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Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day. This picture was taken from my front porch, and yes, that's Milo my old bug, still have that little man!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taking time out - it's SO worth it!

I am probably the worst one about this, I happen to love what I do and so as much work as it can be, it's hard to tear myself away, plus when you have a little company that's thriving, you want to nurture that as much as possible.
But every now and then, it's good to step back a little, and spend time with friends and family. I was blessed anough to get some time with my best friend yesterday, she lives out of state now and so it's really special to get to see her, although we do e mail every day.
Its fun to spend the time with someone that shares history with you, remembers things that were big to you, and you can say "Cody said something the other day" and she knows which of the 3 boys Cody is.
Its also great to have someone that shares your values, and most of all someone that I know I can always count on when the going gets tough. Everyone needs their own Rj (my BFF).
I am so glad that I took the time out yesterday, it was so incredible. Do remember to kiss those you love, and to remind them how special they are!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion :-)

Great Deal

You know how when you're growing up, you're taught to not brag about yourself or draw attention to yourself? Well, I'm here to tell you, if you're self employed, you'd better LEARN how to do that! It's a matter of survival!

I think that really, it's a matter or having confidence in whatever it is that you are doing, and I truly believe we have a great product that's good for your skin and are blessed to have a loyal following. We explore all kinds of "distribution channels" in an effort to bring our soap to the public. One of my favorites is, they are pretty new as an on-line venue, but have lots of heart! Help me support them!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A few ways to save your small biz some bucks...

Who doesn't want to save money? In personal life or in Business. It's been a real challenge lately, really have be examining my own costs even more than usual, everything has gone up so much!. So, here are a few things you can try:
1. Re-use packaging - mostly things like packaging peanuts, boxes, things like that. That's pretty obvious one.
2. Flat Rate/Regional Shipping - Flat rate offered by USPS is the best thing since sliced bread! My favorite right now is the padded Flat rate envelope, I can ship 6 soaps in there for about $5 anywhere in the US. The other one is Regional shipping, you have to use their specified boxes. They come in two sizes and are a little flimsier, but get the job done. If you are able to use that rate, is even cheaper than Flat Rate alot of the time, the trick is figuring out when you can actually use the Regional Rate. It's really hard to find info on it at their site and even the folks at the Post Office have no idea! So in order to find out if you can use it you have to go through the page to figure out postage and put in the weight and zip code and it will let you know if it's an opion. Do check it out at
3. Buy with a friend - A lot of companies have great deal but high minimums. You can counter that by having a co-op with a few friends or just share an order with a friend. It works out great, you both get a deal and still meet the minimum.
4. Bulk - whenever you can! And again if it's more than you can use, see if a friend wants to share.
5. Join a Guild/Forum - Belonging to a Guild is nice because there are businesses that have supplies etc that cater to your particular type of business and you can sometimes get special deals or percentages off. A Guild is very beneficial to you to begin with simply because they support folks in your particular business and can be a great resource. Bringing me to my own favorite resource: Forums, also known as Discussion Groups. There you will be able to find tips/techniques and many suppliers will also post sales etc there. My favorite soap forum is, we simply call it the "Dish" and it's been a great resource over the years. The cool thing is that you can check the older archived posts too, going back a few years so you're able to glean alot of experience that way. You may even find more money saving tips!
I'm sure there are lots of other ways to save money, those were off the top of my head! Feel free to leave YOUR favorite money saving tips!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Event Tip Du Jour

If you do an event that has the back of your tent opened to a crowd like this:
Take advantage of the position by hanging an extra banner on the BACK of your tent like this:

The cool thing is that it's facing the crowd and can't help but catch the attention of some people! This was taken today at the Concord Farmer's Market. We have live music on the stage through June and had a nice turnout today! Hope the tip helps you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

On-Line Marketing

Those of you that follow us on Facebook ( know that last week was just insane for me. I did 5 Farmers Markets, which I will do the first week of the month, and then back to my usual 4 the other weeks. The thing that I found fascinating (I always feel like Mr Spock when I use that word!) is that I accomplished SO much, even managed to send out a few cards to my friends! There's this weird thing that the busier you are, the more you actually get accomplished! There was however one BIG exception; on-line Marketing. Normally, I work on my Blog, have a couple of Forums I participate in, do Facebook, Twitter as well as listing things on my on-line venues : Http:// , , and of course  . And you sometimes wonder if anyone sees the blog or any of the other things that you do, and the thing I have learned this past week is YES! They do see it! I observed a drastic change in the on-line sales this week!
So for any of you that are wondering if all that time you spend trying to promote your business on-line is actually doing anything, believe me, you're doing more than you think! I am so happy to get back to normal life this week! Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Balancing Act

Whether you work for yourself or another, it's always a question of balance (that was an Album by the Moody Blues by the way!). It's not always easy to get everything done. For me it's a matter of staying organized, I have this planner that goes everywhere with me and it would actually be much easier for me if it were surgically attached!
The thing is that you HAVE to take time out for YOU once in a while to recharge your batteries as they say. For me that's always a challenge because I truly love what I do so it doesn't feel like work most of the time. But there's the thing about, if you take care of yourself, you are better able to give to others. Still hard to take time to goof off without feeling guilty, that's me though. Working on it.
I hope you take time out for you today - Enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Festive Market

Days like today are the reason I love to do Farmers Markets! It was opening day for season for my Martinez Market and it was fantastic to see so many of my customers that I hadn't seen in a while. The Market Association (Pacific Coast Farmers Market Assn) pulled out all the stops, there was a jumpy house for the kids, lively music and bright balloons everywhere and just lots of festivity in the air.
The thing I love about that Market is that the folks really support the Market and the other thing I really love is the attitude there is just so easy and laid back. I always say I feel like I could just take my shoes off and "just be". It was awesome to be back and we'll be there every Sunday for the rest of the season. I am exhausted but had such a nice time. Do come on a Sunday if you're around, 10-2 on Main Street.