RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: May 2012

Piña Colada Rainbow Soap

20120527-142117.jpg

Here they are! The guest rounds are the party favors that I completed and shipped, while the ballerinas are a one-time production for the birthday girl. There are little details that bother me about the soaps, like this embed seems to have softer edges inside the soap, etc, but they definitely turned out pretty. Larry commented during the creation and set up periods about the house smelling like a tropical bar. What a fun air freshener scent for your house! I was admittedly tickled with the frequent remark. I find embeds to be a very fun challenge and look forward to more experimentation soon.

Quarterly taxes

I’ve spent a few hours during the past week getting my quarterly tax paperwork ready and updating my – wait for it – spreadsheets (*grin* you knew it was coming, right?). As I was creating a new spreadsheets to track different sale locations, since they have different percentages of tax due, and figuring up the amount I owe for each, then tracking if I paid (I figure it’s a great reminder to not be late lol), I was sectioning out each quarter to make it easier come tax time. Um, no wonder our government is messed up. They can’t even count to three correctly. *impish smile* I had to redo my third quarter line a few times until I was sure that I had it correct. There are four months in that round, whereas April and May are the only ones in their quarter. No wonder I started second guessing myself that I needed to get my final tallies done this week! Lol. Some days I wonder if I should go back to doing this strictly for fun and not for profit. It really isn’t so bad as I get used to things, but little things like this certainly throw me off for a bit. *grin*

One nice thing to this is that my citywide garage sales will be the start of a new quarter. For some reason it feels like a great way to start a new period. I just hope that it goes better than last year. Thankfully this year I’m on the town map (don’t know why it’s called a citywide when we’re definitely far from being a city *sassy smirk*) and coupled with my tables being on Main Street I think I have a decent chance at some sales. Plus I’m going to have a much better table layout and some event sales experience. Larry just finished assembling my organizer (technically a shoe organizer, but I think it’ll be perfect for neatly separating soaps and lotions without being so overwhelming) and I’m really excited about it. I can even put the cash box behind the organizer, so customers won’t see it and I’m not bending down to do change under the table. I don’t know if either helper will make it, but I refuse to worry about it. *smile* That epiphany from awhile back is still working wonders, so I’m staying pretty calm about the event. I have almost all of my rolling tote packed, paperwork printed, and little things gathered. I need to finish getting the signs looking neat (one thing I’m going to stay super professional about) and hopefully make a few last product examples, like the latest version of goat’s milk lotion. I even got a wood apple bushel basket which I think will be adorable for holding bath items! I have a bag of crinkles from when I stocked up that I’m going to put in the bottom with a pretty cloth to cover it. Perfect! I’m so happy with everything!

I also got all of the party favors made and shipped, as well as a few gifts for the birthday girl. I may not have made everything that I had planned, but I’m very happy with being in such a good place. I hope that this contentment may touch you, as well, and that you have a beautiful holiday.

Computer Guru

Okay, I’m not really a computer guru, but I really felt like one today. I updated my website and then did some awesome stuff on my gaming community (I know, not business, but it supports how awesome I feel about my new mad skills lol). I am still a bit giddy and a little loopy on medicine, so I’m hitting the blog to share the happy spirit.

Anyway, I added a few pages to my website. I got the gift certificate information entered, then decided it’d probably be more cohesive if payments had their own page, so a new page was built and data moved/redone. I bet you guessed – the nerd in me was in 7th heaven playing in picky details land. *cheeky grin* I am debating removing the collection agency and bounced check info from my home page and sticking to just the payments page.

I finally checked off a multi-step item from my website to-do list too!! I made an ingredients page and entered all of the ingredient information for my product ingredients. I’m sure I missed a few items and put a caveat that it’s not all inclusive, but I’m pretty proud of tackling so much data. According to a document I got I don’t have to label ingredients on the products themselves because this is a hobby instead of a true business. I’ve always intended to have this page for reference for customers though, just because it’s the right thing. I’m so proud that I got so much done today!

I also had a lightbulb moment and created/printed little slips for addresses and names for credit card customers that don’t want their receipt emailed or texted when purchasing in person. I was thinking about the citywide and had the image of an elderly person being a little unhappy with my app because they don’t do techie stuff. I even found my old Avon briefcase bag and put all of the papers for the citywide, including the new wonderful gift certificates and above mentioned slips. I was pretty stoked that I had the stroke of genius and used the expensive Avon rep bag. Lol.

To top it all off I started experimenting with some tools I haven’t messed with before and created a guest book for the site. I called the page “Customer Feedback” and hope that customers feel comfortable posting some testimonials and site feedback on it. If there are complaints or questions I will reply directly on there and try not to shrink away from things. Thankfully I’ve never had much of a problem with that, but I’m preparing myself in case it happens. I know that I utilize the customer reviews on my wholesaler’s site constantly and want to provide that ability for my own customers. Maybe some comments over which version of lotion people like, their experience with scents, etc., will make it a little easier for others to decide. There are so many options that it’s hard to know what to try and I want to provide a little help for those that are interested, but don’t really want to contact me about it. (I don’t care for sales routines either, and although I try to be as helpful as possible, and not pushy, I know that people aren’t always in the mood for one-on-one service.)

