A Year in Review: 2018

A Year in Review: 2018

It’s that time where I revisit my goals for 2018 and see just how well I did (or didn’t do) in accomplishing them. Not every year is AMAZING.  I realize that, but it can still be a bit disappointing when you look back over a year and it just didn’t end up where you wanted.  This year had a lot going on and was by no means a “bad” year, I just didn’t accomplish everything I’d hoped to.  Here are the goals I posted for 2018.  Let’s take a look at how well I accomplished them!

  1. Increase sales by 25%.  Yup, I’m dreaming big again!

This didn’t happened. There were a number of reasons for this.  I need to readdress a few things and revamp other things.  It’s something I really need to spend some time on and time is one thing I’ve been short of this year.  I know what I need to do. So, now I need to make time to do it.

  1. Increase online sales.  This is kind of a two part plan.  I’ve been working on growing my online sales, but in conjuncture with that I need to update my webpage.  I’ve been doing research on new site platforms and compiling a list of everything I want in my new webpage and I plan to start building that in January and hopefully launch the new site in February.  Change is good!

Well…I didn’t increase online sales, but I did actually accomplish some of these goals.  The BIG ticket item here was updating my webpage.  That DID happen. It was a lot of work, but it got done and (overall) I’m really happy with the new webpage. There are still little things I’m working on with it (I think that will always be the case), but the completely revamped webpage is a big achievement.

  1. Update/Change my current batch code system.  With moving and setting up a dedicated studio space I’m been trying to fully set up/update/comply with GMP standards and with that I’ve come up with a better/new way to do my batch code system.  My goal this year is to get it fully implemented.

I made more progress.  It’s not fully there yet, but overall I’ve got a good system in place and I’m happy with the progress I have made.

  1. Continue teaching and expand on where I teach, classes I teach, and do more Library Presentations.  I’d also like to try and figure out how to really launch a kids soap making program.  This is very dependent on my time, which is going to be occupied by many things this year.

This didn’t really happen. At least not the exploring new options/classes/kid classes.  I did teach a lot of classes this year (on par with the previous years), but I didn’t grow teaching in any way.

  1. Get our Local New England Chapter up and running.  This includes creating a mailing list so I can easily reach out to all our members.  Putting together and holding  a couple “get togethers” this year.  Proctoring a test session.  Three things to start and then I can build on that.

I did get it up and running and I did get one meeting to happen (with a proctored test session).  There was more I wanted to do, but my time was stretched too thin with me trying to take on too many tasks this year.  I will continue to work on building our local chapter.

  1. Revamp my bath bomb sizes, labels, and packaging.  (To be fair I started this the end of 2017, but I need to fully implement it now).

This was successfully done!

  1. Work on my Master Exam.  This includes getting my Research Project Proposal approved.  Doing the research I need for Part 4 of the exam.  And working in the studio experimenting and learning to make the soaps I need to for Part 1.  I have a lot of work that must get done this winter.  I cannot put it off.

Research project was approved and I spent six months working on that. In fact I’m almost done with the project. I just have to finish writing the rough draft and then do revisions and that is almost ready to submit.  This part of the project took a lot of work. I knew it would be time consuming, but I underestimated just how much work it would involve.

I did make progress on the other sections of the test too.  I have three months to complete it and I’m going to be working on it nonstop to get it all done before April of this year.

  1. New Products: I want to play around with bath bomb/bubble bath cupcakes. Whether they’d be introduced as a new product I don’t know, but it’s been on my list of items I want experiment with.

I did experiment and play around with bubble bath (bubble scoops). I decided bath comb cupcakes weren’t going to be a part of my product line and didn’t do those.  But I learned a lot from the experiments I did with bath bombs and bubble bath.

  1. If time permits work on growing sales of my custom favor soaps.

Time did not permit. *sigh*

  1. Less is More: I have a pretty complex set up.  For big winter shows it’s worth it.  But for 2018, especially over the summer I want to streamline my set up to just a 6′ table.  I have created lovely set ups with just one table.  It needs to be my goal for summer markets.  I spend a lot of time on set up/take down and I want to reduce my set up time to under 45 minutes this year.  The time I’ll save if I can do that would be like a two week vacation!

This was accomplished.  It was important to me to simplify things.  I’m glad I did it.

A look at the Highlights of the Year:

  • I participated in 110 markets (Helpers worked 22 of them).  Last year I did 106 events.
  • I taught 34 classes/presentations. (25 Last year)
  • I made just over 6000 bars of soap this year. (About 700 less than last year.)
  • Continued to do my 12 in 12 on my blog.
  • In total I made over 12,000 products this year. (As opposed to 16,000 last year, though this was mostly intentional as I tried to streamline this year).
  • I put together and completed a controlled testing of Meadowfoam oil.
  • Made progress on my Master Exam.
  • Proctored my first Test Session for the Guild Certification tests.
  • Hosted our first New England Local Chapter Meet Up.
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