Friday, November 26, 2010

Cafe Mocha Loca Sugar Scrub!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving (for those of you who celebrate it)! I had a very quiet one with a handful of family members. That was cool with me because it meant more leftovers to take home, hee hee...

I'm slowly expanding my emulsified sugar scrub line, and my newest creation is Cafe Mocha Loca. I love this scrub, and I'm so not a coffee drinker! The smell is so inviting and eye-opening! It's 99% natural-organic cane sugar, unrefined shea butter, fair trade coffee grounds, organic cocoa powder. It's thick and rich and it only takes a little to get the job done. I'm offering it initially in a 4 oz size for the holidays, but after the new year, it'll be offered in the standard 8 oz jar. It's available now on my website and Etsy shop:D

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Are You Ready???

I personally don't feel the holiday "rush" until the day after Thanksgiving. That's when every retailer starts baiting and reeling us with their awesome deals, and I'm no different, heehee...

So, I'm telling myself that I'm going to be prepared this time because I always wait til the last minute (like the day before) to do stuff. I made a little list, and I welcome you to add to it because I know I'm bound to forget something..

  • Order sufficient supplies: mailing envelopes and boxes, packing tape, ribbon, tissue, etc.
  • Inventory! Inventory! Inventory! I cannot stress this enough. If you're hyping a soap then only discover you have 2 in stock, well,....
  • Business cards: Some feel this isn't necessary, but 1 in 3 of my orders are from new customers, so I feel it is a crucial part of my repeat business and my branding (love those Moo cards by the way...)
  • Labels, ink cartridges, label paper: This is one of those things that you can completely forget about til you print off a logo or shipping label and it's all faded because your ink cartridges are low or out!
  • Bottles, jars, tops...: No explanation needed-except to say, do an inventory!
  • Contacting your mailing list subscribers: Whet their appetites a few days to a week before your actual sale to get them thinking about it, then send them another one the day before to remind them!
  • Make sure your shop announcements and policies are clear and precise and that all your sales and specials features are in place (free shipping, bogo, % off, etc..)
 Okay, what else did I forget? This list seems short, but I know there's more!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bad Santa!!

 Thank you everyone for all your well wishes and kind words regarding my website launch! That's just what I need to swell my head (hee hee) and keep me motivated. And so the show goes on...

One of my favorite holiday movies is Bad Santa starring Billy Bob Thornton. To this day, I still cannot believe this is the Sling Blade guy because he just killed that role! Anyway, Bad Santa is not a movie for kids and neither is this soap. It's naughty-looking and naughty-smelling. I used powdered sugar and colored it with black and red oxides to create the sooty layers. The soap itself is scented in a blend of Tahitian vanilla, anise, and simple syrup-very licorice-y. I've also made a limited edition Sugar Bubbles in the same scent. At first, I did not link the scent because I'm a "sweet" gal, but I'm really digging this one mucho!

The Sugar Bubbles are available now. The soap will be ready on Thanksgiving (ha!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Finally Opened For Business!

After months of toiling and obsessing and stressing, I've switched web hosts to Big Cartel (love, love, love them!) and opened my site! It's still a work in progress, but I feel like I've lost 10 pounds. I will now only use Etsy, Art Fire, and Zibbett as supplemental sites. I will only carry new items on my personal site. I can't believe how easy to use Big Cartel is. I have the diamond plan which is $19.99 a month for up to 100 listings. I never plan on having 100 listings, but I'll certainly have over 100 items. Take a look-see, and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Goodies For The Holidays!

I've decided to take a small (and I mean small) sabbatical from soap making to give the "accessories" some love. I've always loved bath bombs and bubble bars, but they're such a frigging mess to make. I've had a few requests for them, so I've decided to combine them into one product: Bubble Bombs. They both fizz and bubble, and I think they make a nice treat for bath lovers. Not a "bather"? Use them as a soothing, luxurious foot bath! I use SLSA (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate) as my surfactant, or foaming agent. It's derived from coconut and palm oils and is much milder and gentler to the skin than it's evil, fraternal twin SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) which can drying and irritating to some. I have two introductory bombs: The Honey Bomb-scented in a delicious blend of ylang, orange blossom, jasmine, rose, lilac, and honey, and Me Time-a heavenly blend of lavender and amber. I'll be adding some special Christmas-y type blends in the coming weeks.

Dig these bubbles-and these are from only 1/2 a bomb!

I've changed the packaging on my perfume oils because, well, I've changed my label design, and while the black bottles were really sleek and original, they weren't very practical in terms of filling them! I could see inside the bottle, and that caused me much-wasted spillage and over-flows, so peace out black bottles...These crystal clear ones not only allow the golden oils to shine brightly, but the labels are much more prominent now:) I've also decided to stick with just 3 fragrances for now: Eau de Viagra, which is my best seller. It's a wood-inducing blend (at least that's what my customer and name-r of this fragrance told me) of honeycomb wrapped in patchouli twigs with a twist of lemon and citrus peels; Pink Suga: I think everyone in the B&B industry may be familiar with this one. It's a dupe of the famous Aquolina Pink Sugar fragrance. I cannot begin to describe how much I love this one. It's like liquid cotton candy for sophisticated tastes. And finally, there's a new blend that I call Bosslady. I named it that because it's not a very feminine (and by that I mean sweet or fruity or instantly detectable as "feminine"). This one is a blend of tobacco leaf, caramel, and vetiver, and sandalwood. I wear this one to work and let my presence be known (even though I'm not the boss, lol)!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fashion Fail!

Yep, that's the name of my new soap! Why? Because the outcome reminds me of these starlets who try to be all original and avant-garde with their fashion choices, but the end result ends up looking like a hot mess! The only redeeming quality about this soap is the smell. It's essential oils galore: lavender, sweet orange, patchouli, litsea cubea, and rosemary. The lavender buds make the soap look like it has the chicken pops (as my little cousins used to always say). Anyway, I still love it. I did Mr. Blackwell proud...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peppermint Spark

Here is my 3rd, and probably final holiday soap for 2010. It's called Peppermint Spark, inspired by the traditional Christmas candy Peppermint Bark. I cannot tell a lie: I've never had peppermint bark! But it looks so friggin good! It's like a sophisticated York Peppermint Patty to the 25th power. My version was inspired by this photo. It looks so different than traditional peppermint bark, and I'm so non-traditional, so this was perfect.

The bottom layer is colored solely in Hershey's cocoa powder and scented in a heavenly nutty-chocolate fragrance. The middle layer is scented in a cool, tingly peppermint, and the thick, drippy layers are a combo of peppermint and chocolate. This is a very limited edition soap-only 9 bars. If you'd like for me to reserve one for you, drop me a line. Yumlicious!