Monday, February 15, 2010

Vending Functions are......Interesting

Well I am at a bazaar with my sister and BIL. My sister and I both have bath and body products that we sell. Which isn't a big deal for us. The setup of our table (we share one for now) has always been a work in progress. I've always tried to find the best way to present my products. I wish I had a picture journal of the evolution of my table setups but I don't. Here are a few shots though. I have changed it even since these pics.

I had a soap challenge set up that many people ignored. I don't know if you can see it, but I have a Dove box sitting there to compare ingredients. I don't think people care or like it that I did that. I think it made some people uncomfortable since many use that brand and think it's good soap.

The top photo looks a tad junkie, but I stupidly took the pic at the end of the day when we were about to pack things up. Funny how a whole bunch of people wanna look at your stuff when you're packing it or unpacking it and it's all over the place. Like when it's in order they pay no attention, but as soon as you start unpacking it or something and your whole table is a mess before you finish, they're all over it.

The school where I am is interesting though. It's better than last year. I got no sales last year in almost a month of being there. This time I'm getting sales daily which is a big step up. My packaging, arrangement, and overall look is a lot better than it was just last year. Hopefully I will continue to improve and also have more product to offer.

Speaking of more product, I missed my shipment of essential oils today. I was too mad about that because I stepped out for a split second across the hall to my sisters house, and he came just that quick. Or so the paper says. I don't know how I missed the FedEx guy in a span of a few minutes but whatever. These are the oils I'm gonna dedicate to the facial soaps.

I made a facial soap just last night too without the essential oils. I made an Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey soap with Kaolin and Fuller's Earth clays. No fragrance, just the actual oats, coconut milk powder, and honey and the clays too. It's very very dark brown soap. It smells slightly of honey and it looks unique and kinda cute. When I take pics I'll post those too.


PussDaddy said...

Some of us use Dove because our doctor's have ordered us to. It is rare, if never that a dermatologist recommends that you wash only in handmade soap that you find at a craft bazaar or a craft site. That is just the way it is. I buy lots of handmade soap, I have a closet full of it, but I only use if for hand soap. Some of it I have bought did not even lather no matter how much I wet it and rubbed it, some of it turned mushy when water hit it and disintegrated and broke into 3 pieces in my hands-all 3 bars from the same seller. So when you have a skin condition and are paying a dermatologist lots of money you pretty much do what he recommends. He or she did after all go to to med. school to be a dermatologist. And mine recommended I wash my face with Dove soap only and not use a wash cloth, so that is what I do. It doesn't stop me from buying handmade soap though, I just use the handmade soap for hand soap only. There was even one seller on Etsy whose lotion had mold in it and she got negged for it, and all she does is close up and open a new shop with a new name and start selling again. If it were regulated more maybe dermatologist would recommend handmade soap to people with skin conditions, but until that happens they will probably keep on recommending Dove and Dial and Lever 2000 and stuff.


earthtonesbath said...

Puss, I get why a doctor would recommend a brand of soap such as Dove or what have you. My issue with Dove is Dove's campaign they run against soap. They've got a lot of nerve to run an entire marketing campaign to slur and ridicule a product that I and others work so hard to create, and make sure that it is of high quality.

My real goal is to educate the general public on the very definition of soap, and what's it's supposed to do.

Not all department store soaps are that bad, and not all handmade soaps are that good.

As far as regulation goes, I would like to see this industry more regulated. My only issue is I don't want it to have to cost so much that I am forced out of business, which is what the current issue is for most soapers. I wouldn't mind registering my soaps if it didn't cost upwards of $2000 for each item. I see a lot of people making soap and other stuff and they are very unqualified to do so because by their description and lack of knowledge, it's obvious to me they have no clue.

Unfortunately the average buyer maybe wouldn't know that. That is scary to me. Anyone can put out some soap and sell it, and that's not a good thing. From what you have described you ran into a few such people.

All over Etsy and other places I see people who sell lotion and believe no preservative is necessary. When it damn well is necessary. It will mold and spoil quickly and most people either don't know or could care less. I've seen people say their soap can cure skin problems, and a whole slew of other ridiculous claims that cannot be substantiated at all. If we had some actual laws to follow, I'd be reporting quite a few people.

In any case, I certainly didn't mean any offense to you or anyone else that are just following what your doctors say to you. I respect that, but I can't say I respect Dove company themselves. Their campaign alone had tainted so many of my would-be customers it's not even funny. I have had a few people at this little function I'm at now actually tell me they are afraid to use any handmade soap because of those Dove commercials. It's why I chose them over some other brands to compare my soap to.

Unfortunately it's not just Dove but the clueless twits that "make soap" that cause people to be wary as well.

PussDaddy said...

I agree too that it needs to be regulated somehow, but like you I do not want it to be so expensive that soapers like yourself cannot afford it. You didn't offend me. I was just pointing out why some of us use Dove and other soaps. I do think they are good soaps by the way-Dove has cleared up my face, and I had to use Dial because I had a staph infection. Dial has ingredients that kills staph on the skin, so does Lever 2000 and I don't think many hand made soaps do this. So in these instances these store bought soaps do what they are supposed to, or at least in my case they have so I would consider them good soaps. Also say I use one of these store bought soaps, and it eats my skin off, gets in my eye and causes blindness, I can sue them because they are a big company and have deep pockets. What will I get if I sue some one on Etsy if their soap eats my skin off, or say someone uses one of these baby bath products on their baby and it harms their skin? Probably not a lot as most are not prepared for such things as a law suit as many don't have enough in Paypal to do a refund most of the time. I am not trying to be arguementative, I am just trying to say it is not as simple as saying "store soap is bad soaop and you should only use handmade soap". And isn't that what your little comparison test is doing too-slurring and ridiculing a product or products-in this case store bought soap-so that your own looks good in comparison-when millions of people use store bought soap and have no problem with it and like it? So I don't get how you are any better in that aspect of running a buy my soap campaign. I get that you are working hard and work hard to make sure your soap is safe and made correctly and good for the skin and all of that, but are you prepared for a lawsuit in case it cases anyone damage in some way? My point is is that when you make this little comparison campaign, not only are you speaking out against ALL store bought soap, but you are singing the praises of ALL handmade soap, some of which may not be as good as yours, with mold, and bacteria, and whatever else in it. That is why I am saying it is not as simple as you make it sound. However I did just buy handmade soap a few minutes ago and most likely would buy yours too. That is if you are even still speaking to me after this, lol.


earthtonesbath said...

I understand what you're saying, and I'm not mad at all about it so yeah we're still talking :).

In any case, the first point is that I'm not running a slur campaign. I'm simply stating what's on their package and what's on mine. The difference is obvious and is real, so I will continue to point it out.

In my previous post, I did say that not all store brand soap is that bad, and not all handmade soap is that good. It's true, at least in my eyes. There are some mass produced brands that not only would I mind using them I would recomend them as well. There are also some handmade soaps I would never recommend.

Dove, Dial, Lever 2000 all have their place. They are obviously doing something right which is why they are as big as they are.

However, I am not nor have I ever made any claim about my products other than they clean you and make you smell good. All that other stuff about skin problems, antibacterial functions and all that, I'm not in a position to make that claim. It is my job i feel as a soap maker to point out why my product is different. After all I am trying to sell it so I have to have a selling point, but at the same time I don't go overboard or say just anything about it just to get people's money.

As far as insurance, that is on each individual to decide if that's a risk they want to take by not having any. Some states require it before you do business, so again the individual has to make the right choice.

If my products ever caused harm it would be unfortunate, but I will have to cross that bridge if I ever get to it, which I hope not. This is why I believe it needs some regulation among other things.