33 Barefoot Lane logo

October 3, 2009

33 Barefoot Lane Logo Quick e-mail view

We are excited to have finalized the conception of our 33 Barefoot Lane logo.  We think it is simple, catchy, and classy.  And it seems to speak, “I’m a place, not just a name”, which is exactly what we were hoping to achieve.

33 Barefoot Lane is the name that now incorporates our farm and businesses together; one name, many endeavors.  And there REALLY is a lane; it’s the old cow lane that the cows used to walk down to get to the far pasture.  And it goes without saying that the kids also had to walk the lane, to bring the cows home for the evening milking. Often barefoot, through the mud, thistles, cow piles, and wire – you name it, they stepped on it.  While the cows have been gone for fifteen years, the lane and the memories remain.

And the 33……. when we counted all the Niemela’s (including in-laws) that have lived on this farm since Grandpa Charlie and Grandma Sophie settled here in 1916, we came up with 31; then we added in a couple of cousins that lived here for the summers during their childhood – and that gave us 33.  Thirty three family members over four generations have called this farm home, and in their honor our farm will be known as 33 Barefoot Lane.

Tell us what you think of the logo designed by Sarah Shattuck of Four Seasons Design Company.

Shout out for Elbows Allowed!

September 7, 2009

louise birthday

To celebrate my mother-in-laws 80th birthday this past August, we hired a catering crew to come to our home and prepare a birthday feast.  And what a feast!  Elbows Allowed, a brand new, local catering company in Cokato, prepared and served a fantastic meal, all made from scratch and home cooked!


Bacon wrapped artichoke hearts
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
Barbecued Ribs
Garlic mashed potatoes
Raspberry pear walnut spinach salad
Fresh garden vegetable medley
Raspberry topped cheese cake drizzled with dark chocolate

Basil strawberry punch

I believe that this new company is headed for some big time bookings!  Elbows Allowed is a dream that two friends, Betsy Niemela (my sister-in-law) and Mary Raisanen, had talked of pursuing over the years while they worked in the corporate world.  Finding themselves both laid off from their corporate jobs this past winter, they decided they had nothing to lose by following their catering dream!  Both of these ladies come from large families, and grew up helping their mothers prepare home cooked meals from scratch, and Mama Mia, does it taste like it!

Catering to parties of any size or occasion, these gals are fast gaining a reputation for outstanding food!  Give them a call for your next special occasion – 612.845.6573  or 612.229.1703

Elbows Allowed crew

Elbows Allowed crew

33 Barefoot Lane

July 14, 2009


Welcome to 33 Barefoot Lane, the new name of our farm, soap business, and this blog!  We have been working on restructuring our businesses, and many new changes are happening.  What will stay the same is the content of our blog – sharing posts about our family farm, gardening, recipes, and more.  Stay tuned!

After being featured in the Customer Spotlight with OnlineLabels.com for our product labeling, we have been contacted by many small businesses asking us to share how we have achieved the look of ‘professional’ labels.

When I was researching printers, I found the Canon Pixma iP4300 to be highly rated and reasonably priced, less than $100.00. It prints in resolutions of up to 9600 x 2400 dpi, printing in microscopic picoliters for exceptional detail.  It also has five ink tanks, which helps keep the cost down as you only have to replace individual ink tanks when they run out, and offers borderless printing, which allows me to print labels right to the edge.

It took me some time experimenting with the settings to get my labels crisp and sharp, and this is what I have found works the best for the white glossy labels, and the clear matte labels that we get from OnlineLabels. These settings will NOT work for clear glossy labels, and I do not know about the plain white non-gloss labels.

When printing labels with the Canon Pixma iP4300 printer:

Under Main Setting Tab, for Media Type choose Photo Paper Pro

For Printer Quality choose Custom, then click Set, in the box that opens up click Diffusion and slide the number bar to #1, then click Okay to save setting.

For Color Intensity I choose Manual, then click Set, under Brightness I choose Dark in the drop down box, then Okay to save the setting.  Normal or Manual setting will work also, I prefer to have the most colorful label I can print.

On Effects Setting Tab, I check Image Optimizer for sharpest printing results.

For borderless printing, click the Page Set Up Tab, in Page Layout check the Borderless Printing box, then under Amount of Extension, slide the bar all the way to the right.

In the new June/July issue of Country Woman, we share about our family’s enterprises; farming, flowers, and fragrant bath products.  We know the word is getting out, as we have been receiving calls from folks wanting to tour our cut flower gardens after reading about us.  You’ll see this photo (smaller though) in Country Woman!

Country woman picture

bouquet-6-14-08.jpgLocal subscribers will receive a bouquet of fresh cut flowers once a month while our gardens are blooming.  Three options to choose from:

3 months – $48.00
4 months – $62.00
5 months – $73.00

Each bouquet will consist of approximately 20-25 fresh cut stems in a standard vase.  Tax and delivery not included.  Local delivery only, available for $5.00 extra per delivery.  Pick up or delivery dates are flexible and will be arranged with buyer.  For more information call Cheryl at 320-286-5384.

Our homegrown, fresh cut flowers are:

Planted with Faith

Tended with love

Gathered with care

bouquet 6-14-08

We are excited to share that Good Thymes Bath & Body is in the spotlight at OnlineLabels.com!  We use Online Labels as our source for the product labels that we print ourselves.  A large selection of label shapes, sizes, and finishes at a reasonable price has made us loyal customers, and we are thrilled to be in their spotlight!

Click here to see us in the spotlight.

Click here to view their entire newsletter.

Congress heard us!

February 10, 2009


In 9th grade I rated my Civics class as the most boring class of my high school life, and I couldn’t imagine that I would ever apply it to real life.  Little did I know how ignorant I was then, and how thankful I would be later that I have a voice that will be heard by my legislators.

The FDA Globalization Act of 2008, which was a discussion draft in Congress last year, has now become a bill in Congress – the FDA Globalization Act of 2009 – HR 759.  If the bill had passed as it was written in the draft form, it would have put us and thousands of other small cosmetic and natural bath and body companies out of business with its excessive registration fees and regulations.

A grass roots efforts to change this bill was started by Donna Maria Coles Johnson of Indie Beauty Network, then joined by other Indie business leaders such as Marie Gale of the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild, Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale, Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry, Jamila White of JBlossom, and Lela Barker of Bella Lucce.  These ladies visited Washington DC on behalf of Indie beauty businesses, and learned there that Congress had no idea that a micro cosmetics cottage industry even existed.  These leaders encouraged all Indie businesses to let their voices be heard by Congress, and to help in changing the draft to preserve our businesses.

OUR VOICES WERE HEARD!  The new bill will NOT require us to pay $2000 per year to register our businesses, and does not contain excessive regulations that would hinder our businesses.  It is a good feeling to know that all the voices have made a difference, and we can stay in business and continue to live our Indie Dream.

What small steps can make a difference?  Here is how we let our voice be heard:

1.  Contacted the offices of Senators Coleman and Klobuchar and Representative Bachmann, informing them of our position on the draft and asked for their support for small businesses

2.  Signed a petition that Donna Maria Coles Johnson took with her to Washington DC

3.  Wrote about the FDA Globalization Act of 2008 in our Newsletters to inform our readers

4.  Blogged about the issue to raise public awareness

5.  Our local newspaper featured an article, Proposed cosmetic regulations act concerns small beauty industry, about how our business, Good Thymes Bath & Body, could be affected by the FDA Globalization Act.  We were front page news!

A million thanks to Donna Maria, Kayla, Marie, Anne-Marie, Jamila, Lela, and all the other Indies, customers and consumers, for uniting together and lending your voice to the effort!

And thanks, Mr. Lund, for teaching 9th grade Civics!

1.  I love being my own boss because I can boss me around, and then, I can ignore my boss if I feel like it.

2.  My boss understands when I need to take time off for family or personal reasons.

3.  Because I am an Indie, I have an endless supply of flowers in the summer, and bath treats in the winter.

4.  I can donate products for causes that will help others and hopefully make a small difference for someone.

5.  As an Indie, I am blessed to work with my daughters, and watch them use and grow their talents and gifts.

6.  I am living the American dream.

7.  I have earned a seat on every committee in every department within my businesses; sometimes I am the only seat on every committee in every department within my businesses.

8.  I am free to fulfill my endless need to research and develop, create and cultivate, grow and nurture.

9.  It is fascinating to connect with and learn of other Indies out there also pursuing their dreams.

10.  I am free to set my own goals, within my own timeline, and within my own budget; but with the knowledge that God is ultimately in control, and thank goodness that He is!

Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale tagged me.

Tag, now you’re it!  Why do you love being an Indie?

Kisse Girl

Holly Woods ‘N Vines

Blue Sage Naturals

Back Porch Soap

Shea Radiance

Mountain Rose Herbs was recently awarded the 2008 Co-Op America Peoples Choice Award for Green Business of the Year.

And why is Good Thymes Bath & Body excited about this?  Because Mountain Rose Herbs is our supplier of organic herbs used in our natural bath and body products!  When we discovered Mountain Rose Herbs a few years ago, we were absolutely amazed at the quality and freshness of their herbs, plus the prompt shipment time.  We can truly vouch that their products and service are unsurpassed!  We also appreciate that they offer their herbs in large or small quantities; it helps us to insure product freshness, which is what we are all about.

Mountain Rose Herbs also has a wonderful selection of spices, teas, essential oils, and other supplies.  If you enjoy making your own tea blends, they have all the supplies you need here.

Living on and running a certified organic farm ourselves, we can fully appreciate the meaning of the award that Mountain Rose Herbs has earned!  We are proud of them, and proud to say we have been happy customers of theirs for years!