Congrats to Patricia Dean of East Coast Essentials

BizInsuranceCongrats to Patricia Dean of East Coast Essentials for renewing their HSCG Membership and obtaining business & product liability insurance through one of our industry trade associations!

Soapalooza offers a $20 Gift Certificate when you join or renew your membership with either the HSCG or Indie Business Network (formerly Indie Beauty Network) and obtain your business and product liability insurance through them. Simply send us a copy of your insurance certificate PDF with date issued, and we will issue you a $20 Gift Certificate to shop at Soapalooza.com. More details on our exclusive promotion at the Soapalooza website.

Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

KellyValentines14Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20 year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Soapalooza’s HSCG & Indie Business Network Membership Rebate Program

Handmade Soap Makers Guild

Handmade Soap Makers Guild

Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild & Indie Business Network Membership Rebate Program

Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio is very excited to announce the reinstatement of the Business Insurance Rebate Program. This is the same business insurance rebate program that I designed when I formerly ran Southern Soapers. Please read the press release below with details:

Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio will reimburse $20 of your new or renewing Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild membership

Indie Beauty Network

Indie Beauty Network

dues. Alternatively, we will reimburse $20 of your new or renewing Indie Business Network membership dues. Simply forward us a copy of your PDF insurance certificate to Kelly@Soapalooza.com

Who is eligible? This Rebate Program is for anyone initially joining or renewing membership with the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild or the Indie Beauty Network. Only one rebate per person or business, either the HSMG or the IBN rebate, not both.

What is the Rebate? Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio will issue a Gift Certificate for $20 of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild membership dues OR a Gift Certificate for $20 of the Indie Business Network membership dues.

Why are we doing this? If you are selling soap, candles, or cosmetics and toiletries than you need Business & Product Liability Insurance. It only takes one customer to spin your world out of control. Please do not take chances with your assets, don’t sell without insurance. The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild insurance policy is the same policy available through the Indie Business Network.

What does it cost to join the HSCG or the IBN? The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild the Independent Business Network have their membership plans posted on their website:

HSMG: http://www.soapguild.org

IBN: http://www.indiebeautynetwork.com

There is a membership that will suit every soapmaker or cosmetic formulator.

Why should I join? Joining a professional trade association in your industry helps keep you aware of regulatory issues and concerns, provides education and business assistance, creates networking opportunities, and raises the level of professionalism as well as creates an esprit de corps among association members. Joining one or both of the preeminent professional trade associations in our industry provide you with tools to help your business thrive. Additionally, you will not likely find as comprehensive or affordable Business & Product Liability Insurance at the non-hobby level.

You can call us at 757-804-0416 for more details.

(This Rebate Program is sponsored solely by Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, formerly Southern Soapers Fragrances. Please do not request your rebate from the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild or the Independent Business Network. This Rebate Program is valid for new and renewing memberships starting April 1, 2013 and until further notice. Not retroactive for memberships already purchased prior to April 1, 2013. Rebate limited to one per person or business per year. Minimum purchase required.

Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

KellyValentines14Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20 year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Soapalooza Boot Camp Coupons!

DoorMagnet1We have Soapalooza BOOT CAMP Coupon Offers! These coupons are good for any of the remaining 2014 Soapalooza Boot Camps (2 Day, 3 Day, or 5 Day) You can use a $50 Coupon for any upcoming 3 Day Bath & Body Boot Camp, the 5 Day Fast Track Boot Camp, or a $25 Coupon for our 2 Day Intensive Soap Making Boot Camp. Just in time for Holiday and Fall Soap Making!  We also offer MONTHLY INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLANS!

Learn the science behind soap making. Learn the basic math skills so that you can troubleshoot your soap and design your own formulas. Learn about soap labeling. Learn to make Milk Soap, Salt Soap, Swirled Soap, Layered Soap, Pine Tar Soap. Learn to use Natural Botanicals for coloration, Learn about Dyes, MIca, Oxide. Learn the Nuts & Bolts of starting your own Soap Making Business. PLUS, all the tricks of the trade from a 25 year veteran Soap maker that used to product over $76,000 of soap a year as well as owner/operator of a Cold Process Soap fragrance supply business.

You learn the in and outs, from a veteran Cold Process soap maker, to include How to wholesale, and what you need to have an efficient cold process soap making business. You also get 3 months of email/phone support!  We offer a convenient MONTHLY INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN on each of our Boot Camps to make it easier for you to budget. And don’t forget, your professional education is TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

We have the best fun! I hope that you will join us in one of the upcoming Soapalooza 3 Day Bath & Body Boot Camps (use Coupon Code 50OFFCLASS), or even one of our 2 Day Intensive Soap Making Boot Camps (use Coupon Code 25OFFSOAPCAMP).

