Yesterday was the culmination of countless hours of planning and creating with Californica's debut at the Nevada City Farmers' Market! The weather couldn't have been better at around 70 degrees with a cool breeze, which was great because I spent the whole time slightly stressed out that all the soap would melt in the direct sun that I amateurishly set it up in. Thankfully, it was not one of those above 100 degrees days that the California foothills are infamous for in the summer and so the hardiness of my soap wasn't tested (at least not for this first day). There was a steady stream of people right from the opening bell at 8:30am as Nevada Citians made their way from whatever yoga studios and clothing-optional saunas they came from with the mission to shop! (I say this as an enthusiastic patron of both of these types of establishments)
I cannot continue to recap without acknowledging how extremely grateful I am towards my mom, who celebrated her first day of retirement by helping me out in all aspects. The day before, 6/9/17, marked her last day of teaching sixth grade and yet she was still at my house in Grass Valley at 6:00am after driving from Oroville (about an hour away). This sounds intense but she's a true Ukrainian mom (and therefore the hardest worker you'll ever meet) and she's used to waking up around 3:30am so leaving her house at 5 was almost leisurely for her. She even had a lactose free breakfast burrito already made for me and persuaded Sherwood to get out from under the covers and go for a walk while I attempted to do something with my impossibly thick hair (it fell flat after about 30 minutes). Anyway, thank you tremendously to my Kartoshka (it means potato in Russian...don't ask) for continuing to defy logic with your unwavering support and super-human-Soviet-level resolve! I owe all of my successes in my life to having a role model who truly gives everything she can and always does what she thinks is the right thing.
So back to the market: in summary, it was a blast! Friendly people, amazing food (a Hawaiian vendor making Loco Moco!) and the most beautiful produce you'll find (that fennel though!). Profit wise, I made exactly my goal and so I was happy that my crazy soap business idea will actually be feasible. I'm going to keep my day job working at a physical therapist office but it's good to know that this is going to have a future. My proudest accomplishment is the fact that, of all of my sales, I only knew one person who bought from me (thank you to my old boss, Kiyoko)! So, I was able to convince perfect strangers that my soap is the best soap they will ever use (it is) . That feels pretty great and it's cool to know that something that I lovingly created from scratch is sitting in showers across Nevada County (and in Chicago, due to a group of tourists).
So after many many hours, my vision has been realized and I am now enjoying the fun part of sharing with the world what has been cooped up in my brain for so long! Thanks to all who have encouraged me and graciously purchased my products (https://www.etsy.com/shop/CalifornicaSoapCoif you're feeling particularly gracious today ;)). Here's to the start of a new chapter of business ownership!
Can you spot Sherwood, our Mountain Dachshund mascot's sweet face amidst the poppy field of our banner? It was necessary that he was included in some way!