This year, we decided to stay home from Black Friday shopping. We were never hard core door busters, but we liked to buy the boys a few new pairs of jeans and get a deal on batteries.
After spending a few years on the road doing craft shows, we have met so many awesome, unique people. We see the hard work that they put into their products and the time it takes to sell them. We know their families and their stories. We know the jewelry maker whose tent collapsed, almost ruining all of her inventory, the seamstress whose retina detached and had to take time off of work, the florist’s son who offered Josh breakfast and a place to stay when our car broke down, and the artist on a mission to further the good news.
We know that when we buy products from them, our money is speaking about our values. It’s saying that we value these people, and their families. It’s saying that we appreciate the countless hours they put into their trade, making sure that each product is just right. It’s saying that their values remind us of our own values, and we want to see them succeed.
We want you to know, dear customer, that your money talks too. We want you to know that when you support our small business, your money is talking. We’re not a large corporation that has mass market appeal. We’re a family business, and we have family values. Your money says that you believe in family when you buy from Bee Lovely Botanicals. Your money says that you want to support your community when you buy from Bee Lovely Botanicals. Your money says that you care about the type of ingredients you use on your skin when you buy from Bee Lovely Botanicals.
We were at the Country Living Fair in Nashville this past weekend. Josh was sitting at a table eating lunch when he was…
The next time you’re about to tender your hard earned money, stop and think about what your money is saying. Is this transaction going to support your morals and beliefs? Are these products good for you and your family?
Small Business Saturday is a great time to let your money speak to your values! We would love to provide you with quality products for your friends and families this Christmas season.
As many of you may already know, both Josh and I work for our business, Bee Lovely Botanicals. We also homeschool, car school, farmers market and craft show school. You get the point, Josh and the boys and I spend alot of time together.
What’s it like to spend so much time with your husband?
A friend of mine once suggested that one of the topics that we talk about on our blog is what it’s like to work with your husband. She wondered because when her husband was home, her schedule was thrown off, and at the end of the day her to-do list was the same as it had been that morning.
I can understand that completely, but there is a difference between a husband using some vacation days to finish a project and a husband that works from home full time.
What I’m missing out on….
There are some quiet peaceful times that I don’t have as much as I used to. The boys are some how hard wired to get up about 10 minutes after I do. It amazes Josh that they’ll sleep in if I do, and they’ll get up early if I do. (Except for the oldest, I think he might actually sleep for an entire day if I let him.) Quiet Bible study and devotion times are a thing of the past. The other side of that coin is that I can sneak away while Josh is working with the boys and, although it requires a little more focus, and quiet is definitely not the word to describe it, I can still have my study time. Another aspect is that everyday Josh and I do a devotion with the boys.
That scenario pretty much describes what it’s like to live, work, and homeschool. You lose the quiet, contemplative times. You lose the peaceful housekeeping that stays done at least until everyone gets home. You lose knowing where something is because you’re the only one that uses it and puts it away. You lose this ideal image that you have of yourself, your kids, your husband.
But what I gain is so much more than what I’ve lost!
It is truly a blessing to be able to spend this time with Josh and the boys. Our “unconventional” life is far from perfect, but it is abounding in blessings from God.
I get to spend time with my boys before they grow up and fly the coop. We get to see their personalities and senses of humor develop, and we get to be a bigger part of their development.
Josh and I have gotten to know each other so much better, and we’ve learned to work together more efficiently than we ever did before. (We’ve been married for 17 years, and working full time together for 2.)
I know that this time will come to an end, one way or another. The boys aren’t babies any more, and they won’t be boys forever. It is my earnest hope and prayer to make the most of the time we have now, and that these experiences set all of us up to be ready for whatever God has in store next.
What about you? Do you work with family? Would you want to? We’d love to hear your thoughts on so much family closeness!
We just got back from Nashville, can you tell? We were vendors at the Country Living Fair and we were so happy to get a little southern sun and warmth while there. We also were blessed to meet so many wonderful vendors and customers. We want to thank all of you that participated in our questionnaire from last month. It definitely was nice to get to know you a little more and gain some valuable information on how to serve you better. Congratulations to Danielle on winning the $50 gift certificate for participation.
