15 November 2012

Kicked Up Customer Care

My PayPal Here, is here
My PayPal Here, is here (Photo credit: robertnelson)
As a business owner, I'm constantly looking for ways to serve my customers better.  I want to make your online and in-person shopping experience with me to be secure, safe, easy and, best of all, fun!  Here are a few changes you'll see as you shop my web store or shop with me at coming events.

First, have you noticed that my shop has a totally new look?  I love it!  The great guys at Eazihost have done a fabulous job of putting the new site together.  Big thanks to Donal, Isa and Vicky.

Second, I'm giving you a more secure shopping experience.  You asked, and I listened.  The new web store is now fully encrypted for safer browsing and shopping.

Third, you have more ways to pay.  I'm now accepting all major credit cards - MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover, as well as Paypal.

Fourth, when you shop with me in person, I now have the option of processing your credit card payment directly on my phone wherever I have a network or wifi signal, thanks to Paypal Here (my latest fun little gizmo; check out the pic!).  That means less paper and no waiting for me to get to a computer before I can process your payment.

Fifth, a new wish list option is coming soon.  This will enable you to create and send your wish lists via email.  It's a great way to drop those hints about what you'd like for Christmas and an easy way to share your gift ideas for other people.

I look forward to serving you with faster, safer and more convenient customer care!
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05 November 2012

Business in the bowling lane

Bowling ball
Bowling ball (Photo credit: jonnykeelty)
Last weekend, my older daughter and I went bowling with some friends of ours.  It was the first time the girls had been bowling, and it was the first time in over a decade my friend or I had bowled.  Suffice it to say, we pretty much sucked at it.  At least the girls have the excuse of never having bowled before.

While I was at the bowling alley, I thought of how running a business is so similar to bowling.

1.  My game is the only one that matters.  When I'm at the foul line, it doesn't matter how the players on either side of me are doing.  All that matters is my bowl.  Is my position right?  Am I keeping my wrist in the right direction?  Where are my eyes looking?

In running my business, it is really not important to me how my competition is doing.  It's none of my business whether they're making false claims or not.  And it's doesn't matter how often they're marketing their business.  These things aren't even important to me if the competitor is a friend of mine (though I, of course, want my friends to do well).  In that moment of attending to my business, all that matters is how I'm attending to my business.

2.  When I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, not even the performance of my team matters in that moment.  Each member of a team has his or her tasks, his or her responsibilities and his or her duties, just as I have mine.  When I trust my team, then I can trust that each member will do what he/she should be doing, which leaves me free to attend to my tasks and responsibilities.  This trust and empowerment, combined with personal responsibility, ensures that the "big picture" work gets done quickly, efficiently and in a most excellent way.

3.  I need to focus on where I want my ball to go.  In bowling, the best chance for a strike is when the ball hits the pins between the center pin and the pin either to the immediate left or the immediate right of the center.  Hit the 1 pin dead-on, and you're almost guaranteed to get the dreaded 7-10 split.  The eyes look down the lane at the spot where I want my ball to go, then they come back up the lane to the arrows on the lane, and I use those arrows to guide me in aiming my ball.

In business, it's great and highly advisable to look at the big picture, to look into the distance to see where the business will end up.  This is a huge part of 3- and 5-year plans and business projections.  However, I can't run my business in the day-to-day by looking 5 years down the road, not knowing what all could happen in that time.  So, while still keeping the long-range plans in mind, I hone in my focus to what is right in front of me now.  I concentrate on those things, knowing that they will help me get to the long-range goals.

4.  American made is always best.  As I was plowing through my game, watching ball after ball get sucked to the gutters, I happened to notice that my ball was made in China.  I also happened to notice that the ball of the woman on the lane next to us, who was sharing our ball return, was made in the USA, and her ball kept hitting the pins, giving her strikes and spares.  I could only deduce that her American-made ball was a better performing one.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. ;-)

Do you like bowling?  What are some ways bowling relates to business that I missed?
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26 October 2012

DIY Beeswax Ornaments

Christmas is right around the corner - just two months away!  Yikes!  Being the mom of two little girls has given me a renewed appreciation for handmade ornaments, and I especially love finding projects the three of us can do together.

I'd heard some colleagues talking one time about beeswax ornaments, but I was initially hesitant.  After all, wax is much messier than soap.  However, after discovering how incredibly easy it is moulding beeswax in silicone moulds, I thought, this wouldn't be bad at all!  The gear is simple:  Beeswax, measuring cup, pot of water (these two items will create a double-boiler set-up), mould, fragrance if you want it and twine or ribbon for hanging.

