Really getting frustrated

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by Kalne, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    I had all these plans get some color and design into my soaps this year and so far I'm no better than when I started. Swirls just elude me for whatever reason so I'm leaning towards more layered soaps. But then the colors aren't happening either. I made a gorgeous vivid blue non-gm soap that turned a greyish green in my gm recipe. Ick. And the almost white top is now discoloring from the fo....after 4 weeks. Double ick. My pink on green turned out more coral and got weird spotty ash. Looks downright ugly. I guess I'm learning what not to do? LOL

    My desire to use more EOs isn't going well either. I made a lovely lavender mint and I think it's all but faded. Dd says she still smells it. I do not. My TTO soap faded too. And I thought it was too strong the first few weeks.

    Our show last weekend was mediocre. If it weren't for other things besides soap to sell I would have been majorly disappointed. Many other vendors sounded dissatisfied so hopefully, it wasn't just my stuff. LOL Lady across the aisle from me had gorgeous mosaic items very reasonably priced and I could not believe some of the pieces she took back home.

    So, I'm just feeling rather at odds with the whole soapmaking thing right now. THe price of supplies is going up and I feel like I am wasting them on my experiments that aren't turning out as I envisioned. I did get a 9 bar order today from a repeat customer. That always makes me feel like I must be doing something right. LOL

    Okay, whine over. I'm going to make *something* today. Hopefully, something pretty. LOL

    Kalne
     
  2. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    As you know from my colors post I'm not in much of a position to help you there :crazy

    As for shows, one thing is that the economy is not so hot right now. We are selling a product that some feel is a neccessity, but many feel is a luxury. We will be one of the first things to go. I'm am grateful I didn't get into the candle business as those are even more of a luxury and many are really feeling the pinch right now. As goatherds we have the opportunity to diversify. With soaring milk and meat prices and more and more crap going into food bought in the stores we can market goats as well to those who want to raise thier own. Or sell the milk if we can, etc.

    From what I have read and heard, these are the slow months for all crafters (and even retailers) - jan-march. One soaper here who has been in business for 15 years told me she actually looks forward to these slow months so she can recover, make new stock etc. That is nice when you have an established business, but if you are nickel and diming it with cash heading out for supplies the moment you get it in from a sale it is hard. For me things have already begun to pick up after a terrible February, January was great sales, but I had clearanced a lot of stuff. I was whining to my husband, "maybe I should lower my prices" I was having mega sales on my website and would get a few takers, but for the most part people were in Christmas recovery. He reminded me that things will improve...and they have. This is the reason so many people who go into this (or any) business quit. It's not consistent so you need to save for the slow times...

    I think things will look up for you soon...Waiting is the hardest part!
     

  3. redskygal

    redskygal New Member

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    Kalne,

    Just wanted to let you know you are not the only one in the funky soap boat. I finally have gotten the GM soap down a little, made Green Irish Tweed yesterday. Mixed it all up, made my swirl soap a real pretty green, poured my soap, swirled it - it looked beautiful, well at least to me, the swirl actually worked. A nice creamy white with green swirls, checked a couple hours later, still pretty. Came home from spinning class last night - Light Orange base color, and Green swirls!!! I don't know what happened, but how am I going to sell a mens soap that is orange and green?

    I also have been to events that stink, actually lost money. Usually it is the event, not your product. I am going to be selling at my county farmers market. The nice thing about this farmers market is you have to produce an agricultural product in order to participate. There are only two other GM soap makers besides me, and because we also have honey bees we can also sell the lotion bars. Maybe you can try to find an event like this.

    Don't get discouraged, you will master it soon. Try smelling some coffee first, then smell your soap. The coffee clears your nose so you get a true sniff. Hope this helps you feel a little better.

    Kelly
     
  4. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Maybe, like me, you will find that sitting at farmers markets isn't for you. I do love to talk to folks, but dang I sit there thinking all I could be doing if I was at home. Think about getting sales another way. Who in your local area business wise knows you have soap? Do they know you can whip a basket up of your products and send it to a sick employee, someone who just had a baby, retired or their birthday? Can you deliever it locally for another $10? Easter is in two weeks, do you have baskets made up? I even have 12 St. Patrick Days bags done, I have these super nice neon green soap savers that went really well with the St.Patty's bags...try papermart.com or nashvillewraps.com (more expensive but really high end stuff) and of course orientaltrading.com who I use for tons of stuff. When the holiday is over, unpack the bags, and put the stuff you can't use that month into a holiday rubbermaid tote. I keep every holiday, every birthday, every anniversary anything I can find...tissue to match, bows and little extras in big boxes to make bags or sometimes boxes, rarely baskets. Or maybe it's time to pick a line, do them over and over then no more tweaking, and take the line to some stores..give a full sized soap to the buyer/owner and see if they bite for wholesale. Take advantage of all the 'natural' type folks who want goat milk etc....and of course bite the bullet just once and advertise. Vicki
     
  5. My market is year round. I like doing it but I hate slow weeks.
    I am in a few stores and hope to get ready to approach more soon.
    I love web sales and wholesale and need to do more of these!
    Gift bags do not sell that well for me, though, very sporadic.
    Becky
     
  6. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    I sold about 50 Mother's day gift sets last year and I do ok with custom sets, but having gift sets at my booths for the holidays or at the FM has not been successful.

