Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Spotlight: Tea Tree and Peppermint Soap

I really miss my weekly segments focusing on different sellers on Etsy, so this summer, I am debuting a new weekly segment: Friday product spotlight!

Let's take a look at this week's spotlight: Tea Tree and Peppermint Soap!

This soap is a vegan soap made with olive oil for mildness, coconut oil for hardness and cleansing, and castor oil for loads of bubbles. The soap was made using the hot process method, where the oils, lye, and water are cooked until the mixture is completely saponified.

I colored this soap with activated charcoal powder, which is a natural black. Activated charcoal is known for drawing out toxins.

The soap was scented with a combination of tea tree essential oil and peppermint fragrance oil. Tea tree is a medicinal scent that is a light medium note. Tea tree has antibacterial properties. The combination of tea tree and peppermint is classic and rounds out both scents perfectly.

The combination of activated charcoal and tea tree makes this soap a great facial soap for people who suffer from acne breakouts.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spring Fling Festival, May 2013

Last weekend was the Spring Fling Festival in Chucky, TN at Mountain View Bulk Foods. This is the second time I have been to this gathering; I went last year in October on a cold, windy day. Saturday was gorgeous, and it was great to see everyone coming out in support of small business!

My booth has had a complete makeover since my last time at this show. I'm slowly working my way to a green theme with accents of yellow and purple. I am extremely happy with the booth! I've even started adding some decorations to help draw in folks!
My booth! Loving the green...

I brought along most of my products, including my newest soaps scented with coffee, honeysuckle, and grass! My grass soaps were my most popular, and I almost sold out of them! I am making more this weekend, and I hope to have them up on my Etsy shop soon.

Green grass soap
I also brought along my lip balm, bath bombs, bath salts, and body sprays. I debuted my bath bomb cupcakes, which will be photographed and listed soon.

Next weekend I will be at Grogan Park in Gate City, VA! Come out and see me, Southwest Virginia!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Craft Tutorial: Homemade Notepad from Recycled Paper

If you are like me, you take notes on everything, but it always seems like you never have a notepad around! I'm always thinking of new things to do or try, or making lists of things I need to do for my business. So, I decided to put together a quick and easy notepad for my desk out of old, used paper!

You will need:
-Used paper with one blank side
-Binder clips
-Elmer's glue

Cut up your used paper. I found that cutting the papers in fourths made for the most convenient notepads. Face all of the blank sides facing up.

Put your binder clips along one side of the stack of paper. 

Along where you placed your binder clips, pour a thick layer of glue.
Let the glue dry completely, then remove your binder clips and boom! You have a brand new, ready to use notepad! Super easy project that recycles old paper... love it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

So much for a slow summer...

My summer is off to a running start... I barely had time to catch my breath from a grueling finals week before I was staring in the face of three back to back craft shows. My next three weekends look like this:
Super secret new project!

May 25 - Mountain View Bulk Foods Spring Fling Show
Chucky, TN from 8am-7pm

June 1- Scott County Art Bazaar
Gate City, VA from 10am-6pm

June 7 - Boones Creek Day
Johnson City, TN from 9am-5pm

Fun times! I am actually enjoying keeping busy. It keeps me moving, rather than becoming slothy and stagnant over summer. I'm in full production mode, stocking up on 18 different flavors of lip balm (including 4 new ones that have not made their debut on Etsy yet). I'm also working on reformatting my bath bomb recipe. I love my round bath bombs. The shape is so classically bath bomb... But I am working on a new formula, which will help me create new shapes, like hearts and flowers. The bath bombs will be bigger (yay!) and I'll be able to offer more fragrances.

I'm also working on a super secret new project... If I tell you, can you keep a secret? ;o) Ha! It's cupcake bath bombs! I am so excited about them... I am working on mini ones (like the photo above) and normal size ones. I'll be debuting them at my next craft show, so if you are in the East Tennessee area this Satuday, come down and see them!

So, I am headed back to the grind!
For homework, leave a comment below and let me know what new bath bomb scents you would like to see!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Milestone: 300 sales on Etsy!

On Sunday, I passed a huge milestone: my Etsy shop now boasts 300 sales! Wow! I am so excited and happy and thankful for all of the support from my customers, friends, and family.

So, in the spirit of giving back, I am holding another giveaway through Rafflecopter to give back to my awesome people! You can enter a chance to win 3 lip balms (your choice of flavors)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Make sure to enter daily for your best chance to win! Winner will be announced on Monday, May 20!
Thank you all so much for your love, support, and kind words.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tennessee Soap and Candle Social 2013

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Tennessee Soap and Candle Social in Nashville, TN! I got to rub elbows with some amazingly talented soap makers and candle makers, I got some amazing swag, and I learned loads from the guest speakers!

I thought I would take a few minutes and talk about the amazing speakers, and later this week, I am going to make a YouTube video of all of my swag and goodies from the social.

So... On to the lectures!

We started off our day with Lela Barker of Lucky Break Consulting and her "Dont lose your ass donkey" talk! Barker talked to us from a business standpoint, talking about pricing our products and not forgetting things like labor costs and overhead. She broke down Cost of Goods Sold for us, and gave us simple equations to use to make sure that we dont lose our asses donkeys! ;o)

Our second talk of the day was led by Kayla Fioravanti, and Kayla spoke to us about self publishing, which is something that I have been interested in for AGES! I have been a writer all my life, from poetry to fiction, and I've recently been inspired to start writing some nonfiction. I began researching self publishing back in March during my Spring Break, and I started on my first "How to" book shortly after... But Kayla really inspired me to kick that project into high gear! I purchased Kayla's book, How to Self-Publish: An Author-preneur's Guide to Publishing while at the Social, and I've already learned so much!! I highly recommend her book... Amazing information!!

And our third talk of the day was led by Donna Maria of the Indie Business Network, and Donna spoke to us about "The 5 Best Business Models for Handmade Entrepreneurs."Two that really spoke to me were "clubs and subscription boxes" and "teaching and information sharing." I've already got a soap of the month club, with a three month subscription and a six month subscription, but I have already been inspired to work with my local Etsy team on something bigger and better! And with teaching, I have always wanted to teach classes on soap making... Maybe that is something that I can work on in the future!

We also had some demonstrations by local artisans. The group was taught how to make Massage Candles, Felted Soap, and Shower Tarts, so there are loads of goodies that I cannot wait to try my hand at! :oD

I had such a wonderful time at this year's social! I cannot wait for next year!

I will try to have my YouTube video of my swag bag, my garage sale goodies, and the door prizes that I won this week. Keep an eye out for it!