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 29, 2015
I have to remark on a few things…I can’t help myself. There are some big cultural differences between Europe and America. They always amaze me, even though I spent ten years living in Europe! I wanted to share my little list of insights from my 2014 trip.
- Europe doesn’t do ICE water. I’m an ice water girl. Give me cold water with ice! Europe just doesn’t do ice.
- Asking for tap water with your meal is not common. And if you ask for water (it’s bottled water you pay for) you have to make sure you specify between STILL and SPARKLING or you’ll most likely get sparkling water.
- I drank more soda on this trip than I’ve probably drank in the past three years. (Nope I’m not a soda person). That said it was always Fanta I was drinking. REAL Fanta! *content sigh*
- Exit doors swing in and not out like in the US. As a former architect this still baffles me. It’s law (code) that exit doors must swing out (to allow traffic to flow out in case of an emergency). I can’t tell you how many time I walked into doors because I pushed expecting them to open but I had to pull!
- Go ahead and try to find a house with double hung windows in Europe! They don’t do double hung. Oh course they wouldn’t fit in with their architecture, so it makes sense, but these are little things I notice.
- They don’t have vanity license plates.
- If you order french fries you get the option of ketchup or mayonnaise. Just the thought of mayonnaise on french fries grosses me out, but they love it!
It’s fascinating to look at other cultures and see the differences and similarities.
January 28, 2015
I have to say I was one lucky girl this past Christmas. My parents brought my sister and I to Germany. We lived there for seven years (at different times) when I was growing up. (We also lived in France for three years). The upside of being an Army Brat. I’m also half German and just love Germany. It was an amazing trip (despite the hiccup at the beginning of our trip…missed a connecting flight in Iceland and got to spend a day there.)
I thought I’d share with you some of the photos from my trip.
Munich has my absolute favorite Christkindlemarket. It is, in my opinion, the best one in Germany (heck, all of Europe). And I feel I can say this as I’ve been to at least a dozen Christmas markets over the years.
Prague, Czech Republic
I’ve been to Prague many times (this was my fourth time, but who’s counting)! I visited when I lived in Europe. Got to spend a month in the city when I was in college for a summer program. An absolutely amazing experience! It was cold in Prague. I was bundled up! I love the beauty of this city. Untouched by the wars, it’s truly a gorgeous city.
Dresden was FREEZING. I took very few pictures. Mostly cause my sister and Dad were taking a bunch and I figured I could just get theirs ha!
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
One of my favorite places on this earth! And no I’m not exaggerating! It snowed the entire three days we were here. It was cold cold cold! We climbed up the slick stone steps to walk the wall of the town. Not maybe the smartest idea, but it was fun!
And lastly one of my favorite German dishes: Jagerschnitzel with spaetzle! Yum!
January 24, 2015
I sit and look back at 2014 and I have checked off many items on my “to do” list for my business. I’ve moved forward. I’ve improved my business. And I’ve begun to take steps towards my ultimate goal. I created a new list for 2015 (and even looked forward toward 2016). Next year I will hopefully take even more steps forward, but I know (despite really really really wanting otherwise) I still have a lot more work ahead of me to achieve those goals.
With that in mind I share this quote. As a reminder to me and to you: We have to climb our way to the top. There’s no quick way up to the top.
January 18, 2015
I’m back at it! Creative juices are flowing again! (Took them long enough to get going!) I think I know what my 10 new Spring Line will be. (I call them spring line cause they’ll be debuting around end of February and go through Mom’s day. Then the Summer Line comes around the end of May).
There are still two I don’t know what to do with. I still have time to figure it out. Making the others and finishing up my standards restocks will keep me busy and give me time, but I’m excited that I have ideas again! Sometimes it gets hard to not do the same thing all the time.
This is me at work:
January 17, 2015
It’s that time again where I’ve gone through all the items I have that I have not used, no longer need, or just have too many of. I’d love to find homes for everything (which in turn will give me some cleared shelf space to just go get more stuff…it’s a never ending cycle :D.) I’ve split everything into a couple categories. I’ve listed amounts and costs. This doesn’t include shipping. Shipping will be calculated based on what each person wants.
First come first serve. If you want something comment or email me (JenniferSoap [at] gmail [dot] com) with what you want and your mailing zip so I can calculate shipping costs for you.
