Friday, December 4, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap Loves the Supper Swap Girls!

I have so much to write about that I'm sure I won't be able to fit it all in at once, but here goes. Right now I am sitting on the floor of our room at the Grand Vista in Orlando. Despite todays rain, it's been a great vacation spending time with family & friends. I am so happy to have a quick break from the fast pace of life and the Christmas season. I keep reminding myself, "Slow down and take in these moments." I've had a very busy soap run, lately. I am thankful for the business that I really haven't had to work very hard to get. I've been up to my son's school, to my husband's golf club, and filling mail orders in between. I had the most amazing thing happen last week. On my way home from an event I got a voicemail from one of my retailers saying that they had moved my soap to the front of the store and it had flown off the shelf. They needed 120 bars as soon as possible. Then when I got home, I got an email from my banner guy that he needed 200 bars by the end of the week. Now I will admit I was a little worried that I might not be able to fill both orders because I had been so busy with other events going on that I didn't have much stock. I even had my poor husband hobbling around on his ailing ankle making soap for me while I was out selling! Long story short- we managed to pull it off with soap that we had wrapped from the women's show. Thank God something good came of that show! Another very exciting thing that has recently happened was that some very good friends of ours, the Supper Swap Girls, gave us an amazing shout out which can be seen here, . They have a regular segment on the 12 o'clock news on our local channel 7. They spoke so highly of our little soap operation. It's friends like these that help us advance in the indie-business world!
Also, my mom has been out there spreading the word to some local outfitters, so hopefully they will be partaking in spreading some Peace, Love & Soap. Without the love and care of others, we could not thrive as a business or a family. We are Blessed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap is now Certified SC Grown!!

I am so happy to announce that Peace, Love & Soap is now a Certified SC Grown product!! This means that our company has been evaluated and qualified by the State of South Carolina Department of Agriculture to be a partner of the Certified SC program. Since we use many products in our soap that are grown or originated from South Carolina, we qualify. This is very important to many people who believe in buying only local and sustainable food and products. Peace, Love & Soap will now be promoted through SCDA promotional efforts, events, and programs! Thanks to the SCDA and all those Palmettovores out there! We appreciate your business!

Peace Love & Soap is ready for Fall...

After the show I was definitely ready for a mini break from soap. My family had been so helpful and supportive through the planning and execution that I wanted to give them a break too. In Cameron's last week before pre-K we just chilled around the house building tents on the back porch, riding bikes, watching movies and lots of other laid back activities. He started his first soccer league and he absolutely loves it! Mike is helping coach and he loves it, too! He couldn't wait for this moment since he is a devout soccer (football to him) fan. This past week Cameron started school and he is quite content being back with his friends and teachers. He cries when I come to pick him up, which sort of makes me happy because I know that he enjoys being there. Christian and I have also enjoyed having a few hours to ourselves in the morning. He revels in the attention and I revel in giving it to him. He is talking so much and I cannot believe the things he says. He is very kind and loving and I hope he always will be.
Lately I have been canning a bunch of veggies to last us through the winter. I love canning. I really think that its a therapeutic hobby that is so rewarding. It's so cool when you line up all of your jars and know that they are straight from the farm! So far I have canned corn, green beans, marinara, and tons of salsa (it is a family favorite!).
Today, when I get back from my errands I will make some soap. I'm glad that I took a break because now I'm ready to do more. I've been getting lots of internet orders and have decided that I really need a Peace, Love & Soap website. I plan to get that up before Fall is in full force.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Day of Show

My last day at the show was far better than the first two. There was much more business and people to talk to about my products. I was really surprised about how many people had heard of Peace, Love & Soap and had actually used it! My sister Abby went to the market and ran my booth and then came over to help me at the show. It was fun to walk around and see the different booths. I couldn't help but notice how many women were there who had started thier own businesses just like me. It's so great to live in a country where if you have an idea, you have the freedom to do what you want with it- that's big. It's easy to take for granted until you realize that every country is not as free, especially toward women. It really makes you appreciate the men and women who make sacrifices so we don't have to!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap at The Upstate Women's Show

