Owning a small (one-woman) business is about…

September 23, 2013

One day when everything seemed to be going wrong and I was exhausted and frustrated I stopped and asked “Why am I doing this?”  Writing is a way for me to process my thoughts.  So, that’s what I did, write out my answer.  The following is resulted from that melt down and I thought it was worth sharing as I’m sure many of you can relate.

Owning a small (one-woman) business is about…

Knowing it’s time to call it a day, but still working anyway.

It’s about taking on a custom order that has a one week turn around even when you’re so swamped you really should have passed on it…oh and still doing a quality job on the order.

It’s about having a support system.

It’s about asking family and friends for help (and trying not to feel guilty about needing to ask for help and paying them back in product).

It’s about having a best friend who’ll listen to you (day in and day out) without complaining when you give them your list of things you plan to accomplish that week (Then not telling you that you’re insane because one person couldn’t possibly get all that done on their own, but instead cheering you on.)

It’s about coming home after a 10 hour day at a market and then spending another 4 hours making product because you’re stressing out that you don’t have enough in stock.

It’s about planning down to the minute detail and then rolling with it when it all goes completely different from planned.

It’s about learning from your mistakes.

It’s about remembering to celebrate the good days.

It’s about occasionally stressing out (okay, maybe more than occasionally).

It’s about worrying will you be able to pay the bills that month.

It’s about worrying have you made enough product and then worrying that you’ve made too much.

It’s about admitting you’re not super woman (no matter how much you wish you were).

It’s about the joy of creating something new.

It’s about moving outside your comfort zone, meeting new people, and trying new things.

It’s about worrying about the weather.

It’s about being thankful for supportive communities, sharing ideas, and learning from others in your field, as well as sharing your knowledge.

It’s about being thankful for awesome friends and family that buy your product!

It’s about the customers that come tell you how much they love your product and then go tell everyone they know that they HAVE to buy some.

It’s about taking risks.

It’s about occasionally creating something brilliant and then the next day creating a complete disaster.

It’s about doing what makes you happy.

In the end it’s about doing what I love, because despite the hard, long, and sometimes frustrating days I don’t want to do anything else.  The heartache and rewards, the stress and the calm, the bad days and the good: I love it all.


Soap Conference: Part 1

May 27, 2013

I’m still trying to process everything from the 2013 Soap Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It was an amazing trip (and EXHAUSTING!).

There were a lot of awesome classes offered. I think my favorites though were:

  • Kevin Dunn’s “Superfat of Discount? Identical of Different
  • Kerri Mixon’s “Chemistry of Fatty Acids & Oils”

I learned the most from those two classes and I just found them fascinating!  Who’d have thought the girl who hated chemistry in high school would be absolutely enthralled with it today??  Guess it just had to be chemistry of soap to pull me in.

See science can be lots of fun!!

science

Other classes I really enjoyed (and got some good information out of) were:

  • Kat Hackney’s “Advance Colorants”
  • Marla Bosworth’s “Natural Shampoo”

Ann Evanston’s keynote address was inspiring and definitely gave me some stuff to think about and things to think about changing.

The soaps submitted to the Soaper’s Showcase were all pretty amazing this year too.  I loved the packaging category. There were some inspiring soaps there!  Here’s a couple pictures!

soap entries

packaging3

cake 3

garden

 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECCA!

February 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to my little sis!  She’s 28 today!  Do you know how old that makes me feel!! :D

This is just for you!  A little bit a Woody on your special day :)

happy_birthday_toy_story


My Little Rant :)

July 6, 2011

I usually avoid rants or going off on a spiel, but bear with me this one time!

I’ve decided it’s all intentionally planned by the soap industry.  What’s all planned?  The need for us to spend money on more than just soaps…to spend money on expensive lotions and more.  They take out the glycerin from soap so they can put it in their lotions and they know that taking it out will dry up everyone’s skin and then they’ll need lotion. (I know I’ve over generalized here–did so on purpose :))

Then they make “facial” products that treat acne but really only dry the skin out and then people need moisturizers for that and they say it’s a “special” facial moisturizer with all these “good” things in it for you, but soap (natural soap) already has everything in it that you need. (Note: Oils ARE good for your face.  Stripping them from your face isn’t good.)

Facts:

  • Since I’ve been using my shea butter soap on my face I’ve really not needed my face lotion (very rarely and I normally have super dry skin).
  • I haven’t used lotion on my legs in forever.
  • The only time I ever use lotion now is for my hands cause I use dish soap and pump bottle liquid store soap (at work).

The soap industry I’m convinced has created a need for items other than soap by making their soap “cause” those needs.  I know, I’m being a bit of a pessimist right now, but after a year of using my soap and keeping track of my skin I’ve realized that the only time my skin is dry is when I use commercial soaps.

*Rant Over* :)


Welcome to Jennifer’s Handmade Soap!

February 15, 2011

And here begins a new adventure!  A blog all about my soap making!  Successes, failures, experiments and so much more!

Come follow me on my soap making journey!

Jennifer


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