Making a Seasonal Business Work Year-round
Reflecting on winter months on the farm
The holidays creep in earlier and earlier these days - even before halloween there are Christmas decorations up. It seems a bit of a stretch to me that while the beauty of fall is all around us, bulbs and twinkle lights are in the shop windows. Holiday parties on offer, festivities everywhere, the shops that offer local products, markets and the push begins. This time of year often reminds me of some of the trials in operating a seasonal business.
Starting a seasonal business.
When I first started South Pond, it was a seasonal business. Summer was my high season - May to September. I held weddings, farm dinners, workshops that involved summer related produce, greens and flowers. The barn was not insulated and while it offered shelter from the elements, when the light shifted and the weather became cool sometimes as early as August, it was not warm inside.
In the early days, I received a lot of requests for October weddings. Everyone wanted fall colours, beautiful photographs and warm days, I thought why not? Shawn told me not to do it, “Danielle, you have to guard people from themselves” he said. “As soon as the sun goes down it will be freezing in the barn and there will be nothing you can do about it.” He was correct. I did host one or two weddings and sure enough, it was freezing. I had rented heaters but it didn't matter. Unless you were standing directly beneath the heater you were cold. Even if couples had shawls for everyone it was still uncomfortable.