Goodbye Downtown

I feel like a hundred people have asked, “what is happing to Prairie Whims?” More often than not, I tell them the condensed version. Since you’re here, I know that you want to know what I think. So here it is:


We’re closing our shop in downtown Huron. We really have no other choice. Our sales have taken a nose dive in the last year. We have only been “making it” for three years. Making it, meaning paying the bills. I could put the on blame so many things; Overhead, the location, the town, lack of capital, poor planning, no online sales, poor marketing or whatever thing I could feel disgusted about. 


But here is the big picture; The Lord, very clearly, directed me to open this shop and He continues to direct me to close this shop. Although, it has been unbelievably hard for me to understand, I know that it’s right. The shop has fulfilled its purpose and I can be joyful in that. 


There are also some other factors that have made it clear I could not to hold onto the shop any longer:

1. My Husband and I just bought a house- In town!(That still needs ALOT of work.)

2. Baby #2 is coming to our world in January! 

3. My right hand lady(my wonderful momma) is running a new 3rd enterprise with my dad. (As well as moving to a new home) 

4. My Husband is now managing/doing the cooking at a local cafe, that we may end up owning. 



I plan to continue Prairie Whims by putting a studio in my little attached garage. There I will have the opportunity to focus on just a few things. Rather than trying to do everything to “make it” every month, I can get my coloring book finished! Also, I will still be offering art parties, and CreativiTeas- I’ll just be renting a space in town for the evening or the morning. 


With all that being said, I will continue to write on here when I can, and keep you updated! I thank you for supporting me and continuing to believe in the Prairie Whims.


And as always, 


Stay Creative!


-Allison Fisk

Languages of Love

Valentine’s Day always makes me think of my mom. 


On Valentine’s Day through out my childhood my mom would always get me and my brother something special. Little stuffed animals that sang, little chocolates wrapped in foil, and she would give us hugs and kisses. At some point, we got a little to old for that, but that was how my mom gave love. She loves to give gifts- it’s her love language. 


A few years ago, I went and got married! It was then, for a wedding gift some family friends gave us a book that had been helpful in strengthening their marriage. The Book is called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book has been helpful for all of my relationships, not just my marriage. It’s helped me better understand my mother, my friends, coworkers, my husband, and even my little 2 year old! 


I’ll break it down for you. The Five Love Languages exist as this: 

  • receiving gifts

  • quality time

  • words of affirmation

  • acts of service 

  • physical touch

Understanding how each person is dominantly or two of these, changes your perspective on how they might want to be treated or shown that they are appreciated. 

So, this Valentine’s Day, the best gift you can give is to think about how the people in your life show love. Then take that observation and show them the that you appreciate them! 


And as always, 


Stay Creative! 


-Allison with Prairie Whims 

Big Kid Pants

This winter has proved to be one for the books! My little two-and-almost-a-half-year-old is potty trained! (well, pretty much) He has learned pretty quickly. Although it seems like every time I take a moment to sit down and write this, there is a potty emergency! 


Everything comes to screeching halt and I take off like a bolt of lightning, scoop up my toddler and zoom to the potty. 


But here I am- not to tell you about our bakery adventure or the best recipe for blueberry muffins or beer bread (which are both awesome things you can try at our shop) I am here to deliver you this message of a mother in the midst of potty training a toddler:


You can do anything- you were once successfully potty trained. Now you feel the call and you go! 


That analogy is a bit crude but hear me out- when we are children we are born with an insatiable need to learn and grow. I believe this never changes. We may stop growing physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually there is always progress to be made. 


If you want to learn something new, gain a new skill, grow or change to become a better person - you might make a few messes along the way- but you will get there. Someday whatever it is to you that seems most challenging will become second nature. 


So, pull up your big kid pants and get out there. 


And as always, 


Stay Creative! 


-Allison with Prairie Whims

Really Real?

In the past year we’ve gotten a little more creative in the kitchen at Prairie Whims. We’ve been testing blueberry muffin recipes so much, all our family members may have gained 5 pounds each. More on that another day…I’ve got a another subject I want to address. 


It’s a New Year! This means 361 (since it’s the 4th already..) new opportunities! Annnnd 50 million different diets that people are trying. This makes me a little nervous, because people on diets stay away from bakeries like Superman does his best to stay away from Kryptonite.


But here’s what I also know: 

Our baked goods are COMPLETELY different than any baked goods on the shelf of any other commercial bakery in town.


Todays food industry is based around two things: 1. Does it ship well? 2. Does it have a shelf life? 


High quality fresh baked goods, typically, do neither of those things. For most baked goods at the grocery store (even the “fresh” baked goods) require all kinds of preservatives and flavorings. 


Most preservatives and flavoring ingredients are derived from natural sources. What that means is the beginning ingredient was natural - such as wheat or soy- then that ingredient was spliced and diced in a laboratory to create an entirely different product. The main goal of the whole process is to imitate what the REAL and fresh product is suppose to taste like- and make it cheaper to make than the real thing.