I wanted to post some pics of the show from today and yesterday! It's been a good experience and lots of fun meeting the other exhibitors. The picture below is of Tommy K and Bill S from Vision Printing and Graphics. They did my backdrop and banner and I was so happy with it. Not only did they do an incredible job, but they got them to me in very short notice! Also, I have to give props to Matt Williamson who is so talented with the graphic stuff. He made a really great looking banner out of a few not so great quality pictures that I gave him to work with! Thanks guys!

Below is a picture of myself with Amy Parham. She was a contestant with her husband Phil on the Biggest Loser. At first I was pulling for them because they are from Greenville, but as the show progressed, it was evident what nice people they were and I really wanted them to do well because of thier character, not their zip code. I was really excited to meet Amy and relieved to find that she is as nice in person as she is on tv. I brought her some soap and hope she likes it!

Here is my wonderful family! They have indulged my insanity and nonstop soap talk for the past month (when I signed up for the show). I could not have done it without them and I vow that after tomorrow they will have homecooked meals again!
Next are a couple pictures of my booth. I was very happy with how it came out. My Dad built the wood shelf especially for the show. It is totally collapsable so it will fit in my little car. I love it and it's extra special because I know it was made with love. My Mom and a good friend, Karen, came out to the show today and I was so mad that I forgot to take pictures of them My Mom unknowingly was dressed to match the theme colors of the exhibit hall- purple and white. Some good friends of mine also came out to support me and we got to walk around for a while and look at the other booths. It was fun and it made me feel good to have so many people care! All in all it was a good 2 days. From what I hear, I need to brace myself for tomorrow. It's supposed to be really busy. We shall see!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap Expands its Line!

There have been so many things going on lately that I'm ashamed to say I haven't had time to even write about them. As I write, there is a two year old standing behind me, in my chair, with his little arms wrapped around my neck telling me he wants to eat. I will try to keep this short and sweet for his appetite's sake!
Mast General sales have been really going great! They reordered only two weeks after the first order! I will be there this Sunday from 1-4 to do a sort of meet and greet and answer questions about my products. I'm trying to pull together a soap demo so people can see how the soap is actually made. The Farmer's Market store in Blairsville is also rocking & rolling on the soap sales. My sister delivered their third order this weekend. My wholesale customers are such a pleasure to work with.
August 27-29 Peace, Love & Soap will be at the annual Upstate Women's Show at the Carolina First Expo Center. I am super excited about the show and have been gearing up for it for the last month.
We have also added a few new products to our current selection and so far we've gotten great feedback! We have a Sugar Scrub, Bath Salts, and pure glycerine bar. The Sugar Scrub and Bath Salts are offered in Lavender, Peppermint, Sweat Cream, Paradise & Sweet Pea. The glycerine layered bar is offered in Citrus Basil Peppermint, Citrus Peppermint & Sweet Cream. The Sweet Cream has sold out twice at the market!! I also have some fun items that I will picture below.
We have taken a couple of big steps in ordering a shrink wrapping system and our first 55 gallon drum of oil!! I know, I know, probably sounds silly, but it is a major step for us. We feel that these things are needed to keep up with our orders!! Peace, Love & Soap is growing- What a Blessing.
We are truly a family business. I may make the soap myself, but there is so much more than just that going into it. My husband, sister and even the boys all pitch in whenever they can. I'm so thankful to be surrounded by people who care. My cousin, Jamie, brought her kids over for a visit last week. She and her daughter, Madison, helped make some bath salts and sugar scrubs. Madison joined me for the market and we had the best time selling and talking to customers. She was a great help! Thanks Maddie!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Big News at Peace, Love & Soap!

