People often ask what we do during the winter months at our farm. With the gift shop closed and the gardens asleep, it's no wonder many assume that we are off vacationing somewhere wonderful. Sigh. If only...
The truth is that the quiet downtime of winter allows us to work on the larger, behind-the-scenes projects that have been shelved all season long. This winter in particular had us quite busy with several exciting changes for both our farm and our customers! And while I would love to share them all right here and right now, I have reserved today's post for just one change. Perhaps the most exciting change. Or at least the change that has been the longest time coming and the most dearly needed.
Circa 1999 when we were more than just a little wet behind the ears in terms of branding.
The creation of our logo was contracted out, we accepted the first draft proposal, and we moved onwards and upwards with the business. At the time, our focus was on lavender. We only grew a quarter of an acre, and our few products were created to showcase this fascinating herb. It was unique and special, and we thought it would be the only crop we would ever cultivate. The logo seemed to say everything about the farm that we wanted it to: we were a small business tucked away in the countryside that was all about lavender.
Ah, but we grew. As is any entrepreneur's dream, people began to take notice of our farm way up in the hills, and they were interested! Over the next 18 years, our business blossomed from a hobby on the side to a year-round operation. We went from growing only lavender to cultivating 18 different aromatic herbs and plants to use in our products.
And so the logo, we decided, had to go.
At first there was some resistance. How would our customers recognize us? Would they still know our products?
And then a bit of sadness. This is the only logo we've ever had! How can we possibly replace it?
Until finally, acceptance. A lot of it. How did we ever think those bubble letters were nice? Who uses scrolls anymore? Why have we taken so long to change?!
And the the hard part began - the redesign. Now an enthusiastic group of change-embracers, we were suddenly struggling to get past the only design we had ever known to represent our business. Should we maintain some elements of the old in the new? Should we start from scratch?
It was in fact a very interesting exercise for all of us. We were forced to really look at the farm and dissect how we wanted to portray it to the rest of the world. And as luck would have it, we all agreed on one thing: we are no longer just a lavender farm - we grow many different herbs. And our logo should say that too.
The only issue was how?
This was not an easy task. There was draft after draft, discussion after discussion. Pinterest was thoroughly scoured. A critical eye was cast over every label we came across. Sleepless nights and notepad sketches ensued. Until at last we had an idea. Why not make the ampersand of our name - Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm - highlight the lavender & herbs we grow. Let's make it artsy! Let's make it us!
The entire process took us 3 long months. At times we were worried that we would forever be grasping at straws. That we would have to just settle for a design that seemed okay but not great. I'll admit, we were fearful up until the very moment we saw the first draft of our current logo. It was one of those wow moments that we all dream of. When your breath catches and you think - finally!
Of course, there were a variety of tweaks and adjustments that followed the wow, but knowing that we were on the right path - that we had found the path we were meant to be on - was an incredible feeling for all of us.
And even now, looking at this image before me, I can't help but smile. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.