Both Coupons are only valid until Sept 30, 2014… So HURRY and sign up!

 

Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

KellyValentines14Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20+ year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Make your own Solid Perfume

IMG_0010Make your own Solid Perfume using this basic formula. It is very flexible, you can use it not only for a solid perfume. If you use flavor oil instead of fragrance oil, you can make this be a lip pot. If you you use infused herbs and essential oils, this can become the backbone of a salve. If you add some Titanium Dioxide, this can be a Baby Bottom Cream. This formula will even work for moisturizing Cuticles. Wonderful, huh?

The gold lid perfume jar is the Perfume I made for a 2009 Southern Soapers Swap in the old Yahoo forum.

Solid Perfume 

2 oz beeswax, bleached or natural
1 oz Jojoba oil
few drops of your favorite essential or cosmetic grade fragrance oil

Combine in a small Pyrex pitcher and microwave in 20 second bursts until the beeswax has melted into the jojoba oil. Remove while the beeswax still has tiny unmelted bits and let the hot jojoba oil finish melting the mixture. Do not overheat in the microwave, as beeswax will get hotter than the glass container.  Add fragrance oil or essential oil after your wax & oil is well mixed and begins cooling. For larger portions, use the stove top for melting your beeswax. Pour your cooling mibloominglips2xture into small, 1-oz balm tins.

Have fun adapting this formula. Don’t be shy about changing out the oils or the type of wax you use. This is what makes a product your own, as well as teaches you from trial and error what works for you and your business. The orange & pink lip pots are Swinging Stackable pots from Qosmedix . We used oil based FD&C pigments for our lip tints. Soapalooza will be bringing back the lip tints later in 2014 also!

Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page

We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

My 5 Most Important Business Tips

SoapaloozaWORD-LogoThis article is something that I originally wrote for my old Southern Soapers forum in response to customers asking how I built BloomWorks Soap Company. These five things are what I felt were the most important elements of growing my, or any Soap or Bath & Body business.

I have updated this 2003 article to include not only Google page ranking aspects, but also social media that has since exploded, as well as some of the new marketing tools that potential customers with Smart Phones have at their fingertips.

Real paper and honest face to face time (even via Skype or Youtube videos!) are still the core to creating authenticity for gaining and sustaining customer trust though, and this is still a key component for these 5 most important business tips.

My five key tips for any business, regardless of what you might be selling are:

1. Pay a professional to do your website. It is an investment, the “E-retail” image you will convey. It is also easier to hurt the feelings of a designer you are paying, than hurt the feelings of a relative you still have to live with. It is easier to be demanding and exacting so that you get what you really want as your company image. You can get a quality website from many designers, as little as $300 to as much as $3500, depending on level of design, features, complexity, and shopping cart functionality suited for your needs.

2. Invest in Quality Labeling/Packaging. Get a good color laser printer and get nice clear, glossy, or matte waterproof labels. Your label and packaging will not only be your first impression made to a buyer, but also your foot in the door to many opportunities. Invest in the most professional presentation of your product that you can afford. Each labeled product is your company ambassador in bathrooms and homes all over, hopefully flung far and wide!

3. Front Load your profit margin. Buy fixed oils, essential oils, and other raw ingredients and supplies in bulk. 50% of your profit margin is tied to the buying side of your business. Money not spent is money in the bank.

4. Cost in your Time, and Work Smart. The opportunity cost of what you would be doing otherwise, in conjunction to what you would have to pay in wages for another to do it when you can no longer do everything on your own, is a good rule of thumb. Set your processes up so that you are using your time at maximum efficiency. Stop and review your highest expenses each month. Evaluate and streamline your time. That is where you will also find a large hidden profit center: Use of one’s time… Less time used means less cost per bar, in turn resulting in higher profit margin.

5. Market Yourself and Your Product. Start with products you love, believe in, and can get ‘Religiously Fanatical’ about. Beware of spreading yourself too thin, do what you do best! I advise new business owners to select a maximum of 5 products to sell (example: soap, scrub, bath bombs, lotion, lip balms). Push for the highest price per ounce that the market will bear on those products, so that when you do offer discounts, the ‘discount’ is really the initial price you might have been willing to settle for! Remember, you can never compete on price alone, there will always be someone willing to undercut you. Promote your products with a price that reflects their exclusive nature.