I am so happy to announce that you can now find Peace, Love & Soap products at the Mast General Store in downtown Greenville, SC. It has been a pleasure working with them on their first order and am proud to have our soaps in the store! So if you live in Greenville, go check it out!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap Featured on Change Starts at Home!

Things have been kind of crazy around here, lately. We just moved into a new house, which was such a Blessing because we were quickly outgrowing the place we were in. Along with most others, I officially hate moving! I know that hate is a very strong word, but I mean every letter of it. However, we are all moved in and it is wonderful! My boys have lots of room to run and play and I have twice the area for my soapmaking. I have been filling soap orders like crazy and the market has been going really well.
My oldest son started t-ball last week and it is so fun watching him play a team sport. Since he was a baby I imagined how cool it would be to go to his games and practices one day, and it is! He made friends with another little boy on the field and I overheard them talking to each other. They were saying how they really wanted to catch a ball and get to throw it in to first base. Finally, a ball came straight to Cameron. He quickly scooped it up in his glove and when he looked down at the ball, he picked it out of his little glove and tossed it to his friend so he could throw it to first. My heart sunk with joy and before I knew it I screamed out, "Way to go, Cameron- that was great, buddy!" His coach, unfortunately did not feel the same. He yelled out to Cameron, "Next time throw it to first base yourself, it took extra time to pass it to someone else and for them to throw it in." He turned to me and said, "Hey Mom, that wasn't something to cheer about," "but it was kind" I fired back. See I think the coach was wrong. Empathy and compassion for others is something to cheer about. My child showed good character by letting his little friend throw the ball instead of taking it all for himself. I hope that those characteristics follow him into adulthood. He is such a Blessing to our family!
As far as soapy news goes, Peace, Love & Soap has been featured on the San Fransisco based site Change Starts At Home. Check it out under the Economics section! Thanks for the support! It means so much!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Packaging!

This is the new label designed by my husband. We wanted something that will work better for retail stores who don't have tons of space. I love the new label and the shrink wrapping makes it even better!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap is Growing!

A lot of things have been going on lately in my world. A couple of weeks ago I was approached by 2 very popular retail stores in Greenville. They were interested in carrying local products for thier customers. I was so excited to meet with them, but I had some major preparation to do before the meeting. The most important being packaging that would work for a store that didn't really have space for full logs, a cutter, etc. I racked my brain all day and almost threw my computer out the window trying to figure something out. I wanted a unique label that would represent the nature and quality of my product. Just in the nick of time, my husband showed up and rescued me (and the computer!). He put together an awesome label, if I do say so myself! Thanks, Mike! I shrink wrapped a few bars and was good to go. I met with both places and they both wanted my products- Yay! I will announce where they are when it all goes through. I'm so excited.
On Friday, my youngest boy, Christian, turned 2! I can't believe it- where does the time go? A couple days before his birthday he told me that he was ready for the big boy potty, and he's been in undies ever since! Is it supposed to be that easy? I'm not asking any questions, I'll just go with it.
We are also about to move to a new house in 2 weeks. This is a major Blessing because we were quickly outgrowing this place. The boys will have a nice yard to play in and more living space. Not to mention I will have twice the area that I work in now, for my soap making!
I bought a baking tray rack (probably not the technical term) on wheels the other day, which I kind of feel is a soap artisan's right of passage! I loved setting all of my bars on the trays to cure! FUN! So, I've definitely been busy and I love it. The market is going very well. I am getting to know lots of people in Greenville. I love the sense of community that you feel downtown, it's really great!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Welcome to the World Baby William!

I am ecstatic to announce the birth of our newest member of the family! William Michael Griffith was born on Tuesday April 28 at 10:16 am to my beautiful sister-in-law Gina and her husband Andrew. He is a precious little guy and we can't wait to meet him in person! We love you, baby!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Saturday Market

I am so thankful to be a part of the Saturday morning farmer's market. It's almost like a family and i love bartering my soap for organic lettuce, herbs and even homeade chocolate for the boys.
My sister came down to visit me with my boys. It's such a nice atmosphere in downtown Greenville. They had fun walking around and getting snacks. Cameron likes to go see Buddy May. He is a bee farmer who brings live bees making honey in a window-type box. It's really neat! Check out Cameron's face in the background of the picture! Priceless!

