Wednesday: The idea came swift and clear as a starry night. Or perhaps it resurfaced. Or perhaps it was whispered in my ear by the homesteading spirits before me. Either way, it has been seven days since then and we are already planning our grand opening.
Thursday: I ran the idea by my youngest daughter to see if she wanted to be a part of it. She was in. We went for a long hike and discussed why we wanted to start a farmgirl store. I did not want to start something rashly with just money in mind. It needed to be meaningful and enjoyable. We came up with a list of why the homesteading lifestyle is important to us.
- Helps environment
- Creates better mental health
- Homesteading creates more family time
- Great for children
- Creates community
It was five and a half years ago that we stood in Nancy’s kitchen making goat’s milk soap, creating label ideas, going through seed catalogs and beginning “The Five Farmgirls.” Emily held a few-month old Maryjane on her hip as she and Nancy’s daughter, Faleena came up with product names. We laughed as we sarcastically came up with our own catch phrase, “It’s Farmgirl Good!” as we shook the cold milk trying to turn it into butter for two hours. Our friend, Lisa came over to help make soap and we sat outside on an early spring day and had a picnic lunch. A year later Nancy would suddenly and quietly cross over the veil.
Saturday: Doug and I had lunch with Lisa and Lance Saturday and I told her my idea. They raise humane meat on their ranch and we could have a pick up point at our shop. We could do the same for milk. We laughed and talked for three hours and discussed ideas. Still, with not a lot of dollars and no idea where to get an affordable retail space, it still felt far off.
So certain that this was going to take off, Emily and I started picking up usable antiques (that are sturdier and still work better than modern versions!) and items for our store. I bought material to make aprons and farmgirl style pillows. We came up with a name, Pumpkin Hollow Farm (of course); Homesteading Supplies and Classes.
Sunday: Doug and I drove around and gathered phone numbers for retail spaces. None of them were quite right. They also were way out of our price range. I wanted an old space that looked like a general store. And it had to be ridiculously affordable. (They are cleaning it up…I’m keeping the piano for the shop!)
Monday: I call on a shop that people had said would be hard to get. Many people had inquired on this space and had either been turned down or never called back. The manager picks up, says she will call the owner and call me back. Five minutes later she calls me back, the owner loves my idea. She will rent to me. For a ridiculously affordable price. Ten minutes later I am at the shop to see it. The building is over a hundred years old and it sure looks like a general store. It is in a great location.
Tuesday: Dad brings a box to my apothecary that says my name on it. “Mom wanted you to have these,” he says wistfully as he hands me a large bag along with the box. My friends Kat and Rod are like parents to me and Kat died almost exactly two years ago. I have a collection of her grandmother’s things. Hilda is alive and well in my home. A box and bag of homesteading items and china were the new gifts to me to carry on. A whisper from above that there are many friends helping this come together.
Wednesday: Yesterday morning we signed a lease and shook hands. A private loan came through. I registered my name. We have held on to our beloved name since our early farm. Our farm and homesteading school took a devastating turn a little over three years ago when we had to suddenly leave our rented farm and all of my beautiful homesteading items and our lifestyle was lost. In a twist of irony, as I searched for my name in the Secretary of State, the name expired three years ago to the day that I re-registered it.
Mission Statement: To increase happiness, health, and well being for people and Mother Earth by offering quality, second hand, homemade or sustainable objects that bring back the charm of an old fashioned, simple life.
Pumpkin Hollow Farm Homesteading Supplies and Classes coming in early September!
“It’s Farmgirl Good!”