Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DeShawn Marie Handmade Soap "A day in the life"

"A day in the life" series post 4
I started these posts for people who would maybe like to have a soap business like mine or any type of craft business some day to give people an idea of things I do year round.

Currently I'm preparing for
the busy fall and holiday season and as I've mentioned before this is the time of year that small businesses like mine either make it or break it. Crafters like me can make as much as 70% of their yearly income during the last few months of the year.

Today I am measuring out ingredients in advance to prepare for making lots of batches of soap. It's something that I've started doing in the last couple of years as when it gets hectic here I can just pull the pre-measured ingredients off the shelf and make the soap. It makes things quicker, cleaner and easier during the busy season.

Today I am also making a batch of the Cedarwood Sage soap as even though it is one of my new soaps I predict it will be a big seller this fall due to it's colors and earthy fall scent.

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  • DeShawn Marie Etsy Shop
  • SALE! $1 OFF all listings in my ETSY shop now!

    Organic Cold Processed Cinnamon Bark Soap
    Have you visited my Etsy shop lately? DeShawn Marie's Etsy Shop
    Stop by now and stock up on your favorite soaps while they are on SALE!
    All of my listings are marked $1 OFF through the end of the week.
    So now is the time to try one you haven't tried or stock up on that special 
    soap you just can't get enough of.

    While you are at it be sure to "like" my facebook page as I will be posting
    all sales, promotions, tips, etc. there before any where else.  Get the
    soap scoop first and be in the know. DeShawn Marie Facebook

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  • DeShawn Marie Etsy Shop
  • Wednesday, August 08, 2012

    Freezing herbs and saving their flavor.

    A very cool way to save herbs for later use:

    Freezing this way they do not darken or lose flavor and aroma:
    Steps to freeze the herbs in olive oil or unsalted butter (melted)

    1.Start with fresh herbs, preferably from the market or your own garden.

    2.Be sure to chop them well, or leave them on branches and larger leaves. In the photo, the herbs are finely chopped.

    3.Place in ice cube trays (about 2/3 full of herbs).

    4.You can mix herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary).

    5.Fill with extra virgin olive oil or unsalted melted butter over the herbs.

    6.Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

    7.Remove frozen cubes and store in small containers or bags to freeze.

    8.Make sure to label each container or bag with the type of herbs (and oil) inside!

    9. Use in baked goods, baked potatoes, etc.

    A great way to save them and use them for just about anything at a later date.

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  • Tuesday, August 07, 2012

    "A day in the life" series post 3 Ordering ahead of time.

    "A day in the life" series post 3 : I've always said that soap and candle making is like "Art, cooking and science class all in one" You have a recipe you follow, you have to weigh and measure oils, plus manage temperatures like chemistry and you need to have some artistic ability to get it to look pretty.

    Today in preparation for the busy fall and holiday season I am starting to order more oils, ingredients and supplies so that I will be able to make enough inventory for the season. This is something that every crafter struggles with prior to the busy time of year. It takes an investment to have all of that inventory built up in time for the busy season. Soaps require a curing time too so you have to make them way ahead of time to be ready.

    In the photo here I am heating up oils to begin a batch of my Organic Spearmint Eucalyptus soap, due to it's green color it sells quite well during the holiday season. I have started making lots of batches of it in the last week. These are the kind of things I have to think about way ahead of time every year. So this is just another tip for any one who would want to start a business like mine or who would like to know what it takes to run a handcrafted soap business.

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  • Friday, August 03, 2012

    "A day in the life" series post 2. Craftopolis edit express.

    "A day in the life" series post 2
    Not everyone knows all that goes in to a small handcrafted business such as mine so I started this series of Blog and FB posts to give people an idea of my day to day life and all that it takes to run a business like mine. I'll have tips for online businesses in these posts as well.

    Today in preparation for the busy fall and holiday
    season I am starting to go thr
    ough all of my listings and double check them for accuracy. Something that most people don't think about when starting an online business is how much work goes in to keeping your shops, websites, listings, etc. up to date. You have to be detail oriented for this job. Postal prices are constantly changing and every time those rates change you have to change your pricing. It's a lot of work when you have many online shops and 100's of listings in each shop.

    For all of you Etsy shop owners if you don't use the Craftopolis Edit Express you should check it out. It is a great way to edit all of your Etsy listings quickly (well as quickly as you can LOL) Just enter your shop name and all of your listings will show up on the page. Then you can edit all of your prices, descriptions, titles and quantity in one location. To me it is a must have tool and is what I am using to update all of my listings today. It's going to be a long day.

    Thursday, August 02, 2012

    My new blog and FB series "A Day in the Life"

    Today I am preparing shipping boxes for the busy Fall and Holiday season. Not everyone realizes what goes in to a small handcrafted business like mine so I've decided to start a new series of Blog and FB posts called "A Day in the Life"

    Yesterday I started making soaps for the season and today I've started assembling boxes for the season. It takes months of preparation to be ready for the busy season. Some crafters including myself make as much as 70% of their yearly income in the last several months of the year.

    This series of posts will feature pictures of soap making, gift wrapping, packaging, shipping and more. I hope you all enjoy a peek into my world over the next few months.