Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winds of Change

With the sweet long-awaited days of spring finally within sight, the fresh winds of change are blowing through my soap studio as well.

For a while now, I've been desiring a simpler and more refined product line. Over the last 6 months, I have slowly been implementing style updates to everything from soap wrappings, shea butter labels, and gift boxes to color choices and ribbon selections. As a one-woman creative business, I have been working hard towards offering a beautiful, cohesive line of products that is a more personal reflection of my style and sensibilites. When I can create something that is "me", I find an effortless joy and satisfaction in my daily work, like a fresh-water spring of inspiration bubbling up from within.

Today I thought I'd share a sneak peek of an up-and-coming product that will be making its debut very soon... The new and improved Soap Sampler!

Everything is cuter in miniature! I've upped the "cute factor" with miniature bars of soap, each just 1/4 the size of their full-sized counterparts, but still individually tissue-wrapped and labeled for a fully gift-worthy presentation. Rather than many different overlapping choices (do you want bath soaps? kitchen soaps? complexion soaps? gardener's soaps?!) this new sample set will come in just one variety. I'm notoriously bad at making un-important decisions (I can spend 10 minutes trying to decide what kind of paper towels to buy at the grocery store), so I've eliminated the need to choose entirely - the new sampler has one of everything!

With my new business makeover, I am cutting back on the number of different kinds of soap that I make - from a whopping 19 down to a perfectly complete selection of 8 proven favorites... All of the best, none of the rest. It's an approach that not only reflects my personal preference for simplicity and timeless classics, but one that also allows me to realistically stay ahead of the demands of a handcrafted business where everything from labels, business cards, wrapping & packaging, and (of course) the soap itself is made from scratch by my own two hands.


Packaged in a crystal-clear cellophane candy bag and tied with a sweet cream and tan polka-dot ribbon, I am in love with these new sample sets. They are sweet yet sophisticated, simple yet fun... Maybe just a little like me :)  

They'll be on the website soon! I am waiting on a few batches of soap to finish curing so that the Sample Sets will be ready to ship.  Look for them in the next couple weeks!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Going, going... Gone already?

I LIKE everything I buy for my etsy shop, but occassionaly I find myself with an item that I not only LOVE, but that has photographed so beautifully that I want it to hang around the shop for weeks. Like the eye candy in a storefront window display that causes even the most focused soul to slow their steps and gawk, even if just for a moment...  Reality check. Those are the items that inevitably sell within an hour of listing it for sale. Case in point:

A simple item. Thick rustic white ironstone, with a gorgeous footed sillhouette. Paired with a handful of sunny lemons, and the whole picture was just singing. Alas, it was a short song. I listed this lovely bowl on Thursday and it sold the same afternoon. Such is the problem with one-of-a-kind vintage.

I know, I know, it's a good problem to have :)  But I thought this beautiful ironstone bowl deserved one last curtain call.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Own Super Bowl

My husbands "joke de jour" has been that we should be the ones hosting a Super Bowl party because we are the only people he knows who do, in fact, literally, have a "super bowl"...

He is, of course, referring to the huge 5' long antique carved wooden trencher bowl that sits beneath the living room picture window, holding extra pillows, throws, and blankets. I bought it years ago on a trip with my family to the small picturesque Amish town of Shipshewana in northern Indiana. There is a fabulous antique mall there, and the minute I laid eyes on this amazing bowl I knew I had to have it. With a blush of excitement, I nervously shelled out $80 for it - a huge purchase for me as a live-at-home 18 year old, with no house of my own and no plan for such an oversized piece.

But the bowl was so big and beautiful and full of character, and even with my limited experience I knew it was an incredible deal and a once-in-a-lifetime find. As I watched my dad load it into the back of the van, I suddenly felt like a collector. An antiquer. A bona-fide treasure hunter.  It was the first real antique I ever bought, and I guess you could say I've been hooked ever since.

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