Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We have a winner!

It came to me in the shower, actually, after a massage and a jacuzzi and some very relaxing conversation with dear friends.

I made up my mind, not our of your wonderful suggestions but out of my own head. I'll still send stickers.

Then I called my little sister Pie. And SHE said she had some suggestions and wanted to join in the naming party but couldn't leave a comment. 

Since I hadn't closed the contest, I asked her to tell me what she was going to suggest. She could only remember one.

"Just Soap"

I cried. I cried because it was perfect and true and EXACTLY what I had decided. My hair stood on end. 

So Pie wins the prize. 

But I still need you all's address if I don't have it. Which, I'm pretty sure is just you Sensei.

There will be another contest within reasonable amount of time. Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FIRE!! and a contest

There's nothing like shelling out a buncha money to put a fire under your butt to sell and recoup those losses.

When I got home yesterday after paying my business taxes, I finally got around to starting up a batch of soap. My first in too many months.

While I was waiting for it to heat, I thought about where I want this business to go. I have always said that I want to own my own business, and that was a very easy goal to achieve. What I forgot to specify is that I want it to be a PROFITABLE business. I want to be able to do it full time. I want to become a much larger part of the handmade soap community and provide nationwide customers with a product I can be proud of. I would like to be able to say that my product has a lower impact on the environment than traditional detergent soaps. I would like to say that it has a lower impact on your BODY than traditional detergent soaps. (that's automatic). I want to be shipping out many boxes every day. I want to be supplying on a wholesale basis.

I want to personally connect with my customers.

I want to rename all my soaps!! Except Butt and Mae Flowers.

SO! I am holding a contest!

Contest will run for 3 weeks. (the time it takes for the current batch to cure.) Prize will be your chosen name on my soap AND a free bar of it when it is cured. I will choose the winner and notify you by email. I will choose according to the following criteria:

It describes the soap.
It makes me smile.
It makes my hair stand on end.

Remember that soaping is something I love to do so naming always comes from my heart. Choosing cannot be more scientific than that.

About the soap you are naming:

This is only the second time I have made this soap, it is Castille Soap as it was meant to be made; with pure olive oil. Scentless, no additives, just soap. This is wonderful for people who have sensitive skin, or who cannot handle heavy purfumes and scents. I originally made this one for my mom when I first started Bubbly Creations because she is allergic to coconut and I wanted her to be able to use my soap. Since trying a sample I happened to have left over, my Derby Wife has been asking every couple of months for me to make some more. Then a lady I do business with asked for some as she cannot use products with a lot of chemicals. I like it too.

Since it was warm out, I set the oil out in the sun to heat and let the lye cool to temperature instead of heating it up after cooling it overnight like I usually do. So, the only energy used to manufacture this batch was the electricity it took to run my stick blender for 3 minutes. Awesome.

Leave your suggestions in Comments!!

OOH! This just in from my brain!!! A Bubbly Creations Sticker to every entrant! I promise to send the ones where the puppy only chewed the corners!

Monday, August 24, 2009

OH! that's what I am missing!

I am so fortunate to have found, long ago, Donna Maria and her Indie Beauty Network. I am exceptionally disappointed in myself that I have not partaken in her wisdom more over the years.

She posted this morning this: http://www.indiebusinessblog.com/2009/08/23/are-you-planning-or-playing-your-small-business/

And reminded me that I have lost sight of the big picture because I have been focusing on the little goals.

when I was a sales consultant with a large, multinational cosmetics company, there were many tools that my director gave me in order to help me succeed. I had to fax these to her every week. Now I am the head of my own company (damn right I am!!) and I am finding that some of these tools would be very helpful to me.

One was a daily planner showing every hour of every day that allowed me to mark the time I spent on each of my activities thorughout the day. This showed me how much time each week I could spend building my business. While I didn't, for them, I am far more motivated to buld MY business of which I am the head honcho (damn right I am!!) I was able to see that I spent about an hour each day reading the newspaper. I was able to force myself to set aside time for my boyfriend. My life is different now, I will be setting time for my dog instead of a boyfriend and for Roller Derby instead of the newspaper, but I will also show myself just how much time I have to dedicate to Bubbly Creations.

