I am so so excited about today's mom boss, not only because she is one of the hardest working and most talented people I know, but because she is my mother-in-law as well :P If you know my "Mamma Nancy," you know she does it all: Farming, crafting, selling, flipping, AND working full-time at a school... she is seriously AMAZING (and she puts 100% into everything she does). I can go on and on about this fabulous woman, but I will let her tell you the rest:
Nancy, can you please tell our readers who haven't had the pleasure to meet you more about you?
I am 55 years old and have worked for South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative for the past 5 years. Basically I travel to 15 South Central Schools and help Special Ed students find jobs and get them job experience. I love my job but I do look forward to my summers when I can stay home and pursue my own interests such as working with my animals and canning and whatever else I decide to make. This year I am expanding my interests to making lotions, exfoliating lotions, bath bombs, candles and play dough for the kids.
You have worn many hats over the years in terms of your careers, so can you tell us a little bit of what types of jobs you have had since you began working?
I've had many jobs over the years from fast food to banking to beauty products to Home Improvement to womens clothing, novelty and para. I often held two and for a while 3 jobs at the same time.
I grew up on a farm up in North Dakota and never really appreciated how wonderful it truly was until after I moved off when I graduated from high school. I've lived in town since I was 18. I've been a "city girl" from then until about 4 years ago. I never thought I would ever live on a farm again, but I always thought it would be nice to lie in the country on a little "Hobby Farm", but still have our regular jobs in town.
Fast forward to when you met your (now) husband a few years ago... you made a pretty big change by moving from the city to the country! Did you know from the start that you were going to start a side business from your new farm?
I met Russell on line about 6 years ago. He also lived in town and works as a mechanic. He had lived on a farm as a kid and also wanted a place out in the country. So when I decided to move 2 hours away from my home to go live with and marry Russell, shortly after, we found a place in the country and decided to buy it.
When I say you do it all, I mean you do. it. all. For those of our readers who may not know you in real life, what all do you make and sell from your farm?
When we moved to the country I had no idea at the time that I would get so involved in gardening canning and especially my animals. Honestly, Russell is more of the gardener, but like he says, I sure do like to sell it at the Farmer's Market. I however, really enjoy my animals. We started out with a few baby chicks that Russell surprised me with and put them in a small building that was already there and built them a pen. It didn't take long and my few chicks and one house and pen turned into 9! Before I knew it I had over 150 chickens! I had ducks, geese and turkeys for a while but decided to just stick with chickens.
Once the word got out that I had chickens the egg orders started coming in! So the first thing off my farm that I started selling were my eggs.
I have 6 different breeds of chickens that I incubate their eggs and then sell them at a poultry auction that's held once a month. From chickens we quickly went to pigs, cows and goats! Along with several cats, two German Shepard dogs and one boarder collie. Oh, and I can't forget my peacocks Romeo and Juliet!
How do you sell your products? Do you do anything online or is it all in person?
The first year out at our farm we noticed tons of sand plums growing. And I decided I wanted to try and make sand plum jelly. That was a big hit, so then I tried watermelon jelly and that too did very well. Once the garden started producing I started selling at the Farmer's Market. My produce, jellies and salsa, which I make from my own home grown vegetables, sold so well that I now sell at two different Farmer's Markets once a week. This year I decided to try a few other things.
If you had to choose one of your side businesses as your favorite, which would it be?
I love making things and it's very rewarding when I can sell it to people who really enjoy it and also make a little profit from it! I'm always coming up with different things to make. (Oh, I can't forget my zucchini bread made from my home grown zucchini and pumpkin bread made from my home made pumpkins!) I also make signs etc. from pallets
Can I say on here that I am also making home made wine and beer? The beer I haven't quite mastered yet but the apple wine is the best!! Of course I can't sell that but my family members sure like it when Christmas comes around!
In closing, I have to give kudos to my wonderful husband who is my biggest supporter! He encourages me in everything I do! No matter how outrageous it seams he says "Whatever you want. If it makes you happy, why not?"