Tag Archives: inspiration

Business is Growing

Business is Growing

I share with you a synopsis of the events happening around Kramer at market LLC. We experienced 40% growth in market sales in 2015 and 30% growth in 2016. We are now wholesaling to local storefronts and farm stores, a practice we plan to grow in 2017.

This growth has led to many new needs inside the business. Much of my time of late is spent upgrading our infrastructure, which was originally built around myself and my self-built systems. My husband, a software analysis, has generously donated his time, skills, and earned dollars to these upgrades, new programs, and equipment. Making possible growth my business otherwise could not afford.

  • We have put in a cloud and internal server. This will allow files to be shared between our office, our packaging facility, and our market locations.
  • My phone was upgraded to better process credit cards at markets.
  • A tablet was purchased to process credit cards. (So far that has not worked.)
  • A new computer for the office with the latest and greatest Microsoft Office products and an up-dated Quicken for Business.
  • A new data base for product tracking, pricing, labeling, etc., etc. This is an elaborate piece of software that is totally changing the face of the business.
  • A new look for our website.
  • And coming, our own shopping cart. The targets of this new shopping cart are to allow customers to order on-line and pick-up at market, and to serve wholesale accounts.
  • Last fall we acquired a new employee who is giving the business new visions, as well as, some much needed relief and help on my part.

We experience more and more support from our local community, customers, and followers on social media. Thanks so much for all you do! We wish you good health, opportunity, wealth, and happiness!

Do your research

Do your research

I do not suggest you learn about the safety of and uses for essential oils from novice. This seems to be the case with many home party givers. If you attend a home party please ask the background of the hostess to determine their knowledge and experience level. Find out how long they have study and used oils, and what sources they have used in their studies.

Just this week another customer was planning to purchase Oregano Essential Oil to digest. In the process of the sale she told me of her plan which she learned through a doterra representative to put 3 drops of oregano in a glass of water and drink it. She never said what she planned to cure with this practice, something she was reluctant to share. My response, “Oh my, I do not recommend that,” left her startled. And, once again I heard the, ‘my doterra lady said’ to put three drops in a glass a water and drink it. In regards to Oregano Essential Oil, doterra’s website actually says: “Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.”  However, I don’t agree with that either. Oil and water separate, and Oregano Essential Oil carries enough heat to burn your skin, mouth, and throat. I can not say what else it may burn on its way down. In the end, I lost the sale and the lady remained safe.

Two weeks ago a mother came to me that planned to put essential oils on the feet of her young infant baby for chest congestion; the infant appeared to weight about 10 pounds. She was asking me which oils to use and was considering eucalyptus and a few others known to have anti-bacterial properties. She also learned this at a home party. I quickly told her, “The only oil I am aware of that is said safe for infants is Lavender Oil and even that I recommend diluting heavily.” Again, another lost sale and a bewildered mother.

Whether you are using essential oils oresoucre books.jpgr dried herbs do your own research, use reputable resources such as, http://umm.edu/health/medical/altme, look at as many sources as possible to compare what is recommended and dilute, dilute, dilute!

Using Sea Salts in Pickling Brines

Using Sea Salts in Pickling Brines

Replace Pickling Salt with Sea Salt in your pickling brine.
Sea Salt has more health benefits than processed salts. The concept behind pickling salt is that they are finely ground to allow them to completely dissolve into the brine. Accomplish this by purchasing a finely ground sea salt, or grinding your coarse salt with a mortar & pestle or electric spice grinder before use. An electric kitchen coffee grinder is great for grinding spices. Regardless of the salt and your method, simmer your brine until your salt is well dissolved.

For the brine, a solution of 5% salt is necessary if you are canning for shelf storage, you can decrease the salt if you are making refrigerator pickles. For shelf storage make sure you follow the necessary steps for proper home canning. I use the “USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation” site for all my home canning and freezing questions. http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/cucumber_pick.html

Here is a basic brine recipe:
12 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
2/3 cups pickling salt
Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

