tomorrow.

Tomorrow we launch Tea Parties.

Our product will no longer be available for sale here on the website, nor for sale in retail locations; the only way to purchase Wood and Water teas will be by attending a Wood and Water Tea Party.

Why?

Because we listened to you, our customer. We listened to your suggestions, your advice, your past experiences, and we understand that YOU are the heartbeat of Wood and Water; we wouldn’t be here if you did not exist.

You shared with us your health concerns, your apprehension towards over the counter medications, and your willingness to try something new. We educated you on the healing properties of the tea. You bought a box of tea; a box of Wood and Water tea. You began to see the benefits of the tea, so you bought some more. You want to share with friends and family, so you buy more as gifts.

You then came to us:

"What if I brought my friends and family members together, and then you can teach them about the herbs in the teas, like you taught me? I know of someone who could benefit from each of your tea blends – I believe in you, and I want to help you grow your business."

We thought about it. We loved the idea. We needed more people to help facilitate this type of need.

Enter the Wood and Water Independent Sales Reps.

Over the last three months, we have had the honor to welcome ten different sales representatives into the Wood and Water Team. These spectacular individuals come from all walks of life, all over the nation, with a common goal: to help empower the public by taking back responsibility for their own health. These amazing beings have been trained on the healing benefits of specific herbs, the power of these herbs combined in the Wood and Water tea blends, and how to authentically and positively interact with you.

You voiced your desire to attend, host, or execute tea parties; we listened and emphatically conceded.

Tomorrow marks a truly special day. Tomorrow Wood and Water launches a sales model in which YOU are the center; tomorrow Wood and Water grows up.

So, to book your Tea Party or to find a Rep near you, click HERE. No rep near you? Contact john@woodandwater.org – OR consider joining the Wood and Water Team (learn more HERE)!

Let us know how we can assist your healing needs.

Until next time,

Dayna, CEO

jackalope

It all started with a Jackalope.

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We were new to Colorado, new at making product, new at marketing ourselves as business owners. We were contacted directly by one of the Jackalope vendor coordinators, in hopes that we would be vendors at their upcoming holiday show in Denver.

We were blown away that someone would let alone notice us, but ask us to be a part of their event? Whoa. 

Of course, we submitted our application; months later we were officially accepted, and then we started the process of pumping out products for what, we could only assume, be enough for such a large event.

We learned a lot that first event. First and foremost, we learned that we had too many products to offer our consumer; our options were nearly endless and somewhat overwhelming. Second of all, we learned that we made really good products. People loved the way our products looked and smelled - plus the added natural healing benefits of each of the products! Additionally, we learned that we loved selling our products, and we love to help people heal holistically.

When we arrived back home in Pagosa Springs, we knew that some changes needed to be made, and so we made them. February 1, 2017, we launched the Wood and Water tea line, and it has only grown leaps and bounds since then.

This last weekend marked one year since that Jackalope holiday market in Denver, and we were, once again, honored to be a part of such an amazing event. The connections we have made over this last year with fellow artisans and fellow business owners, plus a solid customer-base in the Denver area, was evident by the support we received.

((CLICK on a picture to learn more about our friends!))

 

As we roll into 2018, and are launching into Tea Parties, the Wood and Water tea line will only be available through Independent Sales Reps. Knowing this, we have debated and deliberated in continuing to do festivals – especially our dear Jackalope Art Fair. The conclusion we have come to is this: until we have several Independent Sales Reps in the Denver area, we will continue Jackalope – and ONLY Jackalope!

So, cheers to the soap makers and the cookie bakers, the yarn twiners and jewelry designers!

Until next time . . .

the tea party

The last few weeks have been just absolutely non-stop. Non-stop in a good way, because non-stop means things are happening, ideas are turning into reality; we are seeing the fruits of our hard-work and dedication and perseverance. It really has been a beautiful time of balance; understanding when to say 'yes' and when to say 'no', when to move forward and when to let go. We have learned a lot, we have brainstormed a lot, we have been supported not just here locally, but nationally, as we have TEN Independent Sales Reps on board to start selling our teas via Tea Parties in just a few shorts months. How exciting is that?!

Why Tea Parties?

Well, I’m glad you asked! Over the course of the last year and a half, we have found that when people are given the chance to interact with our products, they are way more likely to purchase the product. An example of this is that when our teas were being sold in grocery stores, people did not have the opportunity to smell, feel, or taste the teas prior to purchasing, making the decision to purchase really difficult. However, when our teas were put on display at an event, where people could see the teas and smell the teas, and we could educate them on the teas, they were more prone to buy the teas.

Enter the idea for Tea Parties.

If people were more prone to purchase when they could see and smell the teas, we believe that given the opportunity to learn about each tea in a serene environment while sampling the teas, the consumer would be even more prone to give herbal tea a chance. But there are only two of us. How do we reach more people at one time?

Enter the Wood and Water Independent Sales Reps.