Anyway, I’m seriously happy that I got so much done and only made a small mistake. I forgot to look at the site on my nook or iPhone to check that text boxes weren’t overlapping. I need to adjust a couple of boxes on two pages that I updated, but otherwise I’m one satisfied nerd. *cheesy grin* I hope you have a great week and that I have some additional “booyah” posts this week to share!

Cute as a button

20120520-165926.jpg

I found a template to customize and made a gift certificate that would fit my needs. I think these are cute for a gift certificate, yet concise enough to be something I’d use. Lol. Meat and potatoes, forget the fancy salad. *grin* Now I can check two items off of that to-do list 😉

A long few weeks

It’s been awhile, but I’m finally doing a little better and able to get around again. Last night I made and attached price tags for the newer products, inventoried the products, and packed my rolling tote for the citywide. I figured that I ought to start preparing in case my health slips again 🙂

I always used to look at my shelves and think of all the things that I haven’t done yet. While packing my tote I realized how much I have made and was really proud. Whenever I needed to fix a price tag I took the opportunity to stop and smell the goodies too. *grin* I’ve decided that I really can’t say what my favorite scent is, because almost all are totally awesome to me. I hadn’t made any A Kiss in the Woods in awhile and had forgotten how it smelled, so that was really neat to revisit.

I’m hoping that things go well during the citywide sale. I haven’t decided if I’ll be able to do Friday in addition to Saturday, but I’d like to try. Ash will be here to help, excited to help take payments, and I think it’ll be a great experience for her to learn the customer service side of business. Having company will be really nice too.

In the meantime I hope to fill a couple of orders today and continue to get things together. I have an update for my website that I forgot to do when I finally updated a few days back, so that’s high up on my to do list. Lol. Slow and steady wins the race. That’s my motto now. 😉 I hope you have a wonderful week!!

Late night ponderings

As I laid in bed trying to sleep I had a pretty awesome revelation. I’m too serious for my own good. Lol. I’ve always been more inclined to be intense and thoughtful (as if that’s surprising considering how many rounds of pondering I’ve posted here lol), but I seriously need to relax and enjoy the moment.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to try to have products on hand, to keep learning everything that can help others, and do whatever is on my lists. I seem to have forgotten, along the way, that this isn’t what I live on. My business is something to keep me from going bonkers and feeling trapped by my disability, not to make my living. Buh me! I lost sight of the fact that I love learning and making my fun projects, planning, yes – my lists and spreadsheets *grin*, and the delight of the amazing scents that come like Christmas gifts.

A very wise friend that knows me all too well and has for most of my life wrote a text some time back that has always stuck in my mind. I tend to get hurt when others don’t feel the same about something I am passionate about. That was a hard reality to admit to and I realize why it is so true. I am so serious about whatever passion I get wrapped up in that it becomes part of my identity. When someone else doesn’t feel the same it’s more like saying that I gained a few pounds or laughed at my cane. *shaking head* I seriously wish I’d had this realization some time ago. Lol. If I just enjoy the fact that I have the ability to do something that I love and concentrate on my illness, then it doesn’t matter what happens or what others think.

Plus, I don’t need to push so much to handle this as a real business. The same wise friend wrote just the other day that people don’t expect me to be like Bath & Body. They don’t expect things to be the same and don’t expect to get the product when they order it. In the few days since that has bounced around in my mind and took a huge weight off of my shoulders. I fought so hard to prove myself as a medical billing consultant, proving that I may be young but that I really know my stuff, and proving to doctors that I could make their business earn more money. Unconsciously I transferred a lot of that need to prove myself to this business and stacking myself up against Bath & Body. My stuff is different and doesn’t need to be compared to others.

My items are all made for people to enjoy. Every ingredient thought over for quite some time, done carefully and passionately with a hope to help others in some way, and handmade. That sure beats a machine that fills a bottle and a sales person that is impartial about the items on their shelves. Each item is like a poem – crafted with a love for each word, finding beauty in the flow, and images that the words creates. It is my passion and I can seriously love each thing that I do, but I don’t need to take the business aspect so seriously.

It’s such a relief to have shifted my point of view. *big smile* It’s an odd stream of thoughts, but really a concept that I’ve needed to apply to life for quite some time. I need to take care of my family, go to the doctors, take my medicines…I don’t need to schedule tasks to be done at a certain time or certain day, and definitely don’t need to feel like I’m letting people down when I can’t do things. I’m very open about being sick and think that those that are upset by my limitations are out of my life now anyways, so that only the awesome people that understand me are still surrounding me. It’s hard to let down those that care about you, not your business or hobby.

*big cheesy grin* So, the list changes a bit. It’s filled with things I am excited to make, things to learn about and keep me happy, while hopefully helping others, which makes me even happier, and so a circle of happiness should take the place of the horrid disappointment that I’ve had with myself. What an awesome way to start a new day.

For now I’m going to settle in with a fun paranormal romp and heating pad until I can sleep. I think it’ll be some sound sleep when I get there 🙂 I wish the same peace and happiness for you.

Mechanic Soap V2

20120502-021231.jpg

Any opinions on which shape/size is preferable? The guest rounds are handy and fairly cheap, since they’re smaller, but I personally like a big bar when I use a “purpose” soap to accomplish something other than pampering. Any opinions? 🙂 Thank you in advance for any comments!

%d bloggers like this: