Updated: Jul 11
Now that summer and Farmer’s market season is upon us I’m reflecting back on everything that happened last year and how much my business has changed.
When I first started up, my biggest goal was to get refills for eco-friendly, Canadian made products such as shampoo, dish soap, body lotion to people that would be unlikely to take the time to go to a refill store. Parents with busy schedules, and anyone living on the “outer limits” of the Edmonton area would be my target audience. Having products that were paraben and sulfate free was also very important.
Some of my biggest hurdles starting up include buying the van only days before all non-essential businesses closed down, and trying to find a registries office still open (all my usual spots were shut down).
At the start I pretty much had the basics. Oneka Shampoo and Conditioner, Biovert Dish Soap Tru Earth Strips and body lotion and Foaming Hand Soap from Green Cricket…. A lot of these Canadian made products I was already using myself and felt confident I would be able to at least use them up myself if no one wanted to buy them, lol.
One of my favorite Farmer’s Market memories is the organizer of my first farmer’s market helping me reinforce the flimsy borrowed canopy tent with Lacrosse sticks from his truck. There were often times this same organizer bought Oneka 's Cedar-Sage shampoo from me just so I could pay my table fee. Yes the whole “selling the refills out of a van” idea was not always a big hit!
Well I made the investment in a commercial grade canopy tent. I was super impressed with how strong my new tent was, but would also spend pretty much the next 3 months learning how to set it up, and with a different person each time ;)
I finally starting to figure out the kind of setup I need to withstand all types of weather… off the start the rain was the main challenge, as the summer progresses, keeping things from getting blown away with those winds is the bigger issue!
Brought in some new products this month including Change Toothpaste Tabs and Dish tabs from the Unscented Company…. I hadn’t used these dish tabs yet, but man do they work like hot damn!
Met Katie from Jar’d Mercantile in Leduc at the Farmer’s market there. This was my first experience meeting another refillery owner face to face since I opened up. It was nice to see someone who saw us as two people who were working together for the same cause rather than competing with each other for business. I found out about some great Alberta-made products after visiting her store, including routine Natural Deodorant and Soap paste and Bar Soaps from Soap So Co.
This month I finally got set up with a decent foaming hand soap pump from Jarmazing. People really love the Green Cricket Citrus Grove foaming hand soap I sell, but not having foaming pumps can be a real deal breaker!