Build attractive Marketing materials. Even if you do not have an artistic bone in your body, you can find polished templates at places like Vista Print. Decide if you are going to be strictly Retail, Wholesale, or a combination of both. Choose a cohesive color scheme, logo, and “theme” for your business and marketing materials. This should reflect well what your products and business are trying to project. Create a business card. Develop a series of branded collateral (marketing) materials that include possibly a glossy, two sided company presentation, or showcase sheet, a tri fold brochure on your products, a post card that can be sent to special loyal customers on their birthday, and a sell sheet (if you are wholesale).

Use QR codes on your business cards and flyers so that the Smart Phone Savvy will use this function to immediately use them to “like” you on Facebook, sign up for your newsletter, and/or access a Coupon you might be promoting.

Use good search engine optimization practices; join the Handmade Soap & Cosmetics Guild and/or the Indie Business Network professional trade associations. Connect with the Social Media channels. Be sure to create links from higher Goggle page ranking sites that will market your product to prospective buyers, not just industry peers. The Handmade Soap & Cosmetics Guild, The Indie Business Network, the Real Handmade Soap Index, all have ‘authoritative’ Goggle Page Ranks of 5 or greater.

Generally the average soap website falls at 1, 2 or 3… on a scale of 1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest. Etsy has a 9. Seek to link with websites that have higher page ranks than your own. Keep in mind that forwards and redirects from your main index.html page to a /cart or /store landing will show a deduction of one full rank point from your page ranking of the /cart or /store website level, but that your website will still benefit from the overall network effect in Google Search returns from the higher index.html page rank score. You just will not get to see it due to the redirect. Don’t try to figure Google out, they change too frequently. Just concentrate on a quality presence in a variety of advertising venues.

You can go to Google.com and download the page rank tool and install it on your toolbar, it will show you PR on every website you visit, if they have a PR.

Last, I would recommend using customer testimonials, Blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Etsy, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon and other social networking tools to build and extend your web of network and social media links. Each link to your business in the blogosphere and internet creates a new interstitial connection to your business website. All auction listings, blog entries, and many public forum postings are indexed by Google and contribute to your website ranking. Create and Repeat ‘Talking Points’ in your signature files, blog posts, emails, and any blogosphere dialogues. Build your own news releases, press release, and online dialogue, even if no one else is ‘listening’ yet.

Gradually, you will increase in mass like a snowball rolling down a mountain, effectively creating your own true “Network Effect”.

Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

KellyValentines14Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20 year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Congrats to Janel of The Candle Attic

BizInsuranceCongrats to Janel of The Candle Attic for renewing their HSCG Membership and obtaining business & product liability insurance through one of our industry trade associations!

Soapalooza offers a $20 Gift Certificate when you join or renew your membership with either the HSCG or Indie Business Network (formerly Indie Beauty Network) and obtain your business and product liability insurance through them. Simply send us a copy of your insurance certificate PDF with date issued, and we will issue you a $20 Gift Certificate to shop at Soapalooza.com. More details on our exclusive promotion at the Soapalooza website.

Congrats to Darlene Kelley of Shadow Wings Farms

BizInsuranceCongrats to Darlene Kelley of Shadow Wings Farms for renewing their HSCG Membership and obtaining business & product liability insurance through one of our industry trade associations!
/
/
/
/Soapalooza offers a $20 Gift Certificate when you join or renew your membership with either the HSCG or Indie Business Network (formerly Indie Beauty Network) and obtain your business and product liability insurance through them. Simply send us a copy of your insurance certificate PDF with date issued, and we will issue you a $20 Gift Certificate to shop at Soapalooza.com. More details on our exclusive promotion at the Soapalooza website.

Congrats to Amanda Stott of Tiki Bar Soap

BizInsuranceCongrats to Amanda Stott of Tiki Bar Soap for renewing their HSCG or IBN Membership and obtaining business & product liability insurance through one of our industry trade associations!
/
/
/
/Soapalooza offers a $20 Gift Certificate when you join or renew your membership with either the HSCG or Indie Business Network (formerly Indie Beauty Network) and obtain your business and product liability insurance through them. Simply send us a copy of your insurance certificate PDF with date issued, and we will issue you a $20 Gift Certificate to shop at Soapalooza.com. More details on our exclusive promotion at the Soapalooza website.
/
/
/
/Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking!
/
/
/
/Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!
/
/Where soapmaking is an Adventure, an Art, and an Addiction!
/
/
/
/PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page
/
/We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Southern Soapers Soapmaking Training Materials returning

