Beginnings are generally a mixture of special, exciting, and scary all at once. The first day of kindergarten (throwing it way back), being dropped off at college, starting your first job, getting married, are most beginnings that the average human experiences. And with beginnings comes challenges that can lead to growth.
2020 was a traumatic year. While it’s easy to think about all the bad that came out of last year, it was amazing to see the positives that arose from such a difficult time. People losing their jobs but deciding to start their own business, families who were drifting apart becoming close again, and a new appreciation for what we now call ‘normalcy’. Light always seems to find its way through the darkness, you just have to notice it.
With so much uncertainty through the year of 2020, we wanted to begin a series called “Beginnings” where we tell the stories about some of our vendor’s personal experiences with their own beginnings. We hope these stories help inspire you; whether you are on the fence about starting over or nervous to “risk it all” for your big dream.
Because, guess what... your dream is much closer than you may think ;)
Grasshopper Goods and Ann in a Jam go way back to when GG was solely a mobile boutique hopping around to festivals and markets. Ann was one of our first ‘vendy’ friends and it just stuck :) Creative Director Jenn has said she keeps at least 12 jars of Ann in a Jam’s Strawberry Balsamic Fig in her pantry because “she can’t go a day without it”. Believe us when we say, it’s just that good folks.
For Ann, the beginning of her canning journey began when her husband’s grandmother passed away who was an avid canner. His grandmother left Ann her canning pot and, at first, Ann pursued canning for the family to continue to pass down the tradition but it ended up sparking something much bigger. In what felt like no time at all, Ann’s basement was full to the brim with jams, jellies, and pickled vegetables (more than the family could get through).
“What do I do with all of these jars?”
“Well, why don’t you try selling some at the Lodi Farmers Market,” her mother-in-law suggested.
And so Ann in a Jam was born.
Over the years, Ann began attending Farmers Markets to sell her jam in hopes she could “pay for her hobby”. What she didn’t realize at the beginning was how quickly this “hobby” of hers was going to grow. Year after year, as Ann in a Jam continued to grow the thought, “I could really turn this into something,” kept getting louder and louder in her heart.
COVID was a pivotal time for Ann in a Jam. After her husband was laid off from his job due to the pandemic, it felt like the right time to turn her “hobby” into “something bigger”.
“We looked at each other and said let’s hold hands and jump off the cliff… let’s do this!”
Today, one of Ann’s big dreams has come true. Ann in a Jam has moved from canning in their own kitchen to renting out a commercial space! This big step has ignited their growth and has helped them expand their business to new heights. And they’re just getting started :) This jump actually made it possible for Grasshopper Goods to sell Ann in a Jam in our shop. We are ecstatic!
When asked to share what her advice to other dreamers and doers out there would be, Ann responded:
“Just do it! I realized quickly that everything I was intimidated by was never as scary as I had thought it would be. It makes me want to go back in time and do it all sooner. Just give it a try!”
Something we learned from Ann after speaking with her about her beginnings? DREAM BIG! Don’t be afraid to think of everything you want and to push forward. Don’t ever limit yourself. Because your dreams are possible. You just have to go out and get them.
Thanks for reading! We can’t wait to continue to share more of our amazing vendor’s stories with you all :) And if you haven’t tried Ann in a Jam’s incredible jams and jellies… you have not lived ;) We have a lovely selection of her jams and jellies in our shop or you can order online.