Happy Thanksgiving!

happythanksgiving

As you sit down to enjoy your holiday today, we at Mossy Creek Soap would like to say THANK YOU for being our customer.  Thanksgiving is a truly American Holiday with food, fun and FOOTBALL.  There is a lot more to the Holiday than you might know.

Here’s a few historical facts about Thanksgiving,

  • The first Thanksgiving was a 3 day harvest feast in the Plymouth colony in 1621
  • It was attended by 53 Colonists and 90 Wampanoag
  • The feast featured Turkey, Corn, Pheasant, Deer, Shellfish and Pumpkin.
  • The original holiday was most liking during the early fall in September or October during harvest time instead of late November.
  • There is some speculation about whether the Wampanoag Indians were actually invited, it is said to believe the Wampanoag Indians thought they were being attack and crashed the celebration.
  • The actual holiday was not celebrated until 1827 when a writer Sarah Josepha Hale (Mother of Thanksgiving); rallied support for a Holiday.
  • It was originally reserved for a day of prayer and fasting
  • Before 1827, it had to be declared every year by the president and it was Thomas Jefferson who refused to declare it a holiday because he strongly believed in separation of church and state.
  • Finally in 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a Federal Holiday for the 4th Thursday of November.

As you sit down to enjoy your own feast; remember and be thankful for the reasons behind it.  We are thankful for you and sincerely want you to enjoy your day today.

ENJOY YOUR DAY!

CRAFT SHOW DISPLAY IDEAS

Mistletoe Market 2013 pictures of mossy creek soap booth

Every year about this time I look for new ideas to make my display table look better.  To keep it fresh I take look at new trends and color schemes.  Since my brand is earthy crunchy I tend to look for items that will add color and stay within my brand.  In the process I found these really cool sites below that could help you too! Check them out.

GREAT LINKS for a SUCCESSFUL CRAFT SHOW

  1. CraftShow Report- Behind the Scenes- BOOTH LAYOUT
  2. The 5 Elements of Seductive Craft Fair Booth Displays
  3. Tips for a CRAFT SHOW Display
  4. Craft Maker Pro Tips
  5. Tips for Vendors to Evaluate a Craft Show

Keep it FRESH and CLEAN!! Good luck everybody, I hope you have a very profitable season.

 

Check out our Pinterest Board Below to help you get some cool ideas!

DISPLAYS IDEAS

Meet Kelli Buchanan!

KelliB

We want welcome Kelli Buchanan to our studio family!

She has been married for 21 years, a mother of four daughters, she loves animals and people. She enjoys spending her time volunteering in the community wherever she can be of help and exploring her creative spirit with gardening, scrapbooking and sewing/quilting.

Her four daughters keep her on her toes through sports such as volleyball, soccer and basketball.

Born in Texas and grew up in Louisiana and Tennessee. She moved to Georgia along with her family and husband after he was relocated to the area.

She is motivated by her husband and her children. She says; “It is through laughter, faith and perseverance that I accomplish my daily “to-do” list”.

Before she got busy with the her day in the studio, she took a break to share a little bit about herself.

Michelle-  What is your personal type of scent? (Fresh, Floral, Fruity, Spicy, Air or Oriental)

Kelli-  I love a combination of Oriental and Spicy.

Michelle- What is your favorite botanical or flower? 

Kelli- My favorite botanical is lavender and flower is a rose.

Michelle- What do you think is the most important essential oil to own and why? 

Kelli- Lavender is so wonderful for calming and relaxing.  Its fragrance instantly settles me.  I use it daily in so many ways.

Michelle- What one cosmetic product you cannot go without?

Kelli- Mascara….and love Lavender in my mascara.

Michelle- As new soap maker what do find as the most exciting part of making soap?

Kelli- The process of blending oils with botanicals and fragrance to create this beautiful, aromatic masterpiece.

Michelle- If someone were interested in making soap for the first time, what advice would you give them? 

Kelli- Read directions thoroughly and safety first.  Be creative with color, blends and packaging.

Michelle- What’s a famous favorite quote of yours?

Kelli- “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”—Audrey Hepburn

Since she started over a month ago, she has been an invaluable asset to our growing company.  She truly is a breath of fresh air and someone who you will enjoy as well. Stop by, introduce yourselves and I am sure you will agree with me when I say she make you feel special with her warm and generous spirit!

