for the love of lavender

A look into the life of a lavender farming family.

Location: Yamhill, Oregon, United States

Monday, September 18, 2006

cookies and care taking at the lavender shop

At Wayward Winds Lavender we're lucky to have a great team. Our little lavender shop in Yamhill, Oregon is a great place to work because of that. It's more than just a store. It's where we make our products, create and care for each other.

Jennifer is our chief organizer of production. She makes sure all the products are made for orders and she packages and ships almost everything. Jennifer also takes care of retail customers when we're lucky enough to have them. Handling special orders and retail sales. Jennifer is rather adverse to having her picture taken but that's her with the silver hair and white top helping a customer during the Yamhill Valley Lavender Festival. I had to be sneaky to get any picture of her at all.

Jennifer's other talents include making scrumptious cookies and other baked goods which she brings in to share with the rest of us. By doing this she learned of my funny habit of only liking to eat things in even numbers. I can't eat 1 or 3 or 5 cookies. It has to be 2 or 4 or 6 etc. Strange habit I know but it's mine. She tests it regularly by trying to serve me "odd" numbers...

Pattie is our most esteemed seamstress who somehow manages to produce all of our products which require sewing. She's been officially dubbed " the amazing Pattie" for her high attention to

detail and quality. Pattie is also in the above photo with the long
dark hair and white top.

Pattie also takes care of the Wayward Winds book keeping -
which can often be a challenge because of all the different parts
of the business. There's the farm, the store, farmers markets,
wholesale and my expertise at losing receipts and other
important bits of paper for her to worry about.

Donna is a recent addition to our team. Donna helps with many other projects that don't otherwise get done. I'm not sure what her official title would be - I call her my right hand.

A great team makes it fun to work here. When work becomes more. It becomes something you care about and something that nourishes you. Knowing that you're taking care of business while taking care of each other. When you're pals. And you know what they say about pals? A pal is someone who will stand by you even when you're up to your hoo-hoo in hot water.

For the love of lavender.....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

lavender caramels, a teenagers opportunity

The other day a young lady named Sophia came into our store with her mother. They were looking for lavender essential oil and asking many questions about what it is and how we made it. Seems we had just what they had been looking for.

Sophia's grandmother had made lavender caramels back in the day. Well it turns out they had found grandmothers old recipe and wanted to try to make the lavender caramels. The recipe called for lavender essential oil. Luckily they found out about Wayward Winds Lavender and came over to see if we had any. They were really excited to find lavender essential oil made right here in Oregon. They purchased the lavender essential oil and bid us goodbye.

As they were leaving I mentioned how much I would like to try the lavender caramels when they had some made. The next weekend Sophia and her mother brought in some caramels - wow were they strong! You'd have to be real lavender lovers like us to really enjoy them. They were big and gooey and very lavendery. The following weekend they came out to the store again for us to sample what Sophia had concocted. This time too weak. Hardly a hint of lavender. You'd have to be real lavender lovers like us to even notice the lavender in them. They were still big and gooey and yummy though. The third weekend guess what - the lavender caramels were just right. It may have been a process akin to Goldilocks and the Three Bears but it worked.

We asked Sophia if she would like to sell her lavender caramels in our store. She was hesitant at first, not sure that anyone would actually buy them. We assured her they would. After all, they are incredibly good.

Sophia the teenage entrepreneur now sells her lavender caramels at Wayward Winds Mercantile and several other locations. Customers love the caramels and they love that they are made by a teenager using her grandmothers recipe. Sophia's little brother is now making vanilla caramels using grandmothers recipe as well. We may have to sell his too. During the Yamhill Valley Lavender Festival Sophia gave samples of her lavender caramels to the crowds. Boy did she sell a lot of caramels that day.

We wish the best of luck to Sophia and her continued lavender endeavors. She's building a nice college fund. We're so glad that Wayward Winds Lavender could help. You go girl!
For the love of lavender...