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What Farmers’ Markets Mean To Us: A National Farmers’ Market Week Reminiscence

This is a post in our blog, "Happy Accidents in Soapmaking." We hope readers will enjoy discovering just how much fun cold process soapmaking can be. Curious about the mother-and-son team at Scent of the Sun? Learn more.

Kay Brown in the Early Days of Scent of the Sun

When we set up our first table at the Gallatin Farmers’ Market in 2013, we were excited, nervous, and very aware that we had no idea of what we were doing. We’d only recently even named ourselves, thinking up Scent of the Sun in the runup to our first market day. We certainly had no idea that it would lead to an eight-year process of creating a mother-and-son business. But as we celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week (August 1-7), we can’t help but reflect on what a wonderful journey it has been.

A view from our early display

Kay began our first market with a handful of soap tubs, a tablecloth, and a few handmade labels. But over the course of the season, we made countless friends with our fellow vendors and customers alike. We learned lessons from farmers and artisans like Joe and Pat Dunigan of Lucky J Farms, Shawn and Terry Faulkner of Natureworks TN, or Hargis and Tina Wade of WadeFarmz, among so many others. And we learned to work together, too, as Rick returned from graduate school and began to learn the craft of soapmaking from Kay.

Our modern display at the Murfreesboro Saturday Market

We’ve also learned from our customers, who taught us how to make better soap, craft richer displays, and try countless new ideas. There are too many to name, but we’re grateful for each of you, and some of the memories we’ve created with you are our favorites. With your support, we’ve gradually expanded from our home market in Gallatin to feature displays in Hendersonville and Murfreesboro, and even to stores at Gallatin's Artisan Hatchery and Goodlettsville's Rare Bird Antique Mall. It’s a growth we could never have imagined when we stacked our first tubs of soap on the concrete floor of the Gallatin Farmers’ Market in the warmth of a mid-summer day.

Kay and Rick Brown

With those experiences, our knowledge, our customers, and what would become our livelihood grew, even allowing Kay to retire from her job to take on Scent of the Sun full-time. Eight years later, farmers’ markets and their patrons have made our mother-and-son business possible. And eight years later, we’re still deeply grateful for each day we get to spend with the people of the Gallatin Farmers Mark, Hendersonville Farmers & Artisan Market, and Murfreesboro Saturday Market. We’re still learning constantly, and sometimes it feels like we still don’t fully know what we’re doing.

But we do know one thing: your support of Farmers’ Markets makes stories like ours possible. Each Farmers' Market is an incubator for small businesses with big dreams. And each time you support a local farmer or artisan like us, you make our communities a little more vibrant: thank you.


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