Goodbye, Summer

Posted by Callie Altman on

Long time no talk sweet friends! I’m pretty sure I blinked and not only did spring fly by, but summer too! Now here we are, getting ready to change seasons again and I am  JUST now sitting down to write again.

First, I just have to say, you guys are the most amazing customers! You have shown up so big for us in 2019! Your love & support during our rebrand earlier this year have been overwhelming! We are still head over heels for our new look – and it seems like you guys are loving it too!

(photo by brand rep @thebrikisisters)

This spring & summer have looked a little different for us as a business and as a family. There’s been a slower pace than our usual breakneck speed. We scaled way back on the number events we have done and instead focused on the quality of events that we did. Having a little extra white space on our calendars these past few months has allowed us to have more fun with our boys & soak up lots of precious family time.

(family fun at the Buchanan Carnival)

But just because our calendar hasn’t been packed, doesn’t mean our little business hasn’t been flourishing! I’ve been able to become a “business student” again and take some courses on topics that I’ve been wanting to expand on. It’s been so fun to learn new things and dream of exciting new ways to grow. We’ve also added new retail partners, launched our new brand rep program, and are working toward building a bigger & better candleshoppe!

So here we are again, the winds of change are getting ready to blow and a new season is upon us. But before we jump the gun and skip straight to fall (like it seems like the rest of the world is doing!), I wanted to press pause for just a second and give spring + summer one last moment in the spotlight!

Crushing Goals

This spring was definitely one for the record books for our little business! We had a super busy event calendar where we tackled two of the largest shows we have ever done!

We started the spring show season off at Southern Charm at the Farm this past April. This show is one of our favorites of all time! The location is amazing, the organizers & promoters are incredible, and it features some of the most talented vendors I have ever seen. But even the most well executed events can’t tame Mother Nature! The day before this huge show, while vendors were rushing to set up & perfect every last detail of their booths, a nasty storm came through and destroyed several tents & displays.

(our booth at Southern Charm at the Farm this Spring)

We were blessed to have been spared this time (refer to our previous post about last year’s Sunflower Festival LOL) but several others were not. We chose to delay our set up until the morning of the event so we could be 100% sure that the weather had passed. While Mother Nature tried her best, she couldn’t tame the spirit that lies with in SCATF. Vendors rallied to help other vendors. The show’s event staff worked tirelessly to help in any way they could. And the customers STILL came out, in mass! We saw so many returning customer friends and made tons of new ones too! And I am thrilled to say that we will be back for Southern Charm at the Farm this fall!

(we are SO excited for the fall show!)

Over the last 15 years of owning this business, I have set goals for myself along the way. Reach a certain annual sales revenue. Gain more retail partners. Build my own website so I could break free from Etsy.

My most recent big, scary goal – become a vendor at a Vintage Market Days show. In case you haven’t heard of it, VMD is a national franchise of vintage, antique, and handmade shows. Currently, you can find a VMD show in over 26 states! Each show has its own unique theme and brand. And their vendor line up includes some of the best of the best – everything from nationally known brands to regional & local favorites too. It is EXTREMELY difficult to become a vendor. Their selection process is super competitive.

(check out the VMD webpage to find a show near you!)

I have been following VMD very closely on social media for over a year. I would swoon over the beautiful booth set ups, make wish lists of all the things I wanted to buy, and wanted so very badly to see my business at one of these beautiful shows. I had been applying for shows close to me for over a year and not had much luck. But I didn’t give up and keep submitting applications and updating our vendor profile regularly. Finally, one evening I got that magical call – I was accepted to be a vendor at the Vintage Market Days in Bristol, TN! To say I was over the moon is a HUGE understatement!

So just as soon as Southern Charm was over with, we immediately began prepping for Vintage Market Days – there was only a week of turnaround time between the two! VMD was going to be the biggest event we had ever done! It was out of town and lasted for THREE days. I was a complete nervous wreck and scared to death but I DID IT!

(Getting set up at Vintage Market Days of the Tri Cities)

I feel like I spent those three days in Bristol living in a dream. I kept pinching myself – a lot! And I learned A LOT! I made new vendor friends and customer friends too. I left Bristol with so many new ideas about where I wanted my business to go. The entire experience was incredible and I am so thankful that my little business had the opportunity to be a part of a VMD event.

