Inspirational Friday

August 17, 2018

As I’m sure most of you know by now I am a writer.  I love to tell stories.  One of the biggest rules we lived by in grad school and critiquing was: cut, cut, cut.  If it doesn’t move the story forward you don’t need it.  I can’t tell you how many times I (figuratively) wept over cut scenes.  It was hard letting go of them, but when I got over the lost I would realize how much better my story flowed.

We can apply the same theory to our business.  How many of us do or offer *too much* …whether it’s types of soap, the number of products, events we’ll participate in…?

I am totally guilty of this.  I’ve gotten better. It took  couple years, but I realized there are products I make that just don’t sell well enough.  Or I was trying to make too many different product type to reach as wide a customer base as I could (which in the long run wasn’t really helping me). One of my 2018 goals was: less is more.  On many fronts I’m working on making “less” actually be “more”.

These words of advice aren’t just for writing!  I ask you this: What is one thing you could remove or not do from your business?  Now try it!  See what happens.  Are sales negatively (or positively) affect?  Do you have more (save) time?  Could you reduce your expenses?  Try it.  See what happens.

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July 12 in 12

July 31, 2018

I’m exhausted. July has been busy. There was soap (lots and lots of making of soap).  Had to get the fall scents made so they’d be ready for September.  Then there was two trips to Philly. One to meet my new nephew.  He’s the cutest!  Came into this world on July 4th (four days late)!  The kid wanted a special birthday. The second trip was for his baptism. Then there were cape shows, Boston shows, and my usual farmers markets.  Then there was life.  And let me tell you life is challenging me at the moment. I can’t wait until the end of August comes and I get a little vacation…or at least a break from everything. I need some time to recharge!  Anyway, without further ado here’s a peak into my July.

July 1, 2018: Reverse Impressions

I haven’t done a reverse imprint in ages!  Thought I’d add squiggly lines to the top of this Seaweed Soap batch.

July 2, 2018: Record Keeping

I’ve reached a point where I think I can start drawing conclusion on my testing.  I’m going to keep recording until at least week 18 (which will be three months), but I’ve definitely gathered enough information at this point to finish writing my research paper.

July 11, 2018: Falmouth, MA

This was my second cape show of the month.  It’s one of the few shows where I get some help as my mom comes down with me.  It’s SOOO nice having help unloading and loading and being able to take a bathroom break ha!

July 12, 2018: Mermaid Soaps

They’ve been popular, so popular that I’ve been busy making more batches.

July 16, 2018: Mica Swirls

I got to the end of June and thought I’m doing good…I’m pretty caught up. And then the beginning of July happened and suddenly I was like I have a million soaps to make and I HAVE to start on my fall soaps!  Between restocks and fall soaps by the time I reached the end of the month I’d made over 230 lbs of soap!

July 17, 2018: Embeds

I tried to purposely avoid embeds in my fall soaps since I used so many in my summer designs and they take so much more time to make, but I couldn’t avoid them completely! 🙂

July 18, 2018: Mermaid Tails

I ran out of mermaid tails and had to stop making my mermaid bars.  Made about 80 tails today! Now I can get back to making more bars.

July 20, 2018: French Vanilla

I know this soap is going to discolor to a dark brown.  Already you can see the vanilla changing the white to yellow. I think as the vanilla does its work and the soap gets darker it will be a striking contrast between the white and brown.


July 21, 2018: Pumpkins Galore!

Now that the pumpkins are made I can make my pumpkin patch soap!

July 24, 2018: Soap Challenge

I put forth the challenge to my fellow New England Soap makers (in our local chapter) to make a soap this month that was inspired from one of their favorite movies/TV shows/ or books. I tried to create a soap that represented the TV show Haven. It didn’t go as planned, but I still think the soap is cute and it was a fun challenge!

July 26, 2018: Fall Soaps

The fall soaps are almost done. I have three more batches to make and then that’s a wrap. I’ll give myself a couple weeks break (and catch up on some bath products and other things) and then I start on the winter soaps!

 

July 28, 2018: Dry Rack

There are a couple more batches to cut still that will get added to this, but here’s my dry rack at the end of July.  Standards are restocked. Fall soaps are made. There’s a lot of soap there.  And the winter soaps will be joining them soon!

 


Inspirational Friday

July 20, 2018

A little different from my standard Inspirational Fridays.  I hope all of you have a best friend or two out there who you can share this sentiment with!  It’s important to have friends that make you laugh, smile, encourage you, and are always there for you.  I’m thankful for the friends in my life.  You all make it special!


