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.


Happy 4th of July

July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!

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Looking for a great summer soap check out Pink Lemonade!  It’s festive and smells absolutely amazing!  A mix of cherry and raspberry lemonade–you won’t be disappointed with this soap!

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4th


Article Share!

June 20, 2013

This article was shared on a crafty board I participate in and it just struck a cord with me.  It’s a short easy read and worth the time!  I especially love #6: Collaborate.  It’s part of what I love about the soap community we all share.  I swear it feeds us all and makes us all better and willing to darn new things!

Take a read!  It’s worth it!  12 Most Striking Tendencies of Creative People


When I’m not making soap…

April 8, 2013

Or teaching…I’m writing. (Or in my case for the past couple months plotting).  The plotting is finally done! I typically write Middle Grade novels, but I needed a break from them after I finished my last novel.  I went back to a science fiction idea I had when I first started writing. I loved the concept and characters, but the original story sucked (that’s putting it nicely).  I decided to pull it out, do some world building, and completely replot the story.

(Side note: You’ve probably figured this post has nothing to do with soap this time :D Every now and then I need to mix it up!)

The novel always kind of (in my eyes) had two parts.  So I worked on the first part all of last year and got it well started (still has issues that need resolving, but the story is there).  I’d been putting off plotting out the second part because there was so much stuff I had “vague” ideas on but hadn’t figured out how to really make it work. Well I’ve finally finished the plotting!  Adult science fiction is much more complicated than Middle Grade fiction…and I (to keep everything straight) created a story board.

I won’t show you the initial notes I started with plotting. They’re a mess.  But I eventually got things figured out in the first run of a story board:

initial part2

The first squares are really detailed…towards the end it’s just the main idea of what needs to happen in each scene…the details will come later…too much will change as I write the earlier scenes to really plot out too much right now.

part2scenes

Once the above is done I create new squares that have each scene I’ll be writing.  You can see the right hand side of the sheets are all blank.  Those will get filled out as I start writing and figuring out the details.  They’ll eventually look like this: (my part 1 story board)

part1

And then there are all the small notes that ended up on index cards or other scraps of paper for scenes, dialogue, description, character motivation…you name it…that I need to organize with the scenes and work in:

notes-scenes

But, all the above means I’m ready to start writing!  Part 2 here I come.  I can’t wait to write it.  Especially since I’ve figured out what’s going to happen, what the characters need to experience, how they need to grow and change, and just how to work in the many intricacies a science fiction novel needs to have!  So I say: Bring it on!


My Goddaughter’s Baptism

August 26, 2012

This weekend was a whirlwind!  Normally this blog is all about soap, but I couldn’t not share a couple of photos from Katelynn’s baptism.  I have to get photos of the actual ceremony from my family (as godmother I was occupied during the time :D).  But here’s a couple from after the ceremony…sure to make you smile and melt your heart.  I was so honored to be her godmother and can’t wait to embrace all the future responsibilities that roll holds!

Myself, Matt (her godfather) and the proud parents (Danielle & Will (my brother))

Grandma and Grandpa Hofmann

Aunt Becca (finally getting a chance to hold her…grandma and grandpa kept hogging her :D)

And this picture…because it made me laugh.  Daddy and Katelynn spending some time together.


Glycerin?

August 17, 2012

I had an interesting thing happen to my soap today.  I piped some berries on top and after 24 hours I unmolded it and found this little clear bubbles around the area I piped.  I’ve never had this happen before.  I’m thinking it’s glycerin.  Has anyone ever seen this before?

I did have this batch go through an INTENSE gel phase.  And I ended up piping the green leaves on top almost 15-20 minutes after I poured the batch (I couldn’t get the green to thicken up enough to pipe).


Mini Ice Packs & Fragrance Oils For Sale

April 23, 2012

ICE PACKS

I needed some ice packs to line a basket with for this summer.  The heat can do in my sugar scrubs on brutal summer days.  So I came up with the idea to line my basket.  With idea in mine I went on a search to find ice packs that would work.  And the cheapest (by far) ice packs I found were a bulk box…a bulk box of NINETY-SIX two inches by three inches ice packs!  I don’t think I’ll EVER use all of these and so I’m selling some of them.

50 cents per ice pack + shipping

If you’re interested comment here or send me an email.  I’d love to find some homes for these!

FRAGRANCE OILS

I also have a collection of fragrance oils that I’m not going to use.  There’s nothing wrong with them, I’ve just decided I don’t like them, learned the hard way I’m allergic to them, or used them once and decided that I wasn’t going to use them again.  If you’re interested in any of them please let me know.