Here is a great video on how to make these quick and easy handmade ornaments that my colleague David Fisher posted.  If you make these for yourself or as gifts for the holidays, I'd love to see them!  You're welcome to post them to the Sara's Soaps 'n Such Facebook page so we can all ooh and ahh over them.
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20 September 2012

Who's in Charge of Your Success?

A Financial Peace University class and a discussion with a friend last night sparked further discussion about locus of control.  Simply put, locus of control is a term which describes to what a person attributes their success or failure.  If someone has an external locus of control, then what happens to them comes from without.  These people believe fate, God, the environment, the government or some other entity are responsible for both their successes and their failures.  By contrast, those people with an internal locus of control believe that they themselves are ultimately responsible for their own successes and failures.  Dave Ramsey says that there are people who are reactive, and people who are proactive.  Proactive people happen to their own life (especially money, in his example).  Reactive people are those to whom life happens.

Successful people tend to have a higher degree of internal locus of control and embrace proactivity.  These are the people who happen to their money, their lives and their businesses.  These are the people who you won't hear whining about how bad the economy is for their business, but instead proclaiming how the bad economy is motivating them to try different approaches and ways of doing business.

Another hallmark of people with an internal locus of control is a feeling of empowerment.  When I feel in control, then I feel empowered to keep on doing whatever it is I am doing.  This, ultimately, leads to more success and a great feeling of being in control.

Who is responsible for your success personally and professionally?  What motivates you to seize control of your business and happen to it?
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17 September 2012

Ingredient Info - Tocopherol

Tocopherol; selbst erstellt; gemeinfrei Katego...
Tocopherol; selbst erstellt; gemeinfrei Kategorie:Bild:Strukturformel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I received an email from a customer the other day.  Her granddaughter and she are going to make lip glosses for her granddaughter's teachers and friends for Christmas.  She'd looked at my website and noticed I list "T-50" as an ingredient, and she wondered what that is and how she could find it.  This was my response.

T-50 (tocopherol-50) is a natural, broad-spectrum form of Vitamin E.  It's a very dark amber, viscous liquid.  It's also rather outrageously expensive right now, too, for some reason.  You can purchase tocopherol acetate easily from pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. where the vitamin supplements are.  They come in gel capsules; you've probably seen them before.

Tocopherol is an antioxidant, which means it slows down the oxidation of oils and butters.  Vitamin E, as it's more commonly known, has no preservative properties at all; it doesn't kill or prevent the growth of bacteria, mold or fungi.  It slows down the rate at which oils and butters will turn rancid, plus it's good for skin, but that's the extent of this fabulous additive.

I don't mind helping customers find out more about the ingredients I use in my products.  Is there a particular product about which you'd like to learn more?  
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06 September 2012

Great Text Message Convo

The Trouble With Tribbles
The Trouble With Tribbles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm an avid text messenger.  Sometimes, I'd really rather text than talk, because texting is just like short emails.  I can read my messages when I have a chance, reply when I can and the other person can reply when they have time.  In other words, texting cannot really disrupt my day like the poorly timed phone call can.  I bought a smart phone in April to replace my dunked flip phone (and a smart phone does allow me to do more business when I'm away from home), and the autocorrect on my phone comes up with some interesting alternatives.  Unfortunately, I am not able to take screen shots of my phone screen.  This is one of the great conversations that happened on Labor Day.

Me:  "I was just texting the word 'trouble' to someone, and my phone suggested 'Tribble' as an option.  Really?  It's in my phone's dictionary?  When would I reference that?"

Him:  "Tribble is a great word."

Me:  "It is a good word, and Tribbles are cute (and a lot of trouble), but outside of this totally inane conversation, when would I use it?  Screen is blurring from the tears of laughter."

Him:  "I got your tribble right here."

Me:  "No, I got nothing in response to that."

Him:  "LOL."

Me:  "You want the Tribble?  You can't handle the Tribble!"

Him:  "That's too funny."