Looking Back and Ahead

Looking Back
As with any year, 2015 was bitter-sweet. We saw an increase in sales in our established markets of 11% over 2014, and the addition of a third market, including a new look that both we and customers love. With this increase in sales and new addition came an array of new customers! We added many new products, as well as discontinuing a variety of products that were slow movers. Some of the new additions included new teas from a new supplier, honey sticks in two markets, additional essential oils, our house blended nasal inhalers, and several new additions to our house blended medicine cabinet tea blends.
We had an employee change in our Central Market location, while sadly losing Jeff to new interest of his own, we gained Patti. Patti has an interest in learning the values and uses of our over 200 product offerings. She has many years of market and retail experience and truly enjoys her role servicing your needs and interest.
Looking Ahead
We have already started the ball rolling with new growth, new structures, and new adventures for 2016. We are establishing a LLC to better protect family assets as the business grows and expands in new directions. We will be trade marking a new name for private labeling of some of our products. Once the above are in place we will begin a marketing campaign focused on internet sales. Also, we are currently working on adding a state approved packaging facility outside of markets to better supply all markets and internet sale.
I give thanks and credit to my husband who works hard behind the scenes to keep our computer systems and internet presents possible, and for his role in the establishment of the new market and the new packaging facility. I also thank my granddaughter and niece for their help at market and keeping products supplied for market sales. While it is my face you see at market, my presents there would not be possible without the help and support of these people and you.
Both Patti and I (Pam), enjoy the many conversations we have with each of you at market. We thank you for your support and kindness, and wish each of you peace, love, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year. See you at market.

Stay Warm, Spice It Up

Everyone is talking about COLD, SNOW, & BLOWING WINDS. Facebook post are flooded with complaints and everyone I talk to has something to say on the subject. Even those who are winter lovers have had their fill of bitter cold. With spring still weeks away and the winds of March soon upon us, the need to warm up is still a topic of desire.

These spices and herbs can increase circulation and warm the body: ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, wasabi, and curry spice blends. Not only for cooking, many of them can be steeped for tea.

An old tradition is to put black pepper or cayenne pepper in your socks. However, beware, some say the cayenne heated up over time and produced skin burns. A better choice, essential oils diluted and used in massage also warm the body. We carry a large selection of warming essential oils.

Stay warm and see you at market.

Same Boring Bath

Are you tired of that same boring bath? Enhance your bath experience with one of our bath salts. We carry four different combinations packed with all natural ingredients to revive your mind, body and skin.

“Skin Detoxifying” bath soak also soothes muscle aches and pains. Ingredients: Pacific Sea Salt, Kelp Powder, Lavender Essential Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice

“Mind Calming” bath soak relaxes the body and mind and promotes a good night’s sleep. Ingredients: Pacific Sea Salt, Lavender Essential Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, F&DC Red 33 Lake

“Decongesting” bath soak helps with congestion, runny nose and achy muscles while providing your immune system a boost. Ingredients: Pacific Sea Salt, Vitamin C, Lemon Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Rose Hips Powder, Hibiscus Petal Powder, Echinacea Root Powder, Ginseng Root Powder

“Muscle Warming” bath soak soothes and revives tired, aching muscles and brings your stiff, overworked body back to life. Ingredients: Epsom Salt, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil
same boring bath

The Art of Tea Blending

Upcoming Classes
September
The Art of Tea Blending
October
Making Herbal Remedies
November
Essential Oils in Daily
Additional details & online registration @ www.krameratmarket.com.

The Art Of Tea Blending facebook

 

Natural Fertilizers

Everyday I look for ways to stay close to nature and avoid buying unnecessary chemicals and manufactured items. This is not to undermine the need to manufacture but it does save money around the house. Recently, I ran out of fertilizer for my vegetable and flower plants. I stopped at the local feed store to inquire on what was best to use. I expected (or at least hoped for) an answer like worm castings. But the answer I got was, 10,10,10, referencing to a bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer containing 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate and 10 percent potash. I have no idea what the ingredients are that make up this commercial mix; I just knew it was not what I was looking for. So I resorted to an internet search of natural fertilizers. Here are my notes from that search:

Epsom Salt – 1 teaspoon to 1 gallon of water, use monthly to provide magnesium and sulfate.
Coffee Grounds – sprinkle on soil around roses and blueberry bushes to provide acid.
Egg Shells – provide calcium carbonate (lime).
White Vinegar – 1 tablespoon per 1 gallon of water provides acid to plants.
Fireplace Ash – provides potassium and calcium carbonate.
Fish Tank Water – provides nitrogen.

I am good on all these ingredients accept the coffee grounds since I am a tea drinker. However, it looks like white vinegar will fulfill the need for acid on acid loving plants like roses and blueberry bushes, both of which I have. As a result, I have started using water from my indoor fish tank for indoor plants and water from my fish pond for outdoor plans. I do not yet know the results but I am hopeful of healthy, beautiful plants.

Everyone Needs Peaceful Sleep

We are not nocturnal. Our bodies function best when we get up with the sunrise, around 5:00 am. This puts a good bedtime at 9:00 or 10:00 pm.

