Wednesday, May 28, 2014

NEW LOCATION

Effective May 3, 2014 Walnut Street Traditions and Hoosier Candle Company can be found at our new home.....294 Market Street in DAYTON INDIANA....we have TONS of parking, a great new space....and are very happy to be in such a great little community! Our store hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-5.  Stop by and see us! Our new phone number is 765-296-9425.www.lambandheart.com

Monday, March 4, 2013

Johnston Benchworks Sale Event first of 2013! 35% off MSRP

It's that time again.....there's no better way to SPRING up your home than with new decor!  Our Johnston Benchworks Sale will run through March 25th! During our sale you will receive 35% off of suggested retail pricing!  We have over 150 samples and there are dozens of furniture selections! 
Contact us for more information!
765-423-1863 or email: traci1.lambandheart@verizon.net
To view the many, many pieces that have been ordered over the years from us be sure to visit our Facebook page under Walnut Street Traditions.
To see more selections on our blog, be sure to type JOHNSTON BENCHWORKS in our search box and it will bring up past posts (which also include many, many pictures)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Twig Trees Ready to Ship!

We've been selling the German Twig Trees for 10 years (and the owner before us sold them for 8 years) so it's easy to see that they are a BEST seller! Each year by November we are sold out! We have all sizes in stock and ready to ship!  Orders placed online will ship within 2 days.  Be sure to visit our website www.lambandheart.com for prices and information (please note: on our website shipping is already figured in!) Sizes range from 12"-8 feet!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Who's ready for SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY?

We are! And here's why....Last year (2011) we had our SINGLE BEST DAY in our (then) six year downtown history!  We are VERY excited for the 2012 American Express Small Business Saturday, it's a day that recognizes the back bone of American Business....in Small Businesses.  And just where would we be without those? Mark your calendars, plan to visit.....show your favorite small businesses HOW special they are!  SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH!  Make a small businesses day a BIG business day! Shop local, shop small, Shop Small Business Saturday!




 

German Twig Trees have arrived!

German twig trees have arrived and are available in 4, 6, 7, and 8 foot trees!  Quantities are limited.  Order soon!  Find us online for convenient ordering! Most orders will ship out the next day!
Find us online at www.lambandheart.com.  Ordering is safe and secure!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Story of Walnut Street Traditions...the 1st 10 years! Chapters 1-6

Here lately I've been asked many, many times "what's your story" I've now spoken to two groups, and have a third that wants to know "our story" Many of you have been along for this entire journey...some are just joining us, either way not too many people know the ENTIRE story....so for the "enquiring minds that want to know" this is where our story begins......


Chapter 1

I hope I'm the kind of storyteller that inspires, intrigues, but most of all .....tells a good story. On a frequent basis I am asked "what's your story" and how did I end of where I am today?

I was reflecting on my life the other day, as I silently laughed at myself realizing how ten years have just flown by as I remembered back to the beginning of this journey.

It was 2002 when this all truly began. I was a 31 year old married, stay at home mom, with a part time job in a hair salon, as a nail technician. It was a great job that allowed me to be home...and work a little bit. I loved what I did but had bigger dreams of owning my own business.

Something most of you don't know is a "secret" passion of mine...writing. Since age 12 I have written over 1,000 poems. So from these writings I decided to create a line of greeting cards. My "aspiring" greeting cards then led me to craft shows.

In December of 2002, myself, along with three other friends embarked on the world of craft shows. My friends quickly grew bored, as this was not their cup of tea. At the Sacred Heart show in Fowler there was a very talented lady who had beautiful wreaths. So, me, being me, lol engaged in a conversations that changed my life. From my "new" friend I learned that she did not own a business, however she worked for one, Lamb and Heart. I had remembered seeing the CNN news about a terrible tragedy that had happened in September of that same year. So I asked Diane (new friend) "how is he doing"?