Just a little snapshot of how silly things can get here, especially on holidays.  What are some of your best text message fails or conversations if you want to share them?
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03 September 2012

Starting New Habits

Cover of "Financial Peace: Restoring Fina...
Cover via Amazon
It all came together in a rather serendipitous way.  I'm helping a dear friend change his money management habits, and he is already doing very well. My husband and I needed to reclaim our own efforts at achieving financial peace, and I as CEO and Soap Goddess of Sara's Soaps 'n Such needed to ramp up my efforts with putting out my newsletter, writing my blog posts and making sure I was using my time on Facebook to the best advantage for my business.  That's a lot of change in a little bit of time!

Donna Maria, my friend and mentor, facilitated a conference call last week in which she outlines her "2x2x2" plan for communicating with customers.  At the same time, Dave Ramsey, who has written books, led seminars and has radio and TV shows about achieving financial peace, reminded me through my reading of The Total Money Makeover how financial peace can only happen through discipline, sacrifice, hard work and following his proven seven steps in order - and there's a reason they're called "baby steps."  Since these two thoughts were foremost in my head, I decided to merge the two ideas into making Donna Maria's guidance work for me.

First, a little background.  Dave wants everyone to become millionaires - or billionaires - and he says that if you want to be a millionaire, then you do what millionaires do.  These things are antithetical to what the majority of Americans do and these millionaires get to where they are in life by making sacrifices and doing smart things that most people would think are dumb.  (Those would be the broke people in this case.)  Baby steps... It's all about baby steps.

If I want to be successful in business, then I need to do those things that successful business people do, and one of those successful people is Donna Maria.  However, I know I will not achieve dM's success in the first month of practicing her social media principles.  So, I decided to attack this, too, in baby steps.  For a business woman who only posts to her Facebook page when she remembers, struggles mightily for a weekly blog topic (and eventually just gave up) and has let two months pass without publishing a newsletter, I knew that I would fail quickly if I tried to put dM's 2x2x2 plan into action the first week.

Last week, I attacked the Facebook challenge - two Facebook posts a day (except for weekends), one morning, one afternoon/evening.  That's easy enough, and I was able to make that happen for me.  This week, I'm adding on the two blog posts for the week to the daily recommended FB posts (and am happy to say I've written both posts today).  Next week, I'll add the newsletter back into my brand promotion.  This is going to help ensure I'm successful without getting frustrated.

Are you signed up to receive my newsletter?  The quick and easy form is here.  You can go over to FB and give me a like here.
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06 August 2012

One Super Hero Among Many

Title sequence from show opening; containing f...
Title sequence from show opening; containing from left to right, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash and Hawkgirl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I get called many things - Mommy, sweetheart, CEO, Sexy Soap Goddess and a myriad of other names (most of them nice).  A lot of times, my friends call me "Wonder Woman."  I guess it'd probably fit, but I don't have the bullet-repelling bracelets or the great boots.  CEO, Mom, Teacher and Home Manager are some of my titles, which I guess does make me Wonder Woman.

I've learned something through these years of being something like Wonder Woman.  Wonder Woman flies solo for the most part, as do Superman, Flash Gordon, Green Lantern and Spiderman.  Truthfully, Batman is my favorite super hero, because he doesn't have to rely on external powers, but he does have Alfred, Robin and Batgirl.  Eventually, all these super heroes banded together and became the Justice League, so suddenly, instead of a bunch of great super heroes with their own individual powers fighting to save the world (or "Truth, Justice and the American Way"), you have a very strong group of super heroes who each have their own strengths and weaknesses but who work together to be even more formidable to the forces of evil.

With all that I have going on in my life and all the roles I have, this Wonder Woman needs her Justice League to back her up, and I want to give a shout out to them.  First, there's Superman (my husband), able to work 40 hours a week and come home to demanding daughters and an exhausted wife, juggling them all with aplomb.  Then there's my friend Bobby, who's Batman, a great team player and who intuitively knows what I need when I need it, usually in the form of the question, "What can I do to help you take care of this now?"  He keeps me in the present, which alleviates some of the sense of "overwhelmed" I often feel.  Last but not least are my sister Amazons, a group of incredible ladies with whom I've bonded online - Denise, Ginger, Stephanie, Elizabeth, Babs, Renee, Tammy, Lucy, Merilee, Sindy, Marj and Petra, in addition to Melissa and my rockin' business mentor Donna Maria.  These are the people I go to who understand all that goes into being Mompreneurs and how hard it is to balance the demands of work and family.  These are the people who have my back, who'll come to the rescue when I'm tied up with super villain red tape and who'll intercede when there's the fear that I could release my super temper on some unsuspecting soul.

