It is with mixed emotions that I am sending this message out today. I have struggled with this decision and prayed for guidance on what to do. I am not sure that I have gotten a definite answer, but with dwindling sales, growing number of people unsubscribing from e-mail updates, a drop in customers coming to the shop, and just the stress of seeing the business struggle, I have decided to take some time off to take care of some things and really take a look at how I want to proceed in the near future. I am going to take a hiatus from the business from December to April. I plan to de-stress the best I can, get my health in order, get my house in order, devote more time to my aging parents and family, and then in April, re-visit what I need to do with this business. Do I put more time and energy into it, do I go another direction with it or do I accept defeat and close it down? Believe me, I understand that at some point, we all get to that realization that we do not need one more die or one more stamp...not to mention PAPER!! It is amazing how it grows and grows! Plus, as a small business, I cannot compete with places that offer coupons or huge sales on their products. I am a one person operation. I take the orders, place the orders, check in the orders, pull the orders, ship the orders, invoice the orders and post all the new stuff constantly being released. I am pretty much a prisoner to my office 24/7 or so it feels sometimes. That is the stressful part, but the most rewarding part of this business has been YOU. I have loved getting the opportunity to talk to you on the phone, meeting you at my shop, and thru e-mails. I have made such wonderful friends over these past few years and this has truly blessed me more than the monetary aspect of the business. I have been able to use Joan's Gardens as a ministry many times. Praying for people, encouraging people, helping people how ever I could and I in turn have been blessed and encouraged and prayed for also. Thank you for all the cards that many of you have sent me over the years....I love that! You have all been so kind and to all my loyal and constant customers, I am truly sorry. Again, I do not know for sure what I am going to do, but just felt the need to fully enjoy the holidays and definitely get some things in order. Many of you know that I have Type 2 Diabetes. Well, stress, lack of proper sleep, etc. have allowed it to wreak havoc on my health in several different areas. I simply must address this and get it under control! I have been researching and feel like I can reverse these effects through focus, diet and exercise and that is what I plan to do. So with all that being said, may I ask for your prayers once again? I feel a peace about this now, that I have not felt in the past, but still get a little emotional when I really sit and think about it. I hope my dear friends will still keep in touch. I will still keep the shop open for any that want to stop and shop (just call ahead to make sure I am available), and I will still have periodic SALES to try and move merchandise. May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
And stay tuned for updates from me now and then,