Why You Should Be Interested In Starting Your Own Business

Make things happen

Follow your passion, create your own destiny, work with the people you want and make your own hours!  Doesn’t this all sound appealing?  If you already have a skill you can always do consulting or hire yourself out as an independent contractor to those needing your services.

But what if you don’t?  Then you need to produce something of value that others want to purchase.  I started off in direct sales and it gave me the fundamental building blocks to create my own business.  With a direct sales company you can become an independent contractor selling their products, telling their story and using their marketing material.  In most cases it’s pretty easy to get started, you purchase their kit and call all your friends to have a party.  Notice how I put the emphasis on “THEIR”?  You will be selling THEIR company to YOUR friends.  You will usually receive about 25% of the profits but you are required to purchase their monthly special items to demo at your parties which eats up most of “YOUR” profit.

The opportunities to start your own business are limitless.  You can start a business on a shoestring budget and make good money to support your and your family.  To become an ENTREPRENEUR you will need to be able to work independently and motivate yourself, set goals to achieving success and be passionate about what you do. Be organized, have a strong desire to create and not afraid of failure.

Every month about 1 million people are going through a job loss, changing  their careers or adding a second job.  If you are  relying on your income to pay the bills you can still start-up your own company NOW.  That way when it becomes profitable you can quit your day job and work FULL TIME in your own business.  I see it all the time.  It took me about 1 year before I was able to quit my day job and work full-time in my own business. You can do it and I can help you pave the way to success!

The annual gross sales of 250,000 soap making business range from $5,000- 10 Million. Many  are second businesses but some are FULL TIME successes.  You will need to work hard and  have your eye on the prize.  If you are ready to put in the hard work and reap the benefits of your business join us for our next Weekend Fast Track Soapmaking Business Workshop on September 20-21, 2014.

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about soap! We will teach you how to make the soap and how to get into business branding it, packaging it and selling it!! Don’t miss this fabulous class and start your own business selling soap today!

pinkswirl2a (800x533)

Fast Track Soapmaking Business Workshop

Learn simple techniques to making soap and having a product you can sell while you learn about the ins & outs of starting up your own company. Learn how to have your own website at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods, build a product that will sell in your market, tips on photographing your product to sell online, craft show displays, unique ways to package your new soap and a special demonstration on how to use the SOAPMAKER PROGRAM. Receive superior classroom instruction with hands on soapmaking from Michelle Rhoades, a certified soapmaker with the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild.

Day 1-

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about soapmaking. We discuss all the methods and give you step by step instruction on how to make cold processed soap. Learn from a certified experienced soapmaker who will walk you through the chemistry behind the soapmaking so you will fully understand soapmaking from the oils to the cured soap.

  • Step by step directions
  • Safety Equipment List and Procedures
  • Soapmaking Oil Properties
  • Additives, Essential Oils, Fragrances
  • Using natural herbs, flowers, powders
  • Step by step directions to swirling and working with color
  • How to come up with a color scheme, which colors to use and how to swirl like a pro
  • Recipe Formulation
  • Soapmaking supplier information
  • Terms & Definitions in Soapmaking
  • Receive our Comprehensive Soapmaking handbook with Recipes to help you get started.

BONUS- Learn the easy way how to make milk & fruit soaps. We will teach you how to make a creamy milk soap and a wonderful fruit soap using a simple fluid replacement method. Receive our tested recipes and  a booklet with step by step directions necessary for successful milk & fruit soapmaking.

Day 2-

We will begin promptly at 10am on Sunday morning with how to start your own bath and body Business workshop.  Find out what supplies you need for Soapmaking, how to effectively sell your new soap, tips on how to get started selling online, how to start up on a shoestring budget and start making money right away, find out where to get your supplies, where to sell your soap and Do’s and Don’ts for Craft Shows.

Don’t miss this informative class~We will share with you the tools needed to help you succeed in your new business.

