I have a mentor and good friend who taught me about front loading. Front loading is work with no visible return…just keep pushing up the mountain, he would say, and soon you will reach the peak and begin your descent. He assured me that it would be well worth it. I’ve drawn strength from these words many times throughout my journey. The part I think he intentionally left out was that I was climbing Mount Everest…raising two kids and building a business with limited capital…it was a steep climb…and breath taking on every level.
I haven’t thought about front loading in a long time. At one point, I figured I either missed the peak or was on an endless trek where my mission was to grow stronger and learn to appreciate the moments of peace.. renew and begin again. Either way, I simply stopped thinking about it…until now.
We have had a lot of wonderful and exciting things happen this year. The move from Rutherford was a risky one done mainly on intuition…and it has paid off. I’ve been able to focus on our two stores on Main St. and we’ve driven enough traffic through the stores and website to maintain our momentum. We were able to afford to move ahead on the remodel of the front of our Main St. building…a truer reflection of who we are…with stone that came from the original stone used in the building. What a find that was!
I hired an amazing manager for our retail location on Main St.…Marc Golick…I’m sure some of you are following his recipes on our blog. He not only is an amazing chef but his passion for what we do fills the entire building. He has changed our game and brought our customer experience to a level that I had hoped for but had never been able to achieve.
We’ve begun the development of our new private “tasting lounge” in the vault area of our Main St. location. More details to follow but slated to open on September 1st. It’s an idea that I’ve had for years…so thrilling to be able to make it happen!
Our new venue, Napa Valley Bath Co. , is pulling its weight in its first year. It’s opened a new world for me…and connected me even deeper to our planet. I’m having so much fun developing the brand and the products…and am passionate about finding ways to deliver the healing medicines of these plants to you.
And the most exciting news of all…my cousin who has had a career as Vice President of operations at The Gap and Petsmart has decided to come back home to Yountville and join our team. She will be the Chief Operating Officer. We have talked about this day for many years…I don’t think either of us knew it would be now but it is..and I’m not questioning it! I will be freed of day to day operations so I can do what it is that I am most passionate about…creating, nurturing and fostering growth. She begins on August 6th!
And then our newsletter…or mini magazine as I like to call it. I’ve had this idea for years. I wanted to publish a beautiful magazine with inspiring messages and authentic, thoughtful content. The ease of the internet has made a mini version possible…and my goal is to make it something you look forward to seeing in your inbox. We will keep you up to date on our happenings, share product and industry knowledge, and feature a special place or person in the Napa Valley that you may or may not be aware of. Every week we will determine what we think you may be interested in…we will not push content for content sake.
The girls are growing up and doing well. Emily had an amazing semester in South America and Kaelin is loving NYU and getting ready to head to a semester abroad in Tel Aviv. Kaelin is home for the summer and it is heartwarming to have her energy and that of her friends in our house again.
Now more then ever, I treasure my time in the morning for my meditation rituals. I take a respite in the middle of the day to simply be…reconnect with what matters…and regroup for the next part of my day. I’m smelling the roses…and the lavender…and the lemon balm…and I’m working harder then ever. There are still many challenges and difficult days but there is an easier movement through the pitfalls…a greater faith in what lies ahead…a stronger sense of the purpose of this journey…and an awareness to the renewal that the earth grants me every day. I realize now that I stopped thinking about front loading when my focus shifted from the peak to my step….and the funny thing is…once I shifted…so too did everything else.
I hope you are well and appreciative of this very moment.
My very best,