We are giving away a $25 gift card to the Portland Saturday Market. To win, comment on this post about why you like the Portland Saturday Market. Winner will be drawn and emailed Friday, July 6, 2012.
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From our sponsors at Saturday Market:
Portland Saturday Market
Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
FREE | All Ages
More Info: www.portlandsaturdaymarket.com
Waterfront & Ankeny Parks
Downtown Portland, OR
Judy Richardson never thought of selling lavender products as a career goal. In fact, it all started as a dream.
“I was sitting on my acreage in NE Portland on the Columbia Slough watching my horses when I visualized a sea of purple flowers. I didn’t know what they were, but I knew they meant something.” It wasn’t until she began exploring classes at Oregon Extension in 1995 that she saw her first lavender plant and knew, she was meant to grow and sell lavender.
For Judy, having a booth at the Saturday Market has allowed her to expand her business in ways she’d never dreamed of when she first had her “vision of purple.” The market allows her the freedom to sell a variety of products and she quickly found she had “no need to go further” with expanding her business.
Today, Judy offers more than 30 lavender products, ranging from soap to lotion to sachets to neck wraps and a lot more. The body powder, sugar scrubs, lip balm, and body balm are some of Lavender Haven’s hottest selling products, and the lavender spritz is a timeless customer favorite. “Customers tell me the lavender spritz calms them down, and misted over pillows, helps them to sleep,” says Judy.
Customer input, as well as trial and error, has changed how products are packaged and how Lavender Haven’s products are made. “As we evolve, we make new products,” says Judy. Recent changes include changing a body scrub container to be easier to open in the shower and switching the sea salt in the body polish to the smallest, finest sea salt she could find.
Even now, the secret to Judy’s success remains a bit of a mystery. She encourages would-be vendors to follow their muse, too. “I don’t know what leads me to take care of my lavender. But from the beginning, something was there that generated that energy to keep me going.” Having raised two children, and working as a family to grow Lavender Haven is a privilege that she never stops appreciating, she says now. “I feel like I’m so lucky.”
“After all these years, people still come back. Many customers return with family members, or call out of state friends and family on their cell phones to ask them what they want from my booth. That’s…something. It feels right to me. It feels good. It makes me get out there ready to pick lavender.” -Lisa Nichols