Not only was 2023 very eye opening, it was also the most challenging year Kent and I have had as a couple. And those same challenges are pushing us to become more of who we are meant to be.
Adjusting to Kent’s retirement and grieving the loss of Bob, his father, has shaken up our lives considerably. It has forced us to reassess our relationship and our everyday lives. It has compelled us to contemplate our goals and re-evaluate what we want out of life.
Affecting change is the only way for us to take advantage of new opportunities, so I’ve decided to discontinue most of our product line. Minimizing the product line was in past plans, but as someone wired to create, formulating, and making products fuels me. It’s been a bit difficult to let that go. The problem with a creative mind is that it just doesn’t know when to stop and say enough already. Ask anyone with a craft room.
Being a one-woman show is difficult, and as much as I rely on Kent to help out, I’m responsible for the bulk of the work – from making, packaging, labelling, customer service, marketing, social media management and bookkeeping as well as website development and maintenance. Ask any sole small business owner - it’s a lot for one person and it doesn’t leave much time for other pursuits.
Our intent last year was to do a series of how-to videos for our new YouTube channel, but my intimidation of the camera and my inner critic proved too much to overcome. Needless to say I got pretty down on myself because of this, feeling like a failure for not meeting my own objectives. But taking a step back it was clear that this wasn’t a failure at all – I just didn’t want it badly enough and it was time to change course. I no longer feel like I need to do it all, so I’m just going to do what I enjoy.
My creative mind will always need an outlet so I will never stop making, but the time has come to shift my innovative efforts elsewhere. Accepting what I didn’t want or enjoy ignited a part of me that has been sitting mostly dormant for several years. This new direction I’m about to embark on will allow me to follow another of my passions and it will give Kent and I more time for travel and giving back where we can.
This newest endeavour is in the early planning stages so I’m keeping that under wraps for now. Look for an announcement later this year.
So which products are going away and which are staying? All but our serums are being discontinued. Staying in the lineup are our Restorative Facial Oil and our Bakuchiol Day Renewal because so many of us are reliant on these for our daily skin care needs. And let’s face it – I really don’t want to live without them.
Also staying in the lineup is our newly released bohemian man rejuvenating serum. And for those of you waiting for samples, we finally have some ready. Add a note with your next order if you’d like us to include one.
Since announcing the discontinuation of many products, I’ve fielded a lot of questions and concerns about removing our Revitalizing Day Cream and our Revitalizing Eye Cream from the skin care line. Let me alleviate your fears by telling you these are only temporarily discontinued. They will make a come-back in the coming months, but only once they’ve been reformulated.
One of the issues with natural skin care products is shelf life. Any product to which water is added requires preservatives which means they are no longer completely natural. I’ve been using the most natural preservatives available to maintain the lines’ integrity, but the fact is, it’s just not enough. I will be looking for an alternative preservative to increase these creams’ stability and shelf life for more than the current one year. Doing so will allow me to make larger batches, freeing up a more of my time. I’m also on the lookout for new, larger jars for our Revitalizing Eye Cream. Our last re-formulation changed the consistency causing us to require more for each use, so it makes sense to increase the size from the current 7 mls format.
All the remaining products in our lineup will be discontinued. Our salves, including our Muscle Rub, Miracle Salve and Hand Salve may make occasional appearances on our website. These are products I rely on almost daily, so will need to continue making these in small batches. I will never stop being a maker. It forces me to be in the present moment, which soothes and recharges both my mind and body.
On a more somber note, pulling back on some of my responsibility will also allow me to spend more time with my son. Some of you already know that he’s been battling brain cancer since 2018. After a few years in remission, his oligo tumour has returned - it’s expected with this type of cancer. He will start radiation therapy this week, followed by more chemotherapy. He’s in for a rough ride and I plan on being at his side as much as I can. We’re all hopeful for another, longer remission before it makes another appearance.
I hope you understand my decisions and I pray you will continue to support the scented bohemian. A huge thank you to you, our loyal customers, for your support and encouragement over the years – we would not be able to do this without you.
Watch our website in the next while for price drops of up to 50% off on most remaining inventory. Our events calendar will also be updated with a list of 2024 markets where I hope to chat with many of you. Our next local delivery (Deep River to Pembroke) will be scheduled for mid-February and one for Renfrew will take place on February 20th.
And finally, for those of you who previously bought serums from the Valley Artisans’ Co-op, you can now purchase them at rĒCo refilliary next door.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw