A year of no 'new' programming.
In the middle of the craziness of summer this year I thought I couldn't keep going. It was a whole mess of things - but a big part of it was I am always always thinking we can get more done in the summer than we really can.
We have yet to have a summer here without an ENORMOUS undertaking. Year 1 it was planting the lavender and cleaning this place up. Year 2 we started hosting events, including my sister's wedding which was a doozy of a job (worth every second but you get it) and Year 3 - this year, the Tiny and learning how our life would change with opening up this new part of what we do here.
This year we also added Christmas at Sweetwater, summer workshops here at the farm, re-branded our entire business and I had a hell of a year with medical stuff, in and out of doctor's appointments and paralyzed with grief some days.
So as the chill of Fall mornings settles in around the farm, its becoming more and more clear to me how badly we need a year with no new additions in the business.
Calm down. Know that if I hadn’t just typed it you probably wouldn’t have noticed. But I think in my soul - our breakneck pace of growth is coming to a point where a year of ‘maintenance mode’ might be able to help us REALLY make strides and improve.
The older I get, the more I am into removing things from my life in order for me to gain a clearer picture of what I’m trying to look at. It’s like once you clear away a lot of shit you can actually see how big a room is. Imagine that - but with building the company of your dreams.
Sweetwater is stunningly beautiful wedding flowers & a really special 10 acre farm in Petoskey, Michigan. It also through both of those avenues became a way for me to help women develop businesses they love and also open up this dusty old farm to visitors from around the world (literally).
But in the frenzied growth, I realized that I can come up with a million good ideas, but executing them all as well as I want too cannot happen at once. The growth of this company must be slow and steady now.
As crazy as it sounds, in just 4 years Matt and I have developed and executed almost all of the ‘major’ things we wanted to do with the farm and our business. We have a holiday time event. We host guests and events in the summer. The flower side handles 60-ish weddings a season.
And I’m really really proud of this. And that’s why I’ve decided to take a full year, without launching / building / executing anything too crazy.
I don’t sit still well, so of course there will be improvements. Of course we will clean things up and paint and reorganize and I’m crossing my fingers we can complete phase 1 of our Studio Build project (its years away but requires a major excavation / site prep phase which will happen next year). But accepting a slower paced year feels really good.
We are still gonna flower our asses off for the 2019 season, (PSA: 2019 brides; Saturdays in June, July & August are going fast, so inquire now) the joy our clients bring me in unparalleled by anything else in the business and we are lucky to work with the world’s kindest families.
I know that if I peeled back the layers enough I would find that this is my way of making space for me to focus on myself a bit more. My health. Our family. This is a way I can control one aspect of all of this and create the room for my mind to think about other things.
I’m a wild creative y’all. I can sit down and hash out things like Camp Sweetwater, Christmas at Sweetwater and Hygge in a matter of hours. The ideas flood to me within just a few minutes, I frantically write in Google Docs and type notes on my phone and scribble on old envelopes to get my ideas onto the paper.
And so many of those scribbled notes have become real. And now its time to focus on making what we do offer- even better.
This is a really beautiful part of business ownership, being able to chart the course you wish. Spend time on what you want, remove what isn’t working. And while not easy to say ‘I’m gonna quiet my brain for a season’ it does feel really good.
What this means for you; absolutely nothing. Everything that happened this year, will be offered next. One of our biggest programming stretches of the year, wreaths and Christmas at Sweetwater is quickly approaching, I cannot wait to share these with you.
You know by now how endlessly grateful I am that you are here for this. Thank you.
This will be a real test for me. I cannot wait to see how it all goes. I’m excited to make what we offer better than ever for you to come and enjoy it.