Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Soap That's Fit for a King

The King of Rock 'n' Roll that is...Elvis himself! If he were still alive he'd be knocking on my door right now for a bar of this Peanut Butter Banana Soap! Inspired by his favorite sandwich, this soap has real peanut butter and pureed banana. The peanut butter part is made with peanut oil and peanut butter which makes gives it a delicious peanut scent.

Strange use for peanut butter that I just discovered: according to this website peanut butter is a great alternative for shaving cream.

I added pureed banana to the banana part of the soap. It didn't add much of a scent so I added some banana FO. I added a little bit of yellow coloring also, not realizing that the natural sugars in the banana would make the soap turn brown. Oh well. It still smells great!

After doing a little research, I learned that August 9-17 is Elvis week. How do I get this soap ready for the big week? CPOP! I popped it into a 190 degree oven for 90 minutes to speed up the process. I'll let it cure for another week or so and it'll be ready to go into my shop!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Whipped Soap

I finally got around to making another batch of whipped soap last night. I made it cotton candy scented and added blue and pink coloring. The color looked great last night (not so great in the pics so you'll have to take my word for it) but when I unmolded it this morning it looked more orange and green. Not what I wanted but still pretty.

I did a checkerboard pattern with the different colors. Here's the first layer:

Second layer:

Here it is this morning after I unmolded it. It was 12 hours later and it was still a bit warm and soft. I went ahead and cut it anyway. If you let whipped soap sit too long it will get too hard to cut.

Here are the cut bars curing on the shelves:

My daughter is going to love this one! She loves the scent and when she finds out that it floats, she'll be amazed:)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Etsy-versary Sale!

July 26th is my one year anniversary of selling on Etsy. I'm so excited! To count down to the big day I'm having a 20% off sale in my shop!

This year has been great! Considering I started this as a hobby with no client basis whatsoever, I'd say I've done pretty well. I currently have 205 sales from my site. A lot of them were multiple items and a few were bulk orders of 25 or more.

I've learned a lot in the past year and I'm still learning more. I've learned a lot about soapmaking as well as business.

Here are a few things I've learned along the way:

~Take good pics that show off your product well.

Don't put the date on your pics. Some of mine still need to be retaken because of this. I use the same pic over and over so I have some pics that still say 2007 even though the soap is freshly made.

Use good titles that state what your product is. Some customers get annoyed when they have to click on the item to find out exactly what it is.

Use the tags. They are there for a reason. Come up with as many words as you can to describe your product so it comes up in as many searches as possible. Don't use words that have nothing to do with it though. I hate searching for something and a completely different product comes up because someone tagged it wrong just to give it more exposure.

Have a good variety of items and learn what customers like.

Add new items and/or relist often.

Spend time in the forums and chat rooms. Promote yourself, answer a few questions, make some new friends, but NEVER be negative.

Use free online ads. It doesn't always help, but it certainly doesn't hurt either.

Advertise offline too. I'm always looking for new ways to do this. If you have any tips, leave me a comment. A few ideas I've heard are:
  • Hand out/hang up business cards.
  • When taking your items to the post office carry a bag with your biz name on it.
  • Put stickers with your biz name on your packages.
  • Use your product in public. If you make clothing or jewelry, wear it. If you make handbags, carry one. I use my soap-to-go in public restrooms.
  • Give your products as gifts.
I'm sure there are many things that I still need to learn. Feel free to share some tips that you have picked up. I'd love some new ideas!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Earn some cash!

Suds 'N' Such is proud to announce the arrival of fundraisers! I hope everybody is as excited about this as I am. This is a great opportunity to earn some cash for your church, charity, or even yourself! Online fundraisers are simple and profitable. Everything is done through my website so there is no paperwork for you, no money to collect, and no items to hand out. All you do is advertise!

Here's how it works:

~Contact me with the date you would like your fundraiser to begin. It will last for 10 days.

~You will then be given a code to be used during checkout.

~Advertise your fundraiser and direct people to my site with your code. I ship worldwide, so invite anybody!

~After the 10 day period you will receive payment based on the number of sales generated from your fundraiser. Payment is based on the total retail cost excluding shipping charges. If you generate 49 or less sales you will receive 20%. 50-99 sales will receive 25%. 100+ sales will receive 30%.

~The fundraiser host will also receive a free gift after the fundraiser has ended.

If you have questions or would like to begin your fundraiser, please email me at

Hubby's Business

I'm not the only entrepreneur in the family. My husband has his own business as well. He's where I get all the fantastic energy drinks that I use in my Youthful Energy soap. I have my own site linked to his biz where you can find tons of health and beauty products.

I'd have to say my favorite product (besides the energy drinks) is the skin refinishing lotion. Their description doesn't lie! I couldn't believe how much smoother my skin was the first time I used it! Now I'm hooked. They also have a microdermabrasion system that includes the polishing scrub and a microexfoliation cloth. Both items are a bit pricey but well worth the cost. Not to mention everything has a 100% money back guarantee!

Would you like 10% off the site? Just shoot me an email and I'd be happy to give you a discount.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What's next?

I love the Youthful Energy Soap that I made using the XS energy drink. I've had some great comments from customers about it also. I'm thinking about making more but I just can't decide which flavor to use. The last batch was made with the lemon.

Here are the choices:

Cranberry Grape
Peach Tea
Black Cherry Cola
Tea Berry

I need your opinion! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A peek into my world

Finally I have my own room to create in! The 2 weeks without internet, numerous days spent packing and unpacking boxes, hours painting, and everything else was SO worth it!

Here's my worktable:

Storage area:

Shipping supplies:

Some soaps waiting for a new home:

The room wasn't originally going to be pink. We bought the pink paint for my daughter's room and then she changed her mind so my husband suggested painting the craft room pink. I still need to decorate a bit though. The walls are too plain for me but right now I have about 5 other rooms to paint so it'll have to wait.