I know we make what we do look easy (he he he), but it can surely take a toll on a person’s spirit to always need to be on the cutting edge. We were so very encouraged by our neighbor vendor who had been doing shows for awhile. She gave us to the great advice to follow God’s direction (if this is on our heart then continue, He will provide a way to make it happen).
We know we have a great product, we love beekeeping, and we love the opportunity to serve our customers. However problems always crop up that make doing those things challenging. Computer issues that make running an online store difficult, having all of our bees die over the winter (apparently the US has had a huge bee die off this past year), and finding time to wear all our many hats can be very trying.
This beautiful, sunny day, we are going to clean out our hives. This is probably the saddest beekeeping day of the year, but even more so when you have no surviving hives. We’ve already missed seeing them buzz around the yard when the temperature creeps up in early spring, and our budding dandelions look really bare this year.
While we were in Nashville, we spoke with a bee inspector from Ohio. He said that both Ohio and Tennessee experienced heavy losses this year. We’ve also heard that large commercial operations in Michigan had losses exceeding 75% and that no hives survived in one Michigan county.
It’s discouraging and expensive to have to replace your entire apiary. If a cattle farmer lost all of his cows, if a majority of beef farmers over 3 states lost even half of their herd, people would wonder what was going on. When a beekeeper loses bees, people say you should have put them inside, you should have used antibiotics, you shouldn’t treat at all, you should this and that all day long. The truth is, this is a problem much larger than any individual beekeeper’s methods. Traditional, natural, non-treatment beekeepers all sustained heavy losses.
Bee populations are sustained by beekeepers. We read a recent study that bee populations are rebounding, and CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) is not a problem any more. Looking at the surface of these statistics, the number of beehives in the US may be on the rise, but the true statistic you need to look at is survival rates. If you were to look at the population at the beginning of March this year, my guess is that it would have been very low. In another few weeks, beekeepers will be rebuilding their hives, and the numbers should look a little closer to normal. Should beekeepers stop rebuilding their hives, the true weight of the problem would be realized. Ross Conrad has an excellent 6 part series on the effects of pesticides (especially neonicatinamides) on bees. (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part V,Part VI ). In Part IV Ross explains that honeybees are actually faring better than some of their pollinating counterparts because of the intervention of beekeepers.
This is where our Adopt A Hive Program comes into play. It’s an excellent way to support honey bee populations, while also getting some awesome products and education. Each Adopt A Hive comes with an adoption certificate, hive updates, a Hive Awareness Manual, and products or honey.
It makes a great gift for Mother’s or Father’s Day. You could use the full share option and customize products for your mom, mother-in-law and grandmothers. 1. Finish shopping 2. Save the bees. Check!
Our Adopt a Hive program is also a great way to learn about bees in the classroom. Our full share option includes 4 video hive updates, the kids get to name the queen and we would ‘bee’ delighted to customize gift bags for the classroom. We’ll even bring the field trip to you by bringing the queen bee into the classroom in our observation hive (within reasonable distance).
We currently have 27 hives available for adoption, below you can see how the share program is broken down.
Full Share: Cost: $200. Includes:$200 worth of products (you can get all honey, all skincare products, or mix of both), 4 hive updates through the season, A Hive Awareness Manual, you get to name the queen, a personalized adoption certificate, and a fully customized honey tag if you choose to get honey.
Half Share: Cost:$100. $100 worth of products (honey or products), 3 hive updates throughout the season, A Hive Awareness Manual, adoption certificate, a customized honey label, and you are in a drawing with another half share to have the opportunity to name the queen.
Quarter Share: Cost is $50, with that you get $50 worth of products (honey or products), 2 hive updates throughout the season, Hive Awareness Manual, and an adoption certificate.
These options are already pre-populated with some of our best sellers, but just contact us if you would like to fully customize your box.