To back it up a minute, if you are not aware of what had happened your jaw will drop, and you will gasp. The previous owner of the business we now own experienced something that no one should ever have to go through. He lost his entire family: wife, daughter, grandkids and son- in- law to a home explosion. Diane told me he was doing the best he could do given the circumstances. I asked her what he was going to do with the business and she said "I shouldn't be telling you this...and I don't know why I am, but he has to sell the business" So I asked her if she thought it would be ok to call and ask him some questions and she said it would be fine.

I walked back to my booth with my friends and I said "I just got information that is going to change my life" and my friends listened and half jokingly said "oh there's no way you can afford that" I went home that night, told my husband Jamie and we called the owner, Brian immediately. We met with Brian a few days later....and were the new owners within 10 days. 


Chapter 2

At the time Lamb & Heart was located on State Road 26, at Koehler Brothers Nursery, in the big red barn.  Because they didn’t know us we were offered another one of their spaces, which was located in Dayton.  I knew the space because I drove by it everyday!  The building in Dayton is absolutely amazing.  Named “Stone Castle” and built in 1894 it’s been many things over the years.  We lived just outside of Dayton so we had seen many businesses go through this building.  It had been a restaurant, an antique store, a video store and many things over the years.  But in December of 2002 it was empty…and that’s all that mattered to me!  The first moment I walked into the stone building it was love.  The floors creeked, the full wall length general store cabinets just completed the look.  This was where our new beginning would start.  So, we painted, cleaned, packed up all the merchandise at the barn…and moved Lamb & Heart into the Dayton building.  Our first day of “official business” was January 11, 2003. In my mind was thinking, “ok, worst case scenario this doesn’t work and by age 40 I can reenter the working world and still have a 25 year career, so I did have a back up plan)

The support from customers was simply amazing. Although many of them were heartbroken over  the loss.  I was lucky to have Brian’s staff to help me.  They worked their magic and helped teach me all of the decorating styles and ideas that you see before you today, they planted the seeds and watched me grow.  I had no business experience.  I had no decorating experience.  I had no idea what I was doing  lol….all I had was a desire and passion, mixed with a gut instinct that this was going to work.  And my “mantra” always was “failure is not an option”  I learned early on that I was going to have to earn the respect and trust of Brian’s customers.  They did not know me, and many were not sure about how young I was.  Customers would come in and direct their questions to anyone but me…and I quickly grew thick skin and knew I had so much to learn.  I was very thankful for Nonie and Diane that stayed with us long enough for me to learn just enough to grow my own wings and “fly”. 

Brian’s girls stayed with us for the first year and half.  After we lost them we hired Patty…who is still helps us out today! Patty was a blessing when I thought I lost my team, she came in with great ideas, an amazing work ethic, and determination like mine…to make this work!

I LOVED our Dayton space.  Customers continued to visit and shop.  In March we did our official kick off open house and attendance was out of this world!  We stayed busy the entire year.  Our first Christmas there brought tears to all of our eyes… Friday night traffic was lined up to 65! We had two registers going and the lines were twelve deep all night.  That open house was the biggest compliment and affirmation that we needed….
 
As we rolled into 2004 we continued to stay busy.  In spring we were invited BACK to the barn at Koehler Brothers.  Our spring and summer had slowed down a bit so we decided maybe Dayton wasn’t the spot for us.  So we packed up…and moved into the barn.  We got set up and business picked back up.  Our Christmas there was decent, but not was as magical as Dayton.  Myself, and the girls that worked for me decided that our hearts were just not in that location and we missed our Dayton building so much…so as you guessed it…we packed up again, and moved back to Dayton.   Upon  moving back to Dayton we decided it was time to rename the store.  Customers kept asking us “what does Lamb & Heart mean” and although I had been told the story…to me I just didn’t really grasp it.  It was someone else’s story…not mine.  So as I researched more about the Dayton community I learned that the building in Dayton had originally been a general store.  In my eyes general stores are full of generations ....and traditions. The building is on Walnut Street....and so Lamb & Heart Americana Shoppe was renamed Walnut Street Traditions. The new sign was hung as another journey began.


