I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Blessed 2021 and to thank all of my customers, friends and family for seeing us through 2020.
I know that last year was tough. Most are likely entering the New Year in the toughest times of their lives. We had our share of hurdles in 2020, but they all seemed to miraculously turn into blessings. I started 2020 looking at refining my business focus. I've worked mainly from home since 2004, but doing vendor markets, was getting to be a LOT of work. I was getting to the point I just couldn't physically do it as often as I or my customers would have liked and there were times that I honestly didn't want to do it at all. I truly love the relationships that have grown with my customers and with fellow vendors at those markets. I still enjoy my crafts, critters and providing customers with other products like Watkins and more . I just wasn't feeling the 'freedom' piece that is supposed to accompany being your own boss.
I was looking at streamlining my business and lightening my workload. I let go of Thirty One Gifts, even though the product is top notch and I love it, I needed to free up some time and reduce the amount of product I was having to haul back and forth to markets. I was working on figuring out what things made money, sparked the most joy for me and would allow me to REALLY put my family first. Some things were being scaled back and I was working on setting up my small livestock operation to be easier to look after and more productive. I really felt like I was on a roll when Covid hit Alberta. I didn't think that I'd be 'living the dream' completely, but I was certain that I'd be as close as I could get.
When the province shutdown markets and schools, I won't lie... I was more than just a little concerned. My granddaughter had been asking me to homeschool her for a couple of years, but between her special needs, trying to maintain the home, the farm, the family AND my business, I didn't see how that would ever be possible. I was thankful that we were already in a position where we weren't relying 100% on traditional jobs, many of which had been shutdown to 'bend the curve'. What followed through out the rest of 2020 came as quite a surprise.
Many of my customers continued to support us, despite the fact that they sometimes had to come out to the farm to pick up what they wanted or needed. Many spoke of how it was a nice opportunity for them to just take a breather. Some even offered to pick up orders for those unable to get out here. Referrals kept rolling in and business was actually BETTER when I just stayed home... Thank you everyone that supported me throughout the year.
The Lockdown allowed me the opportunity to see that there was no need for me to work SO hard to have a successful business. It brought to light the fact that I actually COULD let go of most of the physically demanding tasks that were stressing not just my body, but my mind as well. Things tend to pile up when you are too tired to function...
I've had some time to rethink my business plan. I'm excited at all that lies ahead for us in 2021. As much as I love doing markets, I've never really enjoyed having to go to town, Society's response to the pandemic and the restrictions that have been implemented because of it, make me absolutely dread those necessary trips to town. We are fortunate enough, being a farm operation, to be exempt from some of the Covid restrictions, thankfully, as this allows me an opportunity to implement some changes to my business that will set me up to work completely from home. Those changes are already well under way... My website and blog are just ONE small piece of the puzzle that will eventually grow into something beautiful for myself, my family AND my customers! Keeping watching for some BIG announcements as the first week of 2021 unfolds... and as the year progresses.
I know that 2021 will be an AMAZING year for Osipow Farms and I just pray that each and every person reading this will find something in this year to spark YOUR joy and enthusiasm and that you all are bountifully blessed.