Let me just take a moment to gush sentiments of gratitude to these women who have signed up to represent Wood and Water. We are absolutely thrilled to be embarking on this journey with such like-minded people; with the support of our reps, we will be able to help more people find natural remedies for ailments they are already seeking solutions for. By executing Tea Parties in the homes of the hosts, our Independent Sales Reps will be educating the guests on the simple, healing aspects of our teas; they will be engaging these guests through authentic, personal conversation; they will be enriching the lives of the guests and hosts through the positive impact they make, ultimately empowering the guest to take back responsibility for their own health. 

So, in the next couple of months, while we are preparing to launch this incredible phase of Wood and Water, we ask for your continued support: your shares on social media, your purchases of our product, your sending of good vibes and positive energy, and your understanding of a not-so-weekly blog.

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the arrow

Back in March we had some dear friends from Ohio come visit for a couple of days. Not only are these dear friends of ours, but he is our favorite tattoo artist; one day he will own most of our skin. So, as we both had been itching to get some new pieces, and Abe was coming to town, we asked him to maybe bring his tattooing gear and ink us up. As usual, he was most accommodating.

I got an arrow. I had been wanting something sort of tribal, but not too tribal, and an arrow to cover my left forearm seemed like a good idea. Abe came in with his incredibly creative instincts, and added an artistic mountain-scape to it, making it feel like the most perfect first tattoo to get while living in Colorado – by my favorite Ohio tattooist.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t really look at my forearms that much. After my new piece healed, I sort of forgot about it.

Fast forward six months; it is now September. Over the course of this time Wood and Water experienced a roller-coaster ride in emotions as we both left our jobs to focus 100% on growing our business. One week we were selling out of products, and the next week we were losing money by even attending certain festivals and fairs. One week our teas were being sold in stores, and the next week we were pulling them out, in order to follow state regulations. One week we ask for help promoting our product, and we get zero response from friends and family, and the next week our social media sites are blowing up about Wood and Water, and our website views are soaring through the roof.

But I digress.

When we found out that because we fell under the Cottage Food Act (because we blend herbal teas in our office, not a commercially licensed kitchen) we were heartbroken, but we did not give up. We did research, we sought counsel, we had many late nights of brainstorming and list-making, and we stumbled upon an age-old direct sales method: the house party.

Why not go into people’s homes and brew up our tea blends? Why not get people to host tea parties, like they host Lularoe and Norwex and Mary Kay and Tupperware parties? Why not hire Independent Sales Reps, whom we would train about every aspect of these teas, and they can literally work for themselves for a percentage of the profit? Why not create online training modules, right on our website, that these Sales Reps can have access to from their home? With all of these ideas swarming our thoughts and conversations, we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Fast forward to the present.

As we do most Wednesdays, we went to the Overlook Hot Springs (if you ever come to Pagosa Springs, visit this place); it is our weekly chill out spot, to mostly relax and unwind and to not talk or think about Wood and Water. After soaking in that glorious mineral water, I went to the women’s locker room area to rinse off and get dressed. As I was pulling my shirt over my head, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror across the room and saw my arrow tattoo.

In that moment, I was enlightened to understand that for an arrow to go as fast and far and to cover as much ground as it needs to before it hits its target, it must be pulled back. It must experience tension. It must be held in the opposite direction it wants to go until it is time to hit its mark.

So for every time we feel defeated, for every time we feel like we are being held back, for every time we experience tension, I am empowered to know that when it is time to hit the target, we will.

Oh, and guess what?! We are under contract to have full access to a local, commercially licensed kitchen.

Onward, ho!

hard.

The last two weeks have been hard.

And it is hard for me to put myself out there when things are hard.

I pride myself on being a ray of shining light, a beam of positivity to all I encounter. When things are hard, I shut down socially. I feel uncomfortable showing vulnerability; I do not want others to see the amount of inner turmoil and stress and frustration I am under, so I purposely avoid social gatherings, broadcasting my life on social media, and, as you guessed it . . . blog.

So here I am in a hard place, understanding that I’ve made a commitment to you to blog, and wanting nothing more than to be a constant inspiration in your life, but feeling utterly and completely depleted myself.

In the last two weeks, we received specifics regarding the Colorado Cottage Food Act, limiting our sales even more. We also went to a festival to vend our products, and the outcome was so devastating that we actually lost money participating instead of earning money (due to booth fees and gas money to get there). On our five-hour ride back from this valuable learning experience, the transfer case on our Jeep locked up, and it has been in the shop for over a week getting that fixed, along with other repairs that needed tending to.

Oh, and we also moved the Wood and Water office this last week.

Yes, the last two weeks have been hard.

However, in the last two weeks, we have learned that when things are hard, we have to work even harder.

Receiving specifics about the limitations regarding the Colorado Cottage Food Act enabled us to establish and streamline our direct sales model for Tea Parties. We are busy looking for Independent Sales Representatives in the state of Colorado, creating an online training curriculum for these Reps, and looking to launch at the beginning of 2018.