With which super hero do you most closely identify?  Who in your life makes up your Justice League?
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17 July 2012

The Army Goes Rolling Along

Who doesn't love to travel, to explore new places, meet new people and see new sights?  While I love my home and am something of a homebody, I really enjoy seeing new sights and meeting new people, even if I'm traveling to somewhere I've been before.

Although she's only 10 years old, the damsel in the tub who represents Sara's Soaps 'n Such is getting ready for her first overseas adventures.  Destination?  Afghanistan.  She graced 68 bottles of lotion and 70 tubes of lip balm as she settled into dozens of shipping boxes to head to so many soldiers serving in the Middle East.
Our dinette table the night before the supply drive
This came about by the hard work and efforts of the Cary High School class of 1991 alumni, coordinated by Patti Clapper.  One of our own, Jonathan, is serving in Afghanistan currently and has alerted us to soldiers who don't receive a lot of packages from back home.  Patti organized the Soldier Supply Drive, and quite a few of us came together to help.  Even Jonathan showed up, surprising his eight-year-old daughter, which one of the local news outlets covered.
Jonathan and me
Here are all the boxes lined up on the table, each one filled with goodies like hygiene items, food and other treats.

A whole lotta boxes!
If you wish to help us with future supply drives, please watch this space, my Facebook page and subscribe to my newsletter to find out when the next one is and how you can help.

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12 June 2012

Tahiti Kiss Face Cream

This past Winter, I started playing around with a new face cream.  Now, I'm not really thinking of launching off into facial care specifically (creams, masques, makeup, facial scrubs, etc.); there are some very talented cosmetic manufacturers who are doing that already.  Thing is, I was running low on the pretty great face cream I'd gotten in my goodie bag at the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference a couple of years ago and wanted to try to make something similar.  With the awesome help of Tina at Majestic Mountain Sage, I formulated a face cream that made my Winter-dry skin feel totally blissed.  In fact, it felt so great on my skin and made my face feel so incredible that I realized that there was no way I could keep this all to myself.

My first step, though, was having other women test it.  After all, I might think it's the greatest cream ever, but that doesn't mean other people will.  Here is some of the feedback I got:

"I like the cream. No breakouts, sort of bronzes my skin... Like I'm at the beach. I dig it." (April)

"I love how light it is!  It feels so good under my makeup." (Donna)

"I love this stuff. I barely touch my finger to it, and its enough to do my whole face. I am so impressed how soft and moisturized it made my skin. I am in my early 50's and have face skin as soft as a babies butt now....  love the way it makes my face feel..... and my grandchildren telling me I am kissable soft." (Patti)

"When will this be available for purchase?  I love it!" (Amy)

Now, after the months-long testing process, Tahiti Kiss is available for purchase.  It's my pleasure to share this fabulous treat with you.  In the four months I've been using it, I've noticed my skin is less prone to breakouts, a few people have told me I look younger than I am (I've even been carded buying wine!) and  my face is slower to suffer the effects of sun exposure when I'm wearing it.  Be sure to pick up your jar of this amazing face cream today, while supplies last.
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04 June 2012

*Fanfare and Fireworks*

It is with much fanfare, great excitement and not just a little pride that I get to make this stupendous announcement....


Isn't she so sophisticated and sexy!?
It has been an awesome ten years marked with growth for my business and me, as well as some memorable moments, great laughs, frustrations and some amazing friends who've been walking beside me for several of those years.

One memorable moment...  It was 2002, and I'd been in business about 18 months or so.  I'd done one huge show and was doing my first ever EPA Show.  With about two hours to go in the event, Mom (who was helping me sell) starts hawking percentage off discounts - without consulting me.  I asked, "What are you doing?" 

Her reply was, "Since you've been at this for over a year now and are still in the red, I figured it's time to liquidate and cut your losses."  I explained to her how long it takes small businesses to get out of the red, and she accepted that.  Now, it's ten years later and my business is squarely in the black.  She remains one of my biggest advocates and supporters, and I still do the EPA Show each Fall.