A lot of my previous customers came out to buy more soap and some dropped by to let me know how much they are enjoying my products, which makes me Happy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Greening Your Cleaning?

Today I drove up to Asheville to some of my favorite natural food stores. I needed to get some lip balm and bath fizzy ingredients. It was a quiet, beautiful day and I felt good getting some stuff done that had been on my mind for a while. When I got home, I placed a bulk oil order. It's exciting to run out of oils, because it means I'm selling lots of soap!
I just finished refilling my natural cleaners and thought I would post the "recipe" for those of you who are interested in greening your cleaning. I wasn't so sure about this until I tried it and now this is all I use. It's hard to believe how harsh and toxic some everyday household cleaners can be. Best of all, these are simple and affordable ingredients. Just get a 24 oz. all purpose spray bottle and fill it with this:
1.5 cups Water
1/2 cup Distilled Vinegar
1 tsp. Castille Soap
3/4 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
20 drops Tea Tree Oil
20 drops Your favorite essential oil (I like lavender or lemongrass for cleaning!)

Try it and let me know what you think! Happy cleaning!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Joys of My Boys!

These top two pictures are on the first day of the market season. I had both of my little helpers with me. Although it was hectic at times, I loved having those little guys around. As you can see in the first pic, they were being bribed with organic lollipops! Works every time! After the market we walked down to Falls Park to see the Ducky Derby, where they released thousands of rubber duckies down the falls. The kids loved it!

These are my little munchkins playing chef with me in the kitchen. They love getting involved with everything I am doing, including my soap. Cameron is thrilled with any little job he can help out with. He also likes to smell the soap and guess which scent it is. Did I mention he knows most of his essential oils? He told me when he grows up he wants to be a soap maker. Christian is my sniff tester. He likes to smell my bars and he says "Mmmm, Momma, soap!" I take that as a compliment. These boys are what makes everything worth it for me. They are my happiness!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pop Loves Peace, Love & Soap

I had to post this picture of my Pop with his bath fizzy. I was showing him the stuff that I had been making lately and gave him a bath fizzy. Two minutes later he was off to the tub with his fizzy. He is so funny, always making me laugh! These are his new favorites so I left him a few. He said that his skin was so soft after his bath and he loved the strawberry scent. Good advertising, Pop! I love you!

Peace, Love & Soap - News

Right now I am taking a break from making some soap cupcakes and thought I would take a minute to update my blog. I have been so busy trying to keep up with my market that I feel like I'm running a little behind most of the time. However, I welcome the business and realize that I am learning how to balance my crazy life and prepare. Next year I will have a better idea about how to stock my inventory and I (hopefully) will have plenty of soap made when it's time for the market to start. My loofah scrubbies have been a really hot item, lately. I had the pleasure of doing business with a kid named Mitchell Mieszek last week. Mitchell started his own business growing and selling loofahs while living in Florida, not far from where we moved. His mother, Kelly approached me a couple of weeks ago and told me that he still had loofahs that he would be willing to sell me if I was interested. In the spirit of keeping it local and helping out other small businesses, I wanted to find out more. Mitchell has sold his loofahs locally to a couple of boutiques, such as the Pink Azalea on Main, and has even sold them as far as New York. His loofahs are a very high quality and I happily purchased around 25 of them. I am proud of Mitchell for being such a great businessman. Along with the loofahs he also teaches piano and cello. Look out for him, this kid is going to go far!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap Loves Word of Mouth