  • Give you the edge you need to stand out front in the crowd
  • Build your own brand recognition through package design and product presentation.
  • Streamline your startup cost with cost saving methods
  • Learn how you can start up on a shoe string budget and be successful.
  • Learn how to take fabulous photos without the use of an expensive photographer
  • Create a booth design that will stand out of the crowd
  • Wholesaling, Consignments and more…

You will go home with an arm load of fresh soap that we made in class, soapmaking booklet (soapmaking recipes, charts, step by step directions to help you get started once you get home) and information on all my trusted suppliers!

 SIGN UP HERE.. BEFORE AUGUST 31st to SAVE $75.00

 

 

OPENING A SOAPMAKING RETAIL SHOP Part 4

Supplies, Displays, Signs and Advertising Your New Business

Owning a retail business!

Owning a retail business!

 

Welcome to the FINAL Part of the  series- Opening a Soapmaking Retail Shop Business.

I reside in a fairly small community of about 150,000 so I had to be very creative. I enlisted the help of my representative from the LOCAL SBA (small business admin) office. They helped me launch my business outside my home office.

How do you get the word out without having to spend a lot of money? What about setting up your shop?

  1. LOW COST ADVERTISING- This is trial and error. Some areas work well for flyers and print mailings others do not.  See if you can afford a small ad in your local magazine. This works well if it will be displayed for long periods of time.  You could invite your local news station/news reporter to sit in while you make soap for some FREE advertising.  Maybe they will print or air their visit with you.
  2. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT- On occassion I offer demos to my local community on how to make soap. I keep it simple so they can see the process; discussing the importance of  the natural ingredients, botanicals and explaining why it’s better to use real soap.  Then I offer a coupon  to visit my shop. Word of mouth works well, 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers.  Start a loyalty/referral program to help things move along.
  3. SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKING- Now you can have the cool kid’s page that says you have a local business. Enter your local business on google and other search engines, add pictures, hours and a coupon. Promoting your Facebook posts can be a hit or miss but be sure to add lots of pictures of your shop, the process, products specials…etc.  Tweet it and Instagram it as well.  If you are handy with video, add one to YouTube, do a walk through—show your personality and people will connect with you. They will want to come in to see what all the fuss is about!
  4. INVENTORY- You could save a lot of money making your own. Be prepared to stock items you can make quickly.  Soap can be planned out in advance but stock bath bombs, bath teas, handmade perfumes, liquid soap, make some ready to buy gift baskets to keep those shelves full.  Everything looks better if the shelves are full.
  5. DISPLAYS, SIGNS- Startup expenses can be very expensive– Signs, Furniture, Displays.  Depending on what your landlord requires, you could be spending up to $5000 and more for a light up sign. I got lucky with my first location, they only required a small sign above my door. In 2010 it cost me about $300 installed.  Budget for displays and retail shelving.  Paint goes a long way, keep it minimal and shop local for second-hand bargains. I found my first table at goodwill for $30.00!
  6. OUTSOURCING: How much is your time worth?  At some point you will need to decide that “xzy” is  time consuming and your attention could be applied more effectively in another area. Then you will need to look at outsourcing.  Finding out what  is your passion and then manage your time more efficiently.  For example:  A website;  If you do not have web building skills, I would allocate funds to outsource a PROFESSIONAL web designer for your website.  If you are tech savvy you can save a lot of money creating it yourslef but it’s still time consuming. How is your much is your time worth?

If you want to own and run a retail shop but do not want to make your own products. Save your time and money outsourcing them from your suppliers. You can always order from us- Visit our local studio in Perry Georgia.   Buy what you need instead of all the equipment needed to make them.

Links for you to view:

RETAIL DISPLAY SUPPLIES-

candyconceptsinc.com

luckyclovertrading.com

SIGNS/ADVERTISING-

Georgia Family Magazine

shortrunposters.com

OPENING A SOAPMAKING RETAIL SHOP Part 3

Questions to ask your self  BEFORE you get into the RETAIL business

Dreaming Big in the Retail Soapmaking Business

Dreaming Big in the Retail Soapmaking Business

Welcome to part 3 of the Opening a Retail Soapmaking Shop-

So this brings to me to the HARD QUESTIONS that you  need to ask yourself before you get into the RETAIL business.

