Farming lavender would most likely not be a consideration for most entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business in Kansas. For one local family that was not only a consideration but a dream, they have now watched become a reality.
Joe and Christina Blincoe were living a life, not unlike most families. They both held corporate jobs in Kansas City while raising their three active boys in Johnson County. With schedules full of school functions, club sports, and work commitments the couple desired to create a more tranquil environment for their family away from the fast-paced suburban lifestyle. They had first been introduced to lavender and it’s calming properties in Maui where they were married. “We just asked ourselves one day if this was what we really saw ourselves doing? Christina said,” We knew we wanted to work a lavender farm one day when we retire in Maui but asked why not now and why not in Kansas?”
With no prior farming experience, the couple joined the US Lavender Association and began researching what varieties of lavender would grow in this area. They learned that it would take up to five years to fully see the benefits of planting and farming lavender. “We knew this type of business would not be an overnight success but knew it would be worth it,” Christina says. Adding to the difficulty was the decision to farm completely organic. “We wanted clean, non-toxic products for our family, so we want to make sure that is what we are offering to others.” She explained.
Once equipped with the knowledge of the farming process, they began looking for a piece of land where they could implement their new-found skills. “We wanted to find rest and relaxation for our own lives,” says Christina, “learn to grow our own food, have land to enjoy nature and the outdoors.” It was important that their farm be close enough to Johnson County to allow others to have access to it as well. They found the perfect spot just 15 minutes south of the county line and Sweet Streams Lavender Company became a reality.
Today the farm is a thriving business offering a variety of spa and culinary products, yoga classes and other events. It is still a labor of love for their family. Joe and Christina enjoy having this one thing that is so different from anything in the metro area. They have a passion for their business that is contagious. “We have also become closer as a family.” Christina explains “We have our faith that keeps us all together and the boys love coming home and listening to the entrepreneurship success and struggles.”
Giving back to their community, customers and fellow small business owners has also been a company priority. “We have supported and encouraged many others to go out and do that one thing they have always dreamed of.” says Christina “Life is too short to not chase down your dream.”
You can find more information about Sweet Streams Lavender at sweetstreamslavender.com