Summer Soaps: Part 3

July 2, 2018

The last two are blends I put together. I like them. They’re fresh and summery.

Watermelon-Lemonade

Of all the soaps this one didn’t go right. I forgot the white layer.  Realized it after I poured it. Oops.  Then the fragrance accelerated VERY quickly and it was challenge just to get it in the mold. It smells good and looks fine, but I’m bummed that it didn’t come out perfectly.

The watermelon start off with a fruit blend of melons, peach and strawberry with a hint of vanilla. Followed by the aroma of a freshly squeezed juicy lemon.

Strawberry Lime

I was going for a lady bug look here. It didn’t come out perfect, but I think it’s at least distinguishable as a lady bug when you look at it.

This refreshing fragrance is an accord of Kaffir lime, Japanese grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon; middle notes of bergamot and strawberries; sitting on base notes of brown sugar and oakmoss. Combines with vine ripened strawberries.

 

 


June 12 in 12

June 30, 2018

Do you know June is my favorite month?  It just so happens to be my birthday month!  And the weather has finally warmed up.  And schools out for the summer. Summer markets get into full swing…it’s just all around a great month!  Here’s what I was up to this June!

June 7, 2018: Shrink Wrapping Bath Bombs

So, this was the reason I bought the shrink wrapping system for! To package my bath bombs.  Of course I made a huge batch and packaged them all right before I got the system and haven’t had to restock until just recently.  Oh My Word!  I’m in love.  This cut down the packaging time drastically and was so much easier! Worth every penny!

June 8, 2018: Label Designs (and redesigns)

Oh my word.  I’ve been doing a lot of label designs and redesigns.  Updating a lot of labels to be more in line with my business image and correctly some labels that weren’t labeled 100% correctly.  In the process of creating new labels for my body sprays I did them THREE times.  First time with wrong label size, second time I didn’t like the design. Guess third times the charm.

June 9, 2018: Bubble Scoops

These have been pretty popular!  Made another batch. I think I should be good for a couple months 😀

June 10, 2018: Happy Birthday Fun! BONUS POST!!

I took today off from markets and went to Canobie Lake Park with my friend to celebrate my birthday.  Enjoyed the day, rested, and just spent time doing things for me (no business/work)!

June 12, 2018: Boxes!

It was time to package up my summer soaps.  Over 150 boxes here for the first round of packaging!

June 12–Part 2: This week was challenging to say the least.  I had a market this day.  It was a nice day, but extremely windy. Stakes were doing nothing to hold down tents and people where holding on to their tents with every gust of wind.  Three tents ended up blowing over.  One blew over into my tent, me, and then my car window–shattering it.  I cannot say this enough! If you do outdoor shows make sure you use adequate weights!  30 or 40 lb kettlebells with ratchet straps for each leg work really well.  The time, stress, and inconvenience this caused me still makes me mad. All because of someone else’s inability to properly anchor a tent.

June 13, 2018: *Sigh*

What’s wrong with this label? At least I caught it BEFORE I started putting them all on the boxes.

All packaged up! (Well round one anyway).

June 16, 2018: Beverly Art Fest

I love this show.  It also always feels like the kick off to summer.

June 18, 2018: Photo Editing!

I managed to get my soap photos taken!  I love my new lens 😀  Now comes the “fun” of editing all the pics!

June 20, 2018: Studying

When at markets I use the time to study.  I don’t know how I’m going to remember all this.  I “know” it or know how/where to look it up, but I can’t write an essay answer for every question yet. So much studying still do to.

June 23, 2018: Fall and Winter Soaps Scents

I feel like I just finished the summer soaps and already I’ve had to start thinking about the Fall and Winter soaps.  I need to start the Fall soaps in July so they’re ready come September. I’m really not ready for fall scents ha! I determined the scents I’m going with, now time to start designing the soaps.

June 25, 2018: Forgotten Dishes

Ha! I used my dishwasher to wash dishes from a June 9th class. I completely forgot about them until today when I needed a pot and I realize I was missing it and I thought back to when I last used it and remembered the dishwasher.  That’s how often I use a dishwasher!

June 26, 2018: Skating

I used to skate. Then I started a business and well skating was one of the things that was no longer in the budget.  Today, for the first time in six years, I got back out on the ice!  I wasn’t as hopeless as I feared!  It felt so good to be back on ice!

