At the start of May 2019, temperatures are rising, the humidity has fallen, and the winds are blowing in Tucson. We've been so busy with sales that our inventory of 76,000 plants (not including seedling and cuttings flats) is worthless and we're frantically repotting seedlings and rooted cuttings to offer for sale. We sell about 20,000-40,000 plants per year and keep our inventory going with a robust seedling and cutting production program. Some of you know to ask about the availability of rare species, and this time of year is a good time since we keep finding some gems hidden among the more common species. If you've been following our catalog changes in 2018, you know that we had over 4,000 species/sizes and around 27,000 products for sale through our website. That has decreased at least initially into 2019 as sales have skyrocketed. That said, you can anticipate some new Aloes, Commiphoras, Euphorbias, and geophytes for sale in 2019.
Both of our German shepherds, Kaspar and Katia, are 2 years old now, and they are growing up quite fast. These two like to run so you will typically will find our gate closed, and you'll need to honk or call us to gain access. Unfortunately, Katia loves to announce herself by barking, which can scare some people who have had bad incidents with large dogs, but neither of our German shepherds would hurt a human being. Katia laid down recently and allowed a child of less than 2 years crawl all over her until we decided perhaps that wasn't a good idea (she thought it was). If you are afraid of dogs, please call in advance and we can keep our dogs away from you.
The change in Arizona's minimum wage law to $11/hr has had an impact on our small business, but some modest price increases a year ago have mitigated the effects. The only price increases we anticipate this year would be for larger plants or rare ones that we are unlikely to replace in the future. Shipping costs have risen faster than wages and it is likely we will have to increase some of our shipping costs this year to keep up. Our operating costs will be much higher in 2020, when the minimum wage in Arizona goes to $12/hr.
Nearly 5 years ago, we have moved to a new webhosting service, and as a result our email addresses have changed. All of our previous email addresses have the same prefix but end in @aridlandswholesale.com. You can access our new site either by entering our old domain name (aridlands.com) in your browser or by accessing it through www.aridlandswholesale.com. We've also made our website friendly to iphones and other devices smaller than typical computers. Our new site is an upgrade in shopping cart to make personal information more secure in accord with changes in banking security. Because of excessive spam, we've had some changes in our general email address of email@example.com back to firstname.lastname@example.org. We did this to trap bots that were inundating us with spam.
We're shipping orders normally at this time. We have a Wholesale List available for April 2019, and it represents a serious makeover of our list. We're attempting to make our wholesale list look a little more like our on-line catalog to better aid wholeale customers find the plants they are looking for.
CITES Permit Update for International Customers
Of interest to our international customers, we have obtained a CITES master permit for most of our Aloe species and we have filed an application for Euphorbias and other species as well. When this second application is approved, we will file for a permit to export cacti. For a year now, we have listed all of our species according to their CITES restrictions on export.
We're shipping orders normally at this time. We have a Wholesale List available for January 2019, and it represents a serious makeover of our list. We're attempting to make our wholesale list look a little more like our on-line catalog to better aid wholeale customers find the plants they are looking for.
CSSA Convention in 2019
We will not go to the Cactus and Succulent Society of America Convention in California in 2019. It is too far to go and we find it difficult to haul plants safely.
Bob was in South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya in April-May 2017. That trip was mostly about Sansevierias, particularly some new species. He likely will return to Africa sometime early in 2019, but where and when?