Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creamy Goat's Milk Soap by Lemon Lollipop

A long time ago, in an Etsy shop far, far away...

I have Star Wars on the brain...did I mention that this week is STAR WARS WEEK at our house? We are watching the Star Wars movies in galaxy chronological order and I'm LOVING it! I feel like I'm finally getting the big picture watching them in order! When 'Star Wars: A New Hope' debuted in 1977, I saw it in the theater...Darth Vader was so scary! But now, knowing that he's the little boy Anakin Skywalker from 'The Phantom Menace', I just look at him differently. I like that I'm watching the same movie but experiencing it in a whole new way!

But, I digress...SOAP is also on my mind. What I started to say is that LONG AGO, we offered Goat's Milk Soap in our Four Seasons Fragrance scents (see photo above)...which got me thinking.

To put it simply, there's essentially two ways to offer soap...we can make our own soap from scratch using the cold-process method or we can use a melt & pour base. Making soap from scratch is a big commitment, we would need some equipment like exclusive pots and pans and molds, etc. Using lye demands special precautions. After making a batch of soap and pouring it into a mold, the soap must be cut and cured for about a month. I've done this in the past and may do it again in the future, but for now, we're going to offer our FAVORITE, rich and creamy, melt & pour soap. This involves melting the base, mixing in the fragrance and pouring into a mold. The soap can be completely hard within about an hour. In the past, we received rave reviews about our Creamy Goat's Milk Soap and I think it would be a great addition to our line.

All that thinking has led to a little buying and we are going to have soap soon! If you've ever used goat's milk soap, you know that it can get mushy if you don't protect it. One must keep it from sitting in water on an adequate soap dish. Just thinking about this soap gets me really excited to make some and take photos and launch it on our site!

What scents should I offer first? I was thinking about Unscented and Lavender and Peach! Leave your comments and requests below!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Lip Balm in Out of the Box Sampler November Box

On Tuesday, in an effort to do some advertising, we decided to donate 100 free lip balms to the Out of the Box Sampler. It's great advertising for us and I've worked with Michelle in the past. She does a fantastic job getting out 100+ boxes of handmade samples each month and we have perfect timing to make the October 20th deadline to get into the November box.

This is our first time working with a deadline and making 100 lip balms all at once!

Wednesday: Daniel and I are becoming a good team in pouring the lip balm and we were very efficient! Sarah opened the printable label files, printed and prepared the labels and did all the trimming with very little oversight. 100 labels is a big job!

Thursday: Dan peeled labels, I applied them to the tubes, Sarah put on the shrink bands and she and I operated the heat guns.

Friday: Put together the sample baggies with the Pumpkin Cheesecake lip balm, lemon lollipop, business card and coupon. Put 101 sampler baggies into a flat rate box and took it to the post office! We did it!

Now I'm eager to see how if this coupon attracts any sales or additional newsletter subscribers. I love marketing!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Four Seasons Fragrance Perfume Oils

Back in 2007, I launched an Etsy shop called Four Seasons Fragrance. The other night, I took a look at the Etsy Stats for the shop and was pretty surprised that it was still getting some attention, even without any listings (the shop is on vacation mode) and being away for a few years.

Anyways, I've been ruminating on how we can get more activity on Lemon Lollipop (the website and Etsy shop) so for the past week, I've been considering with my other business partners what we might do. I'd like to extend our reach...right now we are getting found (by very few) on searches for lip balm and colors and flavors. If we added goat's milk soap or more perfume oils, we could extend how we turn up in search. So what could we do that won't tax our daily lives IF things turn out to get busy (busiER would be a great first step to busy).

And that got me thinking about Four Seasons Fragrance (among other things). So I wrote up a few sheets on the costs of getting it up and going...that looks pretty good. Ran the profit numbers, excellent. Thought about materials and how long it would take to get them...looks good. Could we make it ahead of time and then fill orders, yep (the soap would have to be made to order but perfume oil can be made ahead). Are there enough (or too many) products to add to the website and Etsy shop...in fact, with a full size perfume oil along with the sample vials, we're talking about 24 additional products plus some sets and gift ideas. That's a sizable amount to upload to the site and Etsy, but the benefit is that I could list one a day for a month and beef up the online shopping. SOOOO, when we have some "extra cash flow" (uh huh), then we can do it! It was fun to take the kids through this process with me so they could see what things I consider and how I do the math (numbers have a way of exposing the truth).

In the meantime, I can work up product listings and get the labels designed and help the kids see what it means to prepare items again for sale. Oh the agony! (I LOVE DOING THE LABELS-yeehaw!!!) So maybe by the time we want to launch "Four Seasons of Fragrance" (new name!), I'll have some of the support work done! A new photo shoot would be in order, now that's fun to think about! I'd like to stage each scent with props or fresh flowers...hmmmmm. I'm really excited for bringing the kids into more and more, so another launch will be really good for them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2008 Throwback for No-Ick Heel Stick!

Well, recently I became totally entranced by Etsy Stats! I decided to look at some of my old shops. I can't believe the views they are STILL getting! Wow! So I started to look at some of the incoming links and I found this from when our No-Ick Heel Stick was called "Healing Heel Stick" and sold under the weeLUXURIES brand. Geesh, that was SIX years ago!

Jen Wallace at Indie Fixx did a "Best of Bath & Body" (this is dated October 2008) where handmade artisans sent in their product for judging. I had totally forgotten about it, but our No-Ick Heel Stick was a winner for "Specialty Product". I pieced together the website to highlight our Heel Stick (since was under a few other products and wouldn't probably show up on my screen here). Here's the link. What a fun surprise to stumble across this tonight!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pretty Bar Soaps Treasury

I curated an Etsy Treasury this evening. Tonight I felt inspired about soap, so here you go!

Etsy Pretty Bar Soaps Treasury

Friday, October 10, 2014

What's new, New, NEW?

Well, truth be told (please!) one of my favorite parts of business is designing new products. It's addictive! I love thinking about new collections of new products, new labels, new color combinations, new SCENTS!

Last night I scribbled a new perfume oil collection on a sheet of paper and then tossed it. My husband had a great idea to store the ideas in a three ring binder so we can keep creating without starting over each time. My idea factory is working, but we're really not ready to launch something new just yet.

In the past, I've wanted to wave a magic wand and have it all appear now, but I'm learning that it's good to take the necessary steps and go slow enough to get all the labels completed and products made ahead of time! This can be a process!

I'm really excited about launching our signature scent, Lemon Lollipop, I haven't had any for myself in a long time! I'm also working on bringing back some of my beloved "Scents of Spring" from Seattle Scents to create a new line of perfume oils for Lemon Lollipop. Lilac, Lily of the Valley, Violet, Magnolia, and Peony top the list! YUM!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 2014 Newsletter

This newsletter is intended to go out only once a month but it's already October! We offered you awesome subscribers a great deal for October! You WANT to sign up for our deals-CLICK HERE!