I've been sitting on my deck for the last three hours, thinking of something to write for today's blog. I've been trying to stick with a theme for each day to help keep me generate ideas. Today's theme is Top Five Friday, so I went back and forth on what to write about. I have a few topics in mind, but some require research, and after a full day of work, then a dinner out with my husband, I was only left with a few hours to write, and a few hours is not enough to write anything requiring research. Time for writing a blog today is running out.
I decided to write a just-for-fun blog and tell you my top five favorite Etsy stores right now, but I couldn't pick just five. I chose a theme (botany) and still couldn't pick five. There are a lot of amazing makers out there. Meanwhile, time is running out.
I'm sitting on my deck in a t-shirt and skirt, in New Hampshire, in November. It's 11:00 at night, and just a few minutes ago I put on a hoodie. The weather is strange for this time of year, but perfect. Earlier today, I put my potted herbs back outside. I thought of writing about how I'd normally be disappointed in the unseasonably warm weather (I'm not a fan of the heat), but with gardening and other outside tasks done for the year, all I can think of is how this weather is perfect for relaxing. Meanwhile time is running out.
My dog keeps jumping up on my lap. My husband tries to distract him, but he's too confused as to why I keep pushing him away. He wants to play with me. He needs to play with me. He's biting my sleeve, right now, as I try to write about him. Meanwhile, time is running out.
My windchimes are singing as I try to find a photo that describes how I'm feeling. I can smell the leaves as they're blowing around my yard. There's an occasional rustle in the bushes where an unknown creature is searching for food (or whatever else unknown creatures do at night). Someone has a fire going a few blocks over.
It's getting close to midnight, and I'm too distracted by all the sounds and the smells around me to write anything.
Time is running out.
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I'm taking part in an Instagram Challenge called March Meet the Maker. Joanne Hawker started this challenge in 2016, but I only heard of it this year and jumped in late, just a couple days ago. Joanne set up each day with a different prompt, and makers share photos and stories related to that prompt. Today's prompt is "design process", and since this is my favorite part of my job, I wanted to share more than an Instagram post would allow.
Each type of product I make has a slightly different design process, depending on whether it's a lip balm and I'm creating new scents, or it's an aromatherapy blend where the ingredients are therapeutic, or it's a limited edition body product that is completely new. But they all start the same - an idea. Usually followed by the question, "how can I make this scent with just natural ingredients?"
Two years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore, and I picked up a book on their bestsellers table. I liked the way the book looked and felt in my hands, and I made a split second decision to buy it just before they closed, completely unaware that what I felt was what the book was about - an item sparking joy in myself. The book was Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Though the KonMari Method is about following your heart, not necessarily your instincts, I'm so glad I picked up that book!
I love stuff. I love to collect things, especially old things. I love the memories they hold, the connections they remind me of, and the history they contain. I am comforted by always having useful things around in case I need them. It's rare I ever leave my house without a bag (although I do try to challenge myself sometimes).
Over the last couple of months, I've been joining new groups and meeting a lot of new people, especially other women in business. When asked what I do for work, I usually end up stumbling over my words a bit, unable to decide between a few different ways to answer.
I make lip balm is a good, basic answer but not the whole story.
I'm a herbalist* and aromatherapist and I make products is a better description of what I do, but it feels like I'm selling my brand short.
I own a small natural skincare and aromatherapy company is my favorite straightforward answer, but it's often met with questions like these:
"Like day creams and night creams?"
"Do you make under eye serums?"
"Do you have something for these wrinkles, haha?"