November 21, 2016
If you remember last April (I know that was a long time ago) I planned the Bridal Shower for my sister around a sunflower theme. Well this November I was once again in charge of shower planning. This time for a baby shower. Yup, I’m gonna be an aunt again (December 25 due date). I keep giving my sister grief that she had to pick the BUSIEST time of the year for me ;). Every weekend is booked with shows and basically I couldn’t get there. What I did…I found someone to help cover my event on Saturday so I could drive down to PA on Friday night, do the shower on Saturday and then drive home Saturday night in time for my Sunday event. Exhausted doesn’t begin to cover how I was feeling on Monday!
But, it was worth it. I don’t know how party planners do it. It’s exhausting! Maybe my OCD and Type A personality don’t help things…control freak has been used a time or two to describe me ha! But it’s so worth it. The outcome was absolutely adorable. I went with a Safari/Jungle theme (since we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl). And when I do a theme…I do a theme :D.
Everything from the food tags, the gift bags, games, and decorations fit a theme. Check it out. Pictures describe the event so much better than words ever will!
Some ducks just didn’t want to stay afloat!
Cake: This cake came out better than I hoped for and made me do happy dances all day every time I saw it.
I saved the favors for last, because I am beyond proud of them! I worked my tail off on these. 48 favors took me about 10 hours to make. So incredibly labor intensive, but oh they were worth it. I learned a few things to do and not do along the way, so I could cut down on the time a bit in the future, but overall these are not easy to make. I created five animal soaps: Lion, Tiger, Zebra, Giraffe, and Gorilla. The lion and the giraffe are my favorites, but I love them all, especially together. (Tomorrow I’ll have blog post on all the steps it took to just create these cute fellas).
And this is what happens when your brother-in-law gets hold of your camera :P. Ha!
January 11, 2016
Now that we’ve seen how 2015 went, it’s time for me to list my goals for 2016.
- Increase my profit by 50%. Last year’s goal of doubling my profit was a big one, and a big step up in my business. I did it. This year if I can increase it by 50% it’ll be a good year. If it so happens I can increase it more I’ll take it! But an increase like that will mean I’ll have to re-approach how I make things because there’s only one of me and only so many hours in the day to get stuff done!
- Grow my customer base. Yes, this is the same goal as last year and it will be a goal next year and the year after and the year after that…you get the point :).
- Introduce some new products. On my list of new products: shower tabs, cream soap, liquid soap, foaming bath whip, and maybe a shampoo bar. There are many other things I want to experiment with, but this is the list for this year.
- Grow my online sales.
- Grow my sales for custom wedding/shower (baby & bridal) showers. I started that this year and I had so much fun making these custom favors. I hope to continue to grow this side of my business.
- Expand the number of classes I teach (and where I teach).
- Attend the 2016 Soap Conference in Tampa.
- Take (and pass) the Basic and Advance MP certification tests (at the soap conference). This shouldn’t be hard. And while MP is just not my thing, I do teach and I think having these certifications is a must for me.
- Start working/prepping for the CP Master Exam. My goal this year is to get my act together. That means learning how to make liquid and cream soap. It means deciding on the topics I want to write/research for part 3 & 4 of the test. It means starting to study the essay questions and know the answers backwards and forwards. Because come 2017 I plan to register to TAKE the Master Exam!
- Save a percentage of every sale for a really BIG (potential) goal that is (potentially) years away. (Yes, this goal is back and will continue to come back until I reach said goal!)
I’m sure some other goals will pop up throughout the year, but these are the big ones I hope to achieve. I’m excited to start working on them! Bring it 2016! I’m ready for you!
February 5, 2015
My mom got me a medallion for Christmas. I opened it and looked at it and went ok…who’s St. Florian?She saw the medallion at a fundraiser auction my church was having. She asked others and no one knew. Finally someone pulled out their phone to do a search (gotta love modern technology). This is what they read:
Saint Florian is a Christian saint, and the patron saint of Linz, Austria; chimney sweeps; soapmakers, and firefighters.
My mom laughed and said I have to have it for my daughter. Who knew there was a patron saint of soap makers! I love it. I think about it and it seems a weight lifts off my shoulder. It might be silly or seem superstitious, but the idea that there’s a saint of soap makers makes me smile and know that I’ll be ok. I will succeed with my business and that just maybe there’s someone watching over me.
A search of Catholic Online produced this background on St. Florian:
The St. Florian commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on May 4th, was an officer of the Roman army, who occupied a high administrative post in Noricum, now part of Austria, and who suffered death for the Faith in the days of Diocletian. His legendary “Acts” state that he gave himself up at Lorch to the soldiers of Aquilinus, the governor, when they were rounding up the Christians, and after making a bold confession, he was twice scourged, half-flayed alive, set on fire, and finally thrown into the river Enns with a stone around his neck. His body, recovered and buried by a pious woman, was eventually removed to the Augustinian Abbey of St. Florian, near Linz. It is said to have been at a later date translated to Rome, and Pope Lucius III, in 1138, gave some of the saint’s relics to King Casimir of Poland and to the Bishop of Cracow. Since that time, St. Florian has been regarded as a patron of Poland as well as of Linz, Upper Austria and of firemen. There has been popular devotion to St. Florian in many parts of central Europe, and the tradition as to his martyrdom, not far from the spot where the Enns flows into the Danube, is ancient and reliable. Many miracles of healing are attributed to his intercession and he is invoked as a powerful protector in danger from fire or water. His feast day is May 4th.
Reading about him there’s much more on him being the Patron Saint of Firefighters (and why). I’d love to learn more about where and how he became associated with soap makers. It’s fitting anyway you look at it though. My grandfather (who I never knew as he died when I was just three) was a firefighter. There’s just something about all of it that makes me smile.
January 12, 2015
What did I accomplish in 2014? A fair amount!
- I made over 3000 bars of soap (less than 2013, but I was much smarter with my soap making in 2014)
- I experimented with some new products AND added a number of them to my line: bath bombs, foot fizzies, muscle salve/balm, and a green cleaning line.
- A realized that some of my products needed to become seasonal products for the winter as they just didn’t sell well enough during the year. The biggest of those are my cupcakes soaps.
- I did less markets, but was smarter about it. I worked less to make more money. I learned that a few more needed to get cut out in 2015.
- Online Sales: I was on par with what I did in 2013. I wasn’t happy about that. I really wanted to grow my online sales, so that’s definitely a goal for this year.
- Wholesale saw a small increase in new clients, but a definite increase in repeat orders.
- Made some major updates to the webpage. I’m much happier about them. I do however have some more updates in mind for 2015.
- I attended my second Soap Conference. I learned some new things and got to visit my Aunt as well.
- I received my Advance Certification for CP soap making.
- I got certified by the Soap Guild as an Advance Teacher.
Quite the year! I have many goals for 2015, but that’s for another post!