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  • Writer's picturecatherine stemper

Hello out there!

Today is St. Patrick's Day, March 17 2020. It is the 2nd day of recommended sheltering in place. I must admit, I was skeptical for many days. I was in Seattle at the NW Flower & Garden Festival during the beginning of the outbreak there. As I was driving into Seattle about a month ago, I was hearing of the first news of deaths associated with the COVID19. It worried me, the stock markets were taking big dives and this is usually an indicator of how my business will be. However, the show went well. It was well attended with people spending money. It was my best show in years. A big and welcome surprise. Then, I had my first weekend of the season at Portland Saturday Market. Another really successful showing, another big surprise, especially because all indicators were of doom and gloom. Then, Portland Oregon leaders started the closures. The Portland Saturday Market was not closed, last weekend. I did not attend more because of the snow than the virus, but together I felt it would not be worth the fees or effort. As of this moment, the Portland Saturday Market has not announced closure for the upcoming weekend(s). I am not sure if the Governor's request of no group gathering applies.

What I am sure of is that vending at the Saturday Market was my main income source. It is no longer available or dependable. Some of my other shows have been cancelled or postponed. This is not good for my bottom line.

I have been taking baby steps to moving my business on line for years now. Now, I will be taking giant steps. I need my customers. Customers provide so much more than income to me. The feedback on my products is so creative, uplifting, necessary. I love hearing and seeing the joy my fans feel, it is literally what keeps me going. Even the not so joyful stuff is necessary. I am proud of my work and my product, so every opinion counts to me.

I am not sure where this blog will go. I may start offering "classes". I have had many requests for that. I am open to ideas. Tell me what you are looking for.

I want to hear from you. This is not a personal forum however, please be professional and business oriented. Yet, I do not want a sterile and cold atmosphere. Share, be open, be kind, be honest.

Everyone take care of each other!



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Dec 22, 2023

Such an honest, open blog. I am writing this in Dec 23 well after the pandemic. Looking back and seeing how difficult this was for so many small business is heartbreaking.

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