Maker Stories: Episode 65: Joanne Voelcker of Mt. Airy Lavender [Podcast]

Welcome to Episode 65 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story introduces you to Joanne Voelcker of Mt. Airy Lavender in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Joanne started her lavender business after a long career in the financial services industry during which time she worked in Belgium. It was then that she fell in love with lavender so much that she decided she had to grow some herself.

Joanne started Mt. Airy Lavender Farm just a few short years ago, and she already knows its where her long-term passion is. It's not just the business that she loves, or even the lavender. As you'll enjoy learning in this episode, it's also about the contribution she can make to her local community as she simultaneously preserves a farm that's been in her family for generations. Talk about having your heart in your business! Enjoy my interview with Joanne NOW!

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Episode Show Notes

Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:

  1. Basic introduction to Joanne and how her corporate career led her to lavender. (starting at 2:15)
  2. How Joanne's journey from hobbyist to business owner. (starting at 6:40)
  3. Joanne found a community of people who helped her learn what she needed to know to be successful. (starting at 11:28)
  4. How Joanne's business helps her preserve the family farm, and why this is important to her. (starting at 14:04)
  5. A bit about the lavender conference and the importance of being intentional about making your business complement your lifestyle. (starting at 14:44)
  6. The structure and systems that actually make the farm work. (starting at 17:10)
  7. Joanne shares some of the products in her line. (starting at 19:04)
  8. How farm events and workshops are the most popular offerings in Joanne's business. (starting at 21:46)
  9. Unpacking work-life balance. (starting at 25:30)
  10. What being Indie means to Joanne. (starting at 29:30)
  11. About the US Lavender Grower's Association. (starting at 32:45)
  12. Joanne's words of wisdom to help you be successful in your business. (starting at 37:39)
Know what you want to accomplish in the long run, but focus day-to-day on mini-goals.Click To Tweet

Joanne Voelker, Mt. Airy Lavender

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode

In this episode, Joanne and I mentioned the following resources.

  1. Mt. Airy Lavender Farm online: Mt. Airy Lavender Farm
  2. Mt. Airy Lavender Farm on Facebook: Mt. Airy Lavender Farm on Facebook
  3. Mt. Airy Lavender Farm on Instagram: Mt. Airy Lavender Farm on Instagram
  4. Lavender association and conference: Lavender conference

Here is a quick review of a few of the important entrepreneurial lessons Michael shared in this episode

    1. Don't let your business take over your lifestyle.

      Joanne works hard to protect her work/life balance. One of the reasons she does not want to open a retail store is that it would require her to be tied to a specific schedule, which she feels would take away form the kind of life she wants to live. By hosting periodic events at the farm, she gets the best of both worlds. She invites the community to come to events on a regular basis, but not on a basis that would require her to be open during times of the day when she would rather have her and her team focused on other things.

    1. The importance of processes.

      Joanne stressed the importance of processes. For example, from when to plant and harvest, to when to weed and water, Joanne has everything written down so routine processes can be tacked over and over again efficiently and without having to reinvent the wheel each time they need to perform the same task again.

  1. Celebrate your successes.

    Joanne reminded us of how important it is to celebrate every single success we enjoy, no matter how small. Instead of looking at a huge mountain you must climb, break things down into chunks or even quarters so you can jut go one step at a time. Joanne says that this approach not only keeps the ball moving forward, but it motivates her to continue. It also have the bonus effect of preventing her from becoming distracted with bright shiny objects that will impede her progress.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.