So since we’re all kind of stuck at home, I thought I would share some photos of where I spend the bulk of my time. We operate out of a space that’s roughly 1,100 square feet. Not the biggest office, but it’s just the right size for CCF at the present. We’re still working on setting up the larger part of our office that houses our retail racks, medium, box storage and shipment carts, but we’ll revisit this blog post with a part two a little later on and I’ll give you a tour of the meat and potatoes of CCF.
I start each day by punching in… yup, just the way we all used to do before everything got so digital. There’s something about the sound of a punch out at the end of a long shift that is satisfying in a way that nothing else compares to, so much more fun than a mouse click. This vintage time clock was made in Atlanta, GA, of course.
The relocation has been tough, but I am really enjoying getting everything set back up. I haven’t done a listing from our new office yet, but when I do this will be my workspace for listings. This desk is L-shaped and we have one computer for shipping labels and one for ordering and listing (all told we have seven desks in our office, but this one is my favorite).
This little nook has pieces of things that make me happy. I’m a huge How I Met Your Mother fan and my brother gave me a sweet desk plaque that sits on my little shelf. I’ve got a photo of Lila shot by a dear friend of mine in close view. And I try to always keep a candle burning from Vieux Carre Candle Co, the one that’s burning right now is ‘Antebellum’ and it smells so good. I hope we can start offering those to you guys in the fall. But this is my quiet corner, where I go to grab a coffee and catch up on emails.
Next up I’ll share a little snapshot of where we package your succulents. This is one of two shipping stations. When things are busy I usually have help, so we each have a little area full of poly fill, lots of tissue, twine and those little box stickers. It’s nothing fancy, but we try to package each succulent with care and love.
The calendar here looks so simple, but looks can be deceiving. There’s so much that goes into my days at CCF. I’m usually working until late in the evening hand-picking succulents, communicating with vendors, printing stakes, ordering supplies, building boxes (we go through about 1,000 boxes a month alone) and bagging lavendar. I punch about 90 hours a week when we’re doing live listings.
Next we’ll swing around the corner to our cold stock room.
Don’t be dismayed by the lack of plants—they’re coming, I promise. We’ve ordered hundreds upon hundreds this past week. We’ve got more racks than what you can see in this snapshot, but that said, we are waiting on a lot of shipments from Korea right now (everything is delayed because of the pandemic, but we’re ready and waiting for shipments to arrive).
This stockroom may not look like much, but it was a feat of engineering, let me assure you. It’s something that I have wanted to implement for a while now. Our past stockroom was ambient air, which is the way that most sellers do it. This stockroom is sealed off and has its own air circulation system (we took the door off this week so we could install a commercial dehumidification system into the wall and I snagged a photo). The cost to build out this stockroom came in at $164 a square foot, we've utilized state of the art equipment in there and we're really proud of the results that we're seeing as a result of this effort.
We can keep about 700 plants in total in this cold storage room at any given time (quality over quantity definitely applies, we will never be a bulk plant source, but all of our plants will be hand-selected for uniqueness and charm). We may be adding a few more of these stock rooms this autumn, based on the results we see from this one. This room stays 50F with about 30%RH. It’s been a huge accomplishment to be able to get it that cold and we’ve been working very, very hard in there the past few weeks.
There’s great benefits to having a cold storage for freshly imported plants in terms of pest control. We’ll go into that further on our next blog post.
And on the way into the cold stockroom I always stop to remember my Mema, she is why I started this business. She always had a little statute of the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil monkeys in her sunroom. I had liked them from the time I was a little girl and I found this cardigan hook to hang my sweaters on (it’s chilly in that stockroom), so every time I grab a sweater I try to remember to be kind to others and thank her for the lessons that she taught me.
So I hope you guys enjoyed this mini tour. I’ll be sure to follow up with a Part 2 when I have a little more time. We’re still working diligently to get the larger section of CCF set back up, so once we get that completed I’d be happy to show you our other work stations. We aren’t listing at the present, but I assure you we are working very, very hard so we can be live again as soon as our incoming stock has a chance to quarantine.
I hope everyone is not going too stir crazy. I’ve had enough to keep me pretty busy, so I haven’t noticed much in terms of not being able to go out. I hope you all are faring well and staying safe. I’d love to see where you all are working. If you’d like to share with me pop into the Community tab and show me your workspace—I’d love to see!
Next week’s blog post will go up on Friday and we’ll talk about the cold and what it means in terms of pest control. Hopefully that will be a lot of fun to talk about.
So until next week (unless you want to email and chat),