So I got this idea last summer that if you saw me, you probably heard me babble about in great detail. I was hot to pull it off by the end of last summer and then…..well, I just couldn’t make the planets align for it. I put it on the back burner, but continued prodding by my friend Kendra as well as a few others made sure I set my sights on making it happen this summer. So, just after the first of the year, I got serious. I set event dates. I set target dates. I had conversations. I followed up. I talked to people. We had coffee, we had lunch. I kicked around ideas. I talked to some more people. I bounced ideas around. I changed my mind. I babbled some more. I figured out how to do a website that passed for what I needed it to all by myself. Chiara set me up with a graphic designer, Megan, who came up with that wonderful logo you see up there. Amber, Amy & Betty held my hand here while Megan provided long distance support. I decided to change venues. Aaron stopped in to check in with me after he caught wind of a rather frantic phone call from myself to Amy. (I really do have the best neighbors.) I took pictures for the website. I babbled some more. I ran sneak peaks of the website past a few friends who are media savvy. Finally yesterday, I did it – I released it to the world.
A series of creative day retreats. Each day to have a unifying theme upon which the days workshops are centered. Homesteading is the first theme, held in June, with workshops on beekeeping, canning, chickens and gardening. Gathering is the second theme, to be held in August, with workshops planned on wine pairing, cheese & charcuterie plate assembly, table setting & flower arranging. The ideas I have for future themes is fairly long – a day of making with workshops on sewing, knitting and the like, on both basic and advanced levels. Homemaking, with workshops on focusing on making a house a home. My favorite is a Christmas in summer theme – since no one has time at Christmas to actually do that sort of thing, so let’s talk about it during the summer and learn to do things like wreath making & tree decorating. I could go on & on. This summer, these workshops are going to be held at my friend Paul’s farm, Knole. It was the first place I thought of when I got this idea. I looked around at other venues, but in the end, I thought Knole best suited what I was trying to do. My friend Jerry is going to do the catering through Aha! Cuisine. He’s Betty’s brother- in-law, making him practically family according to Edie girl, who just so happens to adore him. He’s a fabulous cook with impeccable taste. I’ve got some great instructors lined up – my friend Beth Dixon from the Richmond Swap group is going to teach canning. Art Freeman, who I met when I interviewed him for a piece I wrote on beekeeping a few years ago is going to talk about having bees. I met Elizabeth Moore through my involvement with Market Central and immediately thought she would be perfect to lead the gardening workshops and thankfully, she agreed. And last but certainly not least, my dear friend Leni Sorenson is going to be talking chickens.
While certainly quite a bit of work has gone into getting to this point, I still have quite a bit of a way to go. Plotting my marketing plan and executing it, actually getting people to show up is what comes next and I know this is the hardest part of the whole thing. But over the last year, every person I’ve babbled about this to has lit up when I’ve talked about this. Not one soul has told me this is a bad idea. So many have offered help in pulling this off. I can do this. I am doing this.