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jenmarie82

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I really need some good tips and advice on how to start a good soap business. I'm a stay at home mom and I want to sell my soap. I have started working on my own website and i'll eventually have all my soap on that.
I make melt and pour soap....does anyone find that people want to buy this type of soap?

How would I spread the word? I need to find discount suppliers for the melt and pours and i want to keep it all natural. That's what i'm priding myself on and trying to distinguish my business as.

I just need some tips and advice on getting going...recipes wouldn't hurt either! Thanks.
 

dagmar88

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hi jenmarie

first of all, your babygirl is just too cute!
to have an succesfull website, make sure:
-your products are of good quality; made with the right ingredients in a professional and hygenic way.
-you're products are something special; a lot of people sell soap in the states, give the costumers a reason why to buy from you.
-you have a good assortiment, when you go to a store, you like to have a choice.
-you're site is easy to be found (sign in to http://www.dmoz.org/ , search engines, startpages, make affilliates, joint Etsy, start a blog or even advertise; it can take about a month before your site is actually seen)
-your site is easy to navigate and looks professional; when your site doesn't look like a pro, costumers will assume you aren't either, and they don't want to spend time on searching.
-be creative!
that's all of course very basic; but i did take the liberty to take a look at your site and read some of your old threats:

i noticed you use melt and pour soap; M&P and soap made from sctratch are different; they both have their own qualities
when i look at your products i feel you don't bring the good out enough, you could do so much creative things with M&P!

-People who think of m&P expect something more like this




-your site looks very nice; but a few points that could be improved

-placing this
]
*Please be careful when choosing soap for infants and young children. Some fragrances may irritate their young skin. It is not advisable to use soap with any type of fragrance on newborns. Please consult your doctor before using if you are pregnant or lactating.**Not for use on babies or young children. Consult your doctor before using if you are pregnant or lactating.
with every soap, does not really make you feel comfortable :wink: like your selling something dangerous.

-you could write next to each soap with what proces it was made, because some of your soaps look a lot like CP soap

-your first page doesnt instantly look like a soap-site; place some nice 'pic's.
-i really wouldn't say your m&p soap is all natural, you could better say contains natural ingredients, even when your supplier says it is 100% natural.
-try to sound nicer on you site the forum, maybe you don't know it, but you sometimes seem a bit hars and not so friendly; people are more willing to put time in answering your questions and buying soap from you, when you seem like a nice person.
-If you want a buisiness, you are the only one who can do it, try to figure out some things on your own, google and the forum do have a search function you know :wink:
(i don't want to sound mean or anything)

helpfull sites:

http://www.teachsoap.com/pricing.html (i personally feel that for what you are offering, your prices are a bit to high, here is a calculator)
http://magicsenses.wordpress.com
http://www.chloeandme.com/
http://soapbusinessguru.com/cb/
 

digit

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Excellent advice dagmar88!!!! Thank you. I have noted it for when my time comes. Sidenote: I went to the Cloe & Me site - :shock: :shock: WOW. That is talent!! Her soaps are art!

I am still in the baby stages of developing a business and all the things that go with it, but here is what I have found so far.

Read, read, read and then read some more. "Search" is a wonderful tool. Take notes. Consider this a job and devote x number of hours a day at it researching at least one aspect. Business forums are great sources also, not just soaping ones.

I routinely visit other soapers' sites and blogs. Particularly those who have been successful. If you are fortunate enough to receive advice from them, note it. Those who are successful must be doing something right! :D

As an internet shopper, I look for certain points before purchasing from any type of site. Things that I will include in mine. Look at places which give advice for safe internet shopping.

Take a hard look at your site and products. This is where getting others to look and be honest is helpful. Think like a customer who does not know you. I look at my products and think of the most critical picky shopper ever and try to see what they see. I saw a question once that really made me think. "Why should I buy your product instead of one that appears to be equal?" That has given me many hours of thought. While your product obviously will not appeal to everone, you want to make it your best in that catagory.

As far as recipes, there are millions out there. First ask, what do you want your soap to do? Besides clean. :lol: Spend time learning about the oils and additives. What do they contribute to the overall recipe?

Also - read, read read, and then read some more. JMHO - the more knowledge you have, the more likely you will be successful or be able to change what did not work for you. Good luck! :D

Digit
 

jenmarie82

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Thanks for the advice. I would love to get more creative with my soaps but it's hard since I don't use any type of dye or artificial ingredients. A lot of the m&p recipes call for artificial colorants.

