A Farmers Market Farewell
After a decade spent as a Farmers Market vendor, it’s time for me to head in new directions. And, like most changes, this shift in my business is bittersweet.
Farmers markets are great. For those perusing through, they provide a nice, open-air environment for friends and neighbors to meet and bond over a shared love of locally grown produce and goodies. For us vendors, it’s a special opportunity to socialize with all our friends & customers and maybe fit in a little bartering with the other farmers and artisans. Like the good old days, my beautiful high-quality soaps and skincare products are now a form of currency I can trade for eggs from well-loved backyard chickens or delicious organic berries from a grower in my community.
That said, farmers markets are also a lot of work. It starts with loading up my truck with tents and tables, as well as all the products and supplies we’ll need for the day. If the market starts first thing in the morning or is a decent distance away, it sometimes means rising earlier than the sun to ensure my booth is all set up in time. It takes an hour just to set up the tent, another hour to set up the tables and artfully arrange my soaps and lotions, then the same amount of time and energy to break everything down after the market ends for the day. There are also weather conditions to consider. Wind will knock stuff over; the rain will keep people away and sometimes mess with the moisture absorbing soaps themselves.
As I’ve gotten older (my grandbabies are becoming young adults now!) it’s all become just a little too much physical labor for me to take on, which is why 2014 will be the last season I attend. While I will definitely miss participating in the regular markets, I’m also excited to be taking Gaia Essentials into new directions.
Now that I have obtained my state organic registration, I’ve been working hard toward receiving that third-party organic certification label which should be completed in the New Year. I also expect to be creating some new products as well.
In addition to all my wonderful customers, I’d like to thank all the farmers’ market managers for their amazing support as well as my apprentice, Raina, who handled the majority of the market work over the last year and a half.
I look forward to continuing to see you all at my Moss Beach studio which is generally open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 to 4 (calling ahead is recommended) and encourage all to continue using my convenient online shop which has most of the current products available. There are shipping or studio pickup options. If you’re looking for something you don’t see online or just want to chat about soap or skincare, I’m always here for you.