As Mary Jones, the owner of Scented Acres Lavender Farm, prepares to enter into “semi-retirement,” she is formulating plans for a party on July 30 to celebrate the customers who have supported her throughout the years.
The farm, which features a variety of lavender and other plants, will switch over to an appointment only type of system for both its gift shop and plant nursery following the event at the end of July.
“I just want the whole day to be a party, a lavender party, and we’ll have lavender treats and I’ll get a big lavender cake and all kinds of fun stuff,” Jones said.
After 20 years, Jones said that although she will take a step back from her business, she still plans to attend some plant shows, like the Clark County Home and Garden Idea Fair and the Camas Plant and Garden Fair, because of what she called fun-hard work.
Following July 30, she’ll continue to run her business as usual, outside of the switch to an appointment only format. The chalkboard on the side of her gift shop will include her phone number so people can set up a time to come by.
Part of the reason Jones decided to enter into semi-retirement on the business side of things is because of the changing scene with wholesalers. Jones tries to ensure her products come from Oregon and Washington, so the plants maintain a local identity, but some wholesalers have also decided to retire or have tacked on unaffordable delivery fees.
“The growers and wholesalers that are a little bit bigger, I can’t afford their delivery fees anymore, so there’s that,” Jones said. “It’s really hard for a small business to be in business anymore.”
Jones said she will try to keep her gift shop fully stocked with a variety of lavender products, but that has also become more difficult because bottles and jars are harder to find. Adding to that, some wholesalers require a minimum order of 10,000 items, which is far too much for a business of her size.
“Everybody’s minimums are rising because they only want to deal with big companies,” Jones said.
The other factor that led Jones to her decision to take a step back is because she’s still young enough to go out and play. Jones, who is a long distance bike rider, wants more time to enjoy that hobby.
But one thing is for certain: Jones will always cherish the support the community has shown her over the last two decades.
“I have got to watch people come here and I have a sandbox that little kids came and they played in and now they’re graduating college and bringing their friends here,” Jones said. “I’ve watched people retire and I’ve lost people. Someone will come and tell me that this elderly person has now passed on.”
She added that people recognize her when she’s out in public. Some have dubbed her the “Lavender Lady,” a term which has been emblazoned on the back of her Scented Acres shirt.
She hopes longtime customers and new clients will still reach out to her to see if she has lavender plants for sale or to check if she can order other plants for them.
Jones also ensured she has no plans to sell the property.
Scented Acres Lavender Farm is located at 13804 NE 117th Ave. in Vancouver.
For updates on the Lavender Party on July 30, or the business overall, check out the Scented Acres Lavender Farm page on Facebook, call 360-921-9737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.