“Sh#t? Sh#tt? Sh#ttt!”
We were in the (very crowded) paint section of Home Depot, and Emma, our intrepid two-year-old who is learning new words every day, was asking to sit in the car cart. Emma’s first trip to a store in over a year was to The Home Depot, and her lollipop, ride in a cart with steering wheels, and father’s jubilance for shopping at the orange store may have given her a false impression of what errands are like. This was her second time, and this time around she had to share the cart with two sisters, and right now in her speech development, “So” is “Show,” “Sort” is “Short, and “Sit” is, well, good for getting looks at Home Depot.
I tried not to make eye contact with the store employees who know us by now and buried myself in three dozen shades of blue to find, “the one.”
Honestly, July and June have been crazy for us. The tricky thing about selling lots more soap is it means making lots more soap too. The new equipment is a lifesaver! Were there moments when 100 lbs. of liquid soap began leaking onto the floor? Maybe. But after a quick learning curve, one or two ruined batches, we started making three days’ worth of soap in an afternoon, and they’re coming out beautifully.
Our dreams for Joy Lane Farm are big. By 2027, we’d like to offer an annual scholarship for a nurse to serve on Mercy Ships, and we’re on track to meet that goal. We’d also like to move out of the mill to a farmhouse and renovate an old barn or build a new one that has a manufacturing space, gift shop, and a property for events. This scarcely seems possible, but neither did the last year.
We can’t thank you enough for how you’ve supported and grown our little business. We spend next to nothing on marketing, relying almost entirely on word-of-mouth to grow and have done so thanks to you sharing about Joy Lane Farm, writing personal reviews, and gifting our products to your family and colleagues.
Last year, as we were saving up for vital equipment, two different customers asked if they could donate towards it, something we neither asked nor expected. We received $2,000, which knocked the wind out of us. People donate to non-profits, not businesses. I’m stunned too by the tips that come in through joylanefarm.com, $5 here, $10 there, a couple extra dollars towards growth and dreams.
We feel an enormous debt to our customers and hope that we can repay it little by little in the company we build and the lives we live. Recently, one of our soap customers passed away, someone we knew only through soap-making. He was kind and funny and in his 90s, coming to the end of a full life. When it comes to customers, we serve little kids, new moms, and men who have earned their grey hair. After all, everyone has skin.
Thank you for joining us in creating Joy Lane Farm,