What I’m Working On Right Now
Half blog, half journal.
Check back every few weeks to see what’s up on the farm!
It’s already the holidays here on the farm and the last few months have been a whirlwind!
We staged a show in mid-October where we brought our handmade soaps and candles, found items and a bunch of new things we sourced from some of our favorite vendors. Once again, sales reflected what we’d seen in our shop in Virginia… folks love to LOOK at the found items, and they buy the new stuff. Over 60% of our home decor sales were new items, not vintage and antiques!
One of the super fun things about the October event is that I included a mini-launch of 3 Snugbugs Studios clothing! As some might remember, I won a business grant a few years ago and was just rolling into sales when the opportunity popped up last year to take over the B&B up in Minnesota. Since the move, I’ve been focused on client work and learning how to run a B&B. It was a real milestone to get a small release finished and ready for sale. Now it’s time to focus on the photographs and other things that we need to do to list and market the clothing. With such a unique style, we’ll really be looking at online as our main sales platform at the beginning.
This weekend we’re out in our barn gift shop hosting one of two holiday-themed shopping events in concert with a neighboring business in our small community. It’s cozy and we finally found a decent Pandora station that plays holiday music that doesn’t kill me — I’ve already OD’ed on the big band era Christmas station. Mom’s here to help out and Jeff is manning the till and making candles while I’m working on my laptop. It’s so fun to have a shop right on our farm!
Until next time!
Updated November 11, 2017
And I blinked… and it was fall! Just a quick update… we made it through a very busy summer and now are slowing down a bit with guests and getting ready for the holiday retail and show season.
We are linking up a few craft shows to attend close to the B&B where we will be showing our soaps and candles along with some vintage items and a limited release of clothing from 3 Snugbugs Studios. We’re super excited to be pulling everything together and the whole family is in on it, including my mom.
It’s leaf season in northern Minnesota, so we’re still getting a fair amount of guests coming through which we love! I expect we’ll see a slow-down in November and December with things picking up a bit in January/February and then dropping again until June. We’ve got a lot of projects to work on during the ‘slow season’!
With everything that’s happening at the farm I haven’t had nearly the discipline to write that I’d like. It’s a constant struggle to prioritize and get out of putting-out-fire-mode.
The farm menagerie is doing well. Biscuit the kitty is finally a semi-outdoor cat and has lots of fun AND entertains guests with his kitty antics. Peppermint is as sweet as ever and the Northern Comfort flock is holding at eight hens. We lost two chicks and just recently lost my favorite chicken, Speckles, to a hawk. She was a pretty, inquisitive little thing and it was a sad day on the farm when we realized she’d gotten ‘gotten’ by the mean hawk.
Back to work!
Updated Septemer 18, 2017
Whew! This has been a crazy month. I completely overcommitted myself to various sewing projects and realized that I was sending myself off the rails, getting distracted with fun things that don’t necessarily contribute to the direction I want to go.
And this has made me a little crabby.
Also, we got our first batch of chickens a few weeks ago. They are growing like weeds and fun, but extra work. We also had a small cat emergency surgery mid-month due to Biscuit’s love of eating things that aren’t food.
As we head into May I’ve rearranged my goals for June to help me focus. In addition to client work and B&B work, I’ll working on writing and nothing else. In order to support this, I’ve been working on this daily journal practice from Randy over at Advanced Fiction Writing. I’d never thought of using Scrivener in this way, but really like the use of document templates and being able to condense everything into one journal!
Spring is in full force here on the Farm. The leaves are out and a few of the fruit trees are starting to flower. The lilacs are just peeking out and the bleeding hearts have little baby heart-shaped buds out as well.
And… I lied a little 🙂 In June I’ll also be experimenting with a video format for my blog posts over here at PattyBrower.com. I’ve been wanting to play with it, and think I might be a bit faster doing a weekly Facebook live and posting versus my normal ridiculously long blog posts.
At the B&B Jeff and I are untangling our 2016 taxes and negotiating unanticipated (and not very well explained) new insurance payments thanks to aforementioned chicks. We’re also sorting out the leasing relationship with the folks who own the B&B property — a process not always enjoyable and frequently ire-inducing for me….
We’ll see how it goes.
Updated May 30, 2017
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