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!

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