Ultimately, the complexity of most of the preservatives and flavorings are too much for our digestive systems to handle over long periods of time- especially as a body ages. 


With all that being said, let me share this with you: Our ingredients are simple. Every ingredient we use, you can pronounce. We use sugar in moderation. We rely on the naturally present sugars to provide sweetness. Everything tastes fresh, because it is fresh. 

Fresh is Best! And as always,

Stay Creative!

-Allison with Prairie Whims

The Art of Sharing

“Happiness that can not be shared, can hardly be called happiness” - unknown

At the moment I’m sitting crosslegged in my shop office( it’s more or less a kingdom for my son, plus a desk for me) My little two year old is dancing around, trotting in circles around me, occasionally stopping to lean on me or take a sip of my tea. Now, is my time to sit and do my “puter work” as he calls it. 


“Puter work” is my least favorite part about being an entrepreneur. My favorite part of having my own little business is the creative process. Making a huge mess, and then piecing everything together to create something to share with everyone. I just love sharing what brings me joy, in hopes that it will bring others joy.- Sharing that processes, as well as the end result involves much “puter work.” Having to do so much “puter work” was never something I would have foreseen in my early life.


Making a business of sharing coffee and tea- among other treats- was not even on my radar when I started Prairie Whims. But, here I am writing on here to tell you we are officially opening up the kitchen to sell baked goods and beverages. It just feels natural to add this to the shop. Baking, blending tea, making lattes and coffee; is all a creative process. It is one I can more freely share with people. Most people enjoy my artwork, but they may not want to hang it on their wall. Whereas, almost always people would like to at least try a piece of pie. My hope is to make a profitable business by sharing my creativity with others- the baked goods is just another way I can share!

As Always,

Stay Creative!

-Allison with Prairie Whims

[Suh-bat-i-Kuhl]

Sabbatical [Suh-bat-i-Kuhl]

 

Definition: Bringing a period of rest. 

 

When I say, “I’m taking a Sabbatical” the image of me taking long leisurely walks on a beach somewhere may come to mind. That image is VERY different than what I actually mean when I say, “I’m taking a sabbatical.” 

 

First off. 

 

My faith is very important to me, which is why I will be heading to a church convention this afternoon. I will have four days there. Since I was a kid, every year since before I could remember, my family and I have taken time to do this. This one the best opportunities I get every year to really reset. - this is the real sabbatical. Unfortunately, it’s only 4 days long…

 

Secondly.

 

My son will be TWO whole years old on September 15th….TWO! I have been so insanely busy we have not even scratched the surface of the whole potty training madness. (any helpful information you can share with me on this??!)

 

Third in line. 

 

If you remember I’ve been doing the marketing for the local farmers market. With that added responsibility, it has been the main source of the busyness of this Summer. As the season comes to a close I have quite a few things to button up, before the last market (October 6th) As I will be handing off that position for the next season.

 

The Main Take Away... 

 

I need to change my business model in order to make this dream of mine really work . Which starts here. Me writing - laying it all out:

 

I’ve got this dream of making my shop a hub of old junk, art and food. The best combinations, in my opinion. - To be honest its not just my shop I envision its the city of Huron....But thats a long way off if ever. 

 

In order to do that I have to be consistent. I have took crank out dreams and ideas and artwork and share them with you. 

 

Somewhere in all that I want to turn those dreams into reality. Right now, I if I continue the way I’m going- that won’t happen. If I take the time to plan, construct, and build a better way of doing business, then Prairie Whims can grow.

So here's how this applies to you,  take a rest and ask yourself "What is my dream?" Make a plan, share it, build it, and make it happen. 

Feeling inspired? Shoot me a message. Lets collaborate! 

As always,

 

Stay creative! 

 

-Allison with Prairie Whims

Diaries of an Amateur Pig Wrangler

Some of you may know this already, but my hubby is working in North Dakota for a few weeks. You may also know, my husband and I raise chickens, turkeys, and pigs (and a cute little boy.) Usually I just ride on his shirttails (not actually doing much of the farm work, but enjoying meals of pastured meats) No longer can I skip the dirty work- the manual labor has now been graciously passed to me. 

 

Raising baby chicks is not foreign to me, I’m a bit of an “old hand” at that. Pigs are a different story. To be honest I’m actually scared of pigs. - The’ve got wicked teeth. My dad telling me horror stories about pigs eating bodies of passed out caregivers, was not a help. 

But alas, I am now an amateur pig wrangler. 

 

Day One: Okay, moving the pigs to new pasture. I got this. Loren showed me how. He’s already set up the corner posts and ran a strand of electric wire. 

  • Feed for luring the pigs to the next pasture. Check. 
  • Volt gauge— for checking to see if the wire is working or not. Check. 
  • Pray for strength to overcome fear of pigs. Check.

