Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Soaping Journey - 2013



It has been such a while since I have blogged, and I got one of those emails yesterday that I get occasionally from another soaper reminding me that my blog inspired them.  If I have inspired one person out there, blogging feels more than worth it.

So, what have I been up to?  Working hard at the most awesome job I have ever had.  I remember vividly when I was at the point of stress breakdown from the job that led me to where I am now (yes, I am far enough away to look back now and understand why I had to go through that…). I said to mum “I want NO stress in my life.” She said “I have a feeling that there will always be some form of stress… you may leave the stressful job behind for a simpler life, but then there may be a new form of stress, maybe money stress.  Shouldn’t you focus on learning how to deal with stress instead of trying to escape it?”  So wise.  So, amidst the most creative time ever in my life, living my dream, making soap and other awesome products, supporting the local community, there is still stress, but it’s okay.  Some months I wonder if people still wash!!  Where are the orders?  Other months, we have so little time that we are making soap till midnight!  Looking back on 2013 and what I have learned so that I can share it with you?

1)      It is possible to make a living from soap making.  However, it is very important to know how to run a business.  Numbers & pricing. Organization. Prioritizing are keys.  Sometimes I do it better than other times and I am always learning.

2)     Competition shouldn’t scare you.  More and more soap makers pop up at the markets and fairs we do, but that’s all right.  Each one is offering something unique.  Uniqueness is important.  What makes your product different from others?

3)     Stick to your core values.  Getting those values across to clients is important.  Although profit is important, so is enjoying what you do, and if you understand your values and stick to them, you will enjoy it so much more.  This is where you have to balance the “head” and “heart”.  If it were all “head”, I wouldn’t enjoy it.

4)     The “down” moments are the moments when you most need to remember what you are thankful for.  I keep a Gratitude journal and try to write down several things before bed that I am thankful for.  It can be the simplest of things – “My warm cozy duvet”, “The morning sunlight over the Mediterranean”, “My daughter’s enjoyment of my homemade pizza at lunch today.” When you look for things to be thankful for, it changes your approach to and outlook on life.

If 2012 was setting up the business with our own shop and dedicated location for production (the studio), 2013 was about growing the business.  We developed and released several new products – Facial Serum, a Facial scrub and Liquid soap.   We have been selected by Biocultura to participate in the biggest organic trade fairs in Spain this year.  The first one – in Valencia – is next month!  We got a van so we no longer need to rent a vehicle to transport things to trade fairs.  We doubled batch size so that we make more soap at a time.  And so many more wonderful things have happened.

Now, I am focusing on the Social Networks, which is time-consuming but important for increasing web sales.  Currently putting out a photo campaign of our products in use around the world!  If anyone is using one of our products out there – send us a photo with it on your hand and your town in the background!  Come join us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

I would love to hear about your journey… and about what you are thankful for.

Wishing you happy soaping and tons of inspiration!!

Xo  Jen
 

8 comments:

Amy@10th Ave. said...

So nice to see you blogging again! You are definitely one busy woman. Congratulations on the trade fair invitations and wishing you the best kind of stress in 2014! ;)

And your products are so perfectly beautiful!!

soapjam said...

Love the look of your soaps and packaging, Jen! I also think your new photo campaign is brilliant.

Your mother is so wise. There are things that will always be there, whether we like it or not. The difference is in our attitude.

I have been enjoying my soapy journey tremendously. I just need to decide where to go without losing the fun. I am very grateful for everything in my life. There are many areas I need to work on about myself and my life, but nonetheless I feel very blessed and lucky. Last year, we had a "Lighting the Path Towards Christmas" with my staff. Everyday from Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas, there was always a written page (complete with decorations) from someone about what she/he was grateful for.

Jennifer Young said...

Amy, thank you so much for your awesome comment!! xo Jen

Jennifer Young said...

Soapjam, Beautiful comment. Love to hear what you are up to. Isn't it a wonderful thing in life when we CHOOSE Enjoyment and Gratitude as our focus in life instead of money? Loved to hear about your Lighting the Path Towards Christmas. xoxox Jen

Tiggy said...

Such a great post Jen! Lovely to see you doing so well after all your hard work. You deserve the world! xx

Jennifer Young said...

Thank you Tiggy!! So nice to hear from you! xoxo Jen

The Soap Sister said...

Hi Jen! What a great post -and wonderful advice. :) Love your pics as always, and you are looking positively radiant! Must be the soap, right? ;) Much continued success to you, my friend! ~Becky

Jennifer Young said...

Becky, Thank you!! You rock! xo Jen