(11) 16oz Spray Bottles with top (WSP) – $.55 EACH
- 150 Clear Lip Balm Caps – $0.03 per cap if you take them all or $0.05 per cap if you just want a portion of them) Image (just selling caps, not tubes)
- 42 Light Blue Lip Balm Caps – $0.05 per cap
- 26 Maroon Lip Balm Caps – $0.05 per cap
375 Kraft Soap Boxes Measure: 2 3/4 x 1 3/16 x 3 13/16 $0.14 per box if you take the entire set / $0.17 per box if you just want a portion
(17) 16oz bottles SKS 0028-107 (I have 7 white caps and 7 spray bottle nozzles I’ll put with them, but they’ll still be missing 4 caps. SKS/WSP sells just tops.) – $16 for all 18 bottles/caps
(29) 8oz Keuka Plastic Bottles with caps – $0.10 per bottle/cap
Approx. 20 Plastic Tubes SKS 0890-01 – $0.10 EACH
Sundae Dishes 12oz (bottle and lid) approx 90 containers – $10.00 for set
12 Pack Bags 2.75″ x 2.75″ x 4″ from PaperMart – $5.00
- Push Up Cake Tubes approx. 80 count - $20.00
FRAGRANCES (weights are approximate)
4oz Apple Peach & Cinnamon (SC) - $1.50
16oz Mango Madness (Lebermuth) – $6.00
8oz Frosted Pumpkin (NG) – $4.00
16oz Rosemary Mint (Lebermuth) – $6.00
2oz Rain (NG) - $1.00
1oz WSP Sparkling Snowflake – $0.50
8oz WSP Pink Berry Mimosa – $3.00
4oz WSP Mango Tango Twist – $2.00
8oz NG Coconut – $3.00
5oz NG Champagne Pomegranate - $1.00
4oz NG Watercress & Aloe – $2.00
4oz NG Jade – $3.00
4oz BB Sugar Plum Fairy – $1.00
2oz WSP Caribbean Smoothie – $3.00
2oz NG Pomegranate Cider – $1.00
1.5oz BB Pomegranate & Black Currant – $1.00
Approximately 13 different sample fragrances from a variety of companies - $2.00
(BB= Bramble Berry, WSP= Wholesale Supplies Plus, ED= Essential Depot, RE= Rustic Essentials, NG= Nature’s Garden, SC= Sweet Cakes)
1 wood mold (holds approx 3-3.5lb) Soap. The base is separate from the sides, so the side just slips over the anchor on the base and it holds it in place. Use Great Cake Soapworks method of lining molds to easily line these. – $10
Ice Cream Cone Mold – $2.50
Heart Molds 2 available – $8.00 per mold
OR take all three remaining molds (bar, onesie, and eggs) for $6.00 plus shipping.
MP Vanilla Color Stabilizer 16oz: 1 available – $5 per bottle
Approximately 1lb of Egyptian Chamomile Blend – $3 for Bag
2oz Pink Lemonade Flavor Oil – $2.00
Low PH Tropical Yellow LabColor – $1.00
Low PH Green LabColor – $1.00
- 900 Drink Cups 5oz - $10.00 for all or $2.00 per 100 pack of cup
- Assorted Gift Boxes (approx. 75 count) – $2.00
Assorted Decorative Gift Boxes (approx. 80 count) – $4.00
Shaving Brushes 10 count - $2.00
Online Labels OL885WX 90 sheets – $10.00
Anyone who is willing to pick up these items from me or pay for their shipping can have them for free.
7lb Neem Oil (year plus old)
3-4 16oz Glass Bail Jars (no lids)
Aloe Vera Liquid
Carrot Seed Oil
(7) 9.5oz Spice Bottles (Similar to these)
(7) 16oz Spray Bottles (Picture)
Approx. 7oz Moisturizing Body Spray
- 4oz BB Deodorant Base
January 15, 2015
I met many of my goals in 2014. So, now it’s time to make those 2015 goals.
- Double my profit. This might be asking too much, who knows, but I’d rather challenge myself than just be content to do what I did last year.
- Work on my “attraction appeal.” I know that seems a bit big and vague. What do I mean? Work on pulling new customers. Work on standing out. Work on making some new products that will draw in new customers. Goal #2 goes hand in hand goal #1. I’ve already begun working on goal #2.
- Maybe (finally) finalize my display set up? I know that will never happen. I think part of a changing display makes for something “new” for repeat clients, but I’m hoping to before the season really starts get my new display all pulled together to work with all my new products (and all fit in the car)! I’m currently banging my head against walls as I continue to play around with options.
- Introduce a few new products. I want to develop a body scrub/polish line, bubble bath, lip scrubs, shower tabs, and under eye butter.
- Make some improvements to my webpage (most which will be behind the scenes changes).
- Grow my online sales.
- Grow my wholesale sales.
- Expand where I teach classes and the variety. I started this last year, and want to continue on the path this year.
- Save a percentage of every sale for a really BIG (potential) goal that is (potentially) years away.
That’s a fairly big list. I’m sure there will be other things that come up and will get added to it, but these are my goals for 2015.
Half the battle is having a positive attitude! The other half working hard–something I’m very good at. I will not give up (but I might complain along the way :) …this is what best friends are for though. They’re good at listening to your frustrations and just being there for you as you realize no matter how hard or rough something might seem that You CAN and you WILL!)