Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year 2014!

Hard to believe a new year is about to begin once again.  When I think back over this year, after having been away for two years, I am pleased with the direction my little soap business, on the side, is headed.  I have gained many new local customers, and online customers this past year, not to mention a very busy Holiday season.  The new soap designs are being thought out and executed in a manner that makes them eye catching and fun, but yet they are still functional and useful.  There has been a considerable amount of time and thought put into the packaging and presentation.  While some are great for local sales, they are not so great for shipping and still need more work, while others I am very happy with.

Strawberry Daiquiri Soap Cake Slice
One of my newest creations heading into 2014, Strawberry Daiquiri Soap Cake Slices.  Soap Cake Slices and Soap Cupcakes were extremely popular this past Christmas as they are unique and fun yet functional.  Many customers mentioned they would be delighted to be the recipient of one of these beauties, which is why they bought them for gifts.  These beautiful soap cake slices are perfect for Valentine's Day, and will be ready to ship out on January 15, 2014.  They are currently listed in our online shop on a Pre-Order basis, and will ship out and arrive to your domestic location in time for Valentine's Day.

Going forward into the new year I have many new designs, new fragrances, and packaging enhancements for many of these new soaps.  Additionally, I have companion products that will be making their debut this next year.  Keep watch both here and on our Facebook page, which is where I tend to post a bit more frequently.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Mini Rainbow Soap Cupcakes
Custom Order
I took a much needed vacation from the bubble fun and just wanted to stop in and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  Between craft fairs, online sales, and custom orders I have been kept quite busy this holiday season.  In fact, I even sold all of the Valentine's Day soaps that I had already made in anticipation of listing in our online shop in early January.  Good thing I have some time off from my full-time job and starting tomorrow I will be busy making new products for 2014.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kitchen Soap ~ A Multi Purpose Soap

Kitchen Soap
Kitchen Soap...but don't be fooled by its name! Fully loaded, high octane coffee brewed extra strong, and fresh (unbrewed) coffee grounds have been added to this soap formula...with just a hint of orange. Coffee helps to neutralize the onion, garlic and fish odors left on your hands from cooking. If you spend a lot of time gardening, this also works well to scrub off the dirt and grime...without drying out your hands. My most regular customer is a mechanic who uses this religiously and tells me it works better than anything else he's ever used...and not as drying on his skin.

This soap is made with Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Sweet Orange Essential Oil.. The color of this soap is achieved by the coffee.

The formula for this soap has not changed over the years. The size, shape, and packaging has changed over the years, we are proud that this soap was featured in the Storque Article ~ "Featured Buyer: VeganYumYum Shares Her (Delicious!) Kitchen Know-How" on November 5, 2008.

Right now Kitchen Soap, along with everything in our online shop, is on sale at 20% off the regular price AND when you purchase $30 or more you can have your domestic orders shipped for FREE using coupon code CYBWEEK13 at check out.   And, we are also running a Cyber Week Bonus Promotion!

Cupcake Soaps

Maple Soap Cupcake
At a recent craft fair the lady across from me saw my cupcake soaps and immediately thought "oh boy, I am in trouble" (thinking they were food).  When she discovered they were soap she breathed a sigh of relief.  Within less than an hour I sold out of two scents and shortly after ran out of a third.

The one thing that drew folks in was the unique design and the packaging.  The packaging is amazing, but sadly not conducive to shipping, which is unfortunate.  Thankfully I figured this out before I shipped any of the soap cupcakes.  Although,  I MUST figure out a way to keep the heavy soap cupcakes from going airborne and damaged in shipment with these clear plastic boxes, which I adore!  Until then, online purchases will be wrapped in cello bags and a final wrapping of bubble wrap just before shipping to protect them.

While most didn't think they would ever use something so pretty, the soap cupcake definitely fit their budget and provided an option for those "hard to buy for" recipients.  I had a couple people mention the intended recipient was either a baker, or a cupcake lover.

My Display at a recent Craft Fair
By the way, I have my wonderfully creative husband to thank for the amazing display panels.  Actually, the idea was mine from seeing a similar idea online.  He, however, was the muscle and brawn behind bringing the idea to life.  I also have them set up in my dining room to entertain local shoppers that stop in by appointment.

These amazing soap cupcakes are on sale at 20% off regular price, and when you purchase $30 or more from our shop you can receive FREE Domestic shipping by simply using coupon code: CYBWEEK13 at check out.   And, we are also running a Cyber Week Bonus Promotion!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Themed Soaps

Christmas Berries Soap
We have been busy for months creating soap with a Christmas theme and have even created some custom scent blends for Christmas 2013.
Christmas Berries is a custom scent blend we have created with Cedarwood Essential Oil mixed with Red Currant and Cranberry Fragrance oils.  This particular scent was created for Christmas, but is great for year round use, well after the presents are unwrapped and the tree is put away.
Cowboy Christmas

The design for Cowboy Christmas happened by "accident" when it was hot outside and the glycerin "rivers" were created during soap making process,  lending a leather appearance to the soap to match the fresh denim fragrance used. The end result was better than I ever imagined, and I was greatly delighted, to say the least.  I had these cute little cowboy boot charms leftover from my younger daughter's wedding that are attached to the packaging to round out the final presentation.   After all, a cowboy rides his horse hard all year long and after all that riding is in need of a new pair of jeans. All he wants for Christmas is a new pair of jeans because after all, cowboys and jeans go together like boots and spurs. This soap is bursting with a fresh and clean fragrance reminiscent of a new pair of jeans on a crisp sunny morning in the open air.

