It seems like yesterday, but it’s been 15 years now….
Back in December of ’99, a little convenience store closed, and it was the best thing that could have happened. I needed a new place to get coffee and ended up with a dinner date. Michael’s a bit of a geek, while I’m a nature girl. I’d tell him to get off the computer, and he’d tell me to get my feet out of the mud. Our differences complemented each other though, and because of our different strengths our love-child, Cloverleaf Farm has grown up to be a success.
Our first date was Jan 12, 2000. I knew I was falling in love, but I must say after being a single Mom for 10 years with little luck in the “love” department, I was a little wary. We saw each other quite a few times, and he proposed on April 25th. Everyone said, “Oh, he’s a keeper,” so I married him on August 12th. We always made each other laugh. Luckily fifteen years later, we still find lots to laugh about. This is especially important since working together means we spend a lot of time together.
Our first home together was a two bedroom apartment, full of growing (hungry) boys. I had a cleaning business, and Michael worked in software. With a combined total of 6 boys, we needed a bigger home. We rented a large home on a quiet street. We took pleasure in the simple things in life, like taking a joy ride to chase the moon to photograph or romantic walks in the rain.
We share a love of antiques and old houses, which led us down the path when house hunting. While we originally were looking to stay and live in the Conway area, we saw nothing we liked. We kept looking at the flyer for this house in Effingham, and when we thought all was lost, we went to look at it. It was love at first sight. We bought the historic farmhouse in the small town, and named it Cloverleaf Farm. We enjoy volunteering for the Effingham Library, and have volunteered for the Preservation Society, and other town events as well. We also volunteer in the adjoining small towns.
Our favorite hobby is dressing up in Victorian period costumes and giving tours of the farmhouse. I can’t imagine what life would’ve been like if we hadn’t bought the farm.
Years before we met, I was looking for natural pain management and started studying aromatherapy and herbalism. I eventually got certified as an herbalist and have continued learning ever since. I became passionate about helping people with herbs, and teaching them alternative ways to wellness, besides “pills.”
Cloverleaf Farm started out as a little herbal tea and gift store, with us farming out back. I enjoyed getting dirty and watching my little seeds grow. He enjoyed the computer marketing side of the business. The shop transformed for a couple of years, selling herbs, herbal products, as well as natural foods.
After we went global with our products, our once little shop became our manufacturing and shipping departments. Our little shop closed, but we enjoyed doing farmers markets. Soon, we had not time for those, either. Michael’s geekiness, and all that time on the computer ended up coming in handy, since now Cloverleaf Farm ships hundreds of packages a day to customers all over the world.
It’s crazy to think all of this might never have happened if that place where I usually bought my coffee hadn’t closed.