The Row & Co. Farms story
Updated: Feb 26, 2020
So you may be asking yourself.............................."self , how did Row and Co. Farms get started?". Well you're in luck my friends because I have the answer to your question. Just a few short years ago, 2 to be exact, my husband Greg and I started thinking about how we could move away from our suburban life in metro Atlanta to a sweet little homestead in the country. We both wanted out of the busy lifestyle that we were caught up in. At the time we were both working in the Public Safety sector as firefighter, EMT/Paramedic, police officer and the impact that has had on us and our family has been huge both mentally and physically. We wanted to slow down a little and raise our family in a place where we could plant a garden, raise some livestock, grow a family, start a business, and most importantly put down roots. I have always been a creative person and although I didn't have any one specific artistic talent I just had a need to create things whether it be growing something, painting something or constructing something, I always had my hands on a project. My husband likes the simple things in life like a good meal, cold beer, and a piece of the world to call his own. He values hard work and honesty and he grew up in a country setting and working hard from sun up til sun down. We both knew we wanted a change but weren't sure how were going to make the transition. Both of us worked close to home for years and the thought of commuting back and forth from our country life to work everyday was not something I was interested in doing. So the plans were placed on hold until we could figure out a way to make our homestead work for us and eliminate the need for the communte all together. We just couldn't figure out a way to really generate income from our homestead although I read up on all the ways (selling produce, eggs, honey, etc.) they weren't going to be able to generate the kind of income we needed to live. When it finally dawned on me one late summer afternoon while I was helping my son and his fiance' find a place to get married. WE could create a place for people to get married on OUR (future) farm and we could run it as our business!! I thought it was a brilliant idea and immediately told Greg about it and he was on board right away. We put our house on the market the next day and started looking for farms. Now I know you guys dont know my husband but let me say that he is not a big risk taker and is a "by the book" kind of guy so when he said yes so quickly I knew that we were on to something. We are both in our 40's and starting over after we had both already established careers with local fire departments was a really scary thought. After all, what did we know about running our own business (especially a wedding business)?! So what makes me feel I like could run a business you ask? It's the fact that I have been managing the worst day of people's lives for the past 20 years and now I want to help them with their best day instead. So you could say that managing crazy events is my specialty!
So with dream in hand we set off on a pursuit to find the perfect place to make it all happen. Selling our home and finding a place took alot longer than we expected (9 months), but finally after alot of searching we found the perfect spot in Jasper County, Georgia. It was just a short drive from our current location (about 45 min). It was perfect for what we needed, it had 10 acres of rolling hills, with an existing house, barn, workshop, and guest house. The house could be renovated for us to live in, the barn could be reworked into our event space for weddings, the workshop could house all our farm equipment, and the guest house would become our bridal dressing area. It already had the bones of a wedding venue and now it just needed some loving hands to bring it back to life (my specialty if you remember)! This place had been unlived in for several years and needed ALOT of work but the price was unbelievable so we took a chance and made an offer....................and we got the place!!! I was so excited about what was about to happen to our family that little did I know what I was in for. We started out the long renovation process with the guest house which would temporarily be our home unitil we could renovate the larger existing house. We spent about 6 weeks renovating the little cottage into a livable space for our family and thats how our "tiny house "living adventure started(more on that later). So we moved our family into the one bedroom, one bath room space with a small kitchenette, with the thought that we would live there for 3-4 months while we finished the house (I know all you reno experts are laughing at me right now!). Needless to say the renovation DID NOT, I repeat DID NOT, take 3-4 months it took 14 months!!!! 435 days to be exact and we felt every tiny house minute of it!! Now let me tell you tiny house living is not for the weak, it was hard yall, no privacy, no where to go to escape from everyone else, our daughter's bed in our kitchen, no closets, no dishwasher, no stove or oven!!! When all those people on TV tell you how great tiny house living is they aren't living with teenagers let me tell ya! I will have to blog about the tiny house experience in a later post because I have alot to say about it. Back to business. We finally got the house renovated so we could live in it and we finally moved in early August 2018. At least we didn't have far to move our things since we just had to go across the driveway. So that brings us to the present day and what we are currently doing. We will now start the renovation of our workshop into a pavillion/event space and hope to have that finished over the fall and winter months and maybe we can open in the Spring 2019 for events. Of course my timelines have been super wrong during this entire process so I'm sure that date will be changed along the way. But I am still encouraged and still enjoying this whole creative adventure of unveiling this diamond in the rough. Stick around for further installments of the Row & Co. Farms story.