Let us know if you have any questions. We’d be happy to discuss custom options with you.
Our family honey bee and beeswax product business finds us at farmers’ markets most Saturdays from spring through early fall, and at some amazing craft shows after that. This past September we were juried into Penn’s Colony, in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania for the Colonial Craft Show. The really unique aspect of this craft show is that all the vendors dressed in colonial period costumes (1750s-1770s) and most performed a demonstration of their craft. The attraction for us was both financial and educational.
Learning from History
Leading up to the craft show, I sewed each member of our family a colonial costume, complete with a jabot and tricorn hat. I revamped our canopy to resemble an 18th century tent. We did unit studies on the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. This included creative writing assignments entailing life as an American spy, and reading about key political figures, such as George Washington. We also included historical fiction boos such as Johnny Tremain. My husband even threatened taxation without representation within our “family government” to help them understand the anger and frustration the colonist felt. The boys came away with a real interest and hunger to learn more about this time period.
While at the craft show, the boys witnessed glass blowing, weaving, spinning, woodworking, colonial artifacts, period music, historic entertainment, and battle re-enactments. Because we spent a total of four days as a vendor, the boys had plenty of time to soak it all in. In between selling on the weekend, we were able to do a little touring and visited places that George Washington had traveled through. This included a visit to Murdering Town, where Washington was shot at in an altercation leading up to the French and Indians War. The trip also afforded us the opportunity to learn about geography as we traveled, visited a few other historical sites, and learned about the geology and biology of that area of Pennsylvania. We even had time for swimming, canoeing, hiking, and a few games of tag.
The boys also interacted with our customers, telling them about our products, and using our observation hive to teach them about honey bees. They also did quick mental arithmetic to add up orders and make change. Most of these interactions ended with out customers being thoroughly impressed with the boys’ knowledge, manners, and communication skills.
More Memories to be Made
Working side by side next to our boys is profitable in so many ways. Bee Lovely Botanicals™ did well, but I think the lessons the boys learned and the opportunity to work, play, and learn together was the real treasure we found. We are excited to be able to have the opportunity to journey back to Saxonburg, Pennsylvania to make more amazing memories at this year’s Colonial Craft Show September 16-17 and 23-24.
What better time of the year to look back at the summer and see how fast time has gone back and also to offer a Honeybee Hand Lotion Sale. Where has the summer gone anyway? I am sure you have been asking yourself that very question a lot lately. Kids are either back in school or will be next week. Leaves are starting to turn colors. People are finally dressed properly (in plaid).
It is times like this that make you take a step back and realize that time really is the only commodity that we have. With time you can build, with time you can make a living, with time you can uplift a worn out spirit. Even a tiny rain drop can in time wear down the hardness of rock to create grand structures.
When life get so hectic, time always seems to be for another time. I will eat better and exercise when I have the time. I will read bed time stories when I have the time. I will visit my aging parent when I have the time. We get so caught up on the present we forget about the eternal.
We forget that the little things we can do with the minutes we have could have long lasting effects. In some cases they might be the only thing that gives us more time.
TAKE SOME TIME
Reflecting back on the past three months has given me a slightly different perspective on time. I ask that you do the same. As the season changes take SOME TIME to find where you can spend the time you have been given to make the world around you a little better.
Now on to the discounts!!
It is TIME for change. If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram you might already know of the great opportunity to be a part of the BonTon Close to Home Program. With that, it was time to change our packaging to facilitate better sales for our wholesale customers.
We now have boxes for our all natural beeswax hand cream. This allows us to stand our lotions up for a better display, as well as protect them from being dented all the time.
As we are in the process of switching over, we have many tubes that are well traveled and need a home. They are dented on the outside, but still have all the natural goodness inside. We are offering our dented tubes for $15, while supplies last. You can find the discounted lotions here. Get $9 off a Bees Wax Hand Cream while supplies last! Tell the cashier the reward code 947 786 when you pay. The reward expires on October 31, 2017. No cash value. Not transferable. In-store only. May be canceled at any time.
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