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Gotta Spend Money to Make Money

Oy vey.

Yes, folks, it's that time of year again. The time of year when all of the decisions impacting the rest of the year have to be made. And I am in no mood to make big decisions.

These decisions include choosing craft shows, ordering bulk oils (olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter) from the right supplier (which includes finding that supplier...), and developing new scents and products for the coming year. Ugh I feel buried under all of these decisions!

Choosing what craft shows to do is going to be tricky this year. Last year we participated in some very successful craft shows, as well as a few duds. Looking back on our calendar last year, and remembering all of the hassle of driving, setting up, selling on my feet all day, packing up, and driving home I'm tempted to conveniently "miss" all of the deadlines for these shows. But I know that wouldn't be a wise thing to do. Besides, I do generally enjoy the shows.

Here's one thing I've been able to check off my to-do list today: Creating new banners for craft shows. We've also come up with a new tagline (Bonus points if you ever knew what our old one was!), which you see under our name. Now I have to figure out where we're going to have this printed...

This year I'm weeding out the duds and hoping to get lucky with some new shows. I'm trying to decide between a few potentially good farmers' markets combined with some more-or-less local shows, or eschewing the markets altogether to focus on a wider radius: All of New England, plus Pennsylvania and Ohio. There are even some shows in Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, and Michigan that are very tempting. The kicker with those is being alone (and driving alone) for so many days. I've toyed with the idea of hiring an intern to keep me company and help with the heavy lifting, but I'm thinking at this point I'll wait for the extensive traveling until my buddy/husband can come along.

And, boy, is it expensive to buy everything you think you're going to need for the year in one go! Our goal for this year is to sell about 42,000 bars of soap, which comes to about 8 drums of pomace olive oil, 2 totes of coconut oil, and a pallet of shea butter. Yikes. My brother-in-law, Wes, just helped me unload (and carry to the basement) 1,000 lbs of lye last week. I haven't even calculated the cost of labels and jars yet! I'm avoiding that...

Something I am equal parts super excited about and super intimidated by is our decision to carry our own line of essential oils. I think I should dedicate a whole blog post to that, because I know it's something a lot of people are curious about these days. I've mentioned before that I've started a distance-learning Aromatherapist Certification course, and I hope to bring the things I learn to you through this blog, at my shop on the farm, and at craft shows when we bump into each other. Once I figure out what oils and what blends to carry I'll be adding those to the website. It's a daunting task!

Well, I suppose I've procrastinated enough here. Back to the shopping basket and the budget spreadsheet...