Mother's Day LAE | 2023

May 15, 2023

Mother's Day LAE | 2023

Hey There,

Happy Mother’s Day! You know what that means? Time for another LAE (long-a** email)! 

First, I want to thank you all so much for your orders this Mother’s Day, and year in general. With the economy being what it is, I know you have other options, some less expensive even, which makes your support of our company mean even more. It is never lost on me, or anyone on our team, how much we owe to all of you for allowing us to play a part in making the people in your lives feel loved. And right now probably more than ever, don’t we all need a little (or lot!) more of that in our lives? On particularly hard weeks like Mother’s Day, we hold that fact close and it makes us even more grateful to have the opportunity to work really, really hard to deserve that honor. And I promise, there’s not a day – Mother’s Day or otherwise, that we take that for granted.

Speaking of working really hard, I thought it would be funny to do a little Instagram vs reality comparison for you all. I mean, how pretty are the pictures on the left? And while I love dreaming about a design studio one day where everything is in it’s perfect place and there’s perfect natural lighting, white painted brick walls, concrete floors, and of course, the prerequisite bright paper and ribbon displays, that’s definitely not our reality. And while I have to admit that the dream sounds pretty nice, I still love our reality so much more. 

Working with our scrappy team, elbow deep in eucalyptus sap and bucket water, drinking coffee after coffee after coffee to stay pumped for super long days and even longer nights of schlepping… Processing, designing, wrapping, boxing, (and a million other things in between), changing our shoes to help delay the steady creeping up of sore feet, slapping on Icy Hot patches to stave off the pain of warehouse work, bundling all the way up at night, and as all the way down as HR deems appropriate during the day… And all while smiling and joking with each other through our bleary eyes. Yeah, I wouldn’t trade an instagram life for our gritty reality any day of the week - and especially on peak weeks like Mother’s Day. There’s a special kind of magic that is unique to these crazy busy periods that I look forward to - even and especially when it comes with such long days.

And speaking of Mother’s Day, I can’t write a LAE without giving a huge shout out to my own Mom - who truly is the *real* farm girl. Beyond having the street (or make that farm?) cred of growing up actually working on the farm, she is also, without a doubt, the kindest and hardest working person I know. 

Back when I started the company she always made a point to come and help for holidays - even and especially when she should be on the receiving end of the celebration for Mother’s Day. But in true Beth Stembel fashion, she would be the first in and last out on those really long holiday production days - even though she has a physical challenge and probably shouldn’t be on her feet even a fraction of the time needed to get through a day like the ones we have during peak weeks.

One of those particular holidays when she came out to California from Indiana to help is something I think back on whenever I’m faced with doing really hard things. Back then we used to cut the burlap you all know and love by hand with very heavy industrial scissors. While we’ve since switched to using fabric cutters, it was safe to say that at the time it was most team members’ least favorite job. We’d limit that duty to one hour increments because it was so tedious and, frankly, just plain not fun. 

I asked my Mom to cut some burlap first thing that morning so I could get the rest of the team going on their tasks and, per the usual on a busy holiday making day, got distracted by about five level ten fires. And while I’m not saying I forgot about my mom exactly, I kinda forgot about my mom (please don’t judge me too harshly!). Some eight to ten hours later, I remembered leaving her that morning and went to find her only to see her right back where I’d left her - still at that cutting table. 

She had literal burlap bandages wrapped around her hands to cover the blisters she’d incurred during her full day of cutting. She was covered in burlap fibers and had worked up a sweat from the effort of all the hours but, still, she was cutting. 

I don’t think anyone on the team had ever made it through more than a few hours of cutting time, but my 60+ year old, physically challenged mom not only did just that, but had also figured out a way to cut the pieces more efficiently so we could get more wraps from each coffee sack (which was a minor miracle since we were also short a few hundred pieces that holiday). And all this while she never complained once about the blisters, dust, exhaustion, or the general boredom that ensues for most folks when they have to repeat the same task over and over and over again. I’ve known it since I was little, but I knew it ten times over again that day. My mom has more grit and resilience in her little (burlap bandaged) finger than most of us have in our entire bodies. 

While my mom thankfully got to enjoy this holiday at home in Indiana, probably working in her beloved garden - it’s hard to let my fourteenth (!!) Mother’s Day at Farmgirl go by without acknowledging that she is, for so many reasons, why I am here today with over a decade of bootstrapping this business under my belt. There’s the cutting of the burlap, of course, but that same work ethic that propelled her to just keep cutting that day is something that I am so grateful she passed on to me. Her grit, her determination, and the example she set by working hard and being humble is the greatest gift she’s given me, and one a lifetime of Mother’s Day flowers wrapped in hand cut burlap could never repay. But it’s a start. 

So thanks Mom, and all the moms out there who are teaching their mini me’s the skills they’re going to need to reach their goals IRL, too. And thanks a million times over to my incredible team here at Farmgirl for making my fourteenth time through this holiday feel like the first (in all the best ways).

We’re all getting some well deserved rest after a hard (but wonderful) week - and I’m wishing the same for all of you, too. I hope you all have exactly the type of Mother’s Day weekends you want or need. And just in case it’s been a long sort of week for you, too, I’m sending you all a little something so you can reward yourself for doing the hard things, whatever that looks like for you. Use the code JUSTFORYOU at checkout to get 20% off something (I hope) for yourself!

And last, I’ve said it before but I’ll never say it enough, thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing Farmgirl this holiday. Each and every order means the world to me and to the team. We are so grateful for the privilege to be able to help you make your loved ones feel celebrated and seen. 




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