Friday, September 14, 2018

Island Adventures, Sharks, Dolphins, New Website and Lemonade Fans!

It's been a short week as I took some time off with my husband for our 34th wedding anniversary! Living aboard a boat has some advantages and since the weather was nice we opted to head out to the Channel Islands for a few days. While it sounds luxurious, its not exactly that - sailing, anchoring, motoring, can all cause a bit of stress and is one continuous problem solving adventure. By definition, adventure is the unknown outcome of a chain of events. And, if you've talked to anyone who's been sailing for a few years, they have more than their share of stories to tell about their "adventures at sea".

Since LOL is still my "baby" and needs lots of care round the clock, I was fortunate (and not) to find Little Scorpion Cove with cell service. Using my hotspot on my phone, I can log into the internet on my mac and operate my entire business just like being at the office.  Our home is a 41' Mariner Neptune classic cruising sailboat built in Taiwan in 1984.  With only 20 built, everyone loves her design but have never heard of the name before.  Comfortable with all the amenities of a home (except smaller) we can literally travel anywhere in the world with this boat.  We operate on propane for cooking, solar for powering the
house batteries and we have 2 generators aboard that help boost the batteries when needed. Exploring the coves, watching the historic Chumash Tomol Crossing into the cove, 2 am strong south wind wreaking havoc in the cove, trouble picking up the anchor and spotting a 7 foot Blue Shark swimming alongside our boat in the channel made for an eventful trip.

As we were headed back to the mainland I uploaded more images for our new website under the direction of Creative 365. Quick progress is happening on our site update and we can't wait to launch it in the next couple of weeks.

And now, back to land and the real lemonade world.  Back at the local coffee shop yesterday morning, some fans spotted me and my lemonade wrapped cube and asked how business was going and said how much they loved our lemonade and buy it all the time. I love to hear this and every time someone asks its an automatic response with a gift of a lemonade bottle that I pull out of the back of the cube for them :) Their reactions usually end with a wonderful hug for me and lots of smiles.  So before I even hit the office door I had given away several bottles of lemonade to our wonderful fans.  Those moments of meeting our fans in random places keep me going every day.

We now have our eye on expansion through our current retailer network that is already established.

Looking forward to moving forward one day at a time on the lemonade adventure, where just like our cruising life aboard our sailboat, I have no idea what will happen next...

Cheers to the weekend!

Lori Volk
Chief Believer/Founder/Ironman
Lori's Original Lemonade

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Record months, awards, new stores OH MY!

It's been awhile since I've posted. This morning I am writing from my home aboard our sailboat.  It's a cool overcast morning at the harbor and the barking of dozens of sea lions on the docks are distracting my thoughts! I can't believe we are closing in on the start of our 7th year. So here is an update of the whirlwind of action we have been experiencing here at LOL. 

In April we were chosen for American Small Business Champion 2018, SCORE/Sam's Club award for California.  I flew to Reno for an all expense paid trip for business training with 101 other award winners from across the country and learned a ton about how to run my business more efficiently. 

From Reno, it was off to New York (my first time to NY!) to the Fancy Food Show and celebrate the sofi Silver Award for our Ginger Lemonade presented to us by the Specialty Food Association in a worldwide competition of over 3000 products.  In New York we met with buyers, including an 8k store chain and media as we attended special events for the winners.

Our win in NY led to a call from a wonderful buyer from Cost Plus World Market in July who believed our lemonade might be a perfect fit for their stores! We have spent the last two months preparing for the launch and our lemonades should be arriving in select 212 stores nationwide this week and next!

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one fiscal year, we were nominated by Dianne de Malley of DDM Metering Systems, Inc for the Pacific Coast Business Times/SBA Spirit of Small Business Award - Woman Owned Business in August and attended the annual luncheon at the Biltmore, Santa Barbara to receive the award.

And there is more....! Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine is featuring us on their October 2018 issue titled "Second Acts" describing our journey from the startup of our lemonade company as I was desperate to help defray college costs for my kids.

It's been a whirlwind of a year - We are grateful for the continued support of our Ambassador Team,  customers, friends, family, suppliers, distributors, retailers and everyone else who believes in us every day. 

I've learned the importance of a balance sheet (after 6 years!) and I am working hard to continue to bring the highest quality lemonade to the market while doing it in a sustainable way to ensure the health of our company.  I've learned more this year than any other year in how to operate my business and couldn't have done that without the mentors and advisors I've had along the way, including

As we wind down this year's lemonade season, we are looking forward to the exciting opportunities that lay around the next corner for us.  Part of the thrill is coming into the office every day wondering what is going to happen next!

I appreciate each and everyone of you and am grateful for the opportunity to be involved in one of the most amazing industries.

Thank you!

Lori, Chief Believer
Lori's Original Lemonade