27 April 2011

They're coming!

Tomorrow's the day!  Oooh, we're sooo excited!  I simply must make room in the living room - dump peanuts, crush boxes (thank goodness tomorrow's trash day), pick up some clutter.  The cute guy in the brown uniform is coming!  He'll be grateful that this week's box will be light - mostly lip balm tubes, caps and replacement items from an order mix-up (not like last week's huge pail of palm oil and some bases).  The fairly cute guy in the blue uniform is showing up, too.  The poor FedEx guy, though, has to haul up three boxes, one of which containing soap base.

Yes, tomorrow is box day.  I've got shipments coming from two separate suppliers and there will be enough goodies in those boxes to do all sorts of wondrous creating.  Lip balm tubes to finish a large order for my private label customer.  Strawberry lip balm flavoring so I can make delicious strawberry lip balms for a festival I'm doing in a couple of weeks.  Strawberry seeds to go in a strawberry soap I'll be making.  And white soap base to finish a wedding order and to make more flip flops.  You bet I'm thrilled!  I have a light weekend and will have lots of time to create!

I'll keep you posted on all the new goodies that will be hitting the rack.  It'll be good having some of my old favorites fresh and back in stock.
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20 April 2011

Sun On The Go Sets

If you haven't heard by now, IT'S HERE!!!  It's bright!  It's sunny!  And it's made especially for little girls on the go.  What is it?  It's Sun On The Go, my daughter's fabulous new set of girly essentials.

This set is made for little girls on vacation.  My daughter said that little girls needed their own products when they're traveling, and that was the catalyst for this epiphany.  She doesn't really like the soaps and shampoos available at most commercial hotel chains, and who can blame her?  Usually what they are passing off as soap is a very drying detergent bar, and the shampoo has no conditioning properties at all, making hair brushing after a day in the wind and water a truly miserable experience.  Sun On The Go ensures little girls have their own moisturizing soap and conditioning shampoo, as well as a yummy after sun lotion.

This set contains four fabulous products.  As the girl enjoying this set comes back from hiking in the mountains or riding the waves at the beach, she starts her bathing experience with cheery yellow conditioning shampoo.  Not only does this product clean all the dirt and sweat out of her hair, but it'll also help reduce tangles.  Next, she'll wash with our homemade body wash, a fabulous castille liquid soap.  After bathing, she'll moisturize her sun-kissed arms and legs with Sun On The Go After Sun Soother, a premium lotion made with organic aloe vera juice to make her skin feel cool and softer.  As she's running out to the afternoon's and evening's fun with her family, a swipe of Sun On The Go Lip Balm will please her pucker with its juicy tropical fruit flavor and very moisturizing balm.  Each product has a scrumptious, robust tropical fruit fragrance or flavor (as applicable) that will make your senses dance.

Sun On The Go is available for an introductory price of $12.00.  That's 20% off the regular price.  I'm sure you know a girl who'd love one of these.  Surrounded by boys?  We're currently developing a similar product just for boys.

P.S. - Please don't forget that Flipping For The Flops and Running For the Son is still going on through the end of the month, with net proceeds going to support Christian Motorcyclist Association.
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13 April 2011

Spring Preview

About two weeks ago, as I was preparing for that big show at Camp Lejeune, my daughter walks up to me where I was wrapping soaps and says, "Mommy, I want to add a lip balm to my line, and I want to name it this, flavor it that and package it like this."  Once I picked my jaw up off the ground - I was very impressed by her well thought-out presentation - I said, "Sounds like a great product!  Let's see what we can find."

After several discussions, she decided to extend it to a set that would include products that would be scented to complement the lip balm.  Last Friday evening over dinner, we hammered out some of the details about the specific products.  Saturday over lunch, we browsed online for the packaging elements.  I placed the orders Saturday afternoon and most of them arrived today.  My goal is to present these beautiful creations at Bee Fest in Kinston this Saturday.

Since the timing was so tight, we decided to go ahead and make up our bases on Sunday.  That'd save us some steps and a lot of time once the fragrances and containers showed up.

These are the bases we created. The top one is lip balm base, a luxuriously silky, nourishing treat made with beeswax from North Carolina bees and premium oils. The second base is homemade castille soap base. This soap is fabulous! It has a nice fluffy lather and leaves skin so silky smooth.  Finally, the white base is our homemade aloe vera lotion base.  This lotion is the best treat for your skin after being out in the sun all day.

Sooo...  What are we doing with these bases?  Well, that, my dears, is a big ol' wait and see.  We should be ready for the big reveal by week's end.  Yeah, we're really stoked about these incredible products and just know you'll love them, too!
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06 April 2011

What Makes a Great Seller?

This past weekend saw me spending a considerable amount of time on base at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, working the Hidden Talents Craft Show.  The show was pretty disappointing; lots of people, lots of browsers, but few buyers.  I discovered on Sunday as I was in a c-mart getting gas and munchies that I figured out what was going on.  The federal government has failed to pass a balanced budget so far, and if they miss the deadline, then none of the federal employees get paid, including the military.  Sure, they get paid retroactively, but retroactive pay doesn't put food on the table now.

Finding redemption in every situation, I encountered a lovely lady named Lisa who is new to small business.  Lisa is owner of Bath Bombs Away and her business is, obviously, all bath bombs.  Oh my gosh!  They were huge!  And gorgeous!  If I didn't know what they were, I'd want to try sticking a spoon in them and taking a bite; they looked like sorbet in mixed flavors, and her packaging was clever and eye-catching.

We often take for granted those things that make our businesses run and that make people want to enter our space - whether a show booth, an online store or a brick-and-mortar store.  I know I often focus more on my products than the intangibles that I bring to my business.  Given that slight jadedness, it was refreshing to see a relative newby working the show (Lisa's booth was across from ours and over one).  This is what I noticed she had going for her:

  • Great products - As I said, her bath bombs looked absolutely delicious and smelled awesome.  They were also all-natural, scented with essential oils.
  • Product knowledge - Unlike some bath and body manufacturers who go from making a product to wanting to sell it in a week, Lisa demonstrated that she'd done her research.  She knows her ingredients and possesses information about shelf life and essential oil properties.
  • Awesome personality - Lisa was working the crowd.  She cooed over babies, warmly welcomed customers into her space and engaged people.  Her magnetic personality was a great draw.
If you're going to sell products to anyone, it's important to remember that you're selling part of yourself with each product you sell.  I'll talk more about the prostitution of entrepreneurship in a later post.

What attributes do you think are important in selling your goods and services?

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