Monday, November 8, 2010

All work & no play is no good for Peace, Love & Soap

I have switched gears lately from production mode to selling mode. All summer I was cranking out soap like it was going out of style and it was beginning to take a toll on me. I also realized that I had worked so much this summer that I didn't take time to do some of the fun things that were on my agenda. This has taught me that I need to take time to plan and restructure for next year. Peace, Love & Soap has really grown in the past year so I need to accommodate my infrastructure to match that. I have really enjoyed having some time off with the kids since the market has come to an end. I am pacing myself through the holidays. I'm trying to enjoy every minute of my children being small and thinking every little thing is so wonderful. I want to be more like that. I realize that in order to be productive, you have to have downtime...and it's ok to just sit and be still.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tea Tree Rocks!

I've started "featuring" a soap each week at the market just to be able to share extra information about my products with my customers and get the word out about some great properties of certain essential oils that I use. One of my all time favorites is my Tea Tree bar. I originally made this bar for a young man who needed help with some trouble spots of acne. I do my best not to make any "claims" on my products and I'm not going to do that now. But I will say that Tea Tree essential oil is one of God's natural gifts. It has so many wonderful properties such as being antibacterial, antiseptic & antifungal. In my opinion, it is a perfect substitute for the harsh chemical "soaps" or better yet, detergents, out there. My bar has grated orange peel which gives a light exfoliation, to slough off the dead skin cells. I started using it when I turned 30 and my skin decided to act like I was turning 13. Now it is one of my favorites!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Peace, Love & Soap at Mountain Park Farmer's Market!

This is my sister and right hand woman, Abby! She helps me in all aspects... This picture was from the Mountain Park Farmer's Market in Traveler's Rest, SC.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peace, Love & Soap on Your Carolina with Jack & Kimberly!

Peace, Love & Soap will be appearing on Fox Channel 7's Your Carolina with Jack and Kimberly on October 29th! We were guests on the show back in 2008 and they have decided that they would like us to visit again. We are excited to be a part of the fun! Here is the clip from the last time. I can think of a few things I would do differently and many of my processes have changed, but, we all have to start somewhere, I guess?!?!

As summer comes to an end, we are finding that Fall is revving up to be just as busy! In the past two days I have had two retailers approach me about potentially carrying Peace, Love & Soap products. That is super cool! It has been kind of crazy lately, and I am feeling the need to better organize my time. Any suggestions or techniques are welcome....

This is my Pop, talking about Peace, Love & Soap

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Change is good...Right???

Lately in my life, it seems that everything is changing. My oldest son has started kindergarten and my youngest will start preschool for the first time next week. My business is growing and taking new direction. My sister moved on from our home to college, and my Dad is getting ready to move back across the country after his recovery from a broken neck. As summer comes to an end I find myself feeling uncomfortable with these and more changes that I've been experiencing. I've been trying to evaluate exactly what is it that I feel , and to be honest, I just don't know! I've come to think that it's not necessarily the outcome of the change that bothers me, it's the fact that things are changing. Looking back on my life, I think I've always been this way, I've just never realized it. I will be happy when the newness of everything wears off and I am used to this new season of my life. That being said, I look at my children and my family and I am overwhelmed with happiness and blessings that I have. Guess I'm just feeling reflective tonight...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Peace, Love & Soap is now in Whole Foods Market!

I am so happy to say that after a lot of time, work & meetings, Peace, Love & Soap can now be purchased in Whole Foods Market in Greenville, SC. They are offering a variety of products including our bulk soap, bar soap, scrubbies & bath salts. So, if you are in the Greenville area, stop in and try some! Thanks to all of my loyal customers who have already stopped in to support PL&S! Here are my boys standing by our bulk display!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Peace, Love & Soap Crew!

This past week at the market, I got to bring my two little stowaways. My sister, Abby, usually watches them for me while I work on Saturday morning, but this week she was busy. I will admit that I was a little nervous because, although they are wonderful kids, they are 3 & 5 yr old boys! All in all they were very well behaved and it was kind of neat having them with me. There were a couple of minor hiccups, but I'm so thankful that I have a job where I have freedom to bring them along. I made them a mini fort under one of my tables to play and color. Check out the feet sticking out in the picture below!
This is the view that I had of them, although they were pretty much out of site from my customers. Those who did notice, thought it was pretty cool!
This was a quiet moment. It was fun, but it also made me very thankful for the help that my sister gives me each week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tennessee Soap & Candle Social 2010

Last Saturday I ventured over to Tennessee to go to my first, ever, soap & candle social. It took me a while to actually get there. I had to drive 2 1/2 hours to my parents house in North Georgia the night before, and then get up at 3:30 am to drive 4 1/2 hours to Franklin, Tennessee. It was really exciting to get to talk to other people who shared the same passions that I do. People who appreciate essential oils, lather and hardness of a bar of soap. I know it sounds silly, but it's true. I also got to learn a little about candle, lotion making & felting which was very interesting.
These were two of the awesome ladies that I met at the show, Lance & Rita. We all had lunch together and shared some laughs. They are sweet women.
This was just part of the group, there were around 30 of us all together.
This was one of the coordinators, Birdie, and her daughter. Here they are giving away door prizes which were great. Thanks to the generous sponsors, we all took at least two gifts home- nice ones, too!
Overall it was a great time! I enjoyed meeting Birdie, who is such a sweetheart, and hearing wisdom from others who know far more and have been crafting soap far longer than I have. The ladies did a great job coordinating the social. Our goodie bags were awesome! I hope I get to go back next year and bring some of my candlemaker friends. Thanks for the great time, Tennessee!

Some of my Inspiration...