We lost money doing a festival, but we also sold some tea. Tea that went to people who are truly seeking natural and holistic options for common ailments. Tea that went to people who wanted to support what we are doing and who we are. Tea that went to people who love tea. We may have lost money doing a festival, but we also made some pretty solid connections with other vendors. We may have lost money doing a festival, but in that we learned a little more about ourselves as a company, ourselves as a couple, and ourselves as individuals.

While our Jeep is still in the shop, we are scheduled to get it back today. And while our Jeep has been in the shop, the help and support we have received from the people in this community has been overwhelming. From borrowed cars and trucks, to attendance of our first Pop Up Shop and purchases of our product, to a shout-out on the local radio station for Wood and Water, we feel the love.

So, even though things have been hard, we have found strength in self-sufficiency, support in our community, and a solid foundation to build Wood and Water on.  

Life may be hard, but we will always work harder.

 

And our new office?

Literally in our backyard.

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at the end of the journey.

People change; plans change; visions change; basically everything changes. I once wrote a blog about how the only thing that’s constant in this life is change. Being in a constant state of evolution isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, I believe that being in that constant state of evolution is the outward portrayal of an inner openness, an inner enlightenment, an inner state of being constantly aware.

Wood and Water is no different.

Once upon a time, Wood and Water was a coffee shop, then a bookstore, then a photojournalistic documentation of our travels across the United States. At one point Wood and Water was a wilderness retreat, offering a safe place for others to come recharge their batteries, escape from the constant stressors of “everyday life”. This was the vision for Wood and Water when we were camp hosts in the Sierra Nevada mountains, just 30 minutes south of Yosemite.

Being camp hosts was a cherished time for us. We fell in love with our coworkers. We adored being outside. We felt it our duty to take an evening stroll throughout the campground every night, chatting up the talkative, pouring one down with the drinkers, toking up with the stoners; just to make sure all of our campers were enjoying themselves.

There was one family in particular that was there for about a week, and their campsite was directly in between our travel trailer and the kiosk where I spent my days; so naturally, I walked right through and made friends in doing so. On one of my treks through their campsite, we made plans for us to come over that evening, have a couple of drinks, just hang out for a few. So we did.

Over the course of conversation, we found out that the patriarchal figure of this family was an early retired Wall Street broker, and had done fairly well for himself. Being ridiculously excited about our vision and ideas for Wood and Water Wilderness Retreat, we shared our thoughts with him, a man of success, a man of experience, a man who no longer worked for the man.

He tore our ideas apart. Not really, but that’s how I felt after he spoke. He told us to not rush into anything. He told us we were young. He told us not every business is meant to be a success. He told us to not take any steps toward our vision until we closed our eyes, walked through every scenario in every plausible way, and once we were at the end of the journey to sit down and have a cup of tea.

I remember walking away from this man and that conversation feeling enraged. How dare he challenge our ideas, our passion? These ideas we conceived were all we had. Looking back now, I understand that’s why I felt so defeated, like someone was ripping a piece of me away, not even giving it a chance to grow and become a healthy part of me.

Time went on, we moved from the pines of California to the desert of Arizona, and Wood and Water evolved some more. At this time I was in school for herbal medicine making, and falling deeper and deeper in love with the healing powers of nature. Wood and Water transitioned from a wilderness retreat into an herbal product line, helping people heal naturally, without applying harmful chemicals in and on their bodies. We moved from the desert of Arizona to the pines of Colorado, and Wood and Water found roots in the community of Pagosa Springs.

Over the course of the next few months, Wood and Water gained some interest, and was asked to be a part of an art fair in Denver. We applied, got accepted, and then started the process of preparing 26 different products to sell at a market that we had never been to before. That market turned out to be one of the best things to happen to Wood and Water, as we gleaned information from other vendors, learned about what our consumer wants, and the best way to give it to them.

From that art fair, Wood and Water evolved again. We spoke with trusted sources, we met with marketing professionals, we sought out those who could guide us in our journey. We phased out most of our products that were not necessarily doing that well, or that did not give us the best return, leaving those products that made the most sense logically both as a producer and a consumer. We knew we needed a special niche, and herbal tea filled that niche quite well.

Since February of 2017, Wood and Water has developed into southwest Colorado’s premier provider of organically sourced and wild-crafted herbal healing teas. We have both left our jobs to focus 100% on our endeavor, and have definitely learned a thing or two in working for ourselves. Because of certain restrictions in the state of Colorado, we are only able to sell our product directly to the consumer. This has allowed for us to promote our teas through fairs and festivals, Pop-Up shops, and home-based tea parties.

The other day I was looking through some old pictures, reminiscing about our time in June Lake as camphosts, and I remembered that man who shredded our ideas about Wood and Water Wilderness Retreat. I smiled, as I remember his voice echo so clearly in his command to close our eyes, walk through every scenario in every plausible way, and once we were at the end of the journey to sit down and have a cup of tea.