Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

By the way I just changed the website again, if you have a minute, check it out! www.deltamoonsoap.com

New Etsy Shop Banner

I wanted a new shop banner for the New year and I worked with e designer on Etsy that totally understood what I was looking for. She used a parchment looking background and, well you can see for yourself, I just couldn't have been more happy. Here's her shop if you are in need of a great designer to work with (copy and paste) http://www.etsy.com/shop/WinchesterLambourne
and here's the new banner, I love it!

Friday, December 30, 2011

My new little "organizers"

So you guys already know that I have a thing for little containers, well I saw these adorable little drawers on Etsy and then it was ON!
First I saw this one:
And tried depsrately to talk myself out of it. It was the most expensive of all the ones I saw! So I kept looking and found this one:







So I ordered it, meanwhile could not stop thinking about the first one, so, I ended up ordering BOTH!
The first one is here already, I made a spot for the two of them and of course I'll use them for my small treaures in the Studio. It was just one of those things, I couldn't control myself!
Have you ever had that happen?

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Year Goals

For myself, I don't really do new years resolutions, I try my best every day, I don't always accomplish what I'm going for, but when I do, it's a great feeling to be a good little monkey!
The thing I WILL do though, is set goals, this is good for folks in business or not. I set monetary goals, as well as other things for the business.
The thing with a goal is, you can't just say "I'm gonna make $xxx this year" you have to make a goal in something measureable, you have to set a time frame, forsee possible obstacles and figure out what you'll do if you run into them, your Plan B. You also have to write it down, you wouldn't believe how much power that has in it. Then,just be commited to it and watch it happen. My goal for this year was to have my best year in sales, and even though I had one less Farmers Market for 5 months, I still accomplished that. There's something really satisfying in accomplishing your goals.
SO have you decided what your goals will be yet?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays! I hope you are getting to spend some time with loved ones today. My plan is to spend time with my 3 boys, it so seldom happens since we don't live that close anymore, so I appreciate the opportunity even more. Enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

How weird is this?

I have been working like a crazy person trying to stay caught up and am still behind! I have to restock this morning and am wondering how I am gonna do that, not much to stock with!
I am thinking next Holiday I am going to have to hire someone to help, even making Staples runs for me would help, you know?
So yes it's a good thing to be out of things, folks are supporting us which is wonderful and very much appreciated, but I hate to disappoint people when they come for a specific soap and I'm out of stock. I prominse you I have NOT been sitting on the couch eating bon-bons! (although I plan on doing that after Christmas!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Few things for the new year

You know, I am always trying to streamline things, that's just me. The new year is a great time to implememnt the changes.
I have been so busy this Holiday Season that I haven't been able to keep up with my soap making, let alone our chats here. I am prolly going to Blog a little less in the new year as I try to re-organize a few things.
It's a good time to look at the past year and see what worked, what didn't, and what can I do better.
I did get to attend the Creative Conference for Entrepreneurs, one day at least, and would definatley be up for another seminar like that, it was so cool to just be around other members of my "tribe". All that creative energy, it was fantastic. So that's one thing I want to do in the coming year if it presents itself.
So anyhow those are the things I'm thinking about as we put the year to bed. How about you? Any big changes or great realizations?

Monday, December 12, 2011

BatWorldSanctuary - Lil' Drac


I think bats are cool and this one is just TOO sweet. Special thanks to those that give this one such tender love!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gift Sets

You get a sneak peak! I wont be debuting them til Saturday in Pleasanton but I am pretty pleased with the way they came out. Each assortment will be a little different.
What do you think?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Simplifying

As we come to the close of another year, I ponder what things I can do to make the new year a little easier.
One of the things I have decided to do is to let most of my on-line selling venues go. There are so many and I think to make them truly go, you have to spend a lot more time on self promotion, more time that I am willing to devote to doing them. I feel like if I just keep my two main venues, it will be much easier to manage. Nothing against the other venues, they are just smaller and newer and it's difficult as thet are not as well known.
So the ones I will continue on with will be Etsy (the one that's the most well known) and Meylah, because I REALLY like the way they are set up, and really like the folks that run the site. I feel like they genuinely have an interest in helping their sellers, they are still very new as well. Of course my website will still be going.
So have you thought about what things you are doing in the coming year to make life easier yet?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A festive Collection

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shipping to Canada

So I put on my big-girl panties and said I'd ship some of the items in my Etsy shop to "Canadia" (Canada). I got a sale sure enough and in my mind it was going to be this big fat hairy deal to get it shipped, boy was I wrong!
They paid through PayPal and when you do the shipping label, it prints out this part where you declare what it is, then you take it to the Post Office because they have to watch you sign the bottom of the form, that's it! Pretty easy.
It was a different experience for me to stand in line because I always just do the label at home and drop it by the lobby and am done with it. I know you can also schedule for the Mail Carrier to pick it up the next day too, free of charge, but I like to get the orders out as soon as possible.
So if you've been thinking about shipping to Canadia from the U.S., give it a try, not so scary!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Featured in another Collection