You mentioned that my site isn't very inviting....is there anything in particular I can change on my home page to make people feel more welcomed...besides more pictures?
 

dagmar88

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thank you Digit! (i'm also in the baby stages, but also busy looking up information, the best and cheapest suppliers, creating recepe's and creating orderlists for MONTHS; sometimes it makes you tired, before you even started haha)

hey jenmarie,

maybe you could play around a bit with natural colours?
for example, you could use alkanet rood powder-purple
anatto seed- orange
spirulina powder (or kelp, or ground up nori leaves- green
paprika powder-red
curry powder-yellow
medicinal charcoal (black)
different colours of clay
food coloring
(indigo, henna, dried spinage)
and you could use tons of essential oils and different soapmold, just to keep it interesting

or give people a choice, it would broaden what you have to offer enormously (and i bet you would enjoy making it to!)
Maybe you should try making CP soap? works really well with natural coloring and is more natural than M&P.

give people a warm welcome, tell them who you are (a stay at home mum with a beautiful baby girl :wink: ) how you make your soap, why, what is your philosophy about it, why is it so much better than store bought soap, show them you are driven, you have knowledge, and you care about you product. Win your customer's heart!

all beginning is hard, i wish you well!
dagmar
 

jenmarie82

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Thank you....
I just posted a new thread about colorants. You mentioned food colorings...are you talking about natural coloring or artificial? I am confused between the two. The food coloring you can buy in the grocery store, is that totally artificial and can you even use it in soap?

And where would you find things like spirulina and anatto seed? I use cinnamon, cocoa powder, tumeric, paprika but it really doesn't give the color I want plus you can always see specks left in the soap. It's not a "true" color. I've looked at a lot of M&P soaps and they are very bright and colorful. I want to make mine like that but try to keep it as close to all natural as possible.
 

dagmar88

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hi jenmarie,
i'm not at all familliar with m&p soap;
what i do know, is that it's impossible to make such bright colors without normal coloring.
don't focus so much on having everything natural, soap is never totally natural, or you should make it from sctratch with oils and woodashes :)
focus on your buisiness, it needs a wide veriety of products!
and wouldn't it be fun making such creative things?
myself, i do different cathegory's, so that people have a choice. Most buyers aren't really interested in plain soap, they want the most beautiful color and they want the most delecious scents!
 

jenmarie82

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Do you have a website? What type of coloring do you use?
Is it safe to use the food coloring that you can get in the store?
 

Martin

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Yes you can use food coloring in M&P. But it will bleed. If you check the suppliers list some of them sell colors that won't bleed in M&P. HTH.

Sonja
 

jenmarie82

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by bleeding do you mean coming off onto your skin or just bleeding into other colors in the soap?
 
G

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soap biz

JenMarie,

My business is built on MP soaps and my clients like it, because they can order a special scent blend from me and have it delivered a few days later.
But I use a particular type of base that is vegetable based..and is as free of preservatives as possible. I ensure that any additives I use are also as natural as possible.

I chose MP because I suck at CP, though I am getting better at it. It's part of the learning process and the journey I am on in building a better business.

I also have a large number of corporate clients who ask for soaps as convention and conference favors - a little something different from notepads and mugs.

And at Christmas, I do a brisk gift basket - corporate and noncommerical -business.

So there is a place for MP in the soap world, I've found.

Forging good business relationships and networking is really important. as anyone on this forum will tell you.

Take a look at my blog (www.blackberrymom.blogspot.com)...which is my take on building a business and the lessons learned as I embark on my journey as a woman business owner. You may find a few useful nuggests in there.

Good luck.
 

digit

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Re: soap biz

oceanmember said:
Take a look at my blog (www.blackberrymom.blogspot.com)...which is my take on building a business and the lessons learned as I embark on my journey as a woman business owner. You may find a few useful nuggests in there.
Good luck.
This is an excellent blog! Very informative and great info to get you thinking.

Don't forget.........Google (or any search engine) is your friend. I found so much useful info while looking for other answers!!

Digit
 

Harlow

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Quote:
*Please be careful when choosing soap for infants and young children. Some fragrances may irritate their young skin. It is not advisable to use soap with any type of fragrance on newborns. Please consult your doctor before using if you are pregnant or lactating.**Not for use on babies or young children. Consult your doctor before using if you are pregnant or lactating.


with every soap, does not really make you feel comfortable like your selling something dangerous.
I applaud Jen for adding this info to here website. I think it was noble. Jen did have baby soap on her website that contained fragrance oil so arming her customers with the extra knowledge/education was appropriate.
 

jenmarie82

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Thank You,
However I did remove it from beneath every soap and I'll just leave it at the top of each page.
 

digit

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Re: soap biz

oceanmember said:
thanks so much!!
No...I owe you a thank you, Oceanmember. I feel your blog is a real, no punches pulled, wealth of info. I appreciate you sharing your experiences with the mentors. It was a wake up call of sorts and gave me so much to think about!!!!! I have taken notes.

The episodes involving customer service were outstanding. It follows my own feelings where CS is concerned and I agree that it is not common today across the board. The most successful people in any business have excellent customer service. I will go out of my way and pay a little more to patronize a shop that gives customer service. If I feel good being there and the products are good, I am more likely to purchase more. Then tell everyone I know about it. Word of mouth is the best advertisement.

I do not say these things just to be nice. And you certainly do not strike me as one who accepts false words. I say it because it is true. You have helped me to grow through your experiences. Like the old saying goes, you never know who is watching and how much your actions influence others. :D

Digit
 
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