September 17, 2014
If you’ve been following me on Facebook you’ve already seen some sneak previews of these soaps as I started them at the beginning of August. I debated what to do for winter soaps quite a bit this summer. I went back and forth so many times! I decided to keep six of my winter soaps from last year.
- Holiday Berry
- Fresh Snow
- Cedar & Balsam
- Spiced Cranberry
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
One, Frankincense and Myrrh is a different variation as I couldn’t get the old and loved fragrance anymore. I had just enough of Santa’s Spruce to make a 5lb batch. It won’t be coming back next year (but that’s not to say it’s gone forever. I just needed a break from it).
Then I decided to try SIX new scents. I only made 5lb batches of them (just 16 bars). I’m going to see just how fast they sell and what people think of them when they smell them and then from there evaluate which of the new scents to bring back as larger batches next fall.
- Harvest Moon
- Pumpkin Spice
- Holly Berries
- Ice Capade (a sweeter peppermint than straight up peppermint)
- Autumn Wreath
- Applejack Peel (this was one I made a few years ago. Didn’t appeal to me last year, but this year it’s calling to me!)
Sadly, peppermint-chocolate didn’t make the cut to return at all this year.
This is me and my prep and planning as I tried to figure out how much of each soap to make (always a tricky task) and what designs to do. A few of the soaps are keeping the same design from last year, but everything else is new. I did way too many embed designs ha! I couldn’t help myself.
September 13, 2014
I’m always searching for the PERFECT display set up. I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I might not find the PERFECT set up, but I can make a pretty darn attractive set up for just about any space size I’m given.
The hard part was the every changing booth size! In the summer when I’m outside and in my tent I’m always in a 10×10 space, but I have to deal with the sun. Depending on each market depends on which way the sun would come into my tent. I used to do my set up in an “L,” but was never really happy with that. I just felt it cut people off and didn’t necessarily encourage them to come into my booth.
After a lot of playing around with different table sizes and displays I found a 9′ long table combination that works pretty well. (Still a few things to fix up in this display, table skirts mostly, but it’s to the point where I’m happy with it.) Before I ventured into the big changes I actually had to sketch out many different alternatives…playing around in my head what would/wouldn’t work. (I know this could be considered a little obsessive :D.)
You’ll notice this picture is still missing one last layer I added. I moved the soaps forward and added a shelf to display the soaps. I Like it so much more!
Another problem I found was too flat of a display. This problem I’ve worked on for YEARS! This season I think I finally stumbled onto a solution that really helps my display move up! And seem like it’s full and be inviting.
Lastly, I added the layers and then my sign in the back kind of disappeared. I wanted it to be obvious I was selling soap. I wanted to grab peoples attention. Which lead me to my little “SOAP” in wood letters, painted design. Works great. Stands out! Is bold! And people know: Oh it’s soap!
There’s still stuff I’m not 100% happy with. I know it’ll see changes. And this whole set up goes through a whole new morph once I move inside (where my space rarely is 10×10). However I’m not going to think about that until October gets here. I actually have a really nice wood shelf my dad build that is awesome (heavy and a little hard sometimes to get in and out of places, but I’ve got a dolly that really helps). That post is for a different time though.
September 11, 2014
As many of you know I passed my Advance CP/HP Certification test at the conference in May. I’ve been teaching soap classes for over a year now. It was my goal to always take the certification test. Once I did that I could apply for the Teaching Certification offered through the Soap Guild. I’m proud to say I’m a certified teacher now through the Soap Guild. If you go to their webpage and look for certified teachers I come up! And you’ll also find classes I’m teaching listed on the site and I now have a nifty looking “apple” next to my name. Another step in the right direction for my business!
August 30, 2014
First off I’d like to say this post was originally titled: What does over 150lbs of soap look like?
Then I got ambitious and decided I’d get all restock soaps as well as 85% of my winter soaps done and made before the end of August (since September is going to be a crazy busy month and I didn’t want to have to worry about having to make soap).
Wonder what 245lbs of soap looks like? Here you go!
August 7, 2014
It’s been on my list for a while now to update my webpage. I needed to update the version of the shopping cart I was using. I wanted to do away with the initial homepage I had and make the shopping cart homepage my homepage (which meant I had to really work on updating that page)…there was so much that I needed to refine and fix (behind the scenes stuff). I also wanted to set up and use the rewards point system my cart offers. For about 4 intensive days my aunt and I sat down and just worked on getting it updated.
I am so happy with the results. It’s just an overall more pleasing page now. The first thing I had to do was tackle the homepage redesign. This screenshot gives you a little glimpse. I think it’s clean, simple, and appealing. http://www.jennifersoap.com
I spent a lot of time updating photos. I created banners, collages, you name it…It was worth it though. I think it grabs peoples attention. Keeping with photos, I created new banners for the Soap and Bath and Beauty pages. I think it helps. One of my biggest complaints was there just seemed to be too much text on pages.
I was also able to institute a rewards point system. Every order now earns reward points. And (almost) every item allows you to buy that item with “x” number of reward points. It’s my way of saying thank you to all my repeat customer. I really do appreciate your business!
If you’ve bought and loved a product of mine I’d love for you to review it! I’m trying to build the reviews on the site so buyers can see what others think about the different products. I know sometimes my descriptions aren’t enough to sway a person! So, if you loved a product and want to write a review all you have to do is sign into your account and go to the review button and then just fill it out. Thank you!
August 4, 2014
I’ve been on a “green” cleaning kick lately. I’ve been doing research, researching recipes, testing out new products…and I have to say I am in love with the results.
There are few key ingredients to keep on hand to make a variety of natural cleaning products:
- Vinegar “is a liquid consisting mainly of acetic acid (CH3COOH) and water. The acetic acid is produced by the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Vinegar is now mainly used as a cooking ingredient, but historically, as the most easily available mild acid, it had a great variety of industrial, medical, and domestic uses, some of which (such as a general household cleanser) are still promoted today.”
- Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
- Borax “also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.”
- Castile Liquid Soap
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Hydrogen Peroxide
My favorite of all the products has be the All Purpose Cleaning Scrub. It has cleaned my bath tub to the point where it sparkles.
I’ve been experimenting with my own Laundry Soap. It works great. I’ve learned a few tricks and tips for making it along the way. It’s nice to now have a laundry soap that is all natural and works great.
Potty Bombs! a.k.a Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaners – I love these. They clean my toilet and keep the mildew away…what more could I ask for?
Infused Vinegar Cleaners are still around. They were my very first attempt into green cleaning last year. The mask the vinegar smell to an extent, and cleans as well as straight up vinegar.
August 1, 2014
I’d been wanting to try using a fondant mat to make an imprinted soap for a while. I bought the mat to do so about six months ago. I only just recently used the mat to make soap. It’s really quite easy to make. I bought the mat. There are many places you can find them online. I got mine through Wilton.
I then cut the mat up into two pieces to fit my mold. I did a piece for the bottom and one for the top. You could probably make pieces for the sides too if you wanted too. I made my soap, poured it in. And then after 24 hours just peeled the mat off and cut my bars.
Very simple to do, and gives you a pretty soap.