February 5 ~
Working with herbs is, by in large, the most fun anyone can have.... planning, gardening, harvesting, EATING! Then there are all the crafts and products and the lore, the scents.....and then, there is the business end of things!
If you make your own household, beauty or soap products, there is nothing more satisfying than growing many of the ingredients yourself...to really be able to customize products to your needs and locale. To share all this bounty as gifts is pretty low stress, but if you want to sell products, so many other issues come into play. My brain is all creativity and very little nuts and bolts. I get bogged down in the business of herbs, so I try to consolidate the parts I don't like into a few days a year. Today, I am online all day looking for deals on packaging, labels, accessories, advertising, displays.....
Though all the choices today, due to internet access, may enable a business to be more profitable by comparing prices, it is so time consuming to assess the prices and shipping costs of one company against another. Not being a hard nosed business person, I find that often, I choose to do business with either the company that makes it easier for me or seems "nicer" to work with--and end up paying a bit more. It is worth it to be able to buy several things in one place, rather than hunting over many sites. Poor business skills, but a maintenance of sanity.
Then, there is the issue of "getting what you pay for". In selling herbal products, so much of it is the allure of herbs--so the packaging needs to be great and appropriate for the type of business persona you want to project. I like a more rustic look, but get caught up in a love of Victorian motifs too---luckily, both work very well with herbs. In buying plants and seeds, the quality of the grower makes all the difference. Paying more for a good plant that actually survives, beats getting a "deal" on those that disappear after one season.
I would rather be writing about, growing or making herbal concoctions, but business comes first--I just have made it manageable bycontaining it into non- mind numbing portions of my time. Today, a good rosemary, cardamom tea for mental energy will do the trick while sitting here at the computer.....and I have a stick of lavender/mint headache soother within reach too!
This past weekend was hair cutting day around here--way too long overdue. What does this intimate tidbit have to do with plants? Instead of throwing all the cut hair out, I am saving it in a bag to use in the garden. After figuring out which of my plants are being eaten by various critters, I will sprinkle the hair around those plants---fertilzer AND deters beasts!