2020 in review
I am decidedly not a runner. And yet, I’ve heard that operating a company is like running a marathon. That the holidays are like a sprint. And it is because of that, my running and non-running friends, that I have not written. With my races complete for last year and a few days into my “cool down,” I am able to reflect on 2020. You don’t need me to reiterate what a challenging and educational year 2020 was. Instead I will share some of the good things that happened at Herd Supply and some of the ways in which I believe we’ve given back in the hope that we will be able to do more of this in 2021.
Three Small Steps
What I Learned
- We launched our new packaging in early 2020. The artwork was created by my friend from high school, Sara Santarsiero. A year later, I still think it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!
- We had a successful Kiva campaign that helped fund the purchase, scouring, and processing of 1,000 pounds of high micron, leftover New England wool. We purchased the wool in the spring and sent it to the mill in October. The cleaned wool batting, stuffing, and roving came back to our farm in early December. Repayments for that loan began in November (so check your account if you contributed!). This wool will be used in our dryer balls and pillows.
- Through the two donation based promotions we ran this year, we were able to send contributions to The Rainforest Trust’s Conservation Action Fund and the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust.
- We had 12 pillow testers try the wool pillows to give us feedback. With positive reviews and minimal tweaks (move the zipper), we dropped off wool to our seamstress to begin quilting the pillow tops.
- People often ask what the most popular products are when shopping for someone else. This varies from place to place – on Etsy the most popular items were the cast iron cleaner, the mini soap bars, and the dryer balls. The three most popular soaps on herdsupply.com were Mildred, Dolly, and Louise. Interestingly, however, the top three bar soaps in person were Queeenie, Louise, and Dolly.
With a runner's high, I need to thank each and every one of you for supporting this small business. Whether shopping for yourself, including us in your baby or wedding shower, as gifts or anything else, your support has led to Herd Supply making it another year. I began Herd Supply as a way to support my family's small farm
with sheep's milk soap and dryer balls. Since then, we've been able to purchase wool from four New England farms, divert 1,000 pounds of wool from landfill and and grow Herd Supply into an online and pop-up business that can supply quality natural goods and educate visitors on sheep and their amazing qualities for a cleaner, brighter future.
Our guiding mission is to support small, northeastern farmers who can help maintain breed diversity and use sheep to help mitigate climate change. A purchase from Herd Supply Co. is a signal that we support their modest farms which have outsized impacts locally and regionally.
I hope to see you on the track or trails in 2021 – but I'll be walking.