tallanimeBORDER-240x120I will be re publishing many of my former Southern Soapers soap training and soap making documents here on the Soapalooza blog. Many of them may still have my “Southern Soapers” copyright in the footer, but that is ok, as my parent LLC (BloomWorks Holdings, LLC), and my brand Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, as well as myself (Kelly Bloom) retain ownership of ALL copyrights pertaining to my previously branded Southern Soapers documents, web content, photos, fragrance descriptions, and forum contents. So, nothing fishy is going on, just simply releasing them on the new Soapalooza branded websites and blog.
/
/
/
/Enjoy. Many will link you to the new Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio Facebook Forum.  or to either my personal or business Facebook pages. I hope you will stay in touch, feel free to join or ‘friend’ me! Email me if there is a document or tutorial you remember I published on my former Southern Soapers blog that you would like to see sooner than I might otherwise get to re publishing here.
/
/
/
/Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking!
/
/
/
/Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!
/
/Where soapmaking is an Adventure, an Art, and an Addiction!
/
/
/
/PS: We would LOVE to connect with you at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page
/
/We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

From Supply Warehouse Manager to Artisan Soapmaker

Erin Southern Soapers Warehouse2010

Erin Laraine Groves, former Soap Slave at Southern Soapers

Meet Erin Laraine Groves, owner of Nederland Naturals in Nederland, Colorado. For those of you that remember when I sold my fragrance oils with my former Southern Soapers brand, you will have had many of your items poured, labeled, and packed by none other than Erin Laraine Groves. In the photo at left, you will see Erin in one of the empty BTMS drums, playing around.

Over the course of the first 5 years of my fragrance and supply business, three of my four daughters have worked extensively in the warehouse. During the Summer of 2010 and through the Spring of 2011, three of my daughters worked the warehouse at the same time!

Erin moved to Nederland, Colorado in 2012, had a baby boy (my first grandchild, Robert Burrios), and started Nederland Naturals in 2013. Erin spent many years watching and/or assisting me with my own wholesale soap company (BloomWorks Soap Company), as well as the Southern Soapers branded supply business.

Erin has her soaps in 6 stores in the Nederland, Colorado area as well as an Etsy store

2013-12-27 08.05.32

Erin Laraine Groves, Soap Pimp & Owner of Nederland Naturals

Using fragrances inspired by the city she loves, Erin Groves makes soap a new old-fashioned way. As a child she learned the process from her mother.

“My mother taught me the art of soap-making,” says Groves, founder of Nederland Naturals. “Helping her stir, cut and package soap bars is among some of my best childhood memories. When she retired, I continued to experiment with her recipes and invented my own along the way. I was always trying to get her to incorporate crazy things like wild herbs and botanicals into her soap, but she wouldn’t go for it. Now that I have my own soap company, I can add whatever I want.”

You can find Erin on Facebook here, and her Nederland Naturals Facebook page at this location. Below is a gallery of some of her most recent soap creations. Erin uses the Soapalooza  fragrances, which are the same formulas I used to sell with the Southern Soapers brand, in her soapmaking.


Awash in creativity, Nederland Naturals offers many handmade bath and beauty products, including soaps, brown sugar body scrubs, body butter, lotion bars, and natural perfume with prices ranging from $5 for a single bar/jar to $35 for a gift basket. All products are made with — and inspired by — local ingredients and fragrances.

“With all of my products, I strive to use formulas and methods that no one else does — even if it means getting really dirty. I love creating soap with a mix of fun, unusual, and natural ingredients for colorants and textures. ” Her top selling soap, Indian Paint Brush, is blended with local red clay. gingered Lavender is made with a beautiful French yellow clay. Other scents like Deep Purple Dreams and Pink Pepper Berry have fun exfoliants like purple jojoba beads and blueberry seeds.

Nederland Naturals

Nederland Naturals

She is currently working on a ‘specialty skin care’ line of soaps inspired by time honored remedies for problem skin, like green clay, pine tar, charcoal, and sulfur. “Everyone’s skin has a natural ‘soap prescription’. I love to work with base oils that are skin type specific.” Her ‘Spiced Pumpkin Harvest’ pumpkin seed oil and goats milk soap for dry skin came out this fall along with ‘Acorns, Amber and Spice’ shimmering shea butter body lotion bars. Look for her products around town in Nederland, Colorado at Dandelion, Blue Owl, Mountain Man, and the Co-op.

I am having so much fun watching my #3 daughter take off with her soapmaking venture!