Friday, December 2, 2011

Latest Batch of "Murray Bars"

I don't use a lot of colorant as you guys know, but since this soap was inspired by my stripey cat Murray, I HAD to use color! The first batch has a very soft ribbon of color, I went a little crazy with this batch but I love the way it came out. I haven't decided if it looks more like a calico cat, or some really fatty bacon! LOL It smells like heaven though. If you stop by the Market let me know what you think, this batch will be ready soon :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Guilds and Teams

I am a believer in associating with folks from your own "tribe"; folks that you have a common interest with. I am a member of the Indie Free Spirits Team on Etsy, and even just looking at the Blog http://indiefreespirits.blogspot.com/ I find something interesting that inspires me, so many talented people there.
So remember, you don't have to do this by yourself, join a group, participate, be part of the energy! You'll enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday

I was at the Market, and freezing I might ad, it started off really foggy and the cold remained with us most of the day. So anyhow, this one customer came up, she had given me some fingerless gloves long time ago and then this other customer came up and she said "I was thinking about you today, how cold your hands must get, these are for you" and it was a pack of handwarmers! Isn't that just the sweetest thing?
So I was telling the two of them that there's a point at which, when I tell my friends about my customers, that I don't know if I should refer to them as customer/friend, or friend/customer. And one of them said we are "Frustomers" :-)
Thank you to all my frustomers!
BTW the Murray Bars did very well, sold 9 of the 11 I brought. The other two are on reserve for a couple of folks in Pleasanton, I'll be making it again though!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Latest LImited Edition

I have wanted to do a Jasmine Blend for a while, and this one was inspired by Murray, my stripey cat! So there's a subtle ribbon of color through it. I don't work with color much so should have used more, I will next time, but oh does it smell good! It's a little Jasmine, some Tiarre Flower (Tahitian Gardenia) and some other florals. I would actually ad this to the line, I like it that much, but no one's being a slcker at the moment so I don't have space for it! I'll let you know if I work that out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving




Just wanted to wish all of you a fabulous Thanksgiving. I hope you get to spend some time with friends and family!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tags part 2

Look I remembered, are you in shock and awe?! LOL

These are the other ones, I really liked them, hard to find cute tags that arent just Santa and sugary sweet. They also had to be in the "vintage" theme. They're a little larger than the others but I don't really see that as a problem. They'll debut Saturday too. here they are:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tags

I have these cute little muslin bags with one soap each in them, and people use the back of the tag like a gift card. The bag is cool because after you've used it a million times you can compost it. So I am always looking for cute tags for these and I found some cute ones last night on Etsy, here's they are:

Of course the cool thing is that because they were digital, I paid for them and like a nano second later received the file! Gotta love that! So I need to copy them on card stock and then they will come to Market on Saturday!I have some other ones too, I'll try to remember to show you those tomorrow!

Monday, November 21, 2011

busy busy busy




The thing about this time of year is, it's a little nuts! The other thing is that I'm trying to grow the internet part of the business bigger, which requires a lot of time and can be just a little overwhelming!
Social Media is pretty fabulous, but it does require that you be consistent in order for it to work. I do use it as often as I can. Today I posted on my Facebook Fan Page (@deltamoonsoapFanPage) that we were having a "Rainy Day Special" and I did get a few takers, so it is an effective Marketing strategy.
Now if I could just come up with more hours in a day I'd be really happy!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

little comforts

You guys know how I hate to be cold, that's why I wear my ever-so-fashionable leg warmers when it's cold out! So anyhow I have these sweaters a friend gave me long time ago that are very warm, a cream one, lavender, pink and hunter green. I wear them a lot when it's cold like it is now. So anyhow, the green one is my fave and I've been missing it and my son said he thought he'd seen it in the office closet, I never even go in there (sorta like the kitchen!) and I looked this morning and there it was! I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing as I opened the closet! So I will be a little warmer and happier at my cold/rainy Market today!

Hope you all get to stay warm, after you've supported your favorite Farmers Market folks of course, they'll be there!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another Etsy Goody

This is the proof of the new Stamp I have coming from Etsy, I just couldn't resist!

