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So, I walked into the Lush store in Milton Keynes, UK. . . .

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amd

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True story. I live in a rural area (I live 30 miles from work in a town of approx. 80 people. The town I work in is population 26k.) so the nearest LUSH store is 4 hours away in the Mall of America. The bf spotted it and sent me a pic with the caption... "they want $15-20 PER BAR!!! You could be a millionaire!" and then he bought me some coffee oil (not from LUSH, to clarify the purchase). [side note: I might just keep him.]
 

snappyllama

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I really like some of their scents when friends gave me some a long time ago (Karma and Avobath), but my nose shuts down anytime I get within two shops of them. Their branding is nice. The people working there seem friendly and eager to help, but it's all too overwhelming to go in. The mall near me is swarming with shrieking and spritzing preteens...

Good luck to them. I like the stuff I make better. :)
 

not_ally

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Kitterz, your post is a good example of why brevity is the soul of wit (and why I have a problem with wittiness :)

Amd, you must live in a surreal place, I cannot imagine going from a town of 80 and then visiting the Mall of the Americas. I live in *LA* so am used to lots of people around and still hate going to smaller malls than that one, too many smells, sounds, people, I just feel trapped (although I like the food courts :)

$15-$20 a bar is a *lot*. When I had tons of money I remember spending $16.00 on one at Fred Segal, a local ritzy shop, but it was huge. And I never did again ....
 

shunt2011

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I've been in Lush once. Couldn't stand all the scents, they were so strong, and wasn't impressed with how most the products looked. I left. However, I do hate to shop in any mall of any sort.
 

Susie

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I can't even breathe when I walk by Kirkland's here in our tiny mall(way on the other side of the hallway). I can't imagine even going into such a store.
 

DeeAnna

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Closest Lush store to me is the one in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota -- about 4 hours away. The one time I was there some years ago, I found the MoM overwhelming -- too much stuff, too many people! And from what you guys say about Lush, it sounds like I'm really not missing anything by not having it on my bucket list. :)
 

JayJay

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I used to love Lush products. They introduced me to my first shampoo bar. I totally bought into the handmade marketing. The company seemed so different from anything I has seen before. ( This was ten years ago.) I loved how my hair felt when I used the products. Unfortunately, the shampoo bars contain sulfates, so I switched to a different hair care line.

Now that I make soap, I am tempted to revisit their store and look at the ingredient list of their soaps... Just for fun. I have watched you tube videos of them making their products (again before I started making soap) and I remember them putting real juice and fruit into their soaps. I thought it was cool. In a way I'm glad that they have become popular because it is still an alternative to Dial and Dove and Bath and Body Works. Variety is good. I feel like they may be paving the way for handcrafted soap to enter the mainstream. I could be wrong.

Are you missing anything by not going to lush? No way! Anything they can do, you can do better, and to your own specifications. Even though I have tons to learn, I would happily use my soap over Lush any day. In fact we have an old bar of Lush at the house. I keep intending to use it beut I always grab my own soap instead.
 

OliveOil2

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I am always surprised that the general public buys into the homemade image, how many stores in how many countries? They have brilliant marketing, and have targeted their market very well. I cringe when I look at their ingredients list, but I am sure that people that don't make soap or B&B products don't see anything but the essential oils listed.
The only store I have been in was smaller than my closet, I was surprised because I don't think they could have more than 7 or 8 people fit at one time including the sales staff. I expected something totally different, and if was really interesting to me just from a marketing point, once was more than enough though.
 

JayJay

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OliveOil2;537771[B said:
]I am always surprised that the general public buys into the homemade image[/B], how many stores in how many countries? They have brilliant marketing, and have targeted their market very well. I cringe when I look at their ingredients list, but I am sure that people that don't make soap or B&B products don't see anything but the essential oils listed.
The only store I have been in was smaller than my closet, I was surprised because I don't think they could have more than 7 or 8 people fit at one time including the sales staff. I expected something totally different, and if was really interesting to me just from a marketing point, once was more than enough though.
Right? I can't explain how I believed it other than the fact that I didnt think too much about it. It wasn't important enough to me at the time to investigate. I assumed that the store employees were whipping it up I the mornings like at the bakery or the donut shop. Ha! Having no clue about the actual soap making process or what soap even is, makes people susceptible to the marketing. Well this is the excuse that I am giving myself for being so gullible. Later on I learned about their manufacturing in small batches I their factory and I still felt like that was more hand made than what I imagine the Dial plant to look like. I really think marketing of all sorts works best on people who don't think things through for whatever reason.
 