    Our market is only on Wednesdays from 3-7. Starts end of may, ends Mid Oct (but I only go through Sept because the last two weeks are a joke!). I love it! we have little town wiht this cute square with a gazebo. People come and play music. I have been asked to do the weekend markets in neighboring towns but I just can't commit my Saturday to that! I would them be like Vicki, thinking about all the other stuff I should be doing.

    I did two decent craft shows during the holidays, said no to the rest. I do a show at the Loggerodea the 4th of july that while it didn't have a lot of sales last year - it was it's first year - it sure was a lot of fun! I'll do it again just for the experience!
     
  7. Happytailzfarm

    Happytailzfarm New Member

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  8. health food stores, hairsalon, and art and craft gallery
    Becky
     
  9. lynpea

    lynpea New Member

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    Hah! My Green Irish Tweed turned orange too! And I swirled with green clay w/ some ogreen oxide in it. Oh well... thankfully it was for my DH, she LOVES the 90% coconut that I do. He doesn't care about the orange.

    Kalne.... that was happening to me too. One on my business *resolutions* was to make the soap colorful, pretty and consistent. I make small 2# batches when I try something new. I have started to *anchor* my EO's with either patch or litsea. These two ideas have saved me $. Family get the ones that don't turn out as expected. (I just sent 80 bars to Honduras... a friend is going on a mission trip) I also have stopped trying so hard. I would get so excited when I saw beautiful soaps and wanted to replicate them. What I wound up doing is just to stick with one thing and take it as far as I could go creatively, then move on. My soaps are turning out like I want and have envisioned them. I just made a carrot/oat/bastille yesterday that is beautiful. So keep trying and even if it doesn't smell or look good, it's still soap!
     
  10. Sheryl

    Sheryl New Member

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    okay lynpea, I still don't know what litsea is :/ where do you find it? which supplier has it? ( I know this has to be someing so simple I'm just not seeing it).

    Thanks

    Sheryl (who stays confused most of the time anyway :biggrin)
     
  11. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I have not made a thing since I posted this. I've had a horrible toothache that comes and goes and just when I think I'm going to be productive it hits and I can't seem to concentrate on doing much of anything. *sigh*

    I will be doing the market come June. It's free. :) Very small town though. I don't sell a whole lot of soap there but I do baked goods and sell out so twice a week I go. It takes so much time but it pays the feed bill so I continue. And it's a chance to get my soap out. I am going to add some non-gm soaps to my table. I'm surprised how many people are put off by the idea of gm in the soap. So, I'll sell them a plain bar and give them a gm sample in their bag. :)

    I do want to get some litsea to try with my eo's. But I see Lillian dropped it from the presell list so I'll have to go looking. I wanted a few of her offerings but missed out.

    I think I will pick one or two soaps and work on perfecting their 'look'. Get them to where I am really happy with them and then move on and NOT look back with what-ifs. LOL

    I forgot about Mother's Day coming up. I did sell quite a bit last year so I need to get working and devise some creative packaging.

    I do want to find other avenues to sell my soap. I've got an herbal gardener's bar ready now that I am very happy with (the plain and simple look works for this one LOL). I'm going to send samples to a few garden shops and see what happens. :)
     
  12. Sheryl

    Sheryl New Member

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    :yuck a toothache. You poor thing. I can sympathize with you. Hope you can get to feeling better soon, or get that darn thing fixed. I hate toothaches. You can't get a darn thing done when those hurt. Feel better soon.

    Sheryl
     
  13. Sheryl

    Sheryl New Member

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    :newsflash
    Ah Ha! I found it.....Litsea Cubeba :cool

    Sheryl
     
  14. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    Did you find a good price on it, Sheryl? I need some anise too and a couple other eos. Just want to find it all in one place so I don't have lots of shipping charges.

    I am *suppose* to go to the Dentist Friday but they have yet to confirm. Grrrr. I need a root canal unless it's beyond repair. If that's the case they will pull it. I will be sleeping through it all. LOL
     
  15. Sheryl

    Sheryl New Member

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    dont' know if it is a good price or not? I've only found it one place so far...the chemistry store I think is where I found it. Haven't looked anyplace else yet to see what the prices run. Hope you get that darn tooth fixed. Did I say I hate tooth aches! I think I'd rather hit my thumb with a hammer than have a toothache.

    Sheryl
     
  16. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I picked up 8 ounces from Ellens Essentials when I bought my peacock colors. newdirectionsaraomatics.com sells it also. Vicki
     
  17. lynpea

    lynpea New Member

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    Not sure where you guys are (Sheryl and Kalne) but Texas Naturals also sells it. I have never bought anything from them, but if you are close then shipping won't be so bad.

    I am soaping up all my FO's because I need to buy a big load of EO's so I need the $.

    I am finding that I like the EO's a whole lot better than the FO's. I can soap an FO and absolutely HATE it, but the Eo's I don't have that reaction with. I will be keeping some Fo's though, mainly blackrasp./vanilla, lovespell (YACK!! but my DD loves it) a bayrum/lime blend, oakmoss/green irish tweed blend, and lavender/clemintine.
     
  18. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    I'm so down the middle of the road with this. THere are FOs I love. I will never give them up completely. But I am cutting back. And trying NOT to try new ones lest I get snared. LOL BUT I need more EOs 'cause the few I'm working at can only be mixed so many ways and after awhile they all smell the same to me. LOL Any suggestions???? This is what I have:

    cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, grapefruit, lavender, lemongrass, orange (sweet and 5x), rosemary, spearmint, peppermint, TTO

    I know I want to add anise, litsea, and cedar wood. I'd love to add a ton of others but I've got to keep costs down right now so I need to stay basic.