Together We Grow!
by Lisa Dolloff
May 02, 2022
Exciting news: it's time for us to expand!
I've been fairly open about our plans, both our successes and our struggles, so you may know some of our backstory already.
This shop is my dream. Having an herb shop has been my dream for over 20 years, and having an herb shop with a space out back to make Wunder Budder has been my dream for nearly as long.
When we opened in 2019, I intended to put a full production area in the back of the shop, but time and money were running low. I didn't want to open during the quiet winter months, so I decided to open just before the holiday season, without the full kitchen, on Nov. 30th, 2019.
No problem, I thought. I'd add the production area during the early spring - a notoriously slow time for business, so it wouldn't be too disruptive. March or April 2020 sounded like a great plan!
We had to close on March 16th 2020, and didn't reopen again until June 20th 2020.
Closing for three months was difficult for every business. Nobody had it easy during this time, but having only been open for three months, I didn't have a solid customer base yet. I was closed for just as long as I was open, and wasn't sure we'd make it through. It was a heartbreaking time. Not just because of everything going on in the world, but for me, it seemed like I was losing my dream before I even had a chance to go for it.
There was a lot of emergency financial assistance available in 2020, both from the federal PPP loans and NH Cares state loans. Many of these were even forgiven if they were used in certain ways! But because we were so new, we weren't eligible for any of them. We fell through every crack, but I kept pushing through, doing whatever I needed to do to stay afloat. I wasn't going to let the pandemic take my dream away.
When we reopened in June 2020, it was with a lot of high-interest debt, and during the early part of the pandemic. Everything was still unknown.
Looking back, I'm sort of amazed we were able to pull through 2020. So many businesses closed, even some that were long-standing. It took an overwhelming amount of work, some luck and good fortune, and being part of a community that really goes out of their way to support small, local businesses. We kind of did this together, friends!
I'm so grateful to have pulled through, and we even managed to grow in 2021!
And now it's time to get back on track and build that production area.
Right now, I'm working from home Monday-Wednesday, in the Wunder Budder studio, and Thursday-Saturday in the shop. Nobody is getting the attention they deserve - not Alchemy & Herbs, not Wunder Budder, and not me (or Mike, our dogs, or our home). Having both businesses in one location is essential for all of us to thrive!
Having two separate locations, with split resources, was never in the plans and is completely unsustainable, and as much as we've grown, we reached a point of stagnation. Being able to share one single location, and share resources will allow us to do things like expand our open hours/days, ship faster, give us space to hold classes, and bring on a small team to help us grow. It will allow us to be better in every way.
It has been two years in the making (but really 20+ years)! And it's finally time. It's happening.
It's happening no matter what, but I started an Indiegogo campaign, to try to fund as much of this project as I can without taking on more debt.
This is not a charity donation. Although you are free to donate directly to the campaign like a charity donation, we're offering all sorts of perks. These are like "rewards" for donating, where you get something back. Sort of like pre-paying for items or like when we all bought gift cards from businesses when they were closed in 2020.
Here's the link: Alchemy & Herbs IndieGoGo
There are so many ways to help!
Any amount you contribute helps! There are perks levels from $5 to $1k, including some items that are only available to contributors to this campaign.
Sharing helps! Sharing our campaign, this blog, or any social media posts about it helps. Commenting on our social media posts about this helps. The more people who see this, the better.
Thank you for all of your support over the last two and a half years (has it really been that long??), and I'm looking forward to growing with you!