Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Bierstedt.
Amy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Our changes began about eight years ago. We started raising chickens. We planted a garden. We caught rainwater. I was learning how to cook (really cook) with wonderful from-scratch recipes. I stopped purchasing heavily processed foods. Next up, I tackled our home and beauty products.
Reading articles and reading labels really opened my eyes! Between that, and my exposure to the wonders of essential oils, I decided to start replacing some of our products… with better, more natural, less toxic versions, made with my very own hands. It started with just lip balm, our all-purpose salve, body scrubs, and laundry detergents.
And the feedback from friends and family was wonderful! Especially with the salve. They were seeing wonderful results with their skin, with eczema, psoriasis, cuts and rashes, etc. It was a game-changer. (And to this day, it’s still our best-selling product.) So I made the leap to adding a second dba to my name (my first business was my children’s portrait studio). I signed up for my first Boerne Handmade Market. And the rest is history!
In my seven years in business, I’ve moved From Scratch Farm (with my portrait studio) twice. And we are now on our town’s Main Street. Moving to such a busy spot, I’ve made sure to constantly push myself to add more goods to our offerings. Our handmade line now includes vapor rubs, room/linen sprays, milk baths, bath salts, face mists, dryer balls, counter cleaners, and bar soaps. And going back to my roots of wanting to save the planet, I decided to carry other items that are pampering, ethical, sustainable, and better for our homes. These include luffa sponges, soap dishes, sleep masks, dry brushes, canvas shopper bags, stainless steel straws, and more. A complete, well-rounded, better-for-you storefront!
But that wasn’t good enough. So I moved my portrait studio home. And I opened up the shop to other local handmade vendors, then creating the new Handmade on Main co-op! Not only does the space house my home, bath, and body products. But now we also have:
Doubleside Toffee Company- a toffee/toffee popcorn business out of San Antonio
Bear & Roo Candle Company- a candle/wax melts business here in Boerne
Craft Tree- a crocheted stuffed animal maker here in Boerne
Crazy Plant Lovee- a houseplant/succulent business out of SA
We’ve all been in women’s groups together, or have done handmade markets together, all with the same goals and visions. So it’s been a perfect match so far! And we’re still looking for more makers to join us. 🙂
Has it been a smooth road?
I’d love to say it was smooth sailing. And although I’ve had several wonderful support groups, opportunities, and markets along the way…. a divorce changes everything. So I feel like I’m in a constant state of worry, over finances, over being successful. I need to pay the bills, I need to set a great example for my boys, I need to keep us in our home, I need to keep our shop doors open. I feel like I’ve aged quite a bit in the last five years. (Although I love to hear people’s shocked reactions when I tell them I’m pretty far into my 40’s. Even if it’s fake, it’s great to hear they didn’t think I was out of my 30’s yet) 😉
And another struggle I’m always frustrated with? Me and my fear. Sometimes I miss out on wonderful opportunities because I feel like I’m not there yet, I’m not experienced enough. Do I really know what I’m talking about? Am I a beauty expert? Who am I to be going after big dreams? Do I deserve it? If I took advantage of this opportunity, how would I cope with the sudden extra workload and up-front costs? Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy. Sometimes it’s me… holding myself back.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
From Scratch Farm is a natural/non-toxic home, bath, and body product business.
Our products are pampering, moisturizing, antibacterial, healthy.
Our ingredients are non-toxic. Our ingredients lists are short.
There’s an essential oil in almost everything.
And it’s all made by hand, in small batches, made by me.
Just pure goodness, good for you! The ultimate in self-care!
We’re definitely known for our silky lip balms, our soothing all-purpose salves, luxurious milk baths, our refreshing face mists. Right now, we’re selling our all-purpose cleaners hand over fist. And our beautiful bar soaps are always a favorite.
Super proud of creating National Handmade Day!!! Something to celebrate. A way to highlight makers. Will always fall on the first Saturday in April.
I’m proud of the difference we’re making in people’s lives, in their families’ health, in their homes. I love our customer base, what kind of people they are. Our return customers are the bomb!
And I’m proud of myself for making it this far!
But I have more products that I’ve been dreaming about. And I have a bigger dream for the business. I want there to be a day when I don’t have to worry about money.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Boerne is a tough nut to crack! While we have our incredible, regular, loyal customers…. we retailers are *heartbreakingly* finding that many residents don’t shop local/shop small.
Every time we have an event where people come in to pick up their free item from the event, I always ask if they’ve heard of us before. Likewise, every time someone walks up to my booth at Boerne Handmade Market or the farmers market, I ask if they’ve heard of us before. It’s hard to hear that they didn’t know about us. It’s hard to hear that people don’t even drive Main Street anymore. It’s really difficult to hear people tell me that they get everything they need from San Antonio and Amazon. Really does break my heart!
I tend to dream about what it would have been like, starting out in SA. What location I would have chosen, if it would have worked, how much foot traffic we would have gotten, how many opportunities would have opened up to me in that big city.
And then I dream about the day when Boerne residents start caring about little mom and pop shops when our downtown is hustling and thriving!
- Most products are between $6 and $25
- Address: 347 North Main St.
Boerne, TX 78006
- Website: www.fromscratchfarm.com
- Phone: 830-331-7474
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/thefromscratchchick
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/FromScratchFarm
- Other: www.pinterest.com/fromscratchfarmboerne