Friday, July 9, 2010
Not Much Logic Needed.... It's the Best Soap Ever!
It all began last December when I participated in a secret holiday gift exchange through the Etsyveg team. I'd signed on in November, listing, as requested, my likes and dislikes and such specifics based on the questionnaire created by Kylie aka SilentLotus. Then I patiently waited to receive an email with the name of the person to whom I would sent a gift. In mid-December, I wrapped up a handmade necklace especially picked out for my secret person and sent it across the country to California.
Shortly thereafter, I received my package from my secret person... no longer secret at that point... the one and only lulubugjewelry. I was excited, expecting one of her wonderful artisan silver pieces... such as this one, which I just love! However, I had a different surprise! She'd sent me a gift certificate to Krug's Eco-Logic shop. I'd seen Erin's soaps and read her posts on the team thread, but I hadn't tried any of her products as yet. Right away, I checked out her website and had absolutely no trouble spending my gift certificate! Previously, I'd purchased some other handmade soaps from other Etsy shops and had already decided that from here on out, I would use handmade rather than commerically made soaps. But once I received my Ecologic soaps in the mail... well, there was no turning back. I quickly became a Krug's Eco-Logic girl. Today I just received the products in the opening photo above... two soaps for hubby and one more for me, along with some facial toner which I'm very excited about trying. I've also purchased Body Butter (Vixen) and it is so wonderful for my skin.
So I decided that I need to share this fabulous maker and seller (who was, by the way, featured on CNN in January of this year!) here on the blog. Erin graciously agreed to an interview, and so... drumroll... here she is!
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a former science teacher turned stay-at-home mom. My #1 job and passion is my kids .. I love to run, and am desperately trying to 'add' that to my crazy schedule. The only time I have for myself really is before the kids wake up and that's about from 5-6am.
2. Five words that describe you best?
Caring, Empathetic, Open-minded, Passionate, Giving.
3. What influenced you to begin creating your product and how long have you been at it?
When I discovered my children both have super-sensitive skin, and after reading a lot of 'greening your home' type materials, I decided to start buying only natural products (cleaning and skin care). After a few weeks of that, I decided I might as well try my hand at making it. I read for months and months about oils and their properties, about soap making, and trouble shooting issues.
4. What is the most interesting part of being an artist / online seller to you?
That people enjoy what I do. People can share in something I create and it's useful - it benefits them. I am not much of an artist ... my mind just doesn't operate in that fashion ... but creating something useful is something I LOVE doing !
5. What is the most difficult part of creating and selling?
Time. There just isn't enough hours in the day. Between kids, the business (finances, formulating, testing, experimenting, production, labeling, ordering, etc... ), and the house (cleaning, bills, laundry, groceries, etc.. ). I really desperately need a good 5 more hours each day to be even close to being caught up with everything.
6. What is your favorite product that you make?
This is a difficult one, since each one has a specific use... and all are equally needed/used in my house. I probably feel BEST about the natural soaps. Everyone uses soap ( I hope ;-) ) and it rids homes of synthetic chemicals and detergents and is just SO much better for your skin than ultra-drying commercial detergent 'soaps'.
7. Of all the handmade items that you own, what is your favorite and why?
I love my headband - from an etsy seller - Weezawear. I have a black one and LOVE it !
8. Tell us about your other interests or passions.
Running !! I used to run competitively in (Div II NCAA ) college and afterward. I don't have much time now, but I'm trying to get back into that. It consumes a lot of time though, that I just don't have. My super-awesome former coach (and Olympian), Steve Spence is my running idol and is just such an awesome person. He was a great coach and I help others run using what he taught me.
9. What is your vision for your life in ten years?
Hmm... since I'm a dedicated mama, that all depends on where the kids are at in life. My son will be 17 (YIKES), and my daughter will be 13 (MEGA YIKES). I'll probably have more time for the business, so as far as that goes, I hope to be able to put in 8 hours of uninterrupted work. Hopefully, I'll be able to fulfill LARGE wholesale accounts and make my business a full time job (paying, and working). I'd love to also have a handmade shop, but in my head I have more time than I know I actually will ;-)
10. What is the best life lesson you have ever learned?
Wow. Great question. I feel like I'm learning something new every day. New experiences, and reinforcements of old lessons ... every day is a lesson. If I had to chose just one - I'd say to just enjoy each day. Life is so, so short and precious. Make each day the best - and try and focus on the positive. My kids make it easy for me to do that. They're the light in my life and really - the only reason I do anything I do. They make enjoying each day very easy.
11. As an established seller, what is the most valuable business tip you can provide to us?
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Try different selling venues, advertisements, social networking avenues etc... people will find you in different ways and places. I know of a handful of opportunities I'd have lost out on had I only utilized one of my selling avenues, or one social networking site ...
Also - there are some people that are emotional vampires in your life, and that isn't exempt from business interactions. I try (though not always successfully) to not let them drain me too much, and I try to focus on the positive. My mother just told me a saying my grandfather used to always say - "in 100 years, will anyone remember this issue/problem or will it even matter to you?" I try and remind myself of that if I'm having trouble in any aspect of life/business.
12. What concerns you most in the world today?
The care, concern and empathy people have for one another is diminishing. I think people don't realize we're all connected ... we're not as separate as we think we are. My hope is for my kids to think of others first and help anytime they have the ability. I fear that money and power drive so many interactions, that everything else falls by the way side.
Let me wrap up by saying, if you think you want to try a handmade soap, give Krug's Eco-Logic a whirl. The soaps are a whopping 10 - 12 ounces of sheer pleasure and goodness... and are natural and vegan! I love the Vixen scent... very sensual and warm! I think my hubby's going to enjoy the Pale Ale! You can follow Erin's blog where she offers special discounts and provides some very knowledgeable information about bath and beauty products.