Are you using the “DREAM” of owning a retail shop to cloud your judgment?  We’ve all been here before— that’s why we got into business in the first place.  We were all dreaming of owning a cool bath and body business like “XZY” down the street and dreamed of how happy you would be once you had it.  But don’t get sold on the “IDEA” of having business, do you research and find out what the day-to-day operations will be like.  It is HARD work and involves a lot of time.

Can you afford it? Do you have enough income to cover overhead just in case?   I had a backup plan that included sales from difference resources just in case I didn’t have  sales for that month. You will need enough to include your rent/lease/utilities/maintenance expenses. Money is scarce and it’s tough getting business credit. Credit cards helped me getting started with the basic start-up costs involved with opening a retail shop. Most of my income coming in my business got rolled back into the business for a few years.  A portion of it continues to get rolled back into the business today.

A few tips: In the beginning a landline phone is not necessary, you don’t need an  internet connection in your new place either or  pay for regularly scheduled picks from UPS and FEDEX.  Save those for later on when your business is established and making money.  Use the “Square”  for all your credit card transactions and your business cell phone as your regular line.

Do you have unlimited time to invest in your retail shop?  Post your  hours and  be present/open during those times.

Competition-  This should be included in your feasibility studies and it will give you a good opportunity to scout out the competition.  I would inquire discreetly how well they are doing. You could learn from them and adjust your ideas before you get started. You could also ask your small business rep to see if they know them; maybe they could give you insight on what to expect.

Conduct your own market feasibility study to see if your idea will be supported in your community.  {A feasibility study evaluates your project’s potential for success as it examines the marketability of your product}

Your SBA office should be able to help you gather the data to support it. Find out if your “DREAM” idea will bring in the money or send you into financial ruin.

Links for you to check out!

What Is Product Marketability?

31 Days to Build a Creative Business

 

OPENING A SOAPMAKING RETAIL SHOP Part 2

  Choosing a location for success

Choose the right location for your business.

Choose the right location for your business.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION- The location for your business is very important to your success.  If you are looking for walk-in traffic then you need a retail location on a busy street. But these locations are  expensive. It’s hard starting out and if you do not have a steady business income before you open your doors you could be struggling in your first 6 months. Remember as your business grows so will you, you may not stay in this location forever. In fact most businesses move from their original location to larger one or better location in their first two years. Remember the first car or house you bought? If you are like most folks that didn’t last too longer either.

Before entering into your first lease ask for any move-in specials.  I received one month free if I signed a 6 month lease.

You may need to find a happy medium between steady foot traffic and one that is not too expensive.  After my first year in business it was a necessity to get my operation out of my home so I reserached opening a location in a small shopping center. Which was close to a  residential area, included a month to month lease and paid utlities. That way if I could not afford to pay for I would have a way out without losing everything. In the begining I did not get many walk-ins but it provided me with a place to do business that offered me credibility.

Links to help you FIND the perfect location:

Loop Net.com

Articles:

Choosing The Right Location For Your Business

NOLO On FINDING the RIGHT LOCATION

The Effect on business location for business success

 

Take Our NEXT Class on opening your own SOAPMAKING BUSINESS.

 

 

 

OPENING A SOAPMAKING RETAIL SHOP Part 1

OPENING A RETAIL SHOP  ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET

thedream

Day DREAMING about a BUSINESS? START HERE ——>

Most businesses run out of money the first year in business because of bad planning and choices. Most people get caught up in the dream of having a business and realized too late in the game that their planning was not funded well enough. In the next few weeks I will be sharing with you my tips for starting up a business on a shoestring budget.  I will be sharing some easy to implement ideas to saving money during your first years in business. Get the word out without paying a dime, learn about unconventional ideas that lead to more sales and customers.

Businesses are as different from each other as they are to the personalities of their owners.  The are… after all… our babies.  From the business idea, conception, growth, to established and finally the exit.  You can view your business like a growing child into adulthood and then the exit or death of  a business– (infant, toddler, teenager, adult hood, maturity and finally the exit).

If you have dreamed of having a retail bath and body retail shop this is for you. So today, I am going to try to help you decipher the why, what and how.  But mostly how I got started.

My early career started in direct sales with a well-known company who sold bath and body products through retail mall store fronts.  They had a separate “At Home” division in which I brought their products to the living rooms of a few of my closest friends and family.  I fell right into their branding, followed their program to the “T” and I was successful.

