It’s incredible that the media likes to say how fantastic we are doing, when it fact, it is a challenging financial struggle. We have been harassed before, mostly by the post office, but today, we were completely shut down by ETSY.
We have product to sell, but our store is closed!
We have CBD infused oil and tincture and CBD multi-purpose salves . . . . we have product! Just -- at the moment -- no store to sell them in.
We occupied the farm confident in the weekly support provided by our ETSY store sales. ETSY is the world’s largest portal for home-made and handmade goods. We thought it the best place to feature our home-made and hand-made goods. But not long ago, they were bought by ebay. And yesterday, after nine months of no issues, they rudely took all our items off our shelf, alleging we make health claims.
We are here, sitting with unfinished construction projects that make it hard to finish unpacking at the farm. We owe money to the general contractor and the electrician. A salary supplement for the supporting team would prevent the hard dedicated helpers of the sisters from having their badly needed hours reduced. We have to pay for new ducting for the abbey, because they are crushed or eaten by rodents. (We can’t turn on the heat in the abbey; if we turn on the heat, it blows out into the universe.)
We have to buy a new oven for the abbey. We need furniture for the blue house. We owe Verizon a thousand dollars because we had no internet out here for awhile, no electricity = no internet (who would know?) and we ended up on a very expensive solution to keep the business going.
And all this adds up to $10,000. If we reach that goal, we can get through this ETSY store transition without fear and we accept community help because it is a temporary situation as we steady our e-commerce store on firmer shores.
We stay committed to making our start-up business support us.
We had a dream of living a simple life, making our medicines on a quiet farm, in a spiritual environment, and being self-sustaining. We worked toward that goal and just as the New Year began, we had a steady income from the store sales and a farmette to occupy.
We only occupied the farm a month ago and it seems like a year. We purposely stayed in town six weeks after the closing for the renovations to be done. The renovations went far, far, far over budget, mainly because behind every wall there lurked a plumbing or wiring problem.
We were already stalling projects and putting off spending further when the ETSY store closed the door to our only source of income (four of us on the farm). And the two sisters and some brothers gasped!
They have funds that we have to wait to have released, and that puts us in a cash flow pickle, to add insult to injury.
Fortunately, we are able to move quickly to get commerce operating on our website. We have also begun to acquire CBD clones for people and in running around doing that, we earn some extra money.
We will get our regular cash flow moving again, but it will be on our own site, instead of operating as a store on ETSY’s site, and we don’t know all the financial ramifications of that move. We do know that it will delay funds, delay our ability to pay bills, and puts us in a critical cash flow situation. We are seeking help in ensuring the move away from ETSY doesn’t do any more damage to our business than already done by ETSY, nor inhibit in any way the work in process.
It bothers us to ask the public for money. It puts us too much in the domain of what traditional religions have done for centuries (pick the people’s pockets), but our operations have just taken a bat to the knee by the FDA (a wholly owned subsidiary of big pharma) and we need bridge money to get us through safely. We need to continue our operations of serving the suffering people with our natural remedies.
ETSY’s ridiculous limitations on what we can and can’t say had an expensive overhead in the resulting number of questions we would have to answer before someone buys our products. Having control of our own site means we can actually say “Our products are non-psychotropic and will not get you high.” And “We aren’t called the weed nuns because we grow any psychotropics (we don’t), but because we are activists for the health benefits of the whole plant.” I can say those things on our web site, in our ads, but I couldn’t say those things on ETSY.
If we get more than the money requested, we would get to roll out a wholesale program. There are many stores around the world that want to buy our products wholesale and sell them in their stores, but we need to be able to fund much bigger batches before we can do that. Our grow operations, right now, are very small, because we just moved to the farm. We don’t know, yet, if we should grow here, because we are not protected here.
If we get more money, we will spend it on security so we can use this farm as it was intended – a cannabis farm.
The Sisters of the Valley thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
The youtube links below lead you to our music videos. They show the Sisters making the medicine, doing their activism, and the ordination of Sister Rose. The Sisters’ facebook page link is also included.