Sunday, March 30, 2008

Laundry Soap

I was talking to my husband today and got thinking about laundry soap. I had heard of using handmade soap for clothes, but hadn't thought too much about it. Now I am seriously considering it. Only thing is, people say that lard is the best solid oil to use for it's cleaning ability. Now, that may be so but I neither consume nor utilize pork on any level where I can help it. I will absolutely not buy lard to make anything with. So, with that said, palm oil is largely considered veggie tallow so I'll be using that, along with washing powder, and a little borax. I want to offer it in bars for use as like a immediate stain remover, and a powder for the washing machine. It is soap after all and soap tends to cause a buildup of the oils on things around it. I hear that it can leave a washing machine with oil buildup over time. To resolve this issue, I believe the best thing is to create a soap that is not superfatted. This would make it lye-heavy but then again it isn't to be used on the skin so it all works out.

I wonder if my customers would like to see a more natural alternative to regular detergent? It might catch on big if I can figure a way to make it both affordable and highly effective. To get people to switch, my product would have to measure up in most every way to the leading brands on the market. I don't think that will be such a big problem though.

I have finally found a good way to display gift sets....small ones at least. I have these cool little boxes that are rather small, but I can fit a good amount of product in them for a good price. I am really proud of my own creativity, because I was stumped for a bit. I didn't want to go out and start spending a whole bunch of money on packaging. I knew I had the raw materials to get a good looking set out of the stuff I already had if I only put my mind to it. I think I can have it ready to present in my shop tomorrow if I can get off my lazy bum and make the things I need. I need to create the scrubs in scents matching the soap I make. You would have thought it was a no-brainer, but trust me to have not done it until now. How can you make a really cool set of things and they neither match nor truly correspond to one another? You can't. Otherwise it just looks like you threw a bunch of stuff together and expect somebody to just buy it.

Well until next time........

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Paid Advertising

You know, paid advertising is the way to go if I really want to get my name out there for my store. Even though both yahoo and google have a pay per click program that is very reasonable, I still can't really afford it. Okay, if I spend the lowest possible amount, that is $1 a day for 30 days to equal $30 a month which ain't bad. However, the lowest amount I could pay per click is .10 which is also reasonable, but I wonder how affective? I mean what happens to my spot when my money is spent for the day? I suppose it's just taken down for the day. I would ideally like to spend $5-10 a day but that goes anywhere from $150-300 a month which I just don't have. So I guess I'm stuck with a the lowest amount. I don't really feel that the free advertising I do is really getting me the customer views I would like. I could go to crafter sites, but that would be spinning my wheels with people who are already familiar with the type of products I offer, if they aren't producing their own.

So how do I break the cycle? How do I really take my advertising to the next level? I know the answer lies in paid advertising like other companies do and it works. Millions of people shop online, and how nice would it be for my etsy shop to show up at the top of a search for soaps and other b and b products? To connect with potential customers who are already searching to buy what I have is always the smartest thing to do as a business. Any successful business adverts to it's market and goes where it's best prospects for customers are.

I may have to get some fund-raisers going. I can bake a mean cookie so that might have to be my ticket. My small shop pays enough for itself to replenish supplies and packaging, but not much after that. It can't yet pay for its own advertising. How many times did I use that word in this article? LOL.

I have always heard of the old adage location, location, location but never thought about how critical that is in the virtual world as well as the real world. My location on the web is key to my success or failure. Etsy is a great place to start, and I love the community there, but I need outside traffic to come to my shop. Search engine is the most used tool on the web for buyers and people shopping for specific things. I just have to get on them and make myself known.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thinking of New Stuff

I been busy thinking of new ways to ell products. I been tossing around the idea of some deals or gift sets or something. I guess people like gifts and sets, so maybe putting some slow movers together with things that move well might prove fruitful. Anyway, I don't have anything to write about tonight. I have a total of 4 sales in my store and I think it's great. I have to do more advertising though. I am not very talkative in person, so that makes for interesting sales techniques. I have to practice being more aggressive but also not be a tool about it. Balance balance balance. Well, be back next time and maybe have something more interesting to talk about.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's been a good day

It was yesterday technically that I got another sale. I made a blueberry soap that is so good, I'm very proud of it. I hope my customer likes it. I feel so much better about my store now. I feel like for a fledgling store, its doing good. I hope business continues to pick up. I'll be blogging tomorrow about all the paperwork i have to do that I don't want to do. Oh well. Bye until later.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Got Another Sale!!

Yay me I got another sale on Etsy. It's only my second sale but, I figure it ain't doin' too bad for a new web store. The lady ordered my only melt and pour I had in the store. That was a relief because they are on clearance. They really don't stand up to the quality of my hot process soaps, so that's why I'm extra happy when they sell.

BTW thanks to Anuj Agarwal for linking me to her blog. I couldn't embed the slideshow about the Titanic. That's alright though. It sparked my fascination with the history of maritime tragedies. A dark fascination I know, but I have it ever since I was little and heard the story of the Titanic. I have always been awed by such magnificent ships, how large they are, be overtaken by a sea that is so much more powerful than it. Okay that's enough of that.

Oh yeah, I'm feelin better too. I had no medicine but oddly apples made me feel better. I just had to sleep it off, and so now I've only got the sniffles. I hate that too because there is an overwhelming amount of snot that the human body can produce and hold. Its disgusting.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm Sick!!!!!

I don't know where it came from but I'm sick. I just woke up Saturday morning and BAM my throat was so sore I couldn't talk. I was ok except for that, but as the day went on I just got weaker and weaker. After sundown it was over with. I couldn't do anything more than just lay down. I even turned off my computer. If you knew me, you'd know that turning off my computer before 2:00am is a big no no. I hate being sick. It makes me immediately realize how much I value my good health. I feel sorry for people who are constantly in this situation and my heart goes out to them. I don't know how I would act if I were always sick.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stayed Up Waaay too Late....

So yeah, I pulled a serious all-nighter and now I regret it. I want to make soap today but as of this post I'm sitting here typing. It's still only 1:40 pm where I am, but still. I woke up only about 12:00 so......

I wanna make a hazelnut vanilla soap. I think that'll go over well at my store but you never know. People can't smell through the screen, but wouldn't it be cool to have a scratch and sniff screen?! Maybe one day I'll invent that...

In other bootleg news, I just got my graphics card back from EVGA repair. Well they didn't really repair it, they simply sent me a new one. I installed it just a few minutes ago and it works. The other one was doing that whole blank screen thing. I hate that when the monitor won't come on. Anyway, I can get back to doing the other thing I have a passion for which is games. Particularly racing games, and even more specifically the NFS series. I love that, and I have Most Wanted and couldn't play with a crap integrated card. Hopefully this one will last throughout the rest of the warranty. BTW I remind myself that I need to buy Prostreet and just skip Carbon altogether. Anybody who loves these games will know of what I speak.

Anyway, I'm thinking of ways I can advertise this blog so people can actually read the stuff I write. I guess I could always start by telling people about it yeah? That might help it a bit.

If anything else happens interesting I'll post although I suspect I'll just be busy making stuff today.

See ya'll soon!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hey everybody....

Well this is my very first time ever blogging. I am excited about it actually more than I thought I would be. I simply wanted an are where I could talk about my absolute favorite hobby, making soap. Most my blogs are gonna be about soap, but if I get passionate about something (as I often do), it'll show up here no doubt. So I hope I get a lot of visitors. I want people to feel free to comment on whatever I write. Lemme know what you think because I really like feedback.

Also, I did want to introduce myself to the internet and people who might be interested in what I make. Soap making is more than a hobby for me, it's a business venture as well. I have only really just begun my business a few months ago. I've been making soaps longer than that of course, but I always thought I should improve my method and skills before I tried offering soaps to the public.

If there are any other soap makers out there, I'd like to get to know you all. I wanna talk to people who understand the whole process. Maybe sometimes we can share important knowledge about this, offer tips and tricks..the works.

Here's a link though to my site. I'm on Etsy (yay!). There are so many things there and many great artists. Go have a browse around, but check out my site first...:p

Until next time I guess........