(me + my sweet new friend, Amber, from Croire Home Decor)

We finished up the spring show season at the NHV Market in Blue Ridge, VA. I absolutely love doing this local event! The mission behind this show is incredible and who doesn’t love getting to do a show so close to home! It was an absolutely gorgeous day that was full of some of the best vendors in our area & beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Layman Family Farms. It was a great chance to see so many local customer friends and meet a few new ones too. I know it sounds like we do that at every show, and well, we do! It’s a beautiful cycle of making new friends and getting to see old ones too. It’s honestly what fuels me most days as a small business owner.

While the spring was super busy for us doing so many large shows back to back, it helped paved the way for a slow summer that has been so precious for us as a family and a business too!

Sweet Summer Time

North Mountain Candle Co. hasn’t done a single show or market this summer. Not one, single event. And it’s been amazing!

First, let me preface by saying selling candles at events in the summer is not the most enjoyable. It’s hot here in the South y’all.

AND humid.

And we spend most of the day at these events rearranging our display to keep candles and melts out of the sun to prevent them from melting. I honestly don’t enjoy them that much.

And, they honestly aren’t that profitable for us.

But I didn’t go into this summer with the intention of “taking it off” from doing events. I had a few on my radar. And there is always the local farmers markets that I can go set up at. But incredibly, when I was crunching the numbers to determine what we needed to do this summer, I discovered that we didn’t need them. Why?

Because of our newest retail partner, Bryant Orchards Farm Market.

If you follow us on social media at all, you’ve seen lots of posts about them. They are our flagship retail partner – that means they carry almost every one of our fragrances year round! The response to finally having a local retail partner has been overwhelming - and when I say overwhelming, I mean I have struggled to keep their shelves stocked since they opened this April! We actually go in several times a week to restock their shelves.

(love this shot by customer & friend, Kristen Perdue)

My sweet friends, Kelsey & Preston, own & operate this gorgeous shop that has been such a blessing in so many ways. It’s a blessing to our community to have a faith based, family owned business that is all about supporting other local and small businesses. The market is packed full of locally grown produce & meats. If Kelsey & Preston didn’t grow it themselves, they can tell you exactly where it came from. They keep their bakery case FULL of the most delicious baked goods that are all homemade and baked fresh daily right there in the shop. And if all that wasn’t enough, there’s also tons of the most beautiful home décor that includes everything from farmhouse style items & a variety of goods made by local makers, including yours truly!

(we're slightly obsessed with our little corner of the Bryant Orchards Farm Market)

This little shop has been a huge blessing to our business. Sure, financially we have been blessed beyond measure! But its so much more than that. It’s having a true business partner to work hand in hand with. It’s being able to share with our customers that we FINALLY have a local store that carries EVERY scent we offer! We love having a home base to direct all of our local friends to when they want to smell all our latest scents without having to wait for one of our local events.

(this shop is adorable inside + out)

I think the most important way we have been blessed by Bryant Orchard Farm Market is as a family. My boys go with me almost every time I go in to stock the shelves. They are getting to see firsthand what it’s like to run this business. We have also found that we go there first to do our grocery shopping – especially for meat! – because locally grown food really does taste better! And locally baked too - y’all, their Oreo balls are to die for! Above all else, we have been blessed with new friends. Whether Kelsey is tolerating my boys “helping” around the shop or we are having a Mompreneur Margarita Night (that’s a real thing!), we have these amazing new friends that make us feel so loved!

(me + Kelsey - so thankful for this girl!)

Fall is coming!

Now, I don’t know about y’all but this girl is ready for fall! I am so ready for cooler weather and the beautiful show that the Blue Ridge Mountains are about to put on. My kiddos are already back to school – we have a 4th grader and a first time preschooler this year! And I am ready for the busy season – remind me I said that come November please?

(seriously, how cute are they?)

I hate rushing the seasons but fall and winter are my favorite time of the year! There is something so magical about them and let’s face it, its candle season too!

We have also been busy this summer prepping for fall & winter! We have not one, but TWO special collections this year! We decided to separate our fall & winter scents – the Fall Collection is now LIVE and the Holiday Collection will be out later this year.

(nothing says fall like PSL)

Both collections feature lots of your returning favorites and some exciting new ones too! We can’t wait to share them with you!

So, if you're reading this then I am assuming that we are already friends across the board, but just in case - make sure you are following us on social media! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, & Pinterest. And most importantly - make sure we are email friends too! Our email friends are the FIRST to know everything here at North Mountain! And you get an awesome coupon when you join too!

Thanks so much for letting me ramble yet again here & share my heart with you all! I love sharing the behind the scenes of this crazy life with each of you! I hope to see you all soon at one of our upcoming events!

With a grateful heart,

Callie xoxo

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