I wanted to post a few pictures of the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where I spent half of my childhood. This is a huge part of my inspiration to make natural products using what God gave us! These are my Mom's gardens, by the way...
My Dad found these baby birds when he was trimming the bushes. He was so worried that the Mama Bird wouldn't come back to her babies, but she did.
This rose bush is huge, the picture doesn't do it justice.
This is the view from my parents front door. I never get tired of it and try not to take it for granted!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lots of great things have been going on lately, in fact I probably don't even have time to fit them all in, but I will try. First of all, I had a great Mother's Day. I got to hang out with my family downtown at Artisphere. The weather was absolutely beautiful, a perfect day to be in the park. We sat & watched my favorite artist Brian Olsen paint live. It's called Art in Action and it so cool. He put on a contest to win one of his paintings for the fan who got the most votes, and guess what- I won! It was really amazing to see so many people voting. I will write more about that later.

I have also been working with Hellion Brewing for the last few months to come up with a couple different varieties of soap using brewers yeast. It was very interesting and my first private label project. We did a plain eucalyptus, a plain rosemary and then a combination eucalyptus rosemary. The soap turned out really smooth, I was happy with the overall outcome. It's amazing how many different things you can do with soap!

The market has had a great start. Last Saturday I had another record breaking day to match the first. I hope that it doesn't slow down, I love seeing the streets crowded.

For the past month I have been working with a major retail chain to carry my soap. The process has been very long & involved, but I know it will be worth it when I see my soap on their shelves. I don't want to divulge who it is, yet. But, trust me, I will keep you posted.

In the past two days I have made 9 batches of soap. The month of May will be crazy busy for me so I'm trying to plan ahead and get a good stock up. Business is continuing to grow and I couldn't be happier...and more thankful!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Swirls Galore...

Just been practicing with swirls & color...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Carolina First Market Comes in Like a Lion!

Main St. in downtown Greenville was buzzing this past Saturday morning! I have never seen such a crowd in my three years of being down there. Downtown has the coolest vibe and when it is full of people supporting their local farmers & artisans, it's just amazing. Peace, Love & Soap had its best sales day ever! By twelve o'clock, we were almost out of soap. We had many of our faithful customers re-up their soap stock, and tons of new faces as well. I picked up some green garlic, handmade spinach gnocchi & saffron pasta. We had it for dinner tonight and it was so yummy. The Greenville Times snapped a shot of Cameron & I headed back to our booth with our garlic. I'm pretty sure Cameron was begging me to buy him boiled peanuts (which I finally did).

I have also been working on my swirling techniques so I will post some of those pics. Mike made me new molds which are so much more efficient. I love them!

Things have been going great for us and I'm really excited about things to come. This weekend is Artisphere and I get to watch my favorite artist Brian Olsen do his thing called Art In Action. Check him out on youtube, it's amazing!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thank God for Spring!

This was taken in our beautiful Falls Park, right in the heart of downtown Greenville, SC. It is one of our favorite spots to go on a beautiful day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Our First Market of the Year!

Although sales have been great so far, we have not yet had a market day- until today! Christian and I headed over to Clemson University's Farmer's Market this morning after dropping Cameron off for school. The weather was absolutely gorgeous which made it a pleasure just to be outside. Christian was a very good boy, willing to "help" out in any way. Overall, our first market of the season was a success and we were even asked to come back and be part of the Earth Day festivities at Little John Coliseum (the big football stadium). Exciting!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Pics for Peace, Love & Soap - Tell Me What You Think!

It's amazing how many hats a person must wear when trying to run a small business and a small household at the same time (which, usually my household runs me!). Today I was taking pictures of my products and making macaroni & cheese at the same time. Yesterday I was making soap and the beds. I feel very thankful that I can be home with my boys and still have outside interactions with my wholesalers and customers involved with my business. This week I dropped by a local restaurant that had expressed interest in carrying my soap in their place. There was a lady ordering at the counter who kept looking at me. At the same time we both said, "You look so familiar!" Then she shouts out, "You're the soaplady! I love your stuff!" It made me feel pretty good to be called the soaplady (oddly enough, it wasn't the first time), but even better to hear that she loved my soap and she went on & on about my lip balm. It never gets old to hear that somebody is enjoying the fruits of your labor. I'm going to post a few pics from today. My husband probably could have taken much better pics, but I am impetuous and can't wait! So there!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Revving up for Spring!

Well, I thought that the soap business would be at a lull for at least a few more weeks...boy was I wrong! Things have really geared up in the past couple of weeks and thank goodness I had my new workspace set up just in time. I have been working on a project with a local brewery that I can't wait to write about. For now I have to keep it under wraps. My retail orders are pouring in and the feedback is amazing! There are people calling the stores requesting notification when my products come in. It's so exciting! I have a couple of meetings this week that I'm hoping will be fruitful, and in the meantime, I've been mailing out internet orders.
I finally obtained the rights to the url!! This is great news because I've been trying to get a hold of it for two years and it was "taken". I can't wait to get my website up and make it much easier for customers to order online. We've been exploring different site options and it seems the more I get to know, the more confused I become! I'm anxious to get started.
I love my new set up. I have more room than I've had yet, and actually have shelf space to fit all of my stuff. My favorite thing is the custom fragrance hutch that my Dad built for me. The kids like to play in there while I'm working which works out great cause I can keep a good eye on them. It's pretty much a win, win!
Saturday I will have my first outdoor event of the year. I will be at Earthfare grocery store on Pelham Rd. The weather is supposed to be really nice, so hopefully we will have a good turnout. If you're in the area, come stock up on some Peace, Love & Soap!