Our Home, Our Business and How it all Comes Together

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 laura@findinghomeonline.com.  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

About Finding Home

Welcome to Finding Home where we share our favorite DIY and decorating ideas and inspiration. We believe your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Our blog is the story of our journey - and what we find along the way. Thanks for joining us!

Leave Us A Comment

30 thoughts on “Our Home, Our Business and How it all Comes Together”

Comments

  1. This blog is a place for you to tell your story. Be authentic, and you will have my respect. What you want to share with us is entirely up to you. Incorporating a business into your life is part of your story. Nothing else stopped being part of your story. This being true, I can’t imagine people not wanting to continue to follow along as they have been, and I imagine you will probably gain more as you move along. This is not a place to please everyone. Please yourself, and don’t second guess what I want. Best wishes in the new year as you move forward.

  2. I always love hearing your heart dear friend…and the family business is by definition linked to your heart-so yes. I’d consider it an honor to hear all about the business…nut and bolts and all.
    Sending love~ Robin

  3. Absolutely Yes, on hearing more about your family business journey–the trials, tribulations, and triumphs. I love reading about your home projects as well but if you would share how your family is growing the business and behind-the-scenes- during the sugaring process, packaging, and bringing it to market that would make Finding Home irresistibly unique in the lifestyle/home/diy blogging category which is now saturated with the “look at my perfect bathroom decor-type posts.”

  4. By sharing the ups and downs, the good and bad in life and business can only help your readers. We all struggle at times with a variety of issues, especially family and business, so your blog postings can only reinforce that we’re all human, making good choices and bad, and can learn from one another. Thank you for being so open and honest about your life!

  5. i am enjoying reading your blog, including your business trials snd tribulations. I do not actually know what a tribulation is, but i will look it up. Please continue to write about anything and everything. Also, i love my reindeer pillows

  6. I am interested in the business side as well as the other subjects. My friend and I redo furniture and have a small booth. I am always open to new ideas to help our business grow.

  7. When I started reading your blog, I went to the very beginning so I didn’t miss a single entry. You are kind and truthful in what you write and I think that is something your readers admire about you. I love your personal stories even more than home decorating tips and DIY projects. Please continue to blog about your business
    because that is part of where you are at this stage in your life. Wishing you all good things in 2015.

  8. I think you have a great mix on your blog. Neat projects transforming the old into new life and repurposing the useless into something useful; yummy recipes; the trials and tribulations of life; the successful and “oops that didn’t work;” beautiful decorating ideas; and sharing you’re life and experience ( the good, the bad and the ugly) with all your readers.

    Your readers now know about your “start up” business and of course we would be disappointed not to hear how it’s going and what works and what doesn’t. You opened that door to your life and this reader wants to keep seeing periodic updates on how things are going.

    Your blog is open, honest, warm and informative. It’s like being a member of your family from a distance. However, being in the distance we don’t get tangled up in the less then perfect family stuff. Follow your instincts and all your readers will follow along with you. What you are doing here is sharing life as it is on your end of things. Everyone benefits from learning from each other.

  9. Best of luck as you maneuver the minefield (aka your ‘business’). It can be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I’m sure you will find the basic principles from the blog will guide you as you grow your business this year. Looking forward to your ‘pawsome-ness!’ 🙂

  10. Laura- I think one of the things that I love most about your blog is that you are very “real”. I so admire what you and your husband have chosen to do. There are so many people in this world, for whatever reason, can’t or don’t choose to live their dream. You guys are going for it! I, for one, am rooting for you. I am sure that you will have ups and downs (this is life!) and if we followers can be here to cheer you on for the good and the bad, that is a good thing!

  11. I’m rather new to your website, joining in October. I have read every post with much enjoyment. The post that surprised me was the one where you were advertising a product ( was it lighting?) what I dont want to see is that you become beholden to product sponsors and begin to incorporate many of your posts pushing someone else’s product. That’s what print magazines are for. Your website has had a personal feel. Please keep that touch.
    Thanks and have a good year.

    1. Marsha,

      Thanks so much for your sweet comments and encouragement. Yes, there was a post a few weeks ago for a light bulb company. What you may not realize is that writing this blog is my job and just like print magazines, I have to make a living at doing it. I work super hard to be selective about the frequency of sponsored posts and who I partner with. Like the light bulbs company – I love them and I was already purchasing their product before I started working with them. I hope that the products and companies I work with are interesting to you, but if not, the good news is you can just skip over that one and come back for the next one! Have a great day! Laura

  12. Would love to know the behind the scenes story! My husband had rotator cuff surgery and can’t work for 6 months which gives him time to decide what he wants to be when he grows up! It may be with an etsy shop and help on my blog or it may not. So 2015 is full of decisions just as with you!

  13. This post is exactly why you are so special. As I read this, I see the heart of a very real, amazing person. I love following your journey of “finding home “. The new business is such a huge part of who you are and where you are in your life right now. I can’t imagine you leaving it out of your posts. Following your heart has brought you far, don’t stop!