The coolest thing happened to me the other day at a festival. I was chatting to a college student about my products and she decided to buy herself a bar of soap for her birthday. She carefully smelled each scent putting plenty of thought into her choice. She finally made her decision and excitedly went on her way. I was really pleased that she thought that much of my products and had a nice time talking with her. A few hours later she rushed back to catch me before I packed up my stuff. She said that she'd called her Mom and told her about the soap that she'd bought and her Mom had said "is that the girl from Peace, Love & Soap? You better go back and get me a cinnamon apple swirl!" She explained to me that all the girls at her Mom's work had been raving about my soap!! She said to me with a smile on her face, "you didn't know you were famous did you?!" I absolutely did not! That really made my day to know that people were enjoying my soap enough to tell others about it. My business is growing thanks to my customers who take pride in buying from local, small business owners. My next big event is the downtown market this Saturday. I can't wait! Tomorrow I will be making soap all day...I am waiting on my lip balm containers to arrive any day now, my orders are backed up! What a Blessing...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap at Earth Fest

Peace, Love & Soap had a wonderful day at Earth Fest! It was held on the campus of Greenville Tech and the students were very into my products and how I made them. The wind was so fierce that I actually thought a couple times that my tent might become airborne, but no worries, we stayed grounded. My loofah scrubbies sold like hot cakes and I think my coconut cream lip balm is becoming a fast favorite. I made up a few "Garden Starter" kits that I thought might be good Mother's Day gifts, (I will post a picture). They seemed to get a good response so I will make more for my booth at the market. It's amazing to hear peoples' opinions about everything from pricing to signage. I like the input and take it into account when planning my events. I bought my first hierloom tomato plant of the season and Cameron can't wait to get it planted! It's called Brandywine Pink- I thought that was a pretty name. It will be the start of our organic container garden for the year. We did one last year and I couldn't believe all of the veggies we had, not to mention the fun! Happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap News

Peace, Love and Soap is finally starting to get busy, and boy am I ready! For the past few weeks I have ordered my bulk oils, had more labels printed, and started stocking for the spring. I have been busy making lots of soaps and lip balms. In addition, I have added a couple of new products to my line. My loofah scrubbies are selling like hot cakes and I am excited to debut my bath fizzies. This Tuesday I will be at the Earthfest held on the campus of Greenville Technical College. The idea of the festival is of course- reduce, reuse & recycle. I will be explaining how I keep the impact of my production and packaging low on the environment. The following Tuesday I will be at my son's school, St James Episcopal. I was very flattered to be asked to set up a table so the moms and dads might make a few Mother's Day purchases. I can't wait! The teachers have already placed many orders and spread the word about my products. One thing that I have learned in this business is that word of mouth is golden, and it goes far. I am so thankful for the people who enjoy and tell others about Peace, Love & Soap, it is a big deal! I have so much more to write, but I have to tend to my little indians.....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Peace, Love & Soap is crossing the Pond!

I have been meaning to write about this for a while now and am so excited to announce that Peace, Love & Soap is expanding abroad! Our family in England, Lee & Joann Scott, own a very cool pottery studio named Buttercups ( Here you can choose to paint preformed pottery or dishes, or actually throw your own using the potters wheel. My husband & I both gave it a whirl while we were visiting a couple of weeks ago. One try and I'm hooked! It was amazing to form a very artsy, unique bowl from a lump of clay. Anyway, after putting our heads together, they've decided to carry our soaps and lip balms in the shop! I am so honored to be able to extend my products to such a cool venue. Not to mention, Joann (who is a natural artist) painted some Peace, Love and Soap dishes and accessories which will be on display in my booth at the downtown market in May. They are beautiful, she did a great job! I am posting some pictures of our time at the studio. It was right up my alley! I think that personalized, unique gifts are becoming more popular these days. Also, it's a family outing that is affordable with take away memories that you can cherish forever. I hope that my handmade soaps and lip balms will be the perfect pairing with thier handmade pottery.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Soap making today!