This is just a couple of the Christmas soaps we have to offer this year, and right now all of our Christmas soaps are marked down 20%!  When you purchase $30 or more, you can have them shipped to domestic locations for FREE using coupon code CYBWEEK13 at check out.   And, we are also running a Cyber Week Bonus Promotion!

Soap made with Local Brew

The Hibernator Beer Soap
In recent weeks, local patrons and online regional shoppers have purchased a lot of these soaps made with local brew from Long Trail Brewing Company.

The Hibernator Soap is made with Hibernator Beer, a seasonal offering at Long Trail.  The label on the bottle displays a winter scene with a cute bear all cozy and covered under a blanket in a chair. He is reading a book and smoking his pipe in front of a roaring fire.  And added in for good measure, above the fireplace are the heads of two hunters mounted.  The humorous aspect and appeal of the label inspired the creativity and smokey scent reminiscent of Santa's Pipe fragrance oil that I selected for this soap.
Made with IPA by Long Trail

The Vermont Beer Artisan Soap is made with IPA (India Pale Ale),  a year round offering at Long Trail.  The label on this particular beer bears an image of the brewery nestled along the river with the green mountains in the background.  The green mountains inspired the creativity of the green lines on the top of the soap and was scented with Pale Ale, which is delicate enough to enhance but not an overpowering scent.

These amazing soaps are now available for purchase at 20% off! AND, when you purchase $30 or more of product, your domestic order will ship to you for FREE. Simply input coupon code CYBWEEK13 upon checkout to receive the free domestic shipping offer.  And, we are also running a Cyber Week Bonus Promotion!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ultimate Body Scrub Gift Set

Scrub Set

This body scrub gift set is the ultimate gift to show someone they are loved and in need of some intense pampering. And it is now available for purchase at 20% off! AND, when you purchase $30 or more of product, your domestic order will ship to you for FREE. Simply input coupon code CYBWEEK13 upon checkout to receive the free domestic shipping offer.  And, we are also running a Cyber Week Bonus Promotion!

Each gift set offers a bucket of solid body polish made with glycerin soap, sugar, and olive oil. Bucket closes to avoid moisture building up on the remaining cubes. To use, simply take one cube into your shower or bath and knead with water in the palm of your hands. Scrub over your skin for exfoliation. Reduce the slippery mess with these solid sugar scrubs compared to the oil based sugar scrubs. Add an extra 6.5 oz. refill bag for an additional $10.00 (select option above) which translates into $8.00 with the cyber week sale 20% discount.

Options Available
For those tired feet we've taken a generous slice of loofah and submerged it in a luxurious helping of 100% Vegan Friendly Glycerin Soap. What can be better than a nice bar of scented soap that will both exfoliate and cleanse those rough, stinky feet?

A free 3-4 oz. bar of soap is included with this gift set to complete the set.

Choose from:
Ladybug Kisses ~ a bit citrusy, a bit bubbly (like Ginger Ale), but not overpowering or super sweet

Peppermint ~ minty fresh

Razz Nilla ~ a nice blend or black raspberries and vanilla

Sea Salt & Lotus ~ a fresh and clean scent

These gift sets are wrapped up and presented in a gift basket complete with hand tied bow.

Cyber Monday 2013

Build Your Own Gift Basket
Cyber Week Extravaganza Sale is happening in our online shop from now through Thursday, December 5.  Everything in our online shop is already marked down at 20% off regular prices, AND when you purchase $30 or more in product you can have it all shipped to you for FREE (domestic orders only)!  In order to receive the FREE domestic shipping promotion, product must total $30 or more (before shipping) and simply input coupon code: CYBWEEK13 upon checkout.   And, we are also running a Cyber Week Bonus Promotion!

Wrapping Options available
This year we are offering the opportunity for shoppers to create a custom/personally selected gift basket.  We have these adorable black and silver gift baskets that will comfortably fit up to four bars of soap. This allows you to have the fun of picking out the bars of soap you want included in your gift basket!  You will also have the fun of picking out which wrapping option you would like for the gift basket and we will take care of the rest!  Please note that we are running extremely low on our organza wrappers and won't be getting any more before Christmas.

Cyber Week Bonus Promotion

If you have been holding off on placing your Christmas order, now is the time to do it! We are offering  20% off everything in our online store, including wedding favors!  When your product total is $30 or more, you qualify for FREE domestic shipping using coupon code: CYBWEEK13 at check out.

