We’ve received almost all of our chosen retail software [Lightspeed] and hardware [Apple] for the store now, meaning next week we begin the process of learning how to operate our POS [point of sale] system. Somehow, all of the gismos and wires and cash drawer and drives and card swipes will fit together seamlessly yet for now all looks akimbo like the wrapping and cardboard flotsam and jetsam after the frenzy of opening gifts under the Christmas tree. How this is going to allow us to track inventory, create bar codes, print receipts and more boggles at least my mind, yet many have made a success out of retail business without being rocket scientists so there is comfort in knowing we’ll get through this. Inventory is coming in, antiques, candles, cards, honeys, jewelry samples and so on. We need still get our own FTH labels printed and assign to each item. And we need to order bags that we can stand by. Even the Lululemon and Whole Food bags reusable “green bags” are made in China! My new friend and evolving collaborator, Jerry Fain of OpenHup, is on the case finding a women’s collaborative who can make them for us at a better price while the women get paid a better rate. This is our hope with all our vendors. To as much as possible, tell the story of each source in store. We’re going to host a “soft opening” July 31st with Cambridge Local First small biz allies and members of TheMove who can help us test our systems and get a bit of a handle on what we’re doing before our doors officially open August 20 [National Honey Bee Day]. So, back to the bags qnd the liability insurance, and seeking a liquor license so we can carry mead and — and, getting our counter built! And tomorrow four NUC colonies come so we can establish them in the forest where we are going to try some organic, non-medicating approaches to bee tending after we lost three booming hives over the winter anyway while using all the traditional methods advised; medicating, ventilating, insulating, apistan, terramycin, menthol, lots of honey in store. Well, the bee tender’s motto I hear is: “Next year will be a better year!” So on that note, I’ll leave you with another musing shared from my friend and tender gardener J.g Hayes. Seems to me this meditation is very much how I feel when it comes to bees and this bees-ness!
Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without the words
and never stops, at all–
And sweetest in the gale is heard
and sore must be the storm
that could abash the little bird
that’s kept so many warm.
I’ve heard him on the chillest land
and on the strangest sea
yet never in extremity
did he ask a crumb of me.
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