postal system works.

So much to learn, so many mistakes, some of them costly, but perserverance was the word of each and every day.
I tried the route of setting up at a few local gift shops, a few restaurants, as well as a local farmer's market. People are usually pretty loyal to whatever body care products they are already using and not knowing who I am or what made my items so special, my time spent with these endeavors was mainly exposure, giving out lots of business cards.

My first holiday season with Etsy was so exciting. Once your sales tally creeps up and you start getting positive feedback, people are more apt to pay the shop more attention. My shop does stand apart from many of the others in the Bath and Beauty category.
Meadow Muffin Gardens cators towards all natural personal care without the use of preservatives, petrols, synthetics and perfumes. A select group of people are attracted to this sort of thing. Either they are looking for healthier alternatives to what they put onto their bodies just as we are concerned with what we put into our bodies. Or they have sensitive skin, allergies, or medical reasons and are tired of not trusting the labels of the products on store shelves. As we are more concerned with living a greener lifestyle, what we purchase as consumers becomes a matter of concern.

So with the coming and going of each of our four seasons, it is time to reflect a bit and let it sink in just how far we've come. I want to thank my ever so patient and helpful family for their encouragement and support. My wonderful husband for never saying a word at the charges necessary to get set up. My amazing children for their help in teaching (or just doing it for me) the steps needed in every direction.
I thank all of those great customers who gave me a chance by trying out my shop items and giving me feedback so I knew where there was a need for improvement.

Here's to a great year behind us and hopefully an even better year ahead with 2010. The gardening catalogs are arriving in the mail, and as any gardener knows, it doesn't take long before the itch to get back out there begins!

Happy New Year everyone!