In the past I have shared about my experiences of burnout leading to my career change, and about my desire to create a different kind of business, guided by a principle of radical self-care. As HWB has grown over these past 4 years, I have learned so much about how being a small business owner comes with unique challenges and great rewards. Most of all, I have learned so much about myself, about my values and my boundaries.
Now, as a small business owner, I am thankful for the boost in sales that comes with the winter holidays, particularly in light of the anticipated quiet season of January/February. And as a maker, I am particularly touched when I hear that a customer resonates with my work and loves a product— it’s really magical.
But over the next month or so, SBO’s are asked to take part in the capitalism olympics… and honestly, I don’t have it in me. Don’t get me wrong— I love connecting with folks in the shop and helping them find just the perfect thing to give to someone special; and I had a blast collaborating on the 2022 Gift Guide. But as a small-business owner who makes all of my apothecary by hand in small batches, I recognize that I’ll never be able to compete with big chain stores with huge profit margins, and that’s fine, that’s not why I do this work. But that also means I generally can’t offer massive discounts the way those chains are able, and so I’m upfront about the fact that Halloween is the only big event for which I discount my labor.* Moreover, I just don’t believe that my last-minute, anxiety-fueled scrambling to encourage folks to #shopsmall will be the thing that drives sales.
Now, as winter approaches and the days grow shorter, I feel the season’s pull to slow down. Nothing in nature is expected to bloom year round, and for my own mental and physical well-being, I am not going to require that of myself this year.
What does that mean for your holiday shopping? Not much! I recommend shopping early if you’re interested in snagging those fast-selling products like Baba Yaga and Changeling. Otherwise, you can still shop for all of your favorite magical miscellanies and handmade botanical goodies in-store;** and online orders should be placed by Thursday December 15th to guarantee a December 25th delivery.
Apart from that… don’t expect onslaughts of emails reminding y’all to buy, buy, buy those presents. Instead, this holiday season I’m going to try to be present, and I look forward to sharing in the magic of the season with everyone!
* To those individuals really hoping for sales, I understand that there are a lot of financial pressures on folks this time of year, and I wish I was in a position to accommodate everyone’s needs, but, ya know, I’m working on boundaries… 😉
** Please note, we are closed Wednesday 11/23 and Thursday 11/24 for a family gathering, and will reopen Friday 11/25 at 10 am. Regular shop hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, and Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm.