We are so excited to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for your unwavering support and loyalty over the past 3 and 1/2 years. With our sincerest thanks and a bit of incredulity, we share some exciting news: Orlando Weekly Magazine has named us a Reader’s Choice – one of "Best of Orlando" for best CBD shops in 2023. All we can say is Wow, we are so thrilled that many of you have not only chosen to shop here but have given us such a huge thumbs up! We are humbled every day by the trust you put in us to carry safe and effective products – and mostly for allowing us to help you navigate the sometimes-overwhelming number of choices to find a CBD or THC product that works for you – or your mom – or your spouse – or even your beloved pets.
Our journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, filled with both triumphs and challenges. Most of you won’t be aware of this, but we literally sold the family farm to raise the funds to start our business. And in February of 2020, we picked up the keys to our storefront with a few stars in our eyes, the determination to do our very best for our customers and not a small amount of hope that we could create a successful store and clinic. But everyone in the world knows what happened in March of 2020. So, our hope became digging in and thinking, “if we can just make it through a few months,” to not a small amount of panic, to a bit of depression, and finally to chugging through some pretty tough times to get to a point where we are sure we can survive – and hopeful that we can truly thrive. Through the days of the pandemic when we had zero customers, to days with just a handful, to consistent, though not record-breaking growth we are genuinely thrilled to still be here, serving you. Honestly, it is your faith in us that has kept us going, and we are profoundly grateful for it. Sometimes I think of this store as my second home. It brings me such joy to be able to help someone feel better. And while I hate losing customers, I am always happy when someone is better enough not to need us anymore. And I hope they will stop by sometimes just for a little bit of zen.
From 2020 until now, there have been three major struggles that have defined our path:
First is obviously the Worldwide Pandemic: We opened our doors during a time of huge uncertainty and with no established customer base, we would sometimes spend days at a time just hoping that someone would find us. Sadly, due to our spectacularly bad timing, we did not qualify for federal funding because we weren’t open before March 9th. We opened April 1 – so it was a very special April Fool’s Day – lol. But still, we were so much better off than many in that time. You plan on having to carry your business for the first few years, but holy cow, it was a lot heavier than we thought it would be. Yet, we decided not to give up and walk away. We stuck with the plan – to help bring Hemp based wellness solutions into the light by educating others about what they can (and can’t) do. And we stayed committed to offering the highest quality CBD & THC products despite the temptation to try to cut corners.
Ever-Changing Legislation in the Hemp Industry: The landscape of the hemp industry is constantly shifting, making it challenging to determine which products to invest in, whether we will even be allowed to stay in business, and making sure everything we offer is not only safe, but compliant with state regulations. Your trust in our choices and our determination to stay informed has allowed us to adapt and provide you with the very best in product offerings.
Social Media Restrictions: As a hemp-licensed business, we've faced significant limitations when it comes to promoting our products and services on social media. The rules set by social media companies have created a unique challenge. But, through your loyalty and referrals, we've been able to grow organically. If you haven’t already, please like, follow, comment, and share – or even better leave us a google review. It makes a huge difference for organic growth.
Except for the Pandemic, none of the obstacles we have faced have truly been life threatening to our business, but the combination made things far more challenging than we, perhaps naively, anticipated. Since our opening didn’t really go as planned, we made the decision to lease some of our space to additional practitioners. We did this both to expand our opportunities for foot traffic and to have help with rent and expenses. Sheena Varghese joined us first – offering expert Medspa services. Soon after that Dr. Yves Surin joined us, offering acupuncture and physical therapy. Most recently, we were joined by Roxanne Brown, an Esthetician offering facials, lashes, and waxing services. If you are among our local clients and have a need for any of these services, we encourage you to give them a try.
Even though we had some extraordinary, and, frankly, unanticipated challenges, we have always been so thrilled to be able to help our customers. Some of you have required a bit more trial and error with hemp products than others. Many of you, once you find a CBD or THC (or combination) solution that works, will stick with it, and repeatedly purchase the same things over and over. Others of you have switched up products looking for the best solutions, and many of you try new things just because variety is the spice of life. Some people we see once a week, others we see once a year. However, whenever, and whyever you shop with us – thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are a little proud of the fact that our growth has been primarily organic – because that means it has been driven by the trust and enthusiasm of our incredible customer base. Your support, your referrals, and your loyalty have not only allowed us to survive but to become one of the best in Orlando. We are deeply appreciative of your belief in us and the opportunity to serve you. We pledge to continue working diligently to provide you with top-quality Hemp products and to navigate the challenges of our industry, so you don’t have to.
Once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for choosing us as your CBD store. We look forward to many more years of serving you, offering the best products and wellness services and sharing in the journey together.
And don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to vote for us this year – we will enlist your help next year. We didn’t even know we were nominated this year, so winning the third-place spot out of a few hundred stores in Orlando was an incredible surprise. Now that we know what’s possible – we are shooting for number ONE next year!!
In the meantime, like, follow, subscribe, comment, or leave us a review! Let us know how we can serve you even better.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Mary and the Blue Lotus Team
Blue Lotus Wellness and CBD Boutique