NEW RETAIL STORE

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It’s been a whole year since we embarked this new venture.  I am pleased to tell you that this NEW store changed our whole business model.  It has been an interesting ride so far.  We began our small business out of our kitchen in 2009, with in a year we were looking for a place to make soap full-time. Then two years after that we were looking for a larger space, then found our current home Downtown Perry Georgia.  What a stinking cute place?! Last year we secured a spot in the main shopping district of our downtown area and open up a retail only store called Mossy Creek Natural.

Yes, I admit this is my dream place.  I have been dreaming about a store like this since 2009.  I am here to tell you that we shoestring our way to Carroll Street!

Here are some pictures of our new store at 915 Carroll Street, Perry, Georgia.

I am now the proud owner of two successful stores.  We employ about 5 people to help keep it a success. We feel blessed to call Middle Georgia our home and we want to share with you a very cool video of our local area within Houston County, Ga.

We are still offering private instruction and workshops at our studio. We are no longer offering our hands on Soapmaking 101 classes but we have chosen to offer them in a E-HANDOUT version which can be found here:  SOAPMAKING 101 E-Handout Plus Video access

We would like to extend an invitation for you to join us for our next Weekend Soapmaking Workshop in September 2016.  We will be offering all our tips and tricks to starting your own soap business the easy way.  Find out how to run a retail shop.

Good bye for now, very soon we will be offering more videos, posts and tips to making your own soap.

 

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

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 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.

 

 

 

New Happenings in the Studio!

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We welcomed in 2014 with a new kitchen in our studio. We are so excited for the possiblities in 2014 and all the new classes we will be offering.  We are blessed to have so many fans, students and customers who have supported our business, that we have finished our remodel ahead of the 3year plan! THANK YOU!  The new pictures will be coming soon– if you want to like our facebook page to be the first to find out about the addition and new classes you can so here:  https://www.facebook.com/soapmaking.classes

In December we extended our arms around Perry Middle School with Soapmaking Classes– a full day 7th and 8th grade students were able to learn how soap is made! See more in this link to our local paper: http://hhjonline.com/soap-means-science-lesson-for-perry-middle-school-kids-p3868-117.htm

Thank you once again for all your support and feeling blessed in the New Year already!