Ok, it's about time for me to get to the point of this blog! Here is what I'm working on right now:
1) I'm building my arsenal of handmade, vegan, cold-processed soaps. So far I have made and cut two batches - they will be known as Mom's Holiday Kitchen and Orange Mocha Love. Tonight I made another batch that is either going to be known as All in the Golden Afternoon or A Golden Afternoon. I'd prefer the former, BUT I worry that it's copyright infringement with Disney (it's a song in Alice in Wonderland) and would prefer to avoid making a large corporation angry. I plan to make 2 more within the next week and then might kind of wait it out to see how these do. I've got 5 more batches planned beyond these first 5 but still want to test the waters a bit and make sure I don't end up with soap coming out of my ears!
Here's a sneak peek at Mom's Holiday Kitchen:
The full story on this beauty will appear on my Etsy page once it is ready for sale. I took that photo today trying out different background ideas for my page...which nicely leads me into...
2) I went in a Virtual Lab today to have my shop critiqued by the Etsy Lab gals (who are absolutely phenomenal, btw!). I was LUCKY enough to actually get a critique...I'm a fast clicker and I think the etsy gods are shining down on me today. Much of what I learned had come prior to them looking at my shop as I was making many of the "common" mistakes that it seems like everyone does. I have already modified a few things - shortened my shop announcement so you can see the photos when entering the page, and changed my Avatar to my dear old friend Rosemary-Oatmeal (who is now in soap heaven) so that people who see my avatar know what I'm about. I asked about the photos as I had been working on different things and was thinking of using a white background similar to the photo above. They said no way they loved the dark background. So, my dining room table placemats/runner will stick as my photo background :) Their advice was awesome and I'm adopting much of what they suggested. They also had a great idea for my shop which leads into...
3) I am going to start a Soap of the Month club!!! This is the thing I am most excited about now (other than the fact that my kitchen smells like Lilac...which I love). I plan to make a soap a month listing on Etsy as well as a soap every 4 months listing. I am working on the pricing and the details but I'm hoping to list it in the next few days. I plan to make a card to send with the item explaining what the gift is all about, then send a soap with description monthly/quarterly. This will be cool, we'll see if the interest is out there. Mad props to the Etsy girls for suggesting it, seriously, they are fabulous.
4) Last but certainly not least...my lip balms! I am working toward a line of 100% Vegan lip balms...slowly but surely. We will be testing next week and perfecting the recipe, hopefully they will be available by December. I had intended to put 6 scents in the line-up including: Orange, Black Licorice, Tangerine, Rosemary, Grapefruit, and Vanilla. I'm torn, though as the Orange and Tangerine are so similar. I may use one in soap instead. I also may combine some of them. Not entirely sure yet. At any rate, they will all be scented with food-grade essential oils, no fragrance or flavor oils...I have kind of been over flavored balms since elementary school :)
So that's what's new tonight! I'm working to build an excellent shop...thanks for coming along for the ride :)