Looking back on this fall, I am glad I didn’t jump right in to blindly making lots of soap and planning for it to sell the minute it was cured. The time I took trying out different molds, soap formulas, new scents, and packaging was well spent, and I am thankful for all I learned along the way.
Some really great lessons include:
1) Cutting soap by hand or producing it in individual molds is time-consuming! These methods also do not yield a consistent, beautiful bar of soap. Thus, a professional wire cutter is on order and loaf molds are being built.
2) While I love making bars in different shapes, colors, and sizes, packaging said bars is completely impractical. One size, one beautiful package.
3) Choice is great, but too much is overwhelming. My initial focus of 12 scents was on target! Selecting those 12 was not easy, but with much fantastic feedback, they will be ready to debut this spring.
4) Ingredients are great, but scent and eye appeal rule. As I soapmaker, I’m all about the ingredients. Unfortunately, I am one in a million and most everyone I talked with cared that it was made by someone they trust, the soap smelled amazing, and it was beautiful. They loved color, wanted gorgeous packaging to give as gifts, and were repeat customers if the soap lather and scent were exceptional.
I also had to be really honest with myself and compare my initial batches of soaps with those offered by soapmakers whom I admire. The truth – my soaps could be more beautiful. So I have designed a color scheme and pattern for each scent to offer beautiful colors, lines, and flecks of ingredients in every bar.
For now, my current stock of soaps will stay online until I am ready to switch over for the Sweetland Soap store grand opening. This will give me enough time to finalize packaging and build up enough stock to open the store and begin a full-fledged marketing campaign.
I am excited about the progress that it being made and look forward to sharing this journey with you!