Feb 19-28, 2013

So I try my best to update this blog every Monday but the week has been so very crazy I am finally finding a few minutes now to sit and write this. It will most likely be short and sweet just for that reason!

Last week was my last quieter week I will have for the next month or so. dad and I went crazy and made almost 2000 lip balms, over 1600 bath fizzys and lots and lots of soap. It is a big push to get going and get inventory up to where it should be before the show season starts hot and heavy. There is still so far to go.

I did find time a few days to have lunch with a few friends and that is always great for me because it keeps everything in perspective and keeps me from becoming too much of a workaholic. The weekend was pretty quiet, Saturday was lots of things around the house to do (I am trying to clean a room every weekend, giving it a good spring cleaning, this plan doesn't always work but it has been a good plan to try each week). I knew Sunday was my last quiet weekend day for a while so I just enjoyed sitting and knitting and napping the day away.

This week has started out pretty crazy. Back to making as much inventory as we humanly can possibly do. I was supposed to go running with a friend but found myself relieved when she had to cancel so I could just keep working. Tuesday I had a meeting about a new retail location in Blandon PA. I am super excited because I don't have anything in that area and it will be a great place for people be able to pick up some products quick without having to come so far as Bethlehem. The woman I am working with also has been helping me develop a version of my bug off soap for the equine market. She used the soap on her horses and loved it so once I get the final details ironed out, she will be my sales rep for the product. The only way you will be able to get it is through her, since she is the horse expert, she will be able to answer any animal related questions. She volunteers most weekends at events so she will have plenty of ways to reach an entirely new market for me. SUPER EXCITED! Wednesday I had another meeting with a salon/gallery in Fleminton NJ and this is another situation just loaded with possibilities. Not only will she be carrying some products (starting in May since I am soooo booked up right now), but she plans on attending some local events and farm markets to promote the salon, and will be taking my products with her to those too. It is just a small way to break into a new market and see if anything she goes to warrants me setting up a full stand at next year. WOOT!!

That brings me to today, where I am just finally trying to catch up on everything. So I am going to sign off and get printing labels for those lip balms that I made last week! See ya!


Feb 12-18, 2013

I have been slowly catching up on things and falling woefully behind in some others. I have a huge pile of phone calls to make (have I ever mentioned I hate the phone) and I am way behind in study for my Master's soapmaking certification. I am not sure I can catch up on that fast enough to take the test by May. :(

My list of things to do is much, much shorter, it is just that all the things left on it seem to take up oodles and oodles of time. One little line like "put new product photographs on web site" turns into an all day photo shoot with multiple trips to the store for new background fabrics, three different cameras, and every light source I can think of, including outside. So those are the things I have left, little things like "update photos" and "new products on website" and "2012 taxes" that will eat up days and days before they can be crossed off and considered finished. If I can get one thing done every two days I will be a happy camper, and maybe finished with everything by the end of April!

This is also the time of year where money just seems to fly out of the window, so many supplies to buy, shows to pay for, and yearly debts to pay (like internet and insurance). It really stresses me out because this is just before shows really start and that light at the end of the tunnel seems so far away. Every purchase is scary and overwhelming right now and I have to make sure I don't act with reckless abandon. I have to be sure I am buying only what I really need, but I also have to make sure I don't say yes to a craft show or event just because right now I am stressed and it makes me feel better to know there is a show on the calender three months from now because that means that someday I will have income rather than outgo. I find this is when I pile on shows that later on I wish I didn't decide to do, so I have to plan out my year, keep with my strategy, and trust myself that it will all work out in the end.

But for now I have to go. I have those phone calls to make, 5 of them, and if I just get them done it will feel much better!


Feb 5-11, 2013


It has been a whirlwind week and things just are not slowing down!

Today starts a fundraiser by the Liberty High School Band and Orchestra. Between now and March 1, they will be selling soaps, lip balms, and bath fizzys to help them raise money for their trip to the Rose Parade plus other needs. Find a band member, tell them you want soap, and 35-50% of each dollar you spend goes directly to them!

I am also doing a fundraiser for Team Butt-erfly. use TEAMBFLY2013 on the web when you place your order and receive 5$ off, plus 20% goes to my friend Aliyah's team in the Lehigh Valley Take Steps Be Heard Walk  for Crohn's and Colitis. Diagnosed at just 11 years old, Aliyah hasn't let this disease define her, instead she proudly walks in the hope to raise awareness, fund a cure, and end the suffering and embarrassment many patients endure. http://online.ccfa.org/goto/TeamButt-erfly2013

I have two stores that need inventory badly, and I haven't even gotten the supplies in to make what they need yet, and one new store pending, well actually two new stores pending. I hope to get to schedule appointments with both of them for early next week so I can start figuring out what I need to make first.

Overall it has been a very good week, I have gotten so many things accomplished. I picked up and ordered almost all the supplies I need for quite a while, I have gotten my spring craft show schedule worked out, I have gotten the fundraisers set up, organized and order forms designed. I am keeping up with orders that roll in daily, and I am keeping up with emails (my goal is an empty inbox before bed each day).

Today I need to finish ordering, get inventory together for stores, mock up a label for a special order, return a pile of phone calls, and then trudge on and see what else I can get off my list of things to do. I have meetings every day this week, that makes this feel so much like a "real job" rather than my usual self-imposed schedule. 

OK, off to work! Hope to see you soon!


Jan 28-Feb 4, 2013

There just isn't enough hours in the day sometimes!

The huge list is now just a big list of big things to do. I have finished off most of the smaller more manageable things and have left myself with all the things that will take days or weeks to finish.

The big accomplishments for this past week are:

1) keeping up with order- there has been quite a few and I have to make sure that I don't let them linger for too long. I also have had a few special orders for baskets that take more time to put together than a typical order so that has been fun.

2) The new order form is finished, ok, my part of it is finished, I am just waiting on one more change by my friend who did it for me and then it can go to the printers. It is very spiffy and is all in color and two sided and I can even mail it just as it is. I am crazy excited about this.

3) The new logo is done. Same friend started out revamping and updating my logo before I begged her to move onto the order form. The old one is the top one.

4) All of my supply needs have been determined, listed, and priced. I have searched for new vendors, better pricing, and higher quality everything. There are so many things I was able to source from more local establishments, or at least small business like me. I am really happy to say that I will be able to keep most prices stable again this year.

5) All the new soap fragrances have been made. They are all in the racks waiting to be cured. This means I should be able to start shipping my pre-orders and have the new soaps available on the web site two weeks earlier than I thought.

6) FUNDRAISERS! I have two great fundraisers starting in just a few days and all the paperwork, order forms, description papers, and coupon codes have all been determined and developed.

This week is a little wonky, I took Monday off for my anniversary, and Wednesday I vend at Muhlenberg College, and Friday I have to go get supplies, so I don't have a ton of time to get things accomplished, but I hope to just keep plugging along and hope that I can say that by the end of the month, things will be in really good shape. See you next week!