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Join my TimeOut4me Community and Let's Create Together

What happens during the winter months at TimeOut4me? I thought some of you might like to see a bit of what goes on behind the scenes to keep TimeOut4me running. The truth is—I could also use your help. Many times I think of my company as one big family. I’ve grown to know my repeat customers and respect their opinions. So let’s make TimeOut4me a modern-day commune (I’ll share that story someday). Please send your ideas and help me plan for another great season. If you send me a concrete suggestion, I’ll name a product after you. Wouldn’t you love to see your name on the label?

Let’s get started.

PLANNING: As with every good business, I consider what sold well during the past year. Should I remake my Almond Joy soap? Which soaps should go to the graveyard? What fragrances were popular? Do I have enough variety of fragrances? What about design? Color? Shape? Should I add new products? Which ones? Which supplies should I order and when? Where can I get the best quality at a reasonable price?
These decisions are hard to make sometimes. I listen carefully to repeat customers at the farmer’s market. Feedback on my website and Etsy is also essential. You might not think your feedback helps, but it does. And it doesn’t always have to be praise. How about shape, size, color, or ingredient suggestions?

REORGANIZATION: During the busy summer months I often have products in carrying crates as well as down on my basement shelves. I don’t worry about inventory counts too much unless I discover a shortage at a farmer’s market. I stop making soap near the end of summer, however, to drive my inventory down. Now’s the time to do inventory and clearance out batches that only have a few bars left. I don’t obsess about it, however. Because I use a variety of oils that are more high-end, my soaps have a long shelf life. I’ve never had one hang around long enough to go bad. And since I make small batches, anywhere from 11 to 17 bars, I never end up with a surplus.

RESEARCH: Fall and Winter are the perfect seasons for research. I scour medical journals for the latest discoveries on cosmetology, benefits of herbs, and the hazards of preservatives—to name a few. I am always looking for natural substitutes for chemicals found in store-bought cosmetics. I want to extend the life of my moisturizer, or eye makeup remover, but I want to be able to guarantee its gentleness and purity. I also review popular magazines for the most current eye shadow shades, packaging ideas, and trendy colors. This season seems to be forest green.
What would you like to know more about? I’ll do the research and share it with everyone on my blog.

CREATIVITY: Now is the time to shoot how-to videos, plan out what soaps need to be created—and when--, and design new labels and packaging for my products. I could really use some feedback here. Video ideas? Which of my labels do you find attractive and why? I just found a great idea tonight for embellishing the velvet bags I sell on my website. It’s an old technique that I forgot about, made popular by a company named Hot Potato. It’s using a rubber stamp to emboss on velvet. I have a wide collection of rubber stamps—don’t ask—so I’m going to give them a try on my forest green velvet. Isn’t it amazing that I owe forest green fabric?

My craft room is a topic for another day…although a short blog on embellishing velvet is a good idea. Hmmm.
Until later,

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