Okay, good news! The soaps are sellin' and Shenandoah Soaps is becoming a bit more than a hobby these days. If business continues to go well, I'm considering making this an official small business in the beginning of next year. This means that a lot of things are going to have to change. Things like paying attention to how much I give away, instituting some sort of real financial practice (luckily, I have accountants in the family), and learning how to feel confident about selling my products.
First of all, I'm going to have to figure out what products I would like to focus on making. Right now, I'm knee deep in fabric (with a broken sewing machine) and Knitorious on Watson is starting to recognize me (although, I'm a closeted crocheter and not a knitter). But, the idea behind Shenandoah Soaps is fairly self-explanatory, and I want to continue to improve and expand my soap product line.
Secretly, my goal has been to begin making my own fragrances with essential oils and use them for my soaps. I've been researching essential oils and will soon be providing all natural products, including the use of Spectrum brand palm kernel oil, to help save the orangutans.
Oh yeah, finances. Obviously focusing is going to be a challenge with all of the different things I like to make as well as organizing finances. I continue to give half of my products away and buy half of Etsy as soon as I sell something. Practicing frugality will be on my "to do" list every day.
I am in serious need of some sweet marketing skills. I get unbelievably nervous when selling at a craft fair or talking with people face to face about the soaps. Sometimes, I accidentally say the opposite of what I mean. Matt as my witness, it's true. For example, recently I told some people that my soaps are "vegan made with ALL animal fats." I should have said the soaps are vegan made with NO animal fats! Ugh. Embarrassing.
I hope you will all enjoy the positive changes that will be made toward all natural and eco-friendly products coming up next year. I will definitely keep you posted.