As I shared last month, I spoke at the United States Lavender Conference (USLGA) in Phoenix, Arizona, this weekend. Not only did I get the chance to help hundreds of small business owners embrace a less stressful and more effective approach to social media, but I also got to hang out a bit with some of my Indie Business Network members. Here I am with longtime member and current USLGA president, Mike Neustrom of Prairie Lavender Farm in Kansas.
There were approximately 160 attendees at the event, and everyone was friendly and fun. I purchased some Lavender Lemongrass handmade soap, along with Lavender Lemon cookies, Lavender Neroli Honey, and some herbal tea made with spices, orange peel, and … you guessed it … lavender! It was exciting and invigorating to be around people who are working hard to expand and promote a growing industry in this country.
Among the topics covered were how to make different food products with lavender and how to start and manage a profitable lavender farm. Did you know that lavender plants are almost completely pest-resistant, so there's no need to spray them as they grow. It takes three years for a lavender plant to grow from seed to full grown plant, ready to harvest. There was even an optional bus tour to visit some of the Phoenix-based agri-tourism venues where people learned about how to turn their lavender farms into a profitable agri-tourism destination. I would love to see more of those!
I got to hand out a bit with other IBN members too. Here's a few pictures of the happiness we shared over the weekend.
With Cindy Jones and Sarah Richards
Cindy also gave a presentation at the conference on
With Kenna Cote
Longtime member Kenna Cote of Modern Soapmaking, who lives about an hour away from the venue, was kind enough to drive all the way to Phoenix so I could treat her to dinner. We laughed and talked about husbands, kids, lifestyle options (Kenna and her husband are planning to move into a renovated school bus later this year), and just about everything but business. It was so much fun to get to know her more personally.
With Julie Haushalter
I discovered that our member, Julie Haushalter of White Oak Lavender Farm and Winery in Virginia, lives just a few hours outside of my hometown of Washington, DC, and she invited me to coordinate a tour of her arm later this year. Would you to join me? (Post a comment below if this interests you!0 I'm excited about the possibilities, especially since Julie produces wine from lavender on her farm. Who knew?
Would you like to learn more about lavender? Have you considered becoming a part of the US Lavender Growers Association? Would you like to join me on a agri-tour of Julie's lavender farm and winery in Virginia later this year? I'd love to met you there!! What do you think? Feel free to share any feed back or questions, and if you were inspired by this post, please share on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.