Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Winner of the Giveaway Is...

Yesterday I announced a giveaway of 3 hand crafted, natural soaps to one lucky winner after I reached 22 new subscribers to my monthly e-mail newsletter. I'm surprised and excited that I reached that goal in under 24 hours! Thank you all so much for your support! I used a random number generator to determine the winner, which turned out to be lucky number 22.

Jody Young, congratulations! You're the winner!

If you haven't signed up for my monthly newsletter yet, there's still time to be included in my upcoming Spring Scents launch, a new look for Emily's Handmade Soaps, newsletter exclusive coupon codes, and more!

Emily's Handmade Soaps Monthly Newsletter Signup

* indicates required
Email Format

Monday, January 25, 2016


Giveaway time! There are some exciting new developments here at Emily's Handmade Soaps over the next few months, and I love to share them with you through my monthly newsletter. I have a goal in mind, and once I get 22 new e-mail newsletter subscribers, I'm giving away 3 soaps of the winner's choice! Winner will be chosen randomly from the new subscribers using a random number generator. Good luck!

Giveaway time!

Subscribe to Emily's Handmade Soaps monthly newsletter!

* indicates required
Email Format

P.S. I never share your e-mail, and I e-mail once monthly. I hate spam as much as you do!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pics From the Drying Rack, Part 3

Now that the holidays are over, it's time to get back to work making soap! Here's a peek at some of the classic favorites and new scents that I have on my drying rack right now.

Classic Favorites

Lemongrass Litsea

Peppermint Spearmint
This popular scent will be coming back to my Etsy site in early February.

Apple Rose
This one will also be coming back to my Etsy site in early February.

Espresso Coffee

Energy Soap

Just for Testing

This is a facial soap that I made using argan oil and fresh avocado (using Kenna from Modern Soapmaking's recipe). This one won't be available for sale, but I'm diligently formulating and testing my own facial soap recipes for sale at a future date.

Coming Soon...Stay Tuned for an Announcement on my Spring Scent Line!

I'll keep you guessing on the scents for now. ;-)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Samples and the Slow Season

This mold is just so darn adorable, it
fits into the palm of my hand!
The spring and summer months bring farmers market season, and shortly thereafter the holiday markets start filling up my calendar. After the holidays however, there are a few months that are very quiet for me in terms of craft fairs and other markets. That's why January through April are great months for building up my soapy inventory and trying some new scents and designs!

I found this year that offering low-cost soap samples on my Etsy site this year was a really popular way for customers to be able to experience my soaps at minimal cost. When I'm at my local farmers market or at other craft fairs, I love it when customers come to my booth and want to smell each soap. I always encourage it, and suggest smelling them again so that they can pick out a favorite scent! Unfortunately, scent does not translate well into the world of online sales, thus the samples.
Here's my sample bar mold inside of my 
usual 20-bar mold. It's so tiny!

Recently I received a huge order from my favorite supplier (which to a soap maker, feels like Christmas!), and part of it was a teeny tiny mold specifically for making sample bars. Until now I've been offering samples when I have extras (usually cut from the ends of the soap that I trim off as I'm cutting the individual bars). Now I'll be able to increase my recipe size slightly and generate more samples of each batch! I'm so excited to soon be able to offer samples of all of my soaps instead of just a few varieties at a time. The mold is full of Honeysuckle soap, which will be hitting my Etsy site in about 6 weeks. Aside from keeping up my regular line of soaps, I also plan on offering several floral scents during the spring months.

What's your favorite springtime scent? Answer in the comments below!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Look Back and a Look Ahead

This past year was my first full year in business, and far more successful than I had dreamed it would be! I learned so much about myself and my business along the way, and have a clear vision about where I want to go from here. Some of the highlights of 2015:

  • My sales were 19 times what they were last year! Okay, I only started selling at the end of October, 2014, so we're not comparing apples to apples here. If I compare my year-end totals between last year and this year, I still grossed 6 times as much in the same time frame. I call that a success!
  • Emily's Handmade Soaps was featured in South Sound Magazine's October/November edition. I don't care what the circumstances are, seeing a three page magazine spread of you working on your passion project would make anyone weak in the knees!
  • I did my first full season at the Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market. What a fun way to connect with my local community! The last market that I attended seriously felt like I was saying goodbye to my summer friends on the last day of summer camp. I'm hoping that some of my favorite vendor buddies will be there again this coming summer! 
  • Additives were the name of the game in my soapy experiments. I like to think of it as soap with a little something special in it. Along the way I made soap out of beer, rose water, coffee, bourbon, handmade almond milk, and recently, fresh pureed avocado!

I'm not a big fan of resolutions. It feels superficial to me to wait until a certain day of the year to set a goal to work toward (and let's face it, resolutions never seem to turn into anything meaningful). If resolutions have done something powerful for you in your life, hats off to you. Since the fiscal year for my business also happens to be the calendar year however, a little bit of goal setting at the beginning of January seemed appropriate. Looking forward into 2016, I have several goals for Emily's Handmade Soaps:

  • I'm working with a graphic designer to redesign my logo, and develop a more consistent brand message across social media platforms. Be on the lookout for an updated look from my products and my website!
  • I'm already planning on participating in some great events around the Puget Sound area. Stay tuned on my Upcoming Events page for up-to-date information on the events where I will be vending. Of course, you're always welcome to shop online on my Etsy site if you prefer.
  • Later in the year, I have the lofty goal of a website overhaul that will make online purchasing easier, and will point viewers toward my products rather than my blog. Don't worry! The blog will still be a part of the website, but won't be the main landing page. 
  • More soapy experiments are definitely in my future as well. I have some natural exfoliants to play with, some (not vegan, but cruelty free) tussah silk, coconut milk, and some other additives that I'm absolutely dying to make soap with. I'll be sure to share my exploits here!

What are your personal and creative goals for 2016? Answer in the comments below!