It's bittersweet, because it was the first house I bought, it brought our family from California to New York, and we learned SO much during the renovation. Not just about old houses, but about ourselves, our family, and what we wanted in our lives.
I found I love being home, I love to be surrounded by my children, husband, and our animals and I want to share our individual talents and passions with everyone. I want to have a property that allows for not only our personal growth, but the growth of our farm, businesses, and dreams. While Essex could encompass all of that I accidentally fell in love with an even bigger project. I think those who follow me on instagram and facebook probably know what I'm talking about, but for those who don't, I want to share more.
View the Essex Cottage listing here
Spring 2021, we are well into our renovation of what I fondly call the Essex Cottage, we're moved in, we've started our farm, and everyone is adjusting to the new area. Toni and I feel so good about our decision to move 3,000 miles. We had no plans to sell and move at this time.
Fast forward to fall, we're operating a little food truck and getting to know our neighbors and people outside of Essex. A local preservationist and realtor I met while touring some old houses and buildings in the area tells me about her barn in a neighboring town. She says we would love it. We're like yeah, we'll take a look if we're out that way. We keep hearing about it, and we're feeling a little cramped in the cottage with 8 people, cats, and dogs, so we go take a look. When I tell you I walked around with my jaw dropped the entire time I'm not exaggerating. Not only is there an 1800 barn on the property, but the HOUSE!!! 1797 former tavern, the Ell addition is collapsing and I just feel this instant need to save it.
It's the biggest project of our lives to date, the barn needs restoration, the main house (the former tavern) needs work, the addition... well, it's what got me. 200 years it stood and each passing month it was getting further and further away from being saved. So we took another leap. All of us did, the owners, and our family. We came up with a plan, and we began work. Always in the middle of winter for us it seems!
Today, I look out the restored 12/8 windows of the tavern and see the progress we've made. The Ell is saved, the Essex Cottage is listed, our children are happier than I've seen them in years, and we can GROW here. All of our wants and dreams are possible, and I get the special treat of learning a new passion. I love preservation work. I've found a new passion for the paints and stains I once used just for small DIY projects, and I've even found the need for new, eco friendly products to replace the harmful ones that a lot of the local preservationists swear by. One of my missions is to convert them to using safe products, I think I'm just determined to do it too!
I truly hope that you'll enjoy seeing our progress and growth both here on the blog, and on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, and Youtube. I'm working on building these platforms to educate as well as share our products, because for me it's not just about sales and orders, it's about why I started this in the first place. Maybe someone out there will like this. The this is a lot bigger than where I started, and I owe that to the encouragement and love we've gotten from all of you.
So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, it hasn't been an easy path for sure, and I don't share, haven't shared the struggles we've experienced in the past year, but know that everything you see we are fighting for and is only made possible by our loyal customers, hard, hard work, and sacrifice.