Time goes by so fast and then before you know it, BIG milestones come and you have to take a minute to soak it in and celebrate. Seven years ago, August 1, 2013, we opened our doors for the first time. Opening a business, much less starting a brand will push you to your limits. It will test your relationships and in our case it’s family. So many said, don’t do it. It’s not a good idea. There were times I must agree with them, but I am so thankful that we stuck it out. It made us stronger and better. I’m thankful I get to watch my children grow up. I get to be with my family. I get to experience the hardships. I’ve learned how to make it work and it humbled me. Some of my lowest lows have been in this business, but yet the highs outweigh the lows. There were times I didn’t know how the future would go, but I never gave up on a vision. None of us did and we make a damn good team.
Most of you don’t know that we always wanted to be a meadery. It was in our original business plan, but we wanted to establish ourselves and our brand first before diving into this segment. So, we built our apiary (bee farm) on our family farm and spent six months developing branding, our product line, and our bee hives. We rolled out with 100 hives, three soaps, two lip balms, candles and a lotion bar. We printed our labels on the computer and had no clue how hard navigating this industry would be.
Fast forward to now, now we have an established clientele with our products sold in over 250 stores nation wide. We offer raw honey, natural body care and 11 (almost 12) different meads. We have a beautiful bar, tasting room, and porch for sipping. We have shipped our product to every state and even other countries.
We originally focused on growing the honey/body care portion of our business, but we could only grow as much as our apiary. With the driving costs in the honey world, the materials used to make our products, and our overhead in general our wholesale margin was thin. So in the last couple of years, we still maintain and grow our wholesale honey business, however our passion for growth is making the most palatable, artisan mead.
We have had to adapt to different economies and operating in a super small town. We have had to over come people who don’t even want to try what we work so hard to make. We not only have to try to make a living selling mead and honey, but we have to educate consumers as to why our products cost more than the cheap honey or wine in stores. Most people still don’t even know what mead is and the craftsmanship behind it.
This past week Andrew and I were out selling our meads in package stores and it was an off day. The week before we had several successful appointments, but this particular day it seemed we couldn’t catch a break. As I smiled through appointment after appointment, I found myself pushing hard to make a sale. The reason I am writing this, is life is painted so beautifully on social media or when you bump into people out and about. In the south in particular, how are you doing is mostly responded with fine. Some days aren’t fine. Some days are super hard with door after door slammed in your face. It’s hard to keep going. Andrew and I were determined to finish our day with one more sale and we didn’t stop until we did.
Moral of the story, in seven years we have proven that we can make it work. This year more than ever we are experiencing growing pains and trying to navigate the new world we live in. We work hard to make sure we don’t cut corners and push until we reach our goals. Blue Haven started as a concept and now we are an established business that we can be proud to call our own.
Thank you to everyone that has supported us along our journey. We promise to continue to serve our community. Without you supporting us, our dream of entrepreneurship would be over. YOU are the reason we are still here. It’s nice to stop and think about how far we’ve come, but you better believe we aren’t stopping anytime soon! We will reach our ultimate goal and continue to put Canon, GA on the map. BIG things are happening. Thank you for beeing a part of our journey.