Starting a business where I can live out my dream of creating plant medicine for people has been a very humbling experience on many levels. Every direction I moved I was shown that my perception and ideas did not match the reality of the situation. How I thought my business was going to play out and what actually goes down are two different scripts.
A few things I was SURE of were:
I was sticking to strictly seasonal subscription boxes. I had no intention to sell my products a la carte.
I was selling exclusively online.
You know what they say about everything in life being uncertain? I quickly learned the only way to keep going is to be malleable; giving the business, or lack there of, the steering wheel. I realized that if I wanted to get My Herbal Apothecary out into the world I was going to have to sell the remedies individually at markets and other in-person venues. I shifted gears and decided to give people an experience; allowing them to taste/try all of my products and ask any questions.
Maybe I am just a control freak, but I am always looking far ahead and trying to figure out which direction this business is driving towards. So down the rabbit hole I went; trying to figure out which markets to attend, where and when. We have been traveling to various cities along the east coast for 3 years now and I am still trying to figure out the perfect recipe.
We have a niche offering and are always in search of venues and market goers that will be a good fit. This year I decided to just throw darts at the wall and see which ones stick. We said yes to every market we were invited to, as long as it was within a 6 hour drive. This led to us to sign up for over 50 markets, in 4 different states. We have met some super supportive, welcoming people along the way. Just like Grateful Dead tour, we started seeing the same vendor's faces at various markets all along the East Coast, making friends on our journey too;)
We started asking our new cohorts which markets they enjoyed, leading us to new avenues. We have attended various Vegan Festivals, Renaissance Faires, Flea and Maker's Markets; learning every step of the way.
I really try hard to decorate our tent in an inviting manner; sending out a cozy, welcoming vibe to each passerby. I just LOVE when people enter saying how much they love the energy and smell of our set up, it makes all of the hard work worth every minute.
The search is still on for more marketplaces. We have some staple community building ones set in place like:
HBG Flea the first Saturday of the month in Harrisburg, PA
Manor Market the second Saturday of the month in Millersville, PA
And our seasonal favorites:
PA Herb & Garden Festival
Pine Barrens Maker's Festival
Do you have markets in your area that you love to attend? We would greatly enjoy you sharing your preferences with us as we continue to follow the breadcrumbs. Who knows, maybe my vision of driving a medicine-filled wagon will come to fruition and we may wander into a town near you. Cheers to gathering momentum, forging new friendships, and exploring new wonderous paths!