Every year I try out a new idea to see if people will be interested. Sometimes I am certain that people are going to love something as much as I do. Like when I made lavender filled sock dolls with embroidered faces and crocheted lace caps. I loved making those! But the internet is all about the search, and if people do not know something exists, then they do not search for it and the item never shows up for them.
So I wound up giving most of those away. And sadly, the same thing happened when I made lavender filled pendants by making tiny lavender wands and adding charms to turn them into necklaces. Like the sockdolls, everyone who saw them in person loved them. But also like the sockdolls, no one knew they existed so they didn't search for them.
Ah, the downside of only selling on e-commerce platforms. Selling in person or in "brick and mortar" shops is very expensive and time consuming. The commision on selling in a gift shop people can walk into is only 40%. If an artist or craftsperson or maker spends too much time marketing or trying to drum up interest, then they lose. They lose time they could be making more items or art. And if they factor that time into the cost of their items, no one would be able to afford to buy said items.
Okay, riff over.
This years new idea was inspired by the drought here in California. In a normal year, using over 45,000 stems of fresh lavender, I can make over 3,000 lavender wands. Of which about 150 will be the huge size (over 14" long) and about 500 will be the large size (12" long). This year I was only able to make 19 huge wands and about 95 large wands!! Even though we irrigated and fed the lavender bushes, the bushes "knew" there was no water in the surrounding soil and cut back on the length of the stems they grew. The result of which the majority of the stems are not even long enough to make a small wand (8" long).
To make even a small eight inch wand, the stem has to be at least ten inches long.
What to do!?
Well, if I wrap the stems, then I can use nice fat flower buds on short stems and add them to a few of the stems which are long enough.
What do you think??
The cool thing about wrapping the stems like this is that the wrap can be different colors and in the case of the ivory ribbon, the ribbon used to tie the bow on the end can by any color I want.
Last, but certainly not least, I made some lavender wands in honor of the Ukrainian army and how hard they are fighting to protect their country. I just haven't figured out a way to get them to them that feels legit. I want them to be able to give them to their loved ones or to the people they meet when they free up a town. I will let you know if I find a way. Shipping directly to Ukraine is far too expensive for me right now. I am hoping to be able to mail them to a legit non-profit that has people going there and can take them with them.