Seizing Opportunities to Step Back

5 Apr


In springtime we took a break.  Yes BE n me took the month of March off and spent it in Florida with family and good friends.  We had an incredibly lovely adventure!

I was hoping that the distance would instigate new perspective on directing my life in a bit more of a direction.  No such luck.  Instead it distracted the heck out of me in all the best ways!  I tried to think about my life and my future, but I simply could not.

So now I have returned and the question still hangs: do I get a real kitchen for the Uber Herbal tea biz?  Or do I let the kitchen license expire (thus letting go of the business and thus opening my life up to the next great adventure)?

Last I wrote I was gushing about building a kitchen/fresh local grocery.  That idea has come and gone.  I’m back to thinking smaller scale: a production kitchen, farmers market & internet sales.  I’ve been looking at kitchen spaces across the valley and finding some good options.  I’ve also been weighing the option of not having a kitchen.  Been weighing this one deeply.

The 2012 season was rough for me and for the tea company.  Since moving to the farm, I’ve been pretty scattered.  I’m 45 minutes from my work kitchen now and the farm has taken an incredible amount of physical prowess and presence.  I immediately began to integrate products from the farm into the product line AND to launch into a second market.  Both these moves were WAY premature.

And then in August, I had the opportunity to attend the Burning Man Festival.  I laid down the farm, the tea biz, the markets, and I left for an entire week.  It was a very special experience.  As I was out in the desert I began to see that the reason Uber Herbal has been such an uphill endeavor is because it is building off the crumbled remains of my former company, Heartsong.  This was truly an eye opening realization and a great opportunity to practice self compassion.

You see I’ve been using my almost-in-foreclosure-home as my licensed kitchen.  And while it is licensable, it is by no means efficient.  It is in foreclosure because of the burst housing bubble, yes.  But also because when the market was good, I took a second mortgage out and with that money, I built the Chai Hut for Heartsong.

I never doubted this move because I had complete faith that Heartsong was gonna rock the free world organic beverage style and there would be plenty of time after our launch to take care of my home and my own needs.  Instead, the company crashed simultaneous to launching.  Instead, I found myself with nothing but a whole lot of debt, a very public failure and a few pots and pans.

What I realized in the Black Rock Desert is that I was linking the success of my new dreams with the failures of my broken ones.  And that this was an excruciating and unique form of discomfort.  The opportunity to launch a new company from a “free” workspace was impossible to resist.  But the workspace itself was totally crowded, inefficient and uninspiring for me.  I’ve worked “ghetto style” for many years and I’ve worked in some really nice spaces too.  I know that kitchens are all about their flow.  A solid floor plan and lots of storage makes a good production space. Taking time off this summer helped me to recognize my lack of passion around the business stemmed from a lack of desire to do production.  I returned home, laid most of the company dormant and began to reassess. I began to ask myself if I would want to do the business if I had a good kitchen space.  I’ve been asking myself this question for months now.  The answer is most often a yes.

If I do want to do this thing, now is the time to line it all up.  Markets begin in May.  My kitchen license renews in May.  Summer is nearly upon us!  To chai mama or not to chai mama.  That is my burning question.

And so dear reader, if you have any strong opinions about my direction in life or anything I’ve shared here, please do share with me!  I feel really stepped back from the whole thing and open to new ideas.  A new kitchen is both a leap of faith and a bit of an investment, so I’d like to hear everything from everyone so that I can make the best possible, most informed decision here.  As always thanks for being witness to my unfolding!



7 Responses to “Seizing Opportunities to Step Back”

  1. Benton Coons April 5, 2013 at 4:51 am #

    thanks for sharing your journey ……ah the joys of being self employed eh ? what I took from readying this dear… what I hear underneath…. Is a woman wanting to let go and start anew. Mystery can be scary. but life in the kitchen I am familiar with … started a salsa company .. big kitchen and all for farmers markets ,,, internet and the like in boulder… You get that you will be going full on … to start and make this thing go… the self employement thing not always creates the freedom we are wanting…. In any fashion I wish you the best of luck… but as I said… my intution says jump into the void… let it go. trust in the mystery and new great adventure… yup… in joy… muah

    • Artemis April 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      Hi Love,
      I have been following your ongoing Chai adventure for years, as you know, and I wonder if Jeff (who was her landlord for some years) or I have ever connected you with Brook Eddy of Bhakti Chai. I thikn you should talk to her. If you tell her that either myself or Jeff, or both, have recommended you to her, I am sure she will be more than happy to talk to your, chai mama to chai mama. I lost all my contacts last year, so I can’t give you her dirent phone, but you can contact her through her website and check out this link. She is on to mentoring and networking, and has a rapidly growing chai business going in Boulder.

      • uberherbalmama April 9, 2013 at 4:28 am #

        Thanks Artemis! What an awesome connection to make!

  2. uberherbalmama April 5, 2013 at 4:56 am #

    For people unfamiliar with Uber Herbal:

  3. margi April 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Oh sweety…..what a painful spot you are in……or maybe not? Having a small business is such a huge commitment! I am hearing in your blog, your fear but also wanting to let go and start a brand new world. I love your art and all of your products:)….Being totally selfish, I hope you still keep your kitchen……but time and reflection will tell…..I loved having our photography biz and art gallery in Susanville….but then time shifted and that was over. I still have my glorious memories of that time and all the creative days♥ But it was not to be forever. Onward and forward and upward…….carry on ~♥~

  4. Ellen April 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    how courageous and vulnerable of you to put all this out here and let us chime in! you are such a trusting and brave soul. creative genius. inspiring human. so tapped in to the mystery and such a willing vehicle for whatever is meant to come through you. i think your insight into what this current business is built on is powerful. i find that what we create during a time of destruction often itself needs to be destroyed, eventually, too. i wonder, what needs to be completed, and more importantly maybe, healed, so that you can move into your powerful creative forces with all that fresh energy behind you? no easy answers here or clear direction perhaps, but then, you do know how to navigate off trail better than just about anyone i know. i love and respect the shit out of you. xo

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