Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Love my Supporters!

I've decided that my Open House was a total success. Not everyone invited showed up but those that did, put quite the dent in my inventory. I LOVE my customers!!!
Most of them were already familiar with my products so needed no product explanation but the friends that they brought along they insisted that I tour the table explaining each and every product including their benefits. They would interject every now and then to point out their own personal favorites. My friends know me - I'm no sales person and if it was up to me, I'd let everyone in and leave to the mall - leaving them to their own devices! Unfotunately that wasn't an option on Saturday.
We ate and drank lots of wine, had lots of laughs and the only time I stopped everyone to make any type of announcement was to thank them all for coming and supporting me over this past year and to encourage them to visit Etsy and support the handmade industry.
Those customers that couldn't make it on that day, were able to shop online and take advantage of the Open House discounts.
All in all, it was wonderful and I plan on doing it again next Spring!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's Official

I can make melt & pour soap! Yes sireeee Jim Bob. My first try, I made 60 guest size bars in Pecan Praline flavor. I must say, they smelled divine but the melt and pour thing isn't my bag. It was a lot of fun and the challenge did have me sweating a few bullets but I pulled it off. It felt weird melting, pouring, cutting, wrapping and labeling all in the same day. Talk about instant gratification. The package was mailed bang on time, first thing Monday morning.

YAY me!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's Open House Day!!!

Today is my Open House. It's now a little after 12 noon so I have less than 4 hours before my guests start to arrive. The weather's wet and dreary and I feel the same.Well not the wet part....well my nose is wet. I have a horrible stinking cold and I've totally run out of steam. This morning I managed to put together some bath/body oils and make the labels (laminated no less). But that's as far as I think I can go. I'm totally pooped! I just made a humongous batch of chocolate chip cookies and husband is currently in the kitchen doing his thing! He's decided to be very generous today and take care of all the horses dervs (yes I spell it the way I pronounce it). When I got up this morning he was already studying his cook books and making a shopping list. I feel so loved (gag, gag). Just kidding :)
Anyway, I've taken a few pictures of the set up so bear in mind the displays aren't final, I'm still shuffling things around!

Thanks for looking :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

This Saturday I have decided to have an Open House. I have invited some family & friends to stop by within a 3 hour window to chat, sip cocktails and nibble on snacks while they try out and hopefully purchase products. Today is Wednesday, I'm home sick from work and I have a laundry list of things to do. There's body polishes, butters and bath oils to be made, bottled & jarred and labeled. Did I mention that it's Wednesday today? People are still RSVP'ing so I still don't have a final head count (my fault for sending out a late invitation). I have goody bags to make for X number of people. I raffle drawing gift basket to put together, pricing has to be figured out. I'm giving discount for that day only. Signs to be made, brownies to be baked plus the bean dip (can't forget the bean dip).
I've been up to my elbows in mango and shea and olive and still can't see the light......HELP!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lots & Lots of Soap

Great news & excitement & scaryness rolled into one!
A Fellow soaper on Etsy contacted me last week to ask me if I'd be interested in helping her by filling one portion of a huge wholesale order she has. Of course I accepted the tight deadlined challenge mainly because it's going to be a real challenge for me. I'll be treading in unfamiliar soapmaking territory! The order is for 60 guest size bars of melt & pour soap in one particular scent.
Moi - M & P? Why the heck not?
I accepted said challenge and have less than 2 weeks to deliver. I've ordered soap base, color, mold & scent. The amount of base I've ordered is sufficient to fill the order with not much room for error, so I'll have to hit this nail right on the head first blow! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything comes in by Thursday of this week so I'll have a couple of days to plan my attack. Wish me luck folks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Are babies in my future?

So I just found out yesterday that my boss is expecting a little one next Spring. Very exciting news for her and her family! I must admit the thought did race across my mind as to whether this would be a good time to come up with a mommies/babies line of products. When I say the thought raced through my mind, I mean it literally jumped in and jumped right back out. Strangely though said thought has somehow continuously popped it's cutesy face into my head every minute of the day today. if I really need another project!!! Best get my handy dandy ideas notebook out :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Man Soap

I'm super excited right now. I got up bright and early this morning (5:00am) and I had it in my head that I wanted to make some MAN soap. That is a soap fragranced in a way that would be appealling to our male species. As per usual, I didn't finalize the actual design until I started the soapmaking process but I managed to "almost" get it together in time. I had to call on the poor spouse emergency style to put my mold together because I had forgotten all about it until oils & lye were almost at trace!!
Anyhows, after much thought I decided on a combination of Patchouli & Bay Rum. I "think" it smells lovely but the truth will be told when I remove it from the oven. There's a layer of crushed poppy seeds in the middle and some seeds sprinkled on top also. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out yellow/black/white as pictured in my head!
Pictures will come later.....

