Dianna's Sugar Plum Sundries

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TeresaT

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I don't know if y'all know this, but Dianna's is under new management. (Oddly enough, it was bought by another Diana. One "n" in her name, though.) I discovered a local shop in Dunlap, TN, to buy lye. I was excited (because now I can get my meth lab going. Haha.:lolno:). Then I found out they moved to Cleveland, TN. Then I found out it's actually owned by someone completely different from the history of the company listed on the website.

Why am I telling you this? She's having a sale to celebrate the opening of her storefront. (Which I am going to visit Friday to pick up my order.). If you place an order and use coupon code 070415 you will get 15% off your order until July 4th. Plus, she sells 10 POUNDS of lye for less than $25.00. Other companies are selling that stuff at around $9.00 per pound. I don't know if she does any free or discounted shipping, so it may not be worth it to you, but it's definitely worth the 40 minute drive for me.

Oh, and she's got 16 oz of citronella and pink grapefruit EOs for less than $20. I'm getting that, too, and oxides and...let's just say I'm spending a huge chunk 'o change at Dianna's.
 
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not_ally

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Teresa, just checked out her site, don't think I had ever heard of her before. There was some weird pricing stuff going on there, some things are reasonable, some are expensive, some are CRAZY high. Eg, $90 for a lb of sandalwood FO (yes, FO, not EO.) Have you checked the pricing of the stuff you want from other places?

Also, if you talk to her, it is probably premature to have a big sale w/o any pictures on the site if she intends to reach out to new buyers. Eg, how can you buy colorants if you have no idea what they look like? Similarly, I am looking for a cheap/no-frills adjustable cutter, but would not purchase one w/o a pic. V. puzzled by her strategy.
 

TeresaT

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I wonder if this is an unpublished sale. I didn't really ask her. I called her about something else and she asked if I had gotten my newsletter. She was going to call me. Anyway...Yes, I have talked to her and I did mention those things. I met her because she actually delivered my lye to me. I called to see when I could pick it up and we got to talking and decided to meet in a town closer to me because she was running errands. We were chatting for about 20 minutes in the pouring rain at a Waffle House parking lot. (Southerners!) Anyway, she is working on that. I'm not sure who her web designer is, but when we met, I told her the only reason I didn't order more than just lye was because I had no idea what anything was. She's working on getting photos of products posted. I also told her she needs better descriptions of her colorants. Calling it "blue colorant" is not sufficient, she needs to say it's ultramarine up front, not have people click a bunch of places to find that out. I'm getting the cutter/beveler/wooden mold combo as well as some citric acid and colorants (1 oz of each). Since I've never used any oxides except TD and black, I figured it's worth the price to have it immediately. I'm all about instant gratification. Ha. Once I get a feel for colors, I'll do better at shopping around and getting a better deal. I'll post photos of my cutter and other stuff for you when I pick it up. IF I actually get it. I may get there and decide my bread slicing guide and chef knife combo are doing a good enough job for now.
 
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not_ally

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I'd love to see pics of the cutter. I have a planer/beveler already, but a single bar adjustable cutter would be good. I'm also really curious about that Sandalwood FO. For that price I would expect to see that it contained some percentage of actual e.o., or something else that sets it apart, but the description did not mention anything like that. Yes, colors are addictive too, just wait until you start with micas!
 

TeresaT

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I'd love to see pics of the cutter. I have a planer/beveler already, but a single bar adjustable cutter would be good. I'm also really curious about that Sandalwood FO. For that price I would expect to see that it contained some percentage of actual e.o., or something else that sets it apart, but the description did not mention anything like that. Yes, colors are addictive too, just wait until you start with micas!
I picked up my stuff this afternoon. Oh my gosh! I spent waaaay too much money. But had so much fun. Here's the skinny on the shop. It is not a storefront. It is a showroom. She is a web based warehouse store that allows for customers to pick up their orders. While they're picking up, if they do a little "sniffing & sampling" she can run to the back and get extra things for their orders. However, it's not a store with regular house. I was wrong about that. Also, her name is Diane, not Diana.

The most important thing is, she only purchased the company 3 months ago. She got no client list, no records and the price list (which she has not changed except for a couple of things) is a bunch of pages stapled together. She's working with the stock the former owner had. When she purchased the company, she had no facility and needed to find space, quickly. The day she purchased the company, she had orders to fill and no idea where things were!

So, I think that for someone that has had the company for three months and has been flying blind, she's done a pretty good job. But, that's just me. I told her what you said about the Sandlewood FO. Actually, I smelled the FO and there was NO FRAGRANCE at all that I could detect. I told her the price was way too high for a FO and she said she's never sold any. (Right there's a clue! LOL) that's when she told me they hadn't changed any prices except for two things (I forget what) and her husband pulled out the "paperwork" they were given with pricing info written down.

I also talked with her about the website. They are working on getting that fixed. The problem is she had her own soaping business called "Mighty Fine" and has a business license and logo etc under that name. She wants to convert the Dianna's Sugar Plum Sundries name to her own. The website work is time consuming (and I would imagine a bit costly). She wants to put the photos on the site, but she also wants to change the site. She needs to be able to do it in the most cost efficient manner possible, i guess.

Anyway, I gave her the names of a bunch of soaping supply distributors and told her & her husband to take a look at them. I suggested they compare what they are carrying to the prices the other companies are charging and try to be more competitive. I'm definitely going to continue to buy from her, even if the prices are a bit higher. I'll be able to pick the stuff up within a few hours of ordering it and there's no shipping. The convenience is worth it to me.

I did end up buying the soap cutter. It's basically a handmade wooden miter box with an adjustable bumper. The wooden mold is awesome. I'm not convinced about the beveler, though. The jury's still out on that one. I'll have to wait until I get to use it. I've taken some photos. Here's a photo of the three pieces together. I'll post additional photos of the cutter. I have to do those one at a time. I'm on my phone and I can only do single photos from my phone & iPad.

image.jpg
 

TeresaT

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Last one. This is the side where you can adjust the thickness of the slices.

image.jpg
 

not_ally

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Man, that is kind of a scary story, Teresa. Ie; it just sounds like a potentially expensive endeavor and a lot of uncertainty. I'm glad that you liked her and her products, though. It does sound nice to have a place where you can go and look at soap supplies in person, nothing like that any where near me.

Thanks for posting the pics of the cutter, too. I have something specific in mind, don't think that will work. I might have to draw something up and get someone to make it for me.

Between this expedition and your lard adventures, it sounds like you had a busy 24 hrs! Get some sleep before the holiday :)
 

TeresaT

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Yes. It's been interesting. Tomorrow will be busy, too. I've got 116 soaps I need to label. First I need to type the labels. Fortunately, there are only eight different kinds, so that shouldn't be too bad. Then I've got to separate them into 15 bags for distribution. Two of them are mine; one is my control group that I won't ever use. The other is the soap I will use. (I've already used a bar of each when they were zap-free. So this is a comparative bar.) The other bags are for my soap club "guinea pigs." They get free soap and I get feedback. And, I don't have 116 bars of soap laying around my house. (Plus the stuff on the racks. And the stuff in my head... This is so addicting!!)

I went shopping today and picked up some tools to use for the July soap challenge. My new mold will be broken in on Sunday. Man, I'm tired.
 
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