Happy Thanksgiving! It has been awhile since I had the time to blog. I was so busy that my mind was just not able to focus on topics long enough to put words on the blogosphere.
First, a quick update to catch you up (and be sure to get down to the ‘second’ at the end also!):
I went back to school to learn about Real Estate in June. For the last 4 years the idea of committing to a building on a piece of dirt, with me completely responsible for it, has overwhelmed me. After 35 years living a gypsy lifestyle the military gives you, the idea of owning my own home felt scary, kind of like having a ball and chain on my foot. The idea of not being able to call a landlord to fix the leaking roof, the broken heat pump, or other unexpected repairs was a bit overwhelming, especially after never really having to ever be responsible for such things! Also, the fear that I might change my mind and feel trapped to the location was also frightening. I knew I needed to do something to make sense of my irrational fears, and learning the ‘behind the curtain’ details of Real Estate was the only way I could fathom being able to ever buy a home on my own.
I also needed to see what the business world outside my home office was like. I needed to measure who I was. I have this business degree, yet I have never worked for anyone with it! I have always simply run my own business, fitting it around either a military lifestyle, or my family routines. I’ve set my own hours, and they typically are a moving target … one day I may work 7 am to noon, another week I may be in the studio on a 10 am to 5 pm basis. Another part of the month I may be only working mostly 7 pm to 2 am in the morning. Just depended on what my family needed first. I wanted to see what working in a typical business environment was like. To measure my mettle, to mentally do a cost benefit analysis of my time and worth. I wanted to see the value of my time as a home business consultant and internet based business compared to the 9 to 5 business office lifestyle. I needed to find how my business and business model compared to that of people working for others.
And while I have been an employee before, it has been a long time, and in the teaching profession, not in the business world. It was really important for me to learn if I was using my graduate business education in the most profitable manner, one that I could measure against a tangible standard.
I learned SO MUCH! I learned my business unleashes me from so many constraints that most of my Real Estate professional cohorts or business industry peers are hostage to! I learned the value of my time as well as the ability to be in control of how my time is allocated during the day/week, and how incredibly priceless that is. I will never discount that benefits of being a successful entrepreneur again! I learned how very much I AM indeed the Chief Excitement Officer!
The June through October Real Estate training was money & time well invested, even though I know this is not where I will be focusing my business energies. The training and office/field time has removed my fear of buying my own home! It has taught me the value & power of being in control of my time, and has allowed me to measure my business acumen against something tangible. It has taught me also how MUCH I actually bring to the table as a single woman in areas beyond the business conference room! The education and on the job training was in many ways liberating on more intangible areas than I could ever have imagined. Additionally, I have made fantastic new friends, I’ve gotten to know my community better, and I have a marvelous seasoned business mentor. I learned more than if I had enrolled in a semester of business Real Estate courses at the College of Williams & Mary or VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University).
I am planning to maintain my Real Estate license and use it periodically for friends and family needs, but I don’t see myself pursuing the profession more than on a limited basis or for my own investment purposes.
My passion and heart are still with the soap making and independent bath & body industry. One of the unexpected outcomes from my Real Estate training is that my fear about being a manufacturer when single and on my own has also disappeared! I am going to restart my soap & body products manufacturing business again! The Real Estate training took away not only my fear & anxieties of purchasing and owning my own home, but also the fear of manufacturing without that safety net of a Plan A (husband’s primary income as the back up plan)!
The experience matured me, gave me confidence, and increased my excitement to do what I love best!
Second, I have a series of topics planned that I will be publishing on the blog regularly again! All on either soap making, body care products, fragrance, supplies, my new Savon & Bain soap making venture, and well ..just my circumlocutious, saponified life!
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!
Kelly 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 Fragrances. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20+ year veteran soap maker and supply business owner, consultant, trainer, and supplies wholesale soap for private label as well as Back Bar products for local boutique spas.
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! Look for us on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter as well. We would love for you to join us!