....later: so here's a pic of my man soap. It's not exactly what I'd hoped for (in looks) but at the same time I wouldn't call it bad. I have to say though I'm addicted to the smell. I've been washing my hands with it every day and it just now dawned on me that it smells like "Imperial Leather" soap from England, just like a freshly bathed man......mmmmm!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I have a question it normal to not want to make the same type of soap more than once? Surely it can't be good for business. What do I tell my customers when they're looking for that ONE bar that they've fallen in love with? Ah - sorry, that one's boring so I won't be making it again, but here's something else you might like to try ONCE!
Maybe I need counselling......

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Shaggadelic Babeee

Woohoo - I'm celebrating! I got my 500th heart today on Etsy. Said hearter will be receiving a free bar of soap of her choosing as a "thank you". Guess what she picked? That's right, she chose "anything with patchouli in it".

WELLLL, funny you should mention that I says - I just made a batch last night but it'll be a few weeks before it's ready, is that OK? Oh yeah, I'll wait she says. It's scented rather strong (as requested by my Etsy chat room buddy & his family - ArtisticDetour) but I just LOVE it! It's still fresh in this pic so it's soft and hasn't been cleaned up yet. Does it look shaggadelic to you?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Oh Lily My Love

Armed and dangerous with my new fragrance oils, I decided late last night to make a small batch of soap and scent it with lily of the valley. It's a scent that reminds me of one of my best friend's mom's bedroom. She used to wear lily of the valley when we were kids. I remember vividly the talcum powder sitting on her dresser. ( you know who you are Auntie Joy)

Anyway, I was delighted to see a huge bottle of lily of valley FO in amongst my booty and decided that it would be the 1st soap I made.

Of course I wasn't thinking about the fact that florals can be trifling to soap because they accellerate at lightening speed. (Budding soapmakers take note - always add fo's LAST). So i'm doing my thing, everything's looking real good even after I add the fragrance and stir it all in. Then IT happened!!! I managed to pour the soap in the mold but by the time I sat the pot down to jiggle the mold and allow the soap to settle, it had turned into this stiff mound standing to attention in my mold. I practically had to flatten it down with brut force. So much for the pretty 2 color green swirls on top that I had envisioned in my head!

Not one to give up too easily, I did attempt to swirl and the result can only be described as laughable. I didn't even need to put the bloody thing in the oven, it was rock hard already! So I had this cement block in the mold with a pool of green watery stuff floating on top of it - NOICE!

As you can see from the picture, I did not give up on my little Lily. I put it in the oven overnight and removed it this morning before slicing it up and sitting it out to cure. Can I just tell you, it smells like heaven! I'm keeping each and every one of these hideous looking things cos I love them like a mother loves her ugly kid.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lucky Lucky Me!

So yesterday morning I get wind that a New York based B & B company is closing it's doors and wants to sell off it's supplies, like pronto. Not being one to miss out on a bargain, I make the necessary phone calls, send emails and eagerly await a response from the owner of said business. Within the hour I was chatting with a lovely lady who informed me that they had loads to offer and for me to come down there. Brooklyn is 1.5 hours away by car and I absolutely DETEST driving in New York, but for some oils and lye I'd drive to Hades and back. I jump in my car at around 1:30pm and hit the road by myself. Somehow the husband and kid didn't find a day in New York too appealling and opted to go to the movies instead during my absence **shrugs shoulders**
The owner didn't want to have to pay storage fees for another month so I was encouraged to take as much as my little car could carry. Now bear in mind that these buckets of oils and lye are 50lb each! I also scored a TON of fragrance and essential oils. Some of which I'd been wanting to try for a long time but cost didn't permit. (see pic - those larger bottles are 2lb each)
Anywho, I got such a GREAT deal on my oils and lye that I couldn't get home fast enough to show off my booty. I'd love to tell you how much I paid for it all but I was sworn to secrecy. All I can say is I got the sale of the century.
All you patchouli lovers out there - watch out cos I'm now ARMED and DANGEROUS!!!!