Monday, April 12, 2010


Somehow today, I find myself needing to think about History. One of the reasons I started this particular blog was to continue the search for a new creative spark... mine has been seriously sputtering the past few years, and maybe if I use this as an outlet, I can fan the flames a little and find a fresh direction.

When I started playing with herbal crafts in the 1990's, it was purely out of self-defense. I was working in a corporate atmosphere, in software support and training for large advertising agencies. I was stressed at my support post, stressed with travel, and bored mindless with the rounds of software testing and documentation editing in between. I loved training, but usually had to travel to do it. I was more than good at most parts of my job - but to be honest, my negative attitude just trashed all the good things I was doing. The physical surroundings of the job were not helping either – a move from a historic old building and an office with windows to a tiny cubicle in a noisy, modern, dark-purple warehouse/office just simply wasn’t working for me.

So, I started looking to the garden and the herbs for natural ways to combat the stress. Aromatherapy, flaxseed eye pillows, herbs for relaxation in the bath, LOTS of chamomile tea. I started sharing these things with my stressed-out coworkers, then started having little classes for them in my dining room. It was a blast. I found that local ministry groups and craft shops were hosting classes, and taught a few around town.

In the fall of 1995 I did my first craft show - and I was hooked! I started making more items, and finally resigned my software job (with Tom's absolute blessing) in 1996. I followed that with a short stint at a sewing machine shop, then back to the software job on a contract basis for six more months, and finally I had REALLY had enough. I registered The Finch House as a business in 1997, and quit Corporate America for good.

One Saturday in April of 97, the Kentucky Derby Festival Balloon Race floated over our house. While Tom and I stood on the front lawn and watched, a woman came by, walking her little pug. She stopped, and we started talking as though we had known each other for years.

She finally looked at me and said, “My friend Kevin Thieneman has a part-time retail opening at his nursery.”

“Wait,” says I. “Thieneman’s? THE Thieneman’s? My Favorite-Place-In-The-WORLD kind of Thieneman’s?”

“Yes,” she answered. “And I think you should apply. And I think I’m going to bug you till you DO.”

Nuff said. I applied Monday, started work on Wednesday. Stayed there 12 years, even opening a garden shop there in 2000. I closed the shop and resigned my job in July of 2009, but my relationship with them remains good and, to be honest, a big part of my heart still lives there.

So now, the question is… What next?