Monday, October 18, 2010

M.I.A.

I know I've gone a minute. Trying to adjust to normal again after the wedding madness! I still need to post the leaf soaps made for the occasion! I'll also post some pics of other work as well, including the cute little pink sugar foaming sugar scrubs I made the other day! Well toodles for now, it's almost quitin' time!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Artfire, Craft Shows, Etc.

Hello out there!!!!

If you haven't already please go and check out this link:http://www.artfire.com/groupdeal. Artfire has an awesome deal going on with their pro accounts! This is a deal of a lifetime! I'm definitely signing up!

I know I should have posted pics from the festival I did last week. I will be posting a few soon!

I'm in the midst of making 'erotic' shaped soaps for my best friends bachelorette party this weekend. I colored them hot pink and their scented like pink sugar! Yummy! This is sure to be a hit and will possibly gain me new customers! YAY ME!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Soapers Unite!

Sooo, I did my 1st festival today in my hometown of South Holland. I was nervous all weekend as I prepared for this event, and the stress was unreal! Keep in mind I'm the Matron of Honor in my best friend's wedding which is around the corner and I'm hosting the bacchlorette party. Oh did I mention that I'm making the soap favors for both events? Yeah, so you can see why I was so stressed, not to mention recent stress on the job!

Well September 6th finally came. No I didn't make a huge profit but I did break even, and I was very satisfied with that! I met a new soaper friend. Her booth was set up directly across from mine. At first I thought, oh no, they placed to soapers near each other, no fair! By me being a newbie, I was a little intimidated, but I shook it off and went over to chat with her. Next thing you know, she was helping arrange my product display to attract more customers and we were trading tidbits with one another!

Finally I have a soaper companion who lives only minutes away! This is something I had been searching for! We both talked about going to the soaper's convention next year in Miami that the Soap Guild hosts. Hopefully we can go together!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Advertise Much? 'Free.99'

Starting a home based business in these tough economic times brings out the 'scavenger hunter' in all of us. Well at least it does in me, the queen barginista! I'm always looking for the ultimate bargain or freebie. Speaking of free, or like my cousin likes to eloquently put it: Free.99, There are so many ways to get your business out there...free of charge.

Many of you have probably heard of Vistaprint, the company that prints free business cards and you just pay the shipping. Well business cards are not the only product they offer. They also offer free banners, yard signs, brochures, t-shirts, note pads, and many, many other personalized items. I've been a customer for more than 3 years and I'm very satisfied with their service! Now keep in mind some of these services are not free on a daily basis like some of their standard products, but they will send you emails on a weekly basis listing everything that is either free that week or on sale. Talk about saving big time on advertising!

Next we have none other than YouTube. If you have a video camera and a decent editing program, which most computers come with nowadays, then you are good to go! Don't have a video camera? No worries, you can still create a video composed of still shots. I created my first YouTube 'commercial' with photos of some of my work. Next I added sound effects and background music and viola! Oh did I mention, you can set up a YouTube account for free?! But of course you already knew that! There are many soapers who have taken this route to advertise their business as well as demonstrate to their customers how the products offered are made.

And last but not least, you need a place to showcase your items for sale right after all of that lovely advertising! Well there are many venues online where you could sell your products but I'm just going to touch on the free sites. Two sites that are pretty popular among the handmade community: Artfire.com and Bigcartel.com. They both offer free as well as minimum cost plans to open an online store. Of course the free options are limited but it's a good start for new businesses that may not have the financial means to launch a big ol' fancy website!

I consider anything free as a stepping stone to a successful business!

P.S. USPS, FedEx, and UPS all ofer free shipping supplies!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Cold Process Way

When I first started in the soap biz, I started out with Melt & Pour, like most beginners do. When I learned of the CP way of making soap, I was immediately turned off by the idea of putting lye into something that came in contact with my skin. I was actually telling my co-workers/customers that I made 'soap with no lye'. Foolish me, didn't quite understand the concept of saponification and that technically, I had been putting 'lye' on my skin for years! With no lye, there is NO SOAP! Lye is needed in order for the process of saponification to take place. What is saponification you ask? Saponification is the chemical process that produces soap from fatty acid derivatives. Combine the precise amounts of lye, water, and animal/vegetable fats and viola, you have soap!

I eventually got over my fear of lye once I had an understanding of how the whole process worked. Besides, I wanted to create more natural products, and starting from scratch is the best way to achieve natural in my opinion! Will I abandon my M&P process? No. After all, you can be more creative with the M&P process. I'll just switch over to an all natural 'base'.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010 4:07pm Chicago time!

I know you're wondering what the title is all about huh? Well I'm excited because that is the exact time that I hit the 'Publish" button to upload my very 1st YouTube video!
O M G!
O M G!

Ok, seriously it's just a little sneak preview for what's yet to come! I've been working on a few 'commercials' for YouTube, but I'm not quite ready to upload those just yet until my online shops are set up and ready to go!

So with that said....stay tuned!

Friday, July 30, 2010

As the world turns...

Slowly but surely I'm trying to build my business with stepping stones. It seems like the minute I get some good momentum going, something else pops up in life that pulls me away from my passion. Oh well,such as life! I'm just gonna get up and try, try again! Next on the agenda, a You Tube channel for The Bath Buffet. Speaking of networking and social sites, are you following us on Twitter? Get going! What are you waiting for?! www.twitter.com/thebathbuffet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Running a Soap Company...

In my 'About Me' section, I briefly explained how I got started in the soap making business. It just happened on a whim! For some reason or another, upon reaching my 30's, I suddenly was bitten by the creativity bug! Believe it or not, as a child I never thought I had creativity within myself. I always wanted to be artistically gifted, but for some reason it was never there.

Fast forward 20 years later, I started off with scrapbooking! Scrapbooking? Yes, that hobby was started with my youngest sister's sweet 16 birthday party. I wanted to capture the event in words and pictures, and design it in her favorite color, pink. From there I went on to create framed scrap pages for special birthdays for my elderly relatives and my mother. I was taken by surprise with the creativity that poured from me into these projects! Wow, who would've thought lil ol' me could be so talented?! I began to focus more on the soaps after taking some samples to work and selling out. I began building a small customer base, and that's when it hit me. People love my soaps! So from there, I began to branch out into other bath and body products such as lotions, scrubs, shower gels, bath salts, bath teas, bath milks, and bath fizzies.

Within the past year, I had to take a break from soapmaking because I began a new career in aviation. After working in telecommunications for over 10 years and suddenly switching to something I had no experience, was and still is quite a challenge. I missed my soaps so much, but I really needed to focus on learning Air Traffic Control. ATC is no walk in the park, but it is a very exciting career! It certainly can take a toll on me some days, but that is the nature of the beast, the beast being training! Slowly but surely, I'm inching my way back to my soaps!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Welcome...

Well, here it is! I finally set up a separate blog for The Bath Buffet! I started a blog a few months ago for all things beauty related and decided to combine the two. Later I decided that it would be best to have separate blogs. Let's see how I manage all of this! This should be pretty interesting...