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Northwoods business adjusts for supply chain issues, prepares for busy holiday shopping season

Ben Meyer

Northwoods business adjusts for supply chain issues, prepares for busy holiday shopping season

In December 2019, Tara Tervort took a big leap.

She bought Patchouli Garden in Park Falls.

“Then all of the sudden January hit, and February hit and it was little terrifying,” said Tervort.

Despite going into business for herself only to have pandemic hit months later, Tervort said the last two years have gone well.

Mostly because it pushed her to focus on their online sales.

“Online has been key in keeping our business alive and afloat,” said Tervort. “Actually, we have seen growth because of that. That’s been a good thing.”

That’s not to say it hasn’t been without its struggles.

Patchouli Garden owner Tara Tervort.
Ben Meyer
Patchouli Garden owner Tara Tervort.

Patchouli Garden sells things like candles, soaps, and oils. To make all her blends, she buys from a drum of oil from a supplier roughly every six to nine months.

But like many businesses, Patchouli Garden has been impacted by supply chain hold ups.

“We needed to get a drum the other day. They told us because they’re waiting shipments from the port on the coast that they had to increase it. They increased our price by 45%,” she said.

Tervort ended up switching suppliers to find the oil closer to the cost she’s used to paying.

“It was actually our first time ever ordering it from new place in the last 20 years that they’ve been selling patchoulis oil. It was kind of sad we had to leave our supplier for that, but I mean we had to do what we had to do. Otherwise, we’d have to increase our product prices,” she said.

With that key ingredient secured, she’s feeling confident heading into the busy holiday shopping season.

Tervort says she was anticipating supply shortages ahead of the holiday shopping season. She’s been stocking up on some of the other supplies she’ll need.

“We’re just hoping and praying and crossing our fingers that nothing else happens and we don’t see any more shortages, but as of right now we’re sitting good, just because we did plan ahead,” she said.

Tervort said she has about 30 to 40 online orders going out the door every day, shipping them all across the U.S. and even to Canada.

Recent changes at the U.S. Postal Service will likely mean a slow down in service, but Tervort says it hasn’t impacted herself business yet.

“Once it leaves our hands, we literally have no control over the postal service. We always have that one package that ends up going all over the United States before it gets to them. We always tell people at least two to three weeks before you need it. We’re hoping it’s not going to extend so far. Like I said, we haven’t seen any big delays yet,” Tervort said.

She said if you want to be on the safe side, you should order gifts three to four week out.

Christmas is nine weeks away.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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