Growing a Family, While Growing a Business

I recently posted on my Instagram page a video of beeswax melting over a double boiler. I said, “If you would have told me a year ago that I would be watching beeswax melt as my job, I would have laughed at you!” But, it’s true! I spend my days melting beeswax, infusing organic olive oil, and creating amazing all natural products with family in mind!  Follow my @417localista or @MamaLanes for updates.

I have to admit, I truly enjoy the slower pace of this life, than the hustle and bustle of “climbing the career ladder,” and missing out on cherished time with my family. For years I helped to build a successful farmers market that brought in over $255,000 in grants and sponsorships in 6 years, managed the marketing and public relations of the business, answered phone calls and emails constantly, presented speeches on local food and marketing and helped others build their businesses, while all the time yearning to find my “own” niche. I loved my career in local foods, I helped many get their footing, and I was truly blessed to have the career I did, but times change and so do we as humans.

I resigned from a career that has brought me much joy, but I knew there was more for me and my family. The juggling act between family and career had become too much for me to give 100% to both, and I was not going to let my family take second place.

I launched Mama Lane’s All Natural in October 2017 after a friend of mine suggested I sell my Vapor Rub and other goodies I made for family and friends. (Thanks Stac)

I sold 53 jars of Vapor Rub in two weeks! My kiddos helped me in my kitchen unscrewing the tins, laying them out on a table for me to pour what friends like to call “liquid gold” (aka vapor rub) into each little tin, then patiently waiting for the mixture to harden, so then my kids could screw the lids back on the tins and add a label, while I cleaned up the kitchen. (I’ve learned to clean up fast, nobody has time for harden beeswax!)

And the rest is history…

I spend my days in my kitchen making products with my family, on the road meeting new potential retail customers, on my phone or Mac adding to the online marketing for my little business or experimenting with new products (I currently have 27 products I make.)

These are two of my displays at Hy-Vee’s Natural Beauty aisle in Springfield (left) and Sunfest Market in Branson (right).  That’s my handsome little guy, Caston, pointing at his mama.  I had to surprise him one night after a basketball game and let him discover this sign on his own- he decided we had to stay and watch a lady put two of my products in her shopping cart.

Besides my little business, I am also helping to grow my family’s farm, which is another reason I decided to turn-in my office gloves for a slower pace career.  My family operates Grassland Farms in Seymour, MO., you can also find our farm on Instagram and Facebook and follow our journey there.  We currently produce pastured-raised chicken and pork and will be pursuing our goal of constructing hydroponic greenhouses to produce lettuce and herbs.  My parents, brother David and I run the family farm and have big goals for 2018!

All of these big life changes have allowed my family the time we need- together!  My son put everything into perspective just a few weeks ago as we were on our way to a basketball game.  He and I were discussing athletes that he admired and why and I was telling him about who I admired as a kid, and I listened to him and he listened to me.  Then, after a moment of silence he told me he really loved that “I decided to choose him and sissy.”  At first, I didn’t know what he meant, so I asked.  “You quit your job so you could be with us more and now when we talk, we REALLY talk,” he said.  That was all the perspective that I needed…out of the mouths of babes.  They hold SO much in and do not tell us.  He was correct.  Being an active listener is difficult when you have so much weighing on your mind between balancing work and family.  I do not have it all figured out, but I am working on it!

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