Another tool was a poster board of goals. If I wanted the car, I needed to paste a picture of it on the board. I don't really think that will work in this situation, but maybe I can somehow illustrate where I want to go. Get focused on the big picture of what I want from my business instead of focusing on the little goals. The little goals will get me where I want to go, but aren't I going in circles if I don't have a destination?

The scary thing is, I don't know what my big picture looks like! I had better figure it out though!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time after time

I talk a lot about how I don't seem to have the time I need to work on my business. I have come to realize that this may indeed be a bunch of hooey.

I've had another revelation.

I was reading the wonderful links that the Packagina Diva posts on twitter and I was hit with the realization that at my home, i have everything I need to succeed in business. In fact, over the years I have managed to collect more than most people start out with. It's all right there. so why am i not taking advantage of it?

The excuse I have been giving is time. That with work and derby and life, business has fallen so far down on my list of priorities that I am ashamed to call myself a business owner.

On the tail of the realization that I have everything I need, I realized that I have the time too. I just haven't been spending it wisely. so rather than try and cut out the things that I spend my time on, I want to limit them. Keep to 15 minutes of internet time per evening instead of browsing facebook and playing bejeweled for hours. Take soap with me and wrap it while my pup plays with his friend and the dog park. Have a set day when I go to the grocery instead of hitting it when I feel like it.

These are things, I know, that most people do automatically. Things that Franklin Covey has known for years. Heck, I have known them for years. Actually organizing yourself and putting this stuff into action despite the universe throwing constant pitches is the part that is difficult. I have come to accept that I am not going to give up skating or give up the responsibilities I have taken on within my league. I'm not going to stop dating or hanging out with my friends. But I can make an effort at not wasting time.

This task isn't as easy as it sounds. I am very easily distracted. I have found ways to work around this at work but at home I have far more things to grab my attention. You will find, floating around my house, any number of to do lists, daily planners, piles of random randomocity. there are binders of storage ideas, magazines I like, knitting patterns. Reciepts.

It seems to me like this can all be consolodated. preferably into something I can keep with me.

I think I'm gonna need a backpack for a purse...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Little tiny baby steps...

It's amazing how time can get away from you. The demands of life can so easily get in the way of the desires of your dreams. Sometimes, I forget that my dream is waiting for me, just behind that door, the one I plan to label "Dream" as soon as I am home long enough to put up the vinyl.

Thankfully, every so often, I get a reminder. Today I had two. One was from the inspirational DonnaMaria of www.indiebeauty.com when she blogged about how you need to ASK for what you want not just talk about what you don't have. So much in life is provided just by asking. I know this. I know this SO well. So why don't I ask for my business?

The other, was in my email box. A promotional code from www.stickermonkeyjunkie.com that made the cost of getting stickers so low, I had NO excuse not to order. Stickers are GREAT advertising! And I know that SO many of my girls will take them and put them on stuff. I can give them away and with that promo code? They were 13 cents each (promo code is summertime) I only had to buy 100. 

Gotta keep on moving forward.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Moving ahead

It's not easy, when you have 1001 OTHER things to do to move forward with business. The dog needs play time. The self needs play time. Work. Bills. And somewhere in there, sleep. 

I got lucky today. Today I was getting my oil changed and happened across an issue of a business magazine.  In it I discovered that paypal now has an option to put a mini storefront here and there. I created one (it's free!). I posted it to both blogs. Although I don't have all my products on there, it's a start. I need to retake a lot of pictures so as I do, I can add more product. I'm very excited about this. Partially because I love free, and partially because I am doing something to promote myself. This, is the point. HOORAY!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 1

I'm starting this blog because I think it's important to renew my interest in my business. I have allowed too many things to get in the way of the success of Bubbly Creations and I would like to revamp the entire operation. 

I want to tweak my brand, for starters. I thought perhaps if I chronicled the process, I could keep track of the changes I make and the ideas that I have. I will be able to look back and see what worked and what didn't. 

And perhaps other small businesses can use my notes to help them find the way. Maybe. 

Regardless, I want to refocus more of my energy on Bubbly Creations.