So, how are we celebrating this milestone?  
  1. All purchases during the month of June get 10% off their total.
  2. Enjoy free domestic shipping throughout June.
  3. All customers who make purchases will be automatically qualified to win a Sara-dipity Gift Set with a bar of spa soap, a 4-ounce bottle of lotion, a jar of scrub and a lip balm (retail value - $25.50).
  4. A special feature product each week that has its own special discount.  Keep your eyes peeled to Facebook or Twitter each Monday to find out what that week's feature product will be.
  5. A brand new business logo - she's grown up and is looking hot!
  6. A new, improved website, launching next week.
Thank you to all my customers, Twitter followers, Facebook fans and friends who've supported my business with encouragement, guidance, rim shots as needed, shares and retweets.  These past ten years would not have happened were it not for each of you.  Many blessings as we grow toward another ten years!

30 May 2012

Balms Away!

The Cary Senior High School class of 1991 is pretty amazing.  When I walked on 9 June 1991 and flipped my tassel over, I was honestly glad to be done with high school, done with my classmates and ready to move on to college and the next chapter of my life.  However, our 20th class reunion and that modern marvel known as Facebook brought a lot of us back together beginning last Summer.  And, with the passage of time which has affected all of us - even bringing most of us to a new maturity - we've been able to reconnect in pretty neat ways.

One of our fellow alumni is a soldier currently serving in Kuwait with personnel under him serving in Afghanistan.  He identified a need back in the Winter - some of his soldiers were feeling lonely and weren't getting many packages from home.  So, our class stepped in, sending some necessary and just some plain enjoyable supplies.

There's some talk going around our class's Facebook page about getting together again to pack yet more boxes to send overseas.  I'm hoping I get to drive back "home" to help pack the boxes this Summer.  Either way, I have been stocking up on granola bars, popcorn and stuff like that to put in the boxes, and I decided to send some lip balms, too.  Check these out for our well-deserving, brave men and women serving in the Armed  Forces - you know, those folks who are fighting for those freedoms we all enjoy.

Balms Away! lip balms in patriotic colors

Would you be interested in joining us in supporting our troops?  Comment below, and I'll happily give you  some suggestions and ideas.

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23 May 2012

Theme Songs

The shipped cha-cha dancing motion file assign...
The shipped cha-cha dancing motion file assigned to the Baby model data (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You might remember watching the show Ally McBeal, and if you know the show at all, there was an episode in which Ally starts seeing a psychiatrist (played by Tracy Ullman) in an effort to get rid of her dancing baby hallucinations.  In the course of the first session, the psychiatrist asks her, "Theme song?"  Ally has no clue to what she's referring and shows her confusion.  The psychiatrist explains that your personal theme song is a song that boosts your spirits, gives you that "oomph" to get through a situation.

Following that episode, I decided that I needed a theme song.  Mine's "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison.

This is the song that gets me going, energizes me and puts a kick in my step.

It stands to reason that my older daughter would end up having her own theme song (also adopted by my younger daughter).  I couldn't think of a better song in all the world for my little CEO Kid than this one.  It's "Firework" by Katy Perry, and I love it.

What's your theme song?  Which song motivates you, energizes you and keeps you moving toward your goals?

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21 April 2012

Little Blue

I have a car that I really like.  It's a total Mom car, a PT Cruiser with tons of cargo space and a cool profile.  I fell in love with the Cruiser when it first came out, because I liked the gangster, "Al Capone would've driven this car" look.  It drives like a dream, and it's cooler than the typical sport utility Mom-mobile.

I still have my other car, too.  My husband's been driving it, because it gets really great gas mileage.  She is a great little car - zippy and cute with awesome handling.  She's ocean blue, though her paint job is looking a bit ragged from age and dings.  Every now and then, I get to drive Little Blue, and tonight was one of those times.  The girls wanted to ride home with their Daddy, but there was no room in Little Blue for them, so he drove my car with the girls and I drove home in my little car.  Sitting at a light, I texted my husband, "I feel like I'm sitting six inches off the asphalt and reclining."  No matter how hard I tried, I felt like I couldn't get the seat back up as high as my seat in the Cruiser is.

Eventually, I settled back, got comfortable and cruised (yes, cruised!  Ironically, my Cruiser doesn't have cruise control) on home at a smooth 80 mph.  I put Little Blue through her handling paces on our off-ramp, letting her hug those curves at 60 and decelerating.  Because that's what she does.