Ok, so on to the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT of the day, I mean, WEEK!  One (OR MORE)  lucky shopper (OR SHOPPERS) is (ARE) going to be doing the happy soap dance with me.  Between now and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 5, everyone that places an online order through our shop will have their name put into a drawing, but it doesn't end there!  You can earn extra chances in the drawing to make the prize even bigger!

Want to know what the drawing is for?  I'm going to tell you the rules, first.  :)

1.  To qualify for the drawing you must place an order between now and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 5.  Orders placed through our online shop must be completed transactions (meaning, payment must be received either through Direct Check Out or Pay Pal using a debit/credit card).

2.  If you are not already a fan on our Facebook page, please do so, and then refer your friends to Like our Facebook page and tell them to mention your name in a comment on our fan page.  For every person you refer that Likes our page and tags your name in a comment, you will earn an extra chance in the drawing.

3.  Refer your friends to our shop and if they place an order through our online shop (transaction payment must be received either through Direct Check Out or Pay Pal using debit/credit card to qualify), ask them to put your name in the comments on the order so you can receive TWO additional chances in the drawing.

The more you refer increases your the number of chances you earn, increases the odds of you winning the big prize!

Now on to the prize...for every order placed with a completed payment transaction I will give an extra 10% off the winners order.  So you can see, the more orders that come in could translate into one (OR MORE) lucky shopper (OR SHOPPERS) getting a 100% reimbursement for their entire order!   At 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 5, Cyber Week Bonus Sale will end and all qualifying entries will be entered in the drawing.

I will be popping in and out of Facebook throughout the week to update where we are at with the bonus discount sale.  The Winner (or WINNERS) will be officially announced on Facebook and on this blog on December 6.

Good luck, and Happy Shopping!  :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Calling All Brides!

Soap Cake Slices
Locally this year our best selling scents have been Blueberry, Cranberry, Eucalyptus Mint, and Maple.  Soap Cupcakes and Soap Cake slices have been extremely popular, as well.

Some of our Soap Cake slices were recently included in gift boxes for brides that attended The Wedding Affair in Vermont, sponsored by "Vermont Vows" and "WellWed" magazines.

Mini Soap Cupcakes
Our Cyber Week sale is perfect opportunity for brides to place their orders for wedding favors at a 20% discount AND take advantage of the free domestic shipping option by using coupon code CYBWEEK13 upon check out!  Book your 2014 date early to avoid last minute wedding planning chaos.

We love to customize and personalize our soapy favor creations specific to your needs for your special event at no additional cost to you!  This discount and free shipping offer is typically not available on our wedding favors and will only available this week during our Cyber Week Sale.

Cyber Week 2013 is Here!

It seems like just a few days ago I was planning and creating all the Christmas soapy creations for 2013 and now it is December 1 and Cyber Monday is tomorrow!  YIKES!!!!
New School Cuisine

The time leading up to Christmas seems to have escaped me rapidly as this fall has been a busy one for me, personally.  Over a year ago I was asked to be a participant and contributor of recipes for a cookbook.  As you may or may not know, I am a School Food Service Manager for a K-12 school in rural Vermont.  The cookbook project came about as a partnership between Green Mountain Healthy Kids Challenge, Vermont FEED, School Nutrition Association of Vermont, and the Child Nutrition Team at the Vermont Agency of Education.  Years in the making, when faced with the new USDA meal patterns last school year, it was time to get busy and bring the dream into reality.  Many of the USDA recipes no longer met the new requirement for 50% whole grain rich and/or vegetable subgroup requirements.  What is available in California isn't necessarily available to those of us in rural Vermont.   Using raw ingredients including a lot of local products, fourteen School Food Service professionals (myself included) wrote recipes that were tested on their respective students before submitting them to the project.

I discovered very quickly that my recipes, although easy for me to understand the steps and processes, are not so easily translated to the next person. There is a real art in presenting a standardized recipe to gain uniform results across the board.  Equipment I might have may not be available in smaller schools, and larger schools most likely have more modern equipment to make the cooking process more efficient.  To pull it off, we utilized professional recipe writers for Eating Well magazine, Instructors and students from New England Culinary Institute (NECI), professional food stylists, and nutrition experts.  Each one of us involved donated countless hours to this project above and beyond our normal work load to test, give input, and more.  Thank goodness for those professional recipe writers to pull it all together for us.   In late October I received my copy of the finished cookbook prior to it becoming available publicly.  You can view a digital copy from this page (scroll down to the red box to access).

The very day I received my copy of the cookbook, I also accepted the nomination and was unanimously voted in to serve a two year term on the Executive Board for School Nutrition Association of Vermont.  I have been a member of this association for a number of years, but had no clue the complexities and amount of "behind the scenes" work they accomplish for the benefit of all school food service professionals and children  in our state and nationally.  As a result, needless to say, my time leading up until now has been jam packed with commitments for my full-time job.  :)