June 27, 2018: Lip balms, lip scrubs, mermaid soaps, and more!

It was a busy day restocking.  Trying to get caught up on everything before next week when I go visit my sister!


Summer Soaps: Part 2

June 28, 2018

Lush Linen

Of all the soaps, the Lush Linen didn’t go quite as planned.  I was also trying to mimic a past design…which sometimes it’s best to leave old designs in the past because try as I might I can never quite duplicate that first batch.

Lush Linen fragrance is a luxurious sun-bleached linen wrapped in lemon blossoms and white tea infusions. Aromas of blooming muguet enhance the clean sweetness, while sandalwood and vanilla balance the airy, ozonic quality of this fragrance. This fragrance oil is infused with natural essential oils, including Patchouli.

Top: Ozone, Lemon Blossom, White Tea
Middle: Linen, Muguet
Base: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Sheer Musk

Lemon Verbena

Years ago I did a lemon verbena.  And I’ve been asked periodically for it over the years and decided this summer I’d bring it back!  Can I just say I made a complete mess as I tried to “dust” the heart.  Ha! It worked, but it was messy.

Spunky lemon & floral verbena combines in this uplifting delight. The scent begins with tangy lime, grapefruit & lemon. The heart combines lavender, geranium rose & lemongrass. The dry is a soft woody musk. This fragrance oil is infused with natural essential oils, including citronella, lemon and orange.

Top: Lemon
Middle: Verbena
Base: Vanilla

Bamboo & Coconut

I was surprised how much I liked this fragrance. I didn’t think it would be one I cared for.  It’s got this unique fresh smell but mellowed with a sweet coconut scent.  I love the ying-yang design. Again lots of work to make, but it looks cool!

Bamboo and Coconut overflows with the lushness of green coconut, fig leaf, and tender fruit notes. This soothing blend has a luxurious softness that’s reminiscent of a spa, or a tranquil bamboo forest. Bright top notes of lime blossoms and crisp, green leaves blend into this airy, ozonic escape. The fragrance is beautifully grounded by touches of driftwood and vanilla. Lemon, eucalyptus, and cedarwood essential oils add layers of depth to this complex fragrance. This fragrance oil is infused with natural essential oils, including Lemon oil, Cedarwood oil, Eucalyptus oil, Lavandin oil, Patchouli oil, and Spearmint oil.

Top: Fig Leaf, Ozone, Lime Blossom
Middle: Coconut, Pineapple
Base: Driftwood, Vanilla, Tropical Musk


Summer Soaps: Part 1

June 25, 2018

I have to say I really liked how all my summer soaps turned out this year.  They were A LOT of work (more work than I anticipated for some), but worth it.

Raspberry Lemonade

I love this design.  It is a lot of work to make the embeds, but the end product is so pretty! And the colors!  The little bit of “neon yellow” just makes me smile.

This fragrance oil is the mouth-watering combination of ice-cold lemonade, sweet, juicy raspberries; with a unique twist of natural lavender and white musk.

Grapefruit Mint

I didn’t think I’d love this scent as much as I did.  In fact I’m making a small batch for myself (as I put coffee grounds in this soap thinking it make a good gardener’s soap and I dislike scrubbies in my soap ha!)  This design was a good amount of work too, but worth it in the end.

Grapefruit and Mint is a super refreshing and sophisticated summer fragrance. It starts with ripe, tangy grapefruit fused with garden-fresh mint. Hints of lavender and rhubarb add depth and complexity to this fresh fragrance. Citrus essential oils enhance this bold scent, while mint, thyme, and bergamot essential oils give it an herbal counter to the punchy, juicy grapefruit. This fragrance oil is infused with natural essential oils, including Grapefruit, Mandarin, Orange, Lemon, Thyme, Bergamot and Buchu Leaf.

Top: Grapefruit, Rhubarb, Mint
Middle: Lavender, Rose, Apple
Base: Vanilla, Clear Musk

Peach Magnolia Raspberry

This has a fruit punch design because there are so many fruits in the fragrance (even if the name doesn’t indicate it.)  I was pleased how the six color swirl came out. I was afraid it might blend and get murky looking, but the colors stayed separate.

This fragrance oil is a blend of  Lemon, Grapefruit, Peach Nectar, Raspberry, Pink Tulip, Soft Jasmine, Magnolia, Wild Honeysuckle,  and Sheer Musk.