Catherine opened a store called Pedricks on Etsy. She grows long stemmed English Lavender out on the central coast of California between Santa Cruz and Monterey, which she uses to create lavender wands.

Tell us your story

My name is Catherine Pedrick and I have a store on Etsy called Pedricks. At the moment it is ranked in the top 5% out of 1.8 million stores on Etsy.

I grow long stemmed English Lavender out on the central coast of California between Santa Cruz and Monterey. I also grow fuchsias, but that is another story I am working very hard on. In order to pursue the dream of a fuchsia nursery, I began growing lavender in the sandy soil here and it took off.

A friend has showed me how to make ‘Lavender Wands’ in 2008 and I realized that it would make perfect use of the small amount of lavender I had at the time. Lavender falls off of the stem when it is mature and the Victorian ladies realized that if they wove it with ribbon before this happens, they would have a handy case to keep the flower buds in.

Since I always include a lavender sachet with all of my orders, this gave me a new means of using the lavender. People liked them so much, that over the years I have increased the range of colors I make them in, to 30 shades of double-sided satin ribbon.

pedricks

I make them in four sizes. The largest of which, only be a few made each season because of the length of fresh lavender stems necessary to make them. Out of the 35,000 stems of lavender I cut each season to make an average of 2,200 wands, only about 100-150 of those wands will become the huge size of wand.

At the moment, I am on the cusp of being able to replace a friend who is retiring from horticulture after 35 years! And we have been friends for 35 years. We both began in the once famous Antonelli Begonia Gardens of Santa Cruz. Michael has made it his lifes work to continue their once famous collection of fuchsias and exotic begonias. I am hoping to merge my collection with his and continue in his footsteps.

I would like to purchase the remainder of his inventory so he can retire with ease.

When did you turn your craft into a business?

About 2009

How did you come up with a name for your store?

It was pretty simple to me because I already had PedricksCorner, so I just shortened it to Pedricks. That way I could expand beyond lavender when I wanted.

How did you start selling on etsy?

As soon as I realized the lavender wands were a bit of a special product. Few people used to know they existed and for years, it wasn’t even a search term Etsy would list in the stats for my store. So I could not rely on just a local customer base.

What’s your most favorite product?

I actually really love making the lavender sock dolls. I saw a sock doll and thought, “hey!” why not stuff them with lavender instead?

Do you talk to your customers? Do you run your website or blog, social media?

Yes! I have a twitter account, instagram, a Facebook page, and I post everything to Pinterest. My Pinterest boards have been doing really well for me because in my quest to spread the news about lavender wands, I realized that I need to search out quality lavender products from all over and showcase them. So I started a board called ‘All Things Lavender’. I have no problem promoting other people who make lavender wands. They can only be made in limited numbers during a very short period of time each year. So I doubt anyone else is going to make it their full time summer job. (Smiling)

What are your future goals?

To continue growing lavender and weaving the wands during the heat of the summer, as even though I am determined to get my fuchsia nursery going again, plants cannot be shipped in the heat of the summer. And my other love, ceramics, will keep me busy in the cold of the winter when neither fuchsias or lavender can be worked with.

What’s your process from an idea to a finished product?

That will be an excellent question for my other etsy store, CatDancingArtStudio once I am able to get my own kiln and really begin producing ceramics. Both thrown, hand-built, and carved. Hopefully lavender and fuchsias will be my ticket to artist dreams in ceramics.

Where and when do you find yourself most creatively inspired?

When I am out cutting the lavender or taking care of my fuchsia collection. Aren’t smart phones awesome for taking quick on-the-fly notes! I can’t just run up the hill for a piece of paper every time I get inspired!

Any other thoughts?

Looking forward to the further success of Etsy with the hopes that artists, craftspersons, and artisans all over the world will be able to continue to connect and exchange their products.