  14. Always love hearing your stories, Laura.
    And it’s true, sometimes we do have to “promote a product” that we use and believe in to help support our families and businesses (whether it’s a blog or a small business, etc) and finding that balance can be hard but you have a knack at finding the perfect mix of storytelling. I wouldn’t change a thing.
    xo

  15. Yes, I would love to hear more of the back stories of running a business. I’m noticing a change in the blog world too. Too many blogs look the same, and the ideas of those who found major success seem dull now. How many times can a gal repaint the same piece of furniture? I’m seeing blogs adapt into a lifestyle blog, some DIY blogs who are getting into fashion, and others are simply turning into a journal open to the public. Good luck finding your new voice!

  16. I think you should blog about what you feel is important to your family and that now includes your business. You will be helpful to those who are thinking of starting their own business or already have one. You also will meet the needs of some folks who previously weren’t readers to your blog. I have a business so I would love to here how it’s going, obstacles, successes, etc.

  17. I would love to hear more about the business, Laura. One of the things that drew me to your blog when I first found you was not just your beautiful home and style but it was also reading about your journey with your husband and his career. I think I discovered your blog and then not too long after your husband decided to leave his job. Anyway…my husband and I talk about career change all the time for him…his job is sooo stressful and what I call, “life-consuming.” We talk about what we would do if he quit and the ideas can be scary sometimes. So…I love hearing what you two are going through and I hope that it might give us the kick in the pants to do something drastic. Good for the both of you for putting yourselves out there! Happy New Year, Laura!

  18. Hi Laura – well I love a pretty picture and a pretty home but what I love more is the the person and the story behind the picture and the home, the road being travelled, the heart lessons being learned, the real deal, the story being told by whats just outside the pictures frame or 20 minutes after the picture has been taken. Now that gets interesting and inspiring. So bring on being real to where you and your family are at. I liked the upside diamond thing and the question “who are we” – thats got me pondering this morning. Thank you and God Bless

  19. I’d rather the “true story” than the “photo ready, chaos just out of view” one. My husband has talked forever about starting a business (even named it and gotten a website!), but we’re kinda chicken to take a plunge. I’d love to hear the ugly side of things! Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, right?

  20. Hello and Happy New Year, Laura. As a reader of your blog, I say share away. Like you and your husband, and some other commenters, this is a year of more change and new decisions for my husband and me. Since late 2013 we’ve closed a business, sold properties, moved six states away, and begun settling into a brand new life. Now we must decide what to do next professionally. Hearing from you and your commenters about the mixed bag of life and labor are great reminders of the similarities that many of us share. So thank you for all your past and future insights. Cheers, Ardith

  21. Ya’ know, Laura, if I were having coffee with a friend I would never dream of giving her a list of acceptable topics to discuss. Everytime I have the pleasure of visiting with a friend differnt things are shared depending upon where we are living in our day to day life. This blog is for you as much as any of your readers, girlfriend. I’m all in for whatever comes your way and your latest venture (which has actually been in the oven on slow bake for years and years) is a huge chunk of who you are now. I have lived 42 of our yrs with a huge chunk of “us” being about the “job”, it is part of our family DNA. Share as much or as little as YOU need to. 🙂

  22. I am new to your blog. I just joined when you took some time out. So this is the first full post Ive read. I’m gald I joined. I was looking for a blog that was different than the others I read that to be honest, make me feel like I’m so behind because I dont have a house or the funds to create a house good enough for magazines.
    I am on the fence trying to decide with my husband what the next step is. I have had a few ventures and have learned from their sucess & failures. But we know we want to do something together. And possibly move to be with our sons in Florida. When is the right time to make life altering changes? When it excites you both and know that what ever it bring you’ll handle together.
    The question still remains though, expand or move? Expand then move? But we know we need to do something to keep it interesting…I so look forward to reading more. And feeding off your blog gives me encouragement. No matter what happens we all can learn from what you post.
    Waiting for your next post.
    Barbara Ann
    etsy.com/shop/barbaraannscreations

  23. How did I miss this yesterday? (Right I was busy taking pictures of my bathroom reno when it was in perfect shape and no one was around to touch or mess it up! ;)) Yes I’m so curious to hear what it’s like behind the scenes so far as I’d like to be in the trenches when the sap runs! Do share. Could be a Haven class right there.

  24. I would love a behind the scenes look. I am interested in seeing what it takes and how you are dealing with it. I am new to your blog and started because of your maple syrup. We have just moved back to a family farm and are overwhelmed with trying to get things up and going again. It’s helpful to remember everyone is facing some kind of challenge. I love your directness and honesty.

  25. As a single mom with two young boys AND a small business owner just starting out and also working out of my home I would LOVE a behind the scenes look at your business, the frustrations, etc!

  26. I know I would love to hear more of the “business” side of things. My husband lost his job in Aug 2014 so we are looking for opportunities for our family. I just found your blog today. I will be following it. Thanks!