After about two years into selling, the company decided to closed their “At Home” division .  I was then left with customers and NO product. That was when I decided to open my own business and soap seemed to be the next best thing. After discussing it over with my family, we decided to become entrepreneurs.

My husband  and I began the process of  making soap, while learning how to brand it and build a company selling it.  It took me a while before I felt comfortable with product manufacturing but through time and testing we preserved.

After my first year in business I needed to get my operation out of my home so I started looking into opening a studio.  I found a location in a small shopping center within a residential area that offered a month to month lease that included all utilities. That way if I could afford to pay for it if the money was not coming in . Without losing my shirt!

soapmaking classes

Mossy Creek Soap Studio in Warner Robins Georigia 2010-2012

This was my first studio. Rent was cheap, it was month-month and it included all utilities. But was NOT in a busy area.

Things did not happen they way I expected it to. Most people believe all you have to do is open a business and your customers will be rushing in to buy your products. It’s much harder than that otherwise everyone would be sucessful.  Soon after I opened, I discovered that I needed to have more than one revenue stream coming in to keep my doors open everyday.

When I began including different revenue streams and it was then I noticed a difference. Which included maintaining a website, an ETSY  shop and adding more wholesale accounts along with in-house classes. It was then my business began to financially stand on it’s own without my own contributions. Then things finally started coming together.

My methods of getting and staying in business are unconventional; so although these things worked for me;  you will STILL  have to do the foot work to find out what works for you;  in your own backyard.

 

 

STAY TUNED for next installment of this series for TIP #1

 

 

Here are some links to help you get started!

Retail.About.Com

Small Business Admin

And if you want to start your SOAPMAKING BUSINESS our next class is Sept 20-21!  SOAPMAKING BUSINESS WORKSHOP

BEER and WINE SOAPMAKING CLASS JULY 26TH

Texas Beer Soap Co

Join Theresa Mendez of the Texas Beer Soap co, in a BEER SOAP CLASS JULY 26th

Beer and Wine Soapmaking 211–Learn how to make Beer soap–Sign up today to save your spot!
Theresa Mendez is coming in to teach all the way from TEXAS!! She is the entrepreneur behind, Ava Bayba Soaps and Texas Beer Soap Co. as seen in Draft Magazine, and presently works with 6 breweries, as well as, providing quality essential oils via her FB Group: Theresa’s Essential Oils.

Time: 10a-1pm 3 hours                                                Price $125.00

Teacher: Theresa Mendez, Ava Bayba Soaps and Texas Beer Soap Co

Looking for more excitement and uniqueness for your soapy needs? Come learn how to use alternative liquids to reignite the passion in your soap creations. Learn how to source locally to establish “farm to market” prestige and the “keep it local” loyalty. Be entertained and challenged with BEER/WINE soapmaking.

  • Step by step directions with hands on learning
  • Find out how to source your ingredients from local breweries in Georgia
  • Discover the marketing potential by adding Beer/Wine Soap to your lineup for the Holidays
  • Learn what essential oils/fragrances compliment your Beer/Wine soap and how to incorporate them

Small class sizes to give you one on one attention.  You will go home with a soapmaking handout and recipes to help you make soap at home.

SIGN UP HERE! BEER SOAP CLASS

Theresa Mendez is the entrepreneur behind, Ava Bayba Soaps and Texas Beer Soap Co. as seen in Draft Magazine, and presently works with 6 breweries, as well as, providing quality essential oils via her FB Group: Theresa’s Essential Oils.  An Occupational Therapist turned bath & body creator, so the idea of functionality is a must in the art of blending. It just can’t be “Pretty”  She loves the creative art of blending essential oils to not only smell good but to make you feel good. She is soon to be enrolled in Aromatherapy classes.

She has taught Essential Oils classes during Amanda Griffin’s Bootcamp in Austin and The Lone Star Soap & Toiletries Conference. She does private blending and offers blending classes in her home studio. Theresa also serves on the board of the Lovin Soap Project and occasionally writes for the Soap Collaborative.  She is the wife of George, Mother to Juliet, Cameron & Tyler; and Mimi to Ava.  She grew up in Tifton, Ga and presently lives in the DFW area of Texas.