Where We Are

Hey all you lovely people! It’s Thursday again! Time to do that blog thing.

Lemonade news: Last week was blessedly less hot than we were led to believe it would be until the end of the day, at which point I didn’t care because it was time to go home. Unfortunately, since the weather people had been telling people all week it was going to be crazy hot, numbers were still down I think. Money was almost the same, about $260 take home, which is not so bad (remember, on Father’s Day it monsooned on us and we made $60!) This weekend we are not selling. I am taking the weekend off (as well as tomorrow from my real job) and taking a trip to the Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington! We will not be selling there either, but I like to believe it’s a research trip. We went last year and had a blast, but we decided to make the most of it and take 2 days this time. It’s quite a day to drive over, enjoy, and drive back all in one day. It’s going to be awesome. We even get to see my Auntie ‘Nay and have dinner! It’s going to be great, and I really need the time off to relax and get back to normal a little.

So. How are things doing? Honestly, I’m not sure they’re going in the direction I need them to. 

I am so enjoying the lemonade experience. Now that we have the making streamlined a bit, it’s so much less stressful. My mom has been helping the last three weeks, and it’s been fun having her there to help prep and then on Sunday to help sell. The people at the Market are all wonderful. I love that I have customers that come to see me every week. I have people that tell their friends to come over and people who don’t think they’ll like it but then buy half a gallon. I really feel like I am doing what I want to with the lemonade, spreading some joy and some health, calming everyone down and everything. And no one complains. Coming from a background that included Starbucks, it’s always a pleasant surprise to not have anyone upset with what they get. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of non-complainers and sweet nice people to wait on at Starbucks, but there are some who can’t be pleased. I think that’s the way it is everywhere. Someone is sometimes not going to get what they want the way they want it. And that’s alright. If I don’t get what I want, I will tell someone and they will help me. This is not a bash on that at all. It’s just such an interesting situation to be in where no one brings back their drink unhappy, no one complains about the price, everyone loves what they get. I think the free samples help, of course. If you try it and don’t like it, I am so not offended. At least we know and you don’t waste your money! I tell people all the time “you can’t love it if you don’t try it, but if you do try it, your not required to love it.” I am really good at the interactions with people and I love it. It’s really fun and uplifting.

So. What’s the issue?

Shocker. It’s money. Lack of money more like (of course!) As I said, the stand is bringing in some money and that is so super great. It’s almost able to pay for itself with much less help from my mom than it needed in the beginning. Unfortunately, this is getting to be a problem. Mom has been super great about helping me out when needed, and that has made a huge difference. And of course I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make a million dollars and quit all my jobs and sell lemonade for the rest of my life (although I of course hoped I would!) I really want to bring Lavender Lemonade to the people and spread joy. And I don’t need to make tons of money. Unfortunately, I do need more than I have right now.

I work 40 hours a week at one job, 16 hours a week at the other. I rent the kitchen on Saturday for 4 hours to make lemonade, but of course there is plenty of prep and packing and things that happen outside that time, so I spend a decent portion of Saturday getting ready. 5 hours of Market on Sunday, followed by unloading and cleaning some of the stuff. What this all means is that I don’t have days off (hence the joy in his WHOLE WEEKEND being off!) and I don’t have any more time to do any more work than I am. The Carlos and I live thrifty as best we can; we don’t spend money on hardly anything if we can help it (not like we have time to do much that costs money anyways!) As far as I can figure out, we have all of our bills streamlined as far as they can go: no cable, no car payments, cheap internet, no gym membership, no buying coffee, make food for ourselves as much as possible and if we do eat out, do it as cheap as possible. Our rent is a bit high, but there’s not much we can do about it. Power is also a huge bill but again, what can you do? Phone is spendy but I’m pretty sure it’s as low as I can get it. Even with all of this, we were barely scraping by up until recently. At about the same time as we started lemonade, we also started acupuncture. This is very expensive for us. Carlos’s insurance does not cover it so it’s all out of pocket. That has put us over the edge into needing more help than ever just to pay the bills. I borrowed money from my mom this week for the power bill (thank you so much again Mom!) I really don’t know what else we can do to try to make the finances work. If anybody has any ideas, that would be great.

With all that said, I still really want to continue lemonading. I really do. Most of the time. This is the other part that is concerning me right now. I am exhausted. Really really exhausted. I have been working this crazy busy schedule, this hectic and stressful life, for a very long time now. I think I’ve had 3 jobs at once for over 2 and a half years now. I am tired. And I am stressed. Always, when we get to the Market and start selling, I am calm and relaxed. It’s not stressful. It’s not difficult. The people are nice and the product is popular. I feel the love. In the lead up to the Market, however, I am anxious. Nervous. Sometimes a bit freaked out. Mostly it’s money, and whether I’ll have enough and whether I can still ask Mom for help (I can) and whether she’ll be mad or disappointed in me (she won’t.) Sometimes it’s worry over taking too much of her time and her getting bored or tired or upset about needing to help me (she doesn’t but I’m always afraid she will.) And of course, under it all at all times there’s the Carlos worries. Is he getting better? Are we doing everything we can? Why does it feel like he stopped getting better? What do we do now? Add in the financial worries and it just gets bigger and bigger. What do I do about all of this? I am the kind of person who believes down to their core that if something isn’t going right, work harder. That’s my answer for everything; work harder, try harder, do more, do harder, do better. Get another job. And another one. If you are not doing well, you are not trying hard enough. Do more. 

I can’t do more. There is no time or energy or me left to do any more than I am. I wish I could do less, but I can’t. I have to at least keep up with what I’ve got, even if that means I can’t do more.

I am NOT quitting. I’m not. I want to continue. I hope that we continue to go up in income at the stand. I believe that we have not topped out yet. I believe that people will continue to buy and come back and tell their friends and come back. Maybe people want to have a party and buy gallons and gallons. Maybe the coffee stand girls I know want to sell it in their stands. Maybe there are other friends starting their own businesses and we can do it together. Maybe maybe maybe.

At this point, we carry on. I am not quitting. I am going to keep pushing at least for a while and give it chance to continue to improve. I am going to keep it up. And it will get better. I have hope. And I have all of you listening to my complaints and urging me on. You help more than you could know. Thank you again and have a great weekend. See you Thursday.

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