 

Everything went very smoothly, until I came back on Day 3 to check their water levels. All 25 of them were running wild out side of their pin! Thankfully - if I counted correctly - all of them survived. I had completely left one section of the fence wide open. 

 

Since then I’ve made a few more mistakes, but I'm learning to check the fence twice before I leave the pasture! 

 

So heres my point- Everybody has to get out of their comfort zone. This might mean we make mistakes, but we can always learn from them! 

 

Now if you’ve read all of this, please enjoy the pictures of the cute little piggies! 

 

And always,

 

Stay Creative! 

 

-Allison with Prairie Whims

37819588_10212385754620773_908368179896516608_n.jpg
37811352_10212385753340741_9027411495390019584_n.jpg

Free to Dream

The ability to dream is the ability to obtain freedom. -original quote

 

What feels like a long long time ago I was a little girl who loved to draw. Nearly everywhere I went I was drawing, on the bus, in the middle of math class, durning band rehearsals, in the middle of the cow pasture — you get the picture — no pun intended. 

 

I loved drawing, creating stories and ideas. I had a love for making something out of nothing — to this day that love is continuing to grow and change as I seek new ways to be creative. When I make time to create I am most joyful. 

 

However there was a time in my life when I nearly gave up on creativity. In all of the places that this could have happened, I felt like I lost my ability to dream and create while I was in Art school. I was only doing projects for assignments, I was working all the time, I rarely had the chance to see my family, I was stacking up student loan debt, I had been through a some emotional traumas I hadn’t taken time to deal with — you get the picture — 

 

So, I made the choice to leave school. I would work, pay my debt and get my balance back. For a number of reasons it took me nearly 2 years to really start dreaming again. I would try a little bit here and there, maybe sell some things on Etsy- do a project here and there. It wasn’t until I was expecting my son Elias, that my husband encouraged me to pray for the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do with art. 

 

Piece by piece, I started dreaming again. I started painting again. One day I walked into a shop downtown with my dreams and prayers — that shop is now Prairie Whims: Arts and Crafts Collective. And even now I still feel like I’m not quite to the point that I  have imagined. 

 

But, here’s my point to this very long— highly condensed — story. It might take some time but you have to work and pray for your ability to dream. It is then that you can have freedom to create again. 

 

As always,

 

Stay creative! 

 

Allison with Prairie Whims

Stop

I usually keep it pretty light on here, so I'll apologize in advance if I'm getting a little too deep. This summer has shot off like a bullet. This week something happened that brought everything to a halt. 

Sunday morning my husband woke me up. There's nothing unusual about that, he's always the first one out of bed.

 " You don't have to get up, its still early, but I have to tell you, " his voice was strained, "I just got off the phone with Grandma Harriet. Uncle Daryl suffered a massive heart attack.... He's gone." 

I didn't ever know Daryl very well. I had spent a few Thanksgivings with him around. I enjoy meeting up with his kids when we visit Wisconsin. They are all close to my age. Daryl was the same age as my dad. But all of that doesn't matter so much now. What mattered to me was, in an instant his life was over. I am no stranger to loss, but any experience I've had has been gradual. 

This was a reminder to me. 

In a second, my life could be over. Where do I stand? What do I do in my life that's going to matter when I'm gone? 

So here's my point- When it's all said and done, what will matter is if I lived my life in sincerity and love. I must be constantly reminded to stop and reevaluate my service to the Lord. 

 

Keep loving, 

And as always,

Stay Creative.

-Allison with Prairie Whims

If The Shoe Fits...

“If the shoe fits, wear it!” -unknown origin 

 

It seems like in my daily life I am always trying to find balance. By that I mean wobbling abound on a tight rope wearing shoes 3 sizes too big balancing a ball on my nose. That may not be the true picture of what I do, but it is too often how I feel. 

 

BUT I do know what it is to feel centered, perched on what seems to be the edge of a mountain I’ll be climbing. That feeling is what I search for when I start to loose my balance. I pray to leave the work with the Lord that I can be used as a tool. Although I forget too often that obtain balance is that easy. 

 

So when I someway or another got voted into the local Farmers Market board when I hosted the annual meeting at my shop. The prerequisites for the position were basically just to be present. So here I am, not really having a clue what I’m doing, standing at an open door. 

 

I think that this door may lead to making my dream of blending tea and roasting coffee possible. Not having enough funds to put in a commercial kitchen necessary to have a typical coffee shop- I now see an outlet to get the funds. I can roast coffee at home(like I do already) and sell it by the cup, or by the bag at the market. Save the profits. Finish the kitchen. 

 

So my point is, follow your balance.  I am not certain of what will come out of this, but I am reminded once again that there is a plan from above. 

Thats all for now-

 

As always, 

 

Stay creative! 

 

-Allison with Prairie Whims