Bramble Berry Fragrances
Tropical Vacation 2oz – $2.00
Lavender Chamomile ½oz – $0.50
Monkey Love ½oz – $0.50
Cream Cheese Frosting 3oz – $2.00
Summer Fling 3oz – $2.00
Beach Breezes 1oz – $1.00
Pearberry 3oz – $2.00

Sweet Cakes Fragrances
Breeze 1+oz – $1.00
Fuzzy 4oz – $3.00 (a peach type fo)
Ocean Shoreline 1+oz – $1.00
Nectarine Blossom & Honey 2oz – $2.00

Wholesale Supplies Plus
Bluebells and Baby’s Breath 4oz – $4.00
Confetti Cake 2oz – $1.00
Champagne Kisses 2oz – $1.00
Birthday Cake 1oz – $0.50
Be Delicious Blossom 1+oz – $1.00
Cupcake 2oz – $1.00
Sweet Pea (less than 1oz) Free with purchase (first come, first serve)
Bedtime Bath (less than 1oz) Free with purchase (first come, first serve)
Black Forest Cake 1+ oz – $1.00
Cake Batter Ice Cream 2oz – $1.50
Banana Cream Pie 1oz – $1.00
Berried Treasure 2oz – $2.00

Nature’s Garden
Chocolate Lovers Type (not a chocolate scent but a sweet scent) 8oz – $4.00

MOLDS

I have the following molds available too.  Each mold is $1.50.  These are great for MP soaps.

1. Heavy Duty White Mold – Rectangular with rounded edges, 4 cavities
2. Approx. 8″ x 8″ Plastic Tray Mold with groves to create bars
3. THREE oval plastic molds (round and rectangular shaped), 4 cavities
4. Circle-Square-Hexagon-Rectangual Plastic Mold – TWO available
5. Round Plastic Mold, 4 cavities
6. Rectangular rounded top Plastic Mold, 4 cavities
7. Plastic Square/Rectangular Mold with beveled edges, THREE available
8. Plastic mold with circle, star and rectangular shapes, sides beveled, 3 cavities


I’m way too detail oriented!

August 26, 2011

I’m way too detail oriented!  I’m always sketching out ideas.  In part it’s just how I’ve always been, ten plus years of working in the design field has taken a natural instinct and made it nearly impossible for me to function any other way.  I’ve been free hand sketching my designs for my craft fair tables for months now as I figure out what I want to do and as I get new “pieces” to help me display my products.

Well, I finally reached a point where free hand sketching wasn’t cutting it.  I needed to draw my plan to scale and see just how everything would layout out…  This is what came from that (I warmed you…way to detail oriented!)

My dad and I went to the Bolton Fair this past weekend and we saw a shelf display for soaps I LOVED!  The lady there was really nice and let us take pictures of it!  So I went to work designing a shelf pretty much like hers, just slightly modified…

Of course I had multiple options (the above is the one I think I’m going with, but before I got to that final design I had a couple other options).

And for those who the above plans and elevations make no sense here’s a picture of the shelf I’m basing my design off of!

And since I wrote and scheduled this post my table design has changed AGAIN :D  Each farmers market I figure out another little piece of the layout…eventually it’ll get to exactly what I want it to be!


Dedicated, obessed or just plain CRAZY! You decided.

August 24, 2011

I have a “soap making schedule.” I like to have everything planned out to see exactly how long it’ll take me to get things done…when I’m going to do what recipes…use what fragrances… Plus I knew I was on a tight schedule trying to get all my fall/winter soaps done by the end of August. (Teaching starts in September (on top of the full time job) and my free time gets cut drastically).

With that in mind I had soap to make last night. However I spent part of the evening with my mom and didn’t get home till 7:30. Well after getting home, putting away groceries and getting settled I pulled out my soap stuff. Went to go weigh the materials out and my scale (which turned on) wasn’t registering any weights. What to do? Go to BB&B and get a new scale or not make soap that night?

I did the math in my head. Leave at 7:45. Twenty minutes to store. Ten minutes in store. Twenty minutes home. 8:30 before I could start on my batch. (I should note here I have a self imposed bed time of 10 PM. I get up every morning at 5:30. If I don’t give myself a bed time I’d keep working and just pretty much burn myself out). Anyway, I DID go get the scale. In fact I got two (paranoid one wouldn’t work). Got home and made soap at 8:30. Didn’t finish till quarter to 10 then proceeded to make bath fizzies (cause they were also on my schedule). *sigh* By the time I finished those and took my shower and finally got into bed it was 11 PM. I’m a tired girl this morning, but I stayed on track with my schedule! :-P

I loved my old scale. I do not like the new one I got. It’s going back. It reads in fractions. Which is fine for most people, but not for me. I need to be able to get a precise 13.2 and not have to decide between 13 1/8 oz. and 13 1/4 oz. I’ll go do some research on scales and find one I really like, but for now the back up scale (see I knew it was smart to get two!) works. Not what I want, but works great as a cheap back up scale.


Let’s Play a Guessing Game!

June 23, 2011

What do you think I’m going to use these for?

Come on leave me your guesses.  Go ahead and respond to the facebook post.  I’ll answer all your guesses when I get back!

What am I using these dots for?

Had fun?  Cool!  Cause I’ve got another guessing game coming a little bit later in the day! Stay Tuned.


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