It came from http://www.etsy.com/shop/AsspocketProductions?ref=ss_profile

She has quite a selection is is very nice to work with!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Erin Bradley Designs

I have used the Design service of Erin Bradley on Etsy a couple of times and I can't say enough about how great she is to work with. Her designs are really adorable and her service is amazing. Do check her shop out (copy and paste) http://www.etsy.com/shop/ErinBradleyDesigns

This is the official Holiday Banner for my Etsy shop this season, pretty cute huh?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marketing

I always say everything boils down to Marketing, you're looking for a job, you Market yourself, you are looking for a spouse, you Market yourself, you know, dresss nice etc, everything boils down to Marketing. Now and then you see some really BAD Marketing and just go "wow!"
My husband was interested in quilting, so we visited a local quilting shop in Antioch, not mentioning names, but there's just one! Anyhow, he asked for information and she told him "you HAVE to take a class first and there aren't any until January" I stepped in and asked if there was at least a book or something he could look at and was told "oh, you MUST take the class, the Rotary Cutter is very dangerous" and went on to lecture us about how dangerous it is, c'mon people, not like it's a machine gun or something! Anyhow they didn't add anything positive to the experience of visiting their shop, couldn't have been LESS helpful and at the end they said "do you want a business card" we declined, and even after we left, my husband says "you don't offer a business card, you just hand them one!" anyhow, they failed on Marketing, I was really blown away, as a small business owner, you do what you can to be helpful to your customer, even if you don't have what they need. Now and then in Martinez, another Soap Company comes to the Farmers Market (they belong to the Mtz Art Guild) and she and I have learned what the other has and have no problem sending customers to the other person if they're looking for something we don't offer, that's how it should be, help your customers! Sorry to go on about that, it just amazed me. the thing is we support local as much as we can, but they have to deserve the business. Off to Joanne's Fabrics when they open!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Latest Limited Edition




I always do this soap every year and since I'm not staying caught up as it is, I'm just doing one batch this season. It's will debut tomorrow in Concord, and then Saturday in Pleasanton, hopefully there will be some left for Martinez Sunday too, but I can't promise!

Shout out to my friend in Pomona! It was nice hearing from you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

More on shipping (not moron shipping!)

So as an expirament, I made a few listings and upped the price a buck over the usual price but offered FREE SHIPPING. It will be interesting to see if this lands any sales.
What are your thoughts? Ever try that?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shipping Internationally





I have been thinking of offering shipping, at least to Canada for now. I did some research yesterday and learned that 1 out of 3 sales on Etsy is involving one to or from somewhere besides USA! That's a pretty staggering number!
What's involved is a form by the Post Office that must be signed in front of them, and then there is an International Flat Rate shipping, or a First Class as well. I prefer the Flat Rate, easier to just quote a number, I do that with domestic shipping too where ever possible. Anyhow, I'll let you know when I get my first Canadian Order, I only offered it on the sets of 4, don't want to go to all that bother for 1 bar, not that I think anyone would pay the extra shipping on just one bar anyhow!
Something for you to think about Grasshopper.

Friday, November 11, 2011

From yesterday




This is the sliced soap from yesterday's post. As you can see, there's not a lot of color, which is either because I didn't use enough or just the colorant wasn't stable. I'm thinking as the soap cures it will bet a little bit darker and the colors will be a little more noticable. These soaps were JUST sliced, they weren't "cleaned up" or anything.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Playing with color




I don't as a rule do anything with color in the Goat Milk Soaps, there are natural colors you can use in the form of clays, Micas that are mineral pigments, many made in the lab, as well as oxides and FD & C colorants. (that stands for Food, Drug and Cosemetics) There are colorants made to be in soap, it can be tricky because the pH of the soap can have an effect on the colorant turning it into something other than what you are trying to achieve.
I'm working on a limited edition soap, and I used Mica's in it. As I mentioned many are not stable and Micas do better in glycerine soap where the light can bounce off and you can see the sparkle.
So here's a picture of what I made this morning, the difference in the color is very slight, I am not even sure if you can see it in the picture. I can hardly wait to slice it tomorrow and see how the mica looks in the soap. I'll post pictures then and tell you about the technique I used.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

sigh of relief

Sorry I was a little absent, had a family member with some health stuff going on, but everything's better now :-)
See you tomorrow!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Silent Sunday

Starting today, I am starting something new, a break from blog writing on Sundays! I'll still do all the other days as much as possible though.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Indie

Being an "Indie" business can sometimes be a little tricky. There's no Operating Instructions for how or even when a thing should be done. It all fall on you. Sometimes you encounter struggles too, it's inevitable, if you're Indie or not!
What I've found is that you don't have to go it alone. If you're really fortunate, you'll find someone that goes through the same kind of things. There are also Guilds where you can find support and information, as well as on-line forums. Knowing you're really not completely alone and that other have been there is strangely reassuring.
This morning I was looking at one of the Forums and someone was so stiffled with fear about opening an on-line shop, they almost didn't do it at all. I think we were able to help her to overcome that fear. But don't let fear (or anything else!) stop you!
Be a strong Indie!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Milo as a House

I love old buildings, the funkier the better. I loved the color of this one and think if I had a victorian house and unlimited funds, I'd

paint it this color!
This post has nothing to do with business, I just thought it was cool!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Craft Cult


They have all these cool tools you can use with your Etsy shop. The one above is cool because you can put it on a blog or website.
They also have something that will work with your Google Analytics, gives you sales on a day to day basis and well as views to your shop and page views. If you work with Etsy I highly recommend you give it a peek!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another Collection