One of my goals for this year is to unify my branding a bit more. Last year was a bit chaotic and, while I liked the old names, that’s all they were: things I liked. This year, I wanted my product lines to have a bit more internal logic. Therefore, the new theme for the soap names is ………………………….drumroll please
Literary References! After lots of feedback from customers, I’ve come to the realization that the whimsical literary names were the hands down favorite. It also doesn’t hurt that I teach English during the week and have lots and lots of favorite poems, novels, short stories, plays, and authors to draw from. You’ll still only see “Things I Like,” but there will be a bit more consistency there.
So, for those of you who just want to find your favorite soap and couldn’t care less about its name, here’s a handy chart:
Organization: Before the event, things seemed fine. I received confirmations well in advance and received emailed directions and maps the week of the event. During the event, none of the vendors were in their assigned places and I was told to “just take that one.” There also seemed to be NO advertising or press beforehand.
Crowd Size: Small and sporadic
Crowd Make-Up: Primarily families. Predominantly Jewish. Make sure any products you offer are kosher.
Booth Fee: $110 for a 10′ x 10′ space
This is a show I will probably never do again. I lost money today. For $110, I expect the organizers to do most of the legwork in terms of advertising and promotion. From speaking to customers, it was clear that nothing was announced, even in the neighborhood in which it took place! The few customers I had said that they didn’t know anything was going on until they left their houses and heard the music.
Rather than being in my assigned spot, I ended up right next to the stage and the music was LOUD. I had to shout in order to talk to customers, which was completely unacceptable. The acts were good, but extremely distracting. I ended up putting up my walls to try to block what little sound I could (it didn’t really work). Then, because it was that kind of day, my neighbor on that side had a large display fall down into the sidewall and puncture a hole in it. SIGH.
From the look of things, most people were there to try free samples and listen to music, not to buy anything. Having samples and give-aways are great, but they do tend to attract the non-buying crowd. I don’t know if I can really blame the crowd though, there simply weren’t enough people to begin with. It was just way too darn hot.
After the last attempt at a peppermint swirl left me with pink soap. While cute, it was not my intended effect. Today, I tried a new technique and I think it will work out much better. Rather than the pink marbling I got from mixing the swirl in the pot, I hope I can get a real red stripe.
This time, I separated some of the soap at trace and added 2 T of Madder Root Powder to the separated amount. Then, rather than return it to the pot, I poured the uncolored base into the mold first. Once that was done, I poured the colored soap into the mold and used a bamboo skewer to swirl. From the outside, it looks good: