Monday, 30 November 2009

I want...everything. just like any normal girl.

Macaron soaps by Naiad
though I can't find them in her shop at present....she's gotta make more!

pin tuck dress by modaspia $150 (£91.47)

red pocket skirt by idea2lifestyle $40 (£24.39)
I really want this skirt! what a bargain too.

layered dress by idea2lifestyle $79 (£48.17)

2 in 1 dress by Emily Ryan $325 (£198.18)

red messenger bag by Thongbai Tatong $75 (£45.73)

Yep, that about covers it....anybody fancy being nicer than they've ever been can buy me any one of the above!
aren't they all just so lovely.
My sunday evening was spent searching etsy for some of the nicest 'me' gifts..and these are just a few.
Etsy is great isn't it. So many influential people. So many people making the best quality goods.
I love it.
If you want to drop by etsy shop address is: here
Happy Monday peeps

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

craft fairs..oh and the importance of etsy feedback

new batch of 'Lagoon' - a dreamy airy scent with Lavender, Geranium & Patchouli essential oils, French green clay and cocoa butter. coloured with TD and chromium green oxide with a smidge of charcoal and ultramarine blue.

close up of the painting by mum

A beautiful box painted by my mummy.

Matt and I on our stand at Leamington (yes, it does look like a jumble!)

Yes, i know it's been a while.
been a little hectic lately...getting soaps ready for up coming craft events.
I don't have many to do, which is stupid as i have hundreds of soaps available!
Oh least i know what i gotta do next year and i don't have to rush at the mo to make soap..which is just as well as i've run out of most of the ingredients.
So, last weekend matt and I did a craft fair in Leamington, Warks. I was looking forward to it and thought i would come away having made a few quid.
The recession really did hit bad didn't it.
I made £2 more than i put in to do the fair.
I think it just fell at the wrong time of the month. if it was december and maybe 2 weeks before xmas folks may have been inclined to spend..but not at the end of november. n learn people. Christmas fairs are best right near to christmas eve.
I think many of us soapers are dismayed this year with poor sales, but things will get better (i'm forever the optimist) as they have to. Things won't stay down forever. Just put it all down to a bad year. topic:
I have sold a few soaps via my etsy over the past however long...and it's as important to me to leave feedback on etsy as it is to leave it on ebay.
But...I've had 36 sales and only have 14 feedbacks. Some of the people who have purchased my soap have been friends...and unfortunately it's them who haven't left me feedback...!
When I shop on handmade sites or ebay the feedback is almost as important as the item I'm about to buy.
Surely others think this please people, in future, do leave me feedback. I need my customers to know if my product is good. I have an insatiable need to know what people think. Afterall, without those necessary typed lines how I am supposed to progress?
I believe that I make good soap - I know that each ingredient used is sourced from the best supply I can find. I use my own soap every day. It makes a difference to my skin. My family believe I make good soap and they use it every day and tell me what they think of it....but then they are bound to tell me the truth...
Now...customers, I need to know what you think....

Next topic: a new etsy shop find....
Have you seen this? Head on down to Ibrodar's shop on Etsy and marvel at what they've got on offer. Love the packaging. Love the product. Will be buying some when I've sold more soap!
The link I've put is for the girls shop...but the first one I came across was their shop, which is solely for me. check out Portland General Store - proper good vintage style mens grooming.
Now..must tell 'em I blogged 'em!
Ain't it great when a handmade crafter blows your mind with their product....

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Organic Soap

This little lot are 97.3% organic!

When I did my calculation, I thought I was supposed to include each and every ingredient to determine the organic percentage of my soap...

I'm not silly. I know that a combination of sodium hydroxide & water is mixed with fats & oils to create a chemical reaction known as saponification....
What I didn't realise is that when doing my organic content calculation I do not have to include the water or the sodium hydroxide weights...
So...after thinking and believing my organic range to be just 65% organic, I came to the realisation (after re-calculating) that they are in fact 97.3%! YES!

For those who don't quite get's the thing.
Sodium Hydroxide and water are mixed together (and referred to as lye) and poured into fats and oils to make what we call 'soap'.
As soon as you pour your lye solution into the fats & oils, a process called 'saponification' starts to take place. The mix is now on its way to becoming soap.
After the soap has rested in its mold for 24 hours, and has cured (for up to 6 weeks), the sodium hydroxide and 99% of the water has evaporated, which means these ingredients are no longer components of the finished batch.(the water is latent).
So...what you're left with are your hard, cured bars of wonderful, skin-loving soap.
So....basically, the lye mix is only used to make the soap...the soap does not contain it, so it is not necessary to include the sodium hydroxide or the water content when doing an organic calculation.
Easy peasy!

Hope that makes sense to you all.

After contacting the Soil Association, this is the info they gave to me so it's only right and proper that I pass it on.

Now then...the next step is to get my soaps certified as organic.
No problem...well.....just a little cash flow issue.
It costs £250 + VAT to get them assessed.
Then...a futher £580 per year to keep the certification.

More sales needed!

I will endeavour to get this sorted, but in the meantime....I'M SO HAPPY!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Etsy Discounts..and your feedback please...

Click my etsy shop on the left (the soap one). I have discounted every item by just gotta tap 20% in the comments box at checkout...and I'll refund you back into your paypal account.

Now xmas is approaching, I'd like to offer a little discount to tempt you into trying them.

I don't get many sales via etsy for soap (spose cuz so many others are on there), but would love for a few more people to try them.

Though times are tough at the moment, I've not had one bad bit of feedback about them, which is so nice.
Most of the sales come from local buyers in the shops I have them in, or from website sales through futureprimitive.
I have had some amazing customer comments so far, which is really very heartwarming and spurs me on to make more and more.

Here are a few of them:

'The soaps are just sooo creamy'.

'We usually buy our soap from provence every year when on holiday..but not this time...we like your soaps so much more'.

'Your Lagoon is absolutely amazing. So soft and the scent is heaven'.

'Don't ever stop making Geranium &'s scent and lather have me squealing with delight!'.

I could put a few more but don't want to blow me trumpet too much!
There are an awful lot of people making soap out there, and the market is a tough one to conquer, but I do feel like I'm on my way. Just a few more wholesale customers would be nice, so I'm on a mission at the moment to find 'em. Hence why I've been a tad quiet on the blog of late.
Busy times ahead.

And now...I'm preparing my 2010 catalogue. So, I may be really quiet. Don't fear, I'm still looking at all of your blogs and tweets.
So...keep up the good all make amazing goodies.

In the meantime, I've been learning adobe InDesign.
I made these flyers (pics above) for my wholesale customers.
However, a friend of mine said that they're too scrolly. He said "You're selling soap!, You don't need all that fancy stuff. Make the pictures bigger, and don't put in so many fancy scrolls...I nearly rang you to tell you before you sent them out".

He may be right..but I could really do with your comments. So....PLEASE TELL ME HONESTLY WHAT YOU THINK...I really need to know.