Nightly Routine
A calming nighttime routine will prepare you both physically and mental for the task of falling asleep. Develop a routine of winding down that starts an hour or two before bedtime.

Calm the Mind
Purge your worries by keeping an evening journal that allows you to put life in perspective, include several positive things about your day. This can be as simple as a visit from your favorite outdoor bird. Look for things that brought a smile to your day. Enjoy a cup of you favorite calming tea. Then top it off with 10 or 15 minutes of light reading.

Herbal Teas for Relaxation and Sleep
My Favorite Choices: Lavender, Chamomile, Passionflower. Additional Calming Teas: Catnip, Lemonbalm, Valerian, St. John’s Wort.

Odd Market Days

Those market days right before a holiday are what I call “Odd Market Days”. Many of our regular shoppers don’t venture in on these odd days. They know the market mix will be out of the ordinary and the traffic count high. I always enjoy these days. They are an opportunity to meet new people; both locals who have a day off work and out-of-towners who are visiting for the first time or only come periodically when in town visiting friends and family.

The first timers are the best. They bring their cameras, taking pictures of the displays and market life. I enjoy their enthusiasm for what the market represents as well as what it has to offer. I often hear comments like, we don’t have anything like this where I live. And while Yorkers complain about the price of things we are often a bargain for those coming from up state New York or from the west coast.

The yearly repeat customers that show up on these days are happy to spout, “Remember me I was here last year”. These once a year shoppers are often ready to stock up on items they know won’t be available to them until their next trip back to PA.

The biggest business value from “Odd Market Days” is the opportunity to pick up new customers that will support you through out the year. These are those people that aren’t normally available to come to market on a Friday but find product and friendship that is worth seeking out through out the year. These people are one of the ways I grow my business.

So while some vendors don’t like these “Odd Market Days”; I see them as on opportunity to both grow my business and hear a few new stories. Recently, one of my yearly customer’s stocked up heavily on teas while stating, “You can’t buy teas where I live; the only beverages available are coffee and moonshine”.

I also love it when they buy your product because it has your name, city and state on it. These are souvenir gift and the purchasers of these gifts are proud to have found a local product to take home.  So, be it an “Odd Market Day” or just a regular Friday, “I look forward to seeing you at market!”

Each week at Market

Each week market brings new as well as repeat customers and interaction with market stand owners and market employees. Slowly, one week/one day at a time I follow their lives, their experiences and share in their gained knowledge. I generally wait on 40 to 60 customers a week and have conversation with another 20 or 30. I would think it fair to say I talk to 60 to 80 people in a market day. I met a young man recently that told me he had read that in a trip to the supermarket you have 3 to 5 personal encounters as opposed to a market shop where you can have 25 to 30. I spend very little time in supermarkets but I can attest to the market side of the equation. Each week I see both planned and chance meetings among friends and family. I witness hugs, laughter and even prayer amongst these chance meetings. Please come out and support the market it is a great tradition worth keeping. See you on Friday!

The Media and Your Health

Recently, I was asked if people are looking more to herbs, teas and natural supplements to address their health needs. I believe the more informed individuals have always done this. They are the advent readers, researchers and close to nature persons of our society. Recently however, the media has sent a wave of new people in search of natural cures for their ailments. I am sure that anyone reading this blog is aware of the, “Dr. Oz. said…” craze. While I believe he and other media avenues are influencing what people are buying, I also believe the need is being driven by a whole different avenue. Here is a list of some that come to mind, I am sure you could add to this list:

Cost of medical insurance
Lack of medical insurance
Lack to what medical insurance covers
High medical insurance deductibles and co-pays
Cost of prescription drugs
Side effects of prescription drugs
Disappointment in the results of drugs taken
And last but not least – Obesity and ill-health brought on by years of bad choices such as processed foods, fast foods and lack of exercise.

The problem I have when people ask me which herb or tea to consume for their illness is I believe there is no one magic cure. No one herb or tea will offset an array of bad choices. Lifestyle change is essential.

For all of you who are interested in getting back to nature in order to improve your health and well-being I suggest RESEARCH. Do your own research; there is no substitution for self-study. Only you know and understand the needs of your body. As you read you will find specific information that applies to your symptoms. You will be able to apply what is working or not working for you as well as what has worked or not worked in the past. When doing research avoid advertisers and websites geared toward selling products. Use sources like:
Smithsonian Handbooks
DK Publishing Books – http://us.dk.com/
Reader’s Digest Publications
wikipedia.com
botanical.com

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