Well friends, the last two weeks have been quite interesting around here! Mother Nature has been throwing us curve balls left and right and it’s taken just about everything we have to be able to keep up with them!
As most of y’all know, we were vendors again at this year’s Sunflower Festival at Beaver Dam Farm. We had been looking forward to this event for over a year! Who wouldn’t be excited to spend a day on a gorgeous farm, surrounded by sunflowers & the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains?
The "calm" before the storm...
We spent weeks pouring inventory and preparing for the festival. Last year was our first year attending and we sold out of EVERYTHING we had made for the whole weekend by 2 pm on the first day! We had to run home and try to pour as many candles & melts as we could that night to come back the next day! This year we knew what to expect and had worked super hard to be more prepared. The festival had also expanded to two weekends this year which meant double the prep work!
Opening day of the festival FINALLY came & the flowers did NOT disappoint! It was a beautiful day with the sun shining brightly and the crowds pouring in quickly! Even though it was super-hot & humid, we were relieved that the rain had stayed away!
In the blink of an eye...
By early afternoon, the heat & humidity had generated some thunderstorms, which is common for this time of year here. It seemed like by the time we had to catch our breath, we looked up and saw the skies growing dark, and quickly. We tried our best to secure our tent & tables and start packing up our inventory but the storm was just too fast!
We held on for dear life, literally, while the straight line winds blew, lightening cracked, and torrential rains fell for what seemed like an eternity. When the storm was finally over, the damage was impressive. Our booth was COMPLETELY trashed. Almost all of our fellow vendor friends had lost products, displays, or their tents – and in some cases all of thee above. Luckily, none of us were hurt physically.
It took about a while to clean up the remains of our booth and see what we could salvage. Thank goodness for my dad who showed up about 30 minutes before the storm hit and helped me pack up as much as I could before the storm, helped me hold my tent down during the storm, and helped me pack up and get stuff back home after the storm. We were soaked to the bone and sore from literally hanging on to the tent during the storm. A huge thank you to my neighbor, Don, who came after the storm to help clean up. He also helped me get the bits & pieces of our booth back home!
Don't call it a come back...
Once we got home and dried out, the damage we sustained was pretty bad. Over 100 melts had to be thrown away. They were just too water logged to be salvaged. About 80% of the candles & melts we could save had to be completely relabeled. All the shelves used in our booth display were completely ruined. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a few tears at the site of my trash can overflowing with Aroma Melts! But what we went through was nothing compared to some of our fellow vendors. Some lost everything they had, with no way to recover. We were truly blessed with the ability to regroup and come back again the next day.
And come back we did! After we got home and finished surveying the damage, I scrambled to come up with a way to display our products without my beloved shelves and the best I could do on such short notice was wooden crates from Michael’s. So a phone call & quick trip to Michael’s later and we had shelves! The rest of the night was spent stripping soggy labels off our products and putting new ones back on. By the time the next morning rolled around, we were ready for Day 2 of the festival.
We made it through the rest of the weekend without any interference from Mother Nature and a whole lot of love from our amazing customers! We saw so many familiar faces and made lots of new friends too! We ended up breaking every sales record we have ever had – all because of our amazing customers!
The sun will come out tomorrow...
The next week, we came back for the second weekend of the festival & this time we partnered with our amazing friend, Whitney Vaughn, of Saved By Grace Co. She sustained some pretty catastrophic losses during the storm and came back the second week to host a “scratch & dent” sale to try to get rid of some of her damaged items. We were blessed with another beautiful & sunshiny day and even though the flowers had taken a beating the week before, there was still beauty to behold. Unfortunately though, Mother Nature wasn’t done yet and ended up raining out the final day of the event. But as Whitney says, “no rain, no flowers!”
That's a wrap!
Between the blistering temperatures and crazy storms, getting through the Sunflower Festival this year was no easy task. A lot of hard work and late nights went in to making it happen for us. Along with a TON of help from our army of family & friends who shopped, stopped by to say hi, provided childcare, or helped us in our moments of crisis. It was all worth it in the end.
Thank you so much to Candace Monaghan and her entire crew for their months and months of hard work that they poured into making the Sunflower Festival such an amazing event. We are pretty passionate about this because it LITERALLY takes place right in our own back yard and makes such an impact on our local economy.
A few fun facts from the Sunflower Festival:
- We COMPLETELY sold out of our limited edition scent, Sunflower Fields, both weekends!
- Over the course of the entire festival, we sold over 400 candles & melts!
- Our top 5 best-selling scents: Sunflower Fields, Fall on the Parkway, Appalachian Harvest, Cranberry Marmalade, & Pumpkin Cookie Crunch
Back to work!
Even though the Sunflower Festival is over, things have been absolutely crazy around here. We are still cleaning up & reorganizing things from the damage done from the storm, in addition to filling tons of online orders, reordering supplies, & getting our stockists restocked & ready for fall! Now throw in the fun that Hurricane Florence has created for our area the past few days and you get one crazy home based business!
Most of you all know that my husband, Mark, and I work in EMS, and with all the uncertainty that Florence has meant for our neck of the woods we’ve gone from preparing to have to work overtime all weekend and get our house ready to survive catastrophic flooding (yay for living in a 100 year flood zone!) to learning that it won’t be so bad after all & life can pretty much go back to normal around here! Oh well, never a dull moment! We are blessed that it appears that our area will be spared for the most part and we are praying like crazy for everyone still in her path.
Thank you all for making it through another rambling blog post! My goal is to keep things as real as possible with you guys and always share the good, the bad, and the ugly. These past few weeks have felt like a roller coaster and it’s been all we can do to just survive! When things get that crazy, you’ll notice we don’t post as much on social media but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t still here, working our butts off for you guys! So if you’ve sent us a message, DM, or email – standby because we are catching up on those as quickly as we possibly can!
Now here's one of my favorite shots that Mark took of our littlest guy in his many adventures through the sunflower fields...
With a grateful heart,