Dahila

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I went there twice and left quickly, too much of everything. not for me. I know they want to keep the look of home made, but everything I make at home; food,crafts, soaps, lotions is neat, and packed. I had seen people touching everything , eating fries and touching the products; gross
I will not spend there even one dollar
 

spenny92

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I worked for LUSH a couple of years ago, and almost every customer would ask me how on earth did I bear the smell for 8+ hours a day. In truth, I actually really liked it - or maybe I just got used to it. I did morph into a total LUSH junkie over that period, I think I owned 1 or more of every single item they stock (50% discount was a great bonus), and I would tell anyone and everyone how marvelous everything they made was. It's difficult to describe, but they almost make you feel a little bit brainwashed and everyone I know who has worked there is the same, or still is. If someone mentioned a shampoo in general to me, I would harp on about how LUSH is so much better, how good certain ingredients are, etc. They make you really think and believe that nothing is as good as LUSH products. Now that I make products myself, I kind-of cringe looking at their ingredients. It's not as natural as they make you think, but their marketing is exceptional.

EDIT: There are a few products which I do still love, but a lot of it is overpriced for what it is. Especially here in NZ! I had been buying bath melts from LUSH for around $8 NZD a pop, then learned that I could make my own (and even better) for about 50 cents. I do especially love their perfumes, though - Breath of God is my go-to scent. Mmmm.
 
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not_ally

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Spenny, have you tried any of the Lush FO dupes in your soap/body products, and if so, what do you think w/r/t matching and sticking? You are a pretty good tester in that respect :)
 

green soap

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Any approach to one of these stores feels like an olphactory attack to me, and not in a good way. I cannot go into one (a few seconds while holding my nose??), The thing that boggles my mind, is that people believe they are 'natural' with this type of smells? it makes you wonder about the perceptions behind the word 'natural' doesn't?
 

TVivian

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JayJay, I think you have a point about LU$H helping Handmade soap seem cool. I've had many, many people get so excited that they can buy "handmade soaps like the ones at LUSH from me for so much less!" I cringe.. I want to school them all about detergents, sulfates, hidden preservatives M&P vs CP .. But I don't. I just take the money.

Well sometimes I school people. Sometimes.
 

JayJay

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JayJay, I think you have a point about LU$H helping Handmade soap seem cool. I've had many, many people get so excited that they can buy "handmade soaps like the ones at LUSH from me for so much less!" I cringe.. I want to school them all about detergents, sulfates, hidden preservatives M&P vs CP .. But I don't. I just take the money.

Well sometimes I school people. Sometimes.
LOL I totally understand. I would probably do the same thing if I sold my soap. :smile:
 

spenny92

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Spenny, have you tried any of the Lush FO dupes in your soap/body products, and if so, what do you think w/r/t matching and sticking? You are a pretty good tester in that respect :)
Not yet, but they're on my to-try list! I'm having a hard time finding any with reasonable shipping costs to NZ. There's a place in Australia that has them, but the shipping is a little out of budget at the moment. However, it's my birthday tomorrow so I might just treat myself! :p I'll be sure to post some updates if/when I use them.
 

not_ally

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JJ and Viv, I agree w/you about the fact that even if I will never buy a Lush product myself, I like that they have expanded the market for handmade soap (including, and especially, the kind that is better than theirs!) As far as I am concerned, that just makes more people want them, and suppliers more willing to supply the ingredients at an acceptable price, so it is kind of win/win for me. Even for smaller scale sellers in some ways, as Viv pointed out.
 

doriettefarm

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JayJay - I can totally relate to your Lush story because the shampoo bars and bath bombs are what got me hooked initially. Back in '99 I was sent on a 6 week assignment for work in Sydney, AUS. I was wandering around the QVB one weekend and was overwhelmed by a cacophony of scents which grew stronger as I approached the Lush store. I had never seen or smelled anything like it before so of course had to investigate.

Once inside I found the wall of bath bombs which was a revelation because there was one in my hotel room and I had no clue what it was! It was just wrapped in clear cellophane and placed on the centerpiece of the dining room table with no label whatsoever. I just knew it smelled nice and was glad to finally figure out it's purpose (it was an All that Jas bomb btw).

I continued to explore the store and the next enticement was the shampoo bars. Also never seen anything like a solid shampoo before so had to have some (Dr Peppermint & Trichomania). Also bought a few soaps because at the time I had no clue they weren't CP soaps . . . just bought into the fresh & handmade aspect like you did.

Once I got back home and couldn't find anything like these Lush products, I started to order stuff from their online store in Canada but shipping was a killer! This addiction was eventually what got me interested in making my own soap . . . and bath bombs, bubble bars, lip balms, etc. I was spending way too much money and I knew I could do it better and cheaper. I wouldn't have it any other way now and it's so satisfying to share my homemade goodies with friends and family especially when they ask for more.
 
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