One of my favorite things to do to start my Thistle Farms mornings off on the right foot is to go to the garden and pray. The garden is to the right of our plot on 5122 Charlotte Avenue, and is a beautiful, winding path lined with plants and flowers of every kind. There’s a perfect stone I love to sit by as I center myself for a long day of work, and sometimes, I hear a slight rustling nearby and Lydia appears from behind one of the shrubs. Lydia, a recent graduate, is always flitting about doing a number of jobs around Thistle Farms, and we strike up a conversation.
“Lydia, what is it that you do at Thistle Farms?” “Well, my title is ‘General Office Assistant.’ I help in the garden, the café, with tours, I make products like lip balms and smoothies, I help in the office. They move me around a lot. I can make lotions, butters, and polishes. I do inventory, photography, and blogging!” She says with a proud smile. “What is your favorite Spiritual Principle?” I ask. “Oh, they all mean a lot to me, but the two that stand out are ‘Make a Small Change and See a Big Difference’ and ‘Remember You’ve Been In the Ditch.’ It’s been these small changes, one at a time, that’s led to stuff like me getting two years clean and losing 100 pounds. I always remember I’ve been in the ditch. I volunteer at my church’s thrift store because I’ve got to remember those that are behind me and reach out to them because if I don’t, who will? The best way out of a situation is for someone to lead by example.”
“What is your favorite product, Lydia?” She pauses and thinks for a moment before responding with, “Tuscan Earth Body Butter! I put it on my feet, elbows, and hands every day.” She says excitedly, “It’s just something I have to do in my beauty routine. It’s like missing brushing your teeth and you just don’t feel right when you walk out of the house, you know? You just have to do it! I have to have it.” She ends our conversation by saying, “Buying Thistle Farms is really an investment. You put your money into this place, into this woman, and then you’ll come and see. If you watch one particular woman and you come in and see that woman progress, that $20 you spent makes $2000 worth of a difference. It’s a good return on your investment!” Lydia really helps me see what “social business” really means.
By Autumn, Thistle Farms Intern