We Mompreneurs sometimes find it so easy to get used to handling our businesses with the steady dependability of our Mom cars.  We're sturdy, reliable and able to take on a lot of stuff.  This is good; it's what we need to do.  However, we also need to remember the cars of our pre-Mom days - cars with good gas mileage and little cargo space, cars that were exciting and exhilarating to drive.  In remembering those cars and how it felt to drive them, we also need to transfer that same feeling to our businesses.  Setting aside momentarily those sturdy and reliable ways of running our businesses, how might we embrace the thrill and excitement of pushing our businesses - once more - to their limits, daring to test our businesses against the basic math of what "could" happen, but refusing to play it safe anyway?

08 March 2012

Sucked In

I really enjoy a catchy commercial.  Whether it's moving, funny, powerful or extremely creative (like the latest Cartier offering - Super Bowl quality in the middle of network prime time), a really good commercial will definitely make an impression, and sometimes, sometimes, it'll make me consider buying whatever they're offering.  My favorite commercial of last year was the Verizon "Susie's Lemonade Stand" commercial.

This one caught me.  With my own little girl in business and me having periods of mobility where I'm away from my computer for long periods of time, I thought, Hmmm... Smart phone.  Then, Hmmmm... Verizon (we currently have T-Mobile).  With a few hours a day for a week while my older daughter was in Vacation Bible School, I took time to shop phones and plans.  It didn't take me but two days to think, "I'd rather be car shopping."  Oh my gosh!  It's like comparing apples and tomatoes - they're both fruits, they're both red, but that's about it.  They serve different functions, are used in different recipes and taste very different.  The same with phone and plan shopping.

I'll spare you the gory details, but by the end of the week, I didn't have a new mobile carrier, nor did I get a new phone.  I'd gotten caught up in the whole thing!  My ocean blue Sony-Ericsson flip phone is covered with paint chips (apparently this is a normal complaint with this phone), and it's developed this really annoying habit of turning itself off at the least opportune times.  At the time, AT&T was looking to acquire T-Mobile, and I really didn't want what AT&T would be bringing to the table.  However, since then, the FAA has squelched the merger and T-Mobile is improving its coverage areas.

So, with a flip phone (for a few more months) and my non-Verizon mobile service, what can I do to make my small business grow?  I can use that phone (yes, it's really more than a camera, Tweeting device and mode of updating my Facebook statuses) to make phone calls.  I can arrange meetings and make cold calls. How cool is that?  I can even use my less-than-smart phone to run credit card sales.

Enjoy cool, cute, well-created commercials, but don't get sucked in.  Good commercials are made to get you to buy stuff.  Take the time and make sure you're buying something you really need, not just what you want.  I'll be replacing my phone so I can take care of my emails when I'm traveling, but that's after almost a year of shopping and comparing phones.

What great commercials have you seen recently?  How likely will you be to buy those products based on those commercials?
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22 February 2012

New goodies

My friend Babs posted a picture of a gorgeous Patchouli soap on Facebook.  Creamy white base with several different colors swirled throughout, alternating white-color-white-different color-white-yet another color and so on.  She'd done a column swirl, and a darn good job of it!  Her swirls, though, reminded those of us in our group of zebra stripes, which started sparking different ideas and discussions.  How would it look to do a black and white zebra-striped soap?  Way cool, huh?  Then I chimed in with the addition of a hot pink heart or lips.  How awesome would THAT be!?

The challenge was on!  I first made up my heart, using my wonderful heart column mould.  After it had sat for a few days, I sliced it for the soap.  I didn't care that it wasn't even fully saponified, yet; it'd get there along with the base soap.  I mixed my soap and colored half of it with activated charcoal for a rich black color.  The scent is perfect for this soap, a duplicate of Victoria's Secret's Sexy Little Things, which I've renamed Sexy and Sassy.  Whereas Babs did column swirls with hers (enables the soap creator to have both hands free), I opted for funnel swirls (because I didn't know how to do column swirls).  My girls watched me pour the soap, and the firstborn wanted to take pictures.  She snapped 39 pictures of me pouring this soap!  Here are some of her photos.  (All pictures are the property of Sara's Soaps 'n Such and Mary E. Nesbitt.  Copying and stealing are prohibited.  You really don't want to mess with an Indie on this.  Just trust me.)
Pouring in the colors, alternating between black and white

Building the swirl
Almost done!
Cutting through the swirls

Swirls are done!

Setting the hearts in place

Finished soap
Cut bars.  Don't they look fabulous?!
These little gems will be available for you to enjoy on 3 March.  Not much longer to wait to experience the superior soapy goodness in a fun, chic design!

(Our financial journey is still going great!  For the latest updates, click the link to my Mom's Life blog.)
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