Well, I have just completed my third batch of soap this morning. I'm excited because I am coming out with a new bar for spring/summer. It has dead sea salt in it and the most wonderful coconut fragrance you could ever imagine with just a hint of warm vanilla. I can't wait to see how it turns out. My house is so quiet right now, the only sound I hear is my kettle boiling in the background- Wierd! My Mom has graciously taken care of my boys for the last couple of days so my husband and I could go see a concert and have a night out in Atlanta. We had the best time together! The longer we are married, the better our relationship gets and I'm so thankul for that! So today I have dedicated to boosting my inventory. The batches that were made this morning will not be ready for sale until May, just in time for the market! Have I mentioned that I can't wait!?! The weather today is a georgous preview of spring and it makes me feel hopeful of the things to come, maybe that's what inspired my beach bar. I am now going to start on some solid lotion massage sticks, not quite sure on the fragrance- although I know I will do some peppermint. I am more than ready for my boys to come home, as much as I've enjoyed a quiet house, I miss them so much!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cheers from the England!

I have spent the past week having a wonderful time with my in-laws in Northern England. Right now I am sitting at the table getting ready for my lunch, while most of my customers and friends are sound asleep cozy in bed. Getting used to the time change does take a couple of days! Mike and I and the kids surprised my mother in-law for her 60th birthday! It was so fun keeping such a big secret and seeing the looks on the faces of our family when they saw that we were here. We've had such a good time! Just wanted to say Hi from jolly 'ole England! I've got lots of new and exciting things on the horizon for Peace, Love & Soap- I can't wait to tell you all about it! Cheerio!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Focusing on Spring!

I'm getting really excited about preparing for spring! The downtown market will start back up in May and I can't wait to see all of my friends that I met last year. I'm anxious to start on some spring scents, as well. One of my new bars will be called Cocoa Beach which will be a combination of coconut blended with chocolate frangrances. I can't wait to try it out. I also have some great ideas for some new infusions that I've had in mind since the fall. I wonder if my massage lotion sticks will be a hit?!? We'll see...They've done very well online. I will be working on some lip balms this week. I'm almost completely out! 'Tis the season for chapped lips, I guess! It's so easy to get complacent in these slow winter months, I'm so happy for my internet orders! I'm thankful for everyday that I have the freedom to do what I love!

Friday, January 30, 2009

To Mom

I haven't had a chance to blog lately because there has been so many things going on in my life, not much to do with soap. I am so sad to say that I lost my grandmother last week. She was 81, but lived like she was 50. It was sudden and unexpected, she left a big empty hole in our family. Her mantra in life was to love unconditionally and cover up any imperfection of a loved one or close friend. She was an angel who met needs of people she barely knew and never let anyone go without. With her, you felt like you were the only one in the room. She was a proud and doting grandmother who insisted we call her "Mom" or "Great Mom" (for the little guys). "Don't ever change" was written in every card and she never hung up the phone without saying it. It's hard to imagine life on earth without her around, but I know I will see her again. She is in heaven watching over her patchwork family. I am inspired by Mom to love unconditionally without judging and to carry on her legacy of a giving, kind heart. We love you Mom!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Where there's a will, there's a way!

Well, I have to say that I'm ready for spring! I try to enjoy each season as it comes, but I think winter would be much nicer if it were about 2-3 weeks of the year. One major reason that I'm getting antsy is becuase I can't wait for the market to start back up so I can get some soap moving. I have been pondering the idea of making soap and candle sets and I really want to learn some perfumery techniques. The macdaddy of all soap conferences is coming up in May and I really need to generate some revenue so I can make it out to Palm Springs. There is so much still to learn, and this is the place to gain the knowledge. The sooner spring gets here, the closer I am to Cali, baby! Erin Brochovich will be there along with many other fellow soapers that I would love to meet in person- I will find a way! I have a few new recipes that I will be trying in the next few days. I've gone about a week without making anything- I am craving a soap binge! Wish me luck!