CHAPTER 3

We arrived back in Dayton just in time for them to start road construction ....and in time for our second tornado to hit our building and take our store window out....again. I was starting to think maybe we were not meant to be there. We made it through a slow summer and rolled into a busier fall and a once again amazing magical Christmas. Once again Christmas in Dayton was just like the first one. Customers lined up, trees, ornaments, and every other Christmas item just blew out the door. We all breathed a sigh of relief...it was so good to be back home.

From the time we purchased the business people just "assumed" that Koehlers owned our business. Trying to create our own identity was proving to be hard. Our existing customers knew our history, but other customers would act confused as to who owned the business, we were "at the barn" and "in the barn" therefore they MUST have owned our business.

By the fall and Christmas season after moving back to Dayton the building owners started asking if we were planning to stay because they had other plans for their space. I had noticed over the years that being a store that stood alone was hard. I had tried to become a "destination" on my own but without other businesses to cross promote, it was just too hard.

We got through that year and the following February (now 2005) announced that we were closing. As customers stood at my counter and cried, I secretly cried as well. We had now moved not once, not twice, but three times. Our landlords wanted their building back. I couldn't afford the high rents of the strip malls in Lafayette, nor did I want to be in a "non historical" space. So...... I decided it was time to end this dream.


CHAPTER 4

And onto 2005........

My daughter attended Super Saturdays at Purdue so every Saturday I would drive her through downtown and over to Purdue. On one Saturday in March I was going down Main Street and glanced over to 1004 Main Street and saw a big FOR LEASE sign on the window. I knew the space, I had been in it several times and loved the layout. I dropped Courtnee off and drove back over and peaked in the windows, and walked around and talked to other business owners as to how business was going downtown. Everyone was very friendly and very honest. Downtown was bouncing back, but had struggled over the years.

We decided it was worth looking into so within a few days we had an appointment to look at the space. The space was long and narrow and about half the size of our current space. The floors were carpeted. The space had a full and clean basement. The entire space was freshly painted with new lighting and very clean. I felt very at peace in this space. And the best part was, the rent was affordable!

So as much as we said to ourselves "we just cannot move again".....we did it. We knew there would be questions. We knew we would lose some of our customers. We knew it might be a struggle. But in my normal "mantra" failure was not an option.

I enjoyed about three weeks off as I took my time getting the new space ready. We reopened in April of 2005. That year was rough, I will not lie. But I quickly learned there was a light at the end of the tunnel in the future and that came in the way neighboring merchants, a coffee shop, and a cheese shop.

I quickly found what I was looking for, fellow merchants that were very supportive. It was nice to see groups of customers walk around and go in each business and shop.

It was wonderful being included in events...and our favorite quickly became Dickens of a Christmas, which is always the first Saturday of December!

Our customers (and MANY new ones) found us little by little. By 2006 we felt pretty comfortable in our new space. We added lines as we could and participated in as many downtown events as we could. Our new neighbors K.Dees Coffee and Main Street Cheese and Wine opened that year, so for the first time in many, many years our entire block was 100% occupied. The city was very excited and impressed with this. As other businesses came in, so did more new customers. Another thing that was happening was fewer questions about being part of "Koehler Brothers" we finally had gained our own identity. Although many would kindly ask "why are you Walnut Street on Main Street" it was easier to explain than our other story. The question of "why did you move" was often asked, as I tried to explain it the best I could, it's taken me until now to share the "full" version of it.

I feel as if I have made hundreds of friends over the years. One thing that Brian told me in the beginning of this venture "it's hard to let go of this many friends" and now upon reaching our 10 year mark, I truly understand that.

I knew there was a history that involved downtown and the beginning of the business we now own. So as I told many and most...we have brought this business "full circle" It was started in 1985, right next door., to where we are now. It started as Main Street Country, was sold then moved onto Earl Avenue, became Lamb & Heart Americana Shoppe when Brian and Priscilla purchased it in 1994 and then moved it into the big red barn. This business is rich in history. It has always been independently owned and operated. And within the entire history of this business we can proudly say we've owned it the longest amount of time!


CHAPTER 5

2007 was a hopping year. Enter two "angels" named Ken & Steve aka...the Mosey Down Main Street guys. When I moved onto Main Street, a slow growing Main Street mind you, I was quickly assured that "help is coming" In the fall of 2007 we had our first Mosey Down Main Street that kicked off a surge of Main Street awareness and got the community interested once again in downtown. We also (a group of merchants that wanted to see something happening) organized "Octoberfest" that was a great edition to the list of events for Main Street. 2007 was the most booming, involved merchant year that we'd been downtown! The enthusuasim, commitment, and involvement in downtown was simply unbelievable. It was exactly what I had envisioned when I decided to try it downtown. I was sharing ideas with other merchants and excited to share customers with them as well.

2007 was the year that we added 2 other wonderful additions to our team, Becky and Kathy. Again, I cannot say enough about HOW lucky we have been over the years to have the help that we've had...all have become some of my best friends and I appreciate each and every one of them. (And in previous chapters forgot to mention that ALL of our help over the years have been amazing....Amber, Amanda, Carla (all now have moved on) and my BEST friend of 30 years...Annemarie

Each year our Christmas seasons downtown have gotten busier and busier. They are different than they were in Dayton, but I think many things account for that and one is we have to "share" our customers...in Dayton we did not.

My world gets turned upside down......

2008 was the roughest year of my life. It's both a blessing...and a curse to be a business owner when the hard knocks of life come knocking...and a parent becomes sick. Again, I try to distance myself from the store on certain subjects, but I quickly remembered and realized....I am human. The year started out ok...but quickly turned as my dad had to make a life altering decision. He chose to have a heart transplant that did not end well and after hundreds of trips back and forth to Indy, in between juggling the store, he lost his battle in September of 2008.

Although my world was spinning as was my head, business continued on, as does life. I was very grateful to my customers for understanding the times that I had to rush to Indy and the store would open late, or sometimes just close. My wonderful help jumped in and kept things moving when I was at the hospital...sitting. As bad as my personal life was going with all the problems with my dad, the store was super busy and doing amazing. 2008 ended up being our best year in downtown so far. I say it's because I had an angel....my dad.

There were days I struggled putting a smile on my face. But I knew I had to. There were lots of hugs, thinking of you cards, and shared tears...again wonderful customers, now friends.

My wheels do spin....so watch out!

I had always teased my landlord and told him I was going to knock a hole in the wall and expand. He would just laugh and say "we'll see" So in 2009 when he came in and said "were you serious about knocking the wall out" I didn't hesitate to say YES!!!! Looking back now I do not know HOW we managed in our original space. Our first expansion included two rooms on the newer side. My husband wanted to knock the walls out and I said NO...we need rooms with walls, to create "nooks". We still have customers that come in and say "when did you add those rooms".......... I guess they haven't been in for awhile?

Christmas that year was so fun! It was nice to have more room to stretch out and let customers have space to shop. The added space was great....but I quickly knew, it wasn't going to be enough...and so more "seeds" were planted in my landlords head lol!


Chapter 6.....2009

Each Christmas we try to take our kids somewhere for a few days. This year it was Michigan. On our way home we stopped at a store like ours. The store owner was making candles so I started asking her questions. I had really been thinking about this

(for YEARS....because Patty always told me "Traci...YOU can do this) so it just seemed like one of life's "signs" She was very helpful and when we arrived home I ordered supplies to try it myself! I figured if I was going to be asked "do you make your candles" then the answer needed to be yes...after 8 years it would be yes!


I played around with names for this little project, none of them "fit". I wanted to incorporate my "multi generation family farming genes" (say that 10 times lol) as I could just "hear" my Grandpa Harold advising me on this. I knew there were photos of my mom floating around...and quickly found "the one".....yes, the sweet little girl on the Hoosier Candle Company tags is my mom, at age 3, in my Grandpa Harold's wheat field. My Grandma Betty was the pioneer in scrapbooking...and didn't even know it! (That little picture is "officially" trademarked and all!)
 
 
 


In January of 2010 the production and creation of "Hoosier Candle Company" was officially launched. We started with our wax melts, in just a dozen scents. Requests started pouring in, as did ideas in my head! Each month we added more scents, more jars, and fill more space. The original plan was to make melts, I wasn't so sure about candles. I LOVE candles and refer to myself as the "candle connoisseur" and hope I can answer all the questions and direct customers on all areas of candles.

Candle making quickly became a great form of therapy for me. I laugh when I say that, but it truly is. I have my little production set up at home, my family is right there within feet of it, and I have a poster size memorial picture of my dad that hangs, so for me it's perfect.

The original plan was to do this "little" candle thing so that I could reduce having other lines shipped to me and if I ran out I could just make more. If I only knew how this would take over my life....and my basement!

In the middle of 2010 I started dropping more hints about expanding again. Our landlord said he wasn't completely ready for that but I could use the rooms as "storage" so I did! Christmas was very busy...and very full of inventory! I think we had the most amount of Christmas items that year than any other year...and it sold like crazy!

My faithful helpers tried to "steer" me to expand the candles and melts but I was too busy with other things to give that my full attention...so Hoosier Candle had a small cabinet at the front of the store..and everyone asked "will there be more" so I knew they were right....and so we moved into 2011....and more square footage!

We're all very tired once January rolls around. Seven days a week for two months solid plus working on candles in the evenings is tiring, but I love what I do and do it because I love it. As we entered spring I was really itching to make those rooms mine! So an agreement was reached, and we embarked on yet another expansion...making our total 7 retail rooms (2 that are technically workshops) and two full basements. All and any space and/or storage is FULL! We do have a lot of stuff here lol!

So my mind quickly started whirling into how to create this extra space for the best use. I have two things going for me...I'm woman and a retailer...both are subject to change their minds and often! The rooms came together just perfectly and the added space for the holidays was just right!

In 2011 the candle madness really started! In 2010 the melts were the hot seller, but once I started making candles....and many, many of them, it soon became madness too!

Summers are always slow around here, but this summer came a little easier...at the hand of a random act of kindness from a complete stranger. It was the middle of June and my phone rang. I thought it was a phone solicitor so I didn't answer it. I played back the message to find it was a team member from Diane Sawyers ABC World News Made in America series. Someone had emailed them about our Hoosier Candle Company and how our product was Made in USA. The man on the phone told me that our story would be pitched to Diane's team IF they liked it well enough and it fit into their route across the United States (that they were getting ready to embark on) then we'd be included in the news, if not we'd be placed on their online ABC World News map...either way we would get FREE national exposure. I was shocked, excited, emotional, you name it...I felt it. When I called to tell my mom she just sobbed..."I am so proud of you....grandpa would be so proud of you"


We had to wait about a week to find out exactly what would happen, and in the meantime I found my "angel" by way of facebook. Jennifer lives in Canada, but is from Indiana. She was very homesick and a friend liked my Hoosier Candle Page, and soon Jennifer followed. We quickly became great facebook pals, and still to this day stay in touch. We laugh now at the luck, as we quickly found out that her email, which she had just sent that morning they called me, normally would not have been read. So again, angel(s) had their hands in that one!


From that little bit of ABC attention I also got Journal & Courier coverage...so it was a nice little boost for Hoosier Candle Company, in a normally slow summer. My most favorite part of the customers that came in was the farmers in bib overalls....not one, not two, not three, nearly half a dozen famers in bib overalls came in and bought "soy" candles and asked me questions about my little candle company...and my grandpa. I called my mom and said "angels have visited me today" and it was at that moment I knew...this was bigger than me.

 


 






 

 
 


 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

JOHNSTON BENCHWORKS FALL SALE EVENT....35% OFF MSRP FROM NOW UNTIL OCTOBER 5TH!

This is our FINAL sale of 2012.  Prices will be 35% off MSRP for orders placed during the sale.  Sale ends October 5, 2012.  We have samples that can be checked out and can answer any questions that you have! Stop in soon! Orders placed during this sale event should arrive in time for your Thanksgiving Day company!! Delivery available...be sure to ask!