Sugar-House-in-the-Hudson-Valley We are at the start of 2015 and, like everyone else, we are trying to figure out what our year is going to hold for us. What is really new for us this new year is that not only are we trying to figure out our life goals and direction, we are trying to figure out this whole business thing. I have been through the whole “set your blog calendar and goals” thing, but this is a whole new level. Truthfully, sometimes I wondering who put us in charge? Wait, we are suppose to figure each and every part of this out? I keep seeing it like an upside down diamond. On the bottom, there are a few questions like “who are we?”. Only one question, but it sets the whole direction and foundation of everything else. Then, the next layer is “how are we going to do it?” and then the next layer is, “no, really, how are you going to do it?” These questions are not as important as the foundation of who we are, but there are so many of them. At each higher level, the number of questions to be figured out keep getting bigger and bigger. I am certainly not complaining, we are so thankful to be in this position. It is in some ways like being a parent. You are so blessed and thankful but you keep wondering where the owner’s manual is hidden. Some of the questions we have worked, we really didn’t like the answers. We are trying to find that balance between “go big or go home” with being sensible and not over investing. We are also trying to find the best ways to preserve our personal life within the business. We love having the business in our home. We hate having the business in our home. We are trying to find the balance – and even more so, space. We spent today going through a lot of the big questions so I thought I would catch you up on a few things and ask you a few questions (if you don’t mind!). The shop is open again – yeah! We have all of our syrup sizes in stock and a few home decor items. I am holding off on stocking new home decor for just a wee bit. We are working to find some really great partners in this category and I want to make sure we choose really well. Our goal is to bring you really beautiful pieces that I would use in my own home, at a reasonable price point. We have a few buying shows over the next few weeks where we are hoping to find just that! Next, we are working on pulling together a wholesale program. Our biggest obstacle was shipping and we have successfully figured that out thanks to a great local partner. It will be a little bit yet before we open up for applications, but we are getting the program lined up. So, here is my first question – if you are interested in possibly being a wholesale customer of ours, please send us an email at I would love to get a gauge of how many potential customers there are out there within our readers – our most favorite people! We are moving into the “sugaring season” in the next few weeks. On average, there are only about 6 weeks a year for us to make syrup so it is make or break it time. We have to readjust everything based on when the sap runs. We love every minute of it, but we are always thankful when the last run is through. We are like farmers, you have to harvest when it is ready. We will fit in planning all of details of the business within this, but in reality we still have some trial and error ahead of us. Looking back on the past few months we have learned SO much. “Best sellers” online were different that our best sellers with our wholesale customers. Clearly, you all love cute and affordable pillows (oh how I wish I had purchased more of the reindeer pillows!) and we have learned a crazy amount about the do’s and don'ts of shipping. We are thankful to our local post office for being extremely patient with us. I was talking with a friend the other night and I was asking how things were going with their family business. She was reluctant to answer and I got it right away. We have all had that moment where you got that email or that phone call that made you think, “oh my gosh – this is it, the big break we have been hoping for!” only for it to not work out. Even when the good happens, you are reluctant. It made me realize that it might be really helpful to share some of that side of our business. Maybe you are going through it too or are considering doing it and would like to hear what it is really all about. This leads to my second question…are you interested in learning / hearing about the back side of the business? The frustrations, the realities, the technicalities? And then of course, the good parts, the wins and the successes. I would love your thoughts! And if the answer is no, I promise it won’t hurt my feelings! I hope you will pardon this post not being full of pretty pictures (although, you have to love the picture of the sugar house in the snow!) and just words. There has been a wave happening in the blogging world that I have seen a lot of people discussing and certainly reflects how I have been feeling. No worries, there will still be projects, recipes and decorating projects. But there might will be more of a “journaling” approach as well. A little less of “here is my house when it is in perfect shape and no one is allowed to touch anything” and little more of what “finding home” really is for us. Part of it is creating a welcoming and comfortable home, part of it is cooking for my family, but a huge part of it is finding our way day to day with our family and our business. From the first day I started blogging I said that my blog was about our journey to finding home and the stories along the way. I believe 2015 is going to filled with lots of amazing stories and I hope you will join us! I am thankful everyday for each of you that read - thank you! Quickpen-Signature_edited-1
January 09, 2015 — Laura Putnam