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Wanting to start making and selling.

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hsteward90

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Okay so one night I had this great idea that since I love bath stuff and candles I could start making them and selling them. What do yall recommend I could start with just to get a hang of things and see if this is going to work out. Also, my boyfriend is supporting me on this but wants to know how Im going to sell them. Im not doing it for the money Im doing it b/c i love candles and bath and body stuff. I know I still need to do some research on fragrances and stuff to use. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. My email is hsteward90@yahoo.com if anyone would prefer emailing me. Thank you. Heather
 

Royal

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Deffo do as much research as possible. Experimenting is good (but can be costly-so beware!)

What I have found in starting my business is: Multiply the amount of work and cost you're anticipating by ten and that's about right.

GOod luck :) and don't forget to have fun!
 

wantosell

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want to sell too.

I am from Canada, and would like to start making and selling too. I have been doing research for the last 2 weeks, and am really confused.

Here are the products I am interested in making:
-baby oil (Do 2 types of oils plus the ess oil blend together, or will it always separate? Shelf life?)
-baby powder(Cornstrarch and other dry ingredients with couple of drops of ess oil. Will this taint the dry ingredients and make them go bad? Shelf life?)
-baby lotion bar (beeswax and a couple of other oils with ess oil. Because the lotion is solid and water free, I shouldn't worry about preservative right? Shelf life is said to be 6mth-1yr...is this true)
-baby bath bags (powdered lavender, chamomile...and baking soda with ess oil. Again, is it safe to add oil to a dry ingredient? Would this shorten shelf life? )

I'm sorry about all the questions, but so many sites with free recipes don't indicate shelf life, and that's soooo important if your selling the products.

If preservative is recommended, which is the safest, most multipurpose, and most effective.
Does anyone know if you need some kind of FDA, or Health agency approval before selling this stuff on ebay and Craft shows? Or, just go right ahead and hope for the best?
 

Soapmaker Man

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I've heard there are a lot of requirements in Canada we don't have in the US. You need to check into that before you start.
 

CPSoaper

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It would be in your best interest to have your lotions tested by a qualified testing lab as well. Also, make sure you have insurance. Better safe than sorry with our litigious society. One lawsuit can ruin you financially. Also, make sure that your renters or homeowners insurance covers customers coming into your home to buy - unless you plan on having a separate space and will not be running a home based business. Running a business from your home can pose some issues that you will need to be aware of and ready to deal with.

Don't expect to make money on this for quite a few years too. It takes time to develop your product, market it and to get a customer base large enough to support your business let alone make money. Lots of people will be willing to test for you - anything for something for free. They will give you great feedback but that does not always equate to great sales. Getting it for free is one thing, having to pay for it, is another.

Bottom line: you'd better know what you are doing and have your ducks in a row before you start to sell. Be prepared to spend lots and lots of $$ before you get to that point too. Good luck and have fun.
 
G

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Well I must say, I can honestly say I have spent over 5,000 alone on experimenting. Testing different oils, experiencing different textures. Sitting the lotions out in the heat and seeing if it seperates afterwards when it cool downs, how it holds up after several months..mold? fungus? differences between perservatives..etc

It takes time, you want to be careful that you dont hurt anyone. I gave products to my family the first two years...

Dont rush selling, just learn as much as you can.
 

wantosell

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want to sell...

Thanks for your input everyone. I have a part-time job in the health care sector, and am too familiar with situations of litigation. I worry about this on a daily basis, which is why I don't think lotion making is for me. There are a couple of my products I am using on my baby, and I'll continue on with that but otherwise It's just too much of a grey area for me to sell it.

I did get in contact with health Canada, and they won't test the products, nor do they know of anyone who can....they just want a list of ingredients, and to make sure that the labelling is done according to Canadian standards.

I am not giving up though...I make crafts as a hobby, so I'll find something
else that I can be as passionate about.
 

CPSoaper

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It is not just lotions that you can be sued over. You can be sued over anything. If a fire starts as a result of your candle, you can be sued. If you make soap or any bath and body product and someone reacts to it, you can be sued. While the person making the claim against you will have to prove that the injury or incident complained of was a result of your faulty product, you will still need to hire counsel to defend you. It can be very costly and can ruin a person financially. This is why you should have insurance regardless of what you make and sell.

There are private labs out there that will test for you but you have to pay for this service. If you google it, you might find some labs. I use to have them bookmarked but recently lost all my bookmarks otherwise I'd post these links. But I have to find them again. Lab testing of your product is not done through the government. You do it yourself, your own peace of mind and to ensure that your product is a quality product that does not have any nasties growing it to cause your customers any harm.

It can also benefit yourself to have others in this industry test your product for you to get an experienced, unbiased opinion of your products. Some boards will have swaps among the board members. These swaps are a great way to have others test out your stuff for you. But, it can also be not so helpful as well as there might be some that might not give you back honest feedback for fear of hurting your feelings. I've seen swaps where a participants product was actually pretty substandard causing a reaction on several participants skin. Yet, these folks were not willing to leave an honest review and said the products were great. This did not help that person in any way. If you don't know your products are not that great, you won't change them.
 
G

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If your already making a few things to use on your own baby you must have some level of confidence in them. As long as you know they are made correctly and if a preservative is needed and your using the appropriate one how about gifts for close friends and family.

Before I started selling, my friends and family received tons of samples and they were all wanted and appreciated as well. They still get samples just because I like to share. And it just tickles me to death that I have learned to to take individucal ingredients, weigh them correctly and in the right amounts together and when they are mixed up I can create a new awesome product! Gets me every time I make a batch of soap, or lotions or an emulsifyed scrub etc.......... Even still after all this time.

And it's also fun searching how to make something new. Seeing different recipes, and learning to adapt them to meet my own needs and what I want to get out of a product. Then formulating my own recipes...... I love that process.......

But many people actually love to get handmade bath and body products as gifts. Or just to try out....... Something new and fun.

LOL Now i even give my kids teachers my handmade products as gifts. Even for valentines day they recieved a beautiful bar of handmade soap wraped in pretty valentine print fabric instead of candy. I know many of them are trying to watch what they eat, and knew they would plenty of that from the others. So I wanted to be different. They all loved it !!!
 

boopie

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Does anyone know if the 'research cost' can be written off your taxes? Just wondering...

Thanks!
 

boopie

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Soapmaker Man said:
Sure, it is a legitimate business expense. :)
I thought so. Another question along the same lines. Say you research for 1-1/2 years, but don't start your business until halfway into the second year of testing. Can those 1-1/2 years of testing be deducted from your taxes for the year you start the business?
 
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