A Range? Really…?

So, as work continues on my website (I know, I know, that’s another thing I’ve been banging on about for ever) my Web Designer and trusty assistant (aka my husband) has informed me that I need to develop ‘A Range’. Apparently I can’t keep making random batches of whatever I want to, with whatever ingredients / fragrances / colours I fancy trying and using a near infinite variety of design techniques. Nope, I need ‘A Range’…

Now I’ve read enough on Soap Business Best Practice over the last couple of years to know that this is true.Β  The main reason I guess is that I’ll lose business if I don’t have a range of bestsellers which are always in stock. I also think the website’s going to look a little crazy if there’s too much choice (and of course keeping a website up to date with an unlimited number of different products will be (I was told, sternly) a ‘nightmare’).

So, despite my misgivings, I’ve had to narrow things down a little and make some decisions.Β  I’m still going to make both Essential Oil soaps and Fragrance Oil soaps, though they’ll have their own separate categories, with no more than eight in each category to begin with.

To simplify things even further, Essential Oil soaps will all be made using the ‘Drop Swirl’ technique:

 

Enigma - Clary Sage, Rose Geranium and Lemon essential oils

Enigma – Clary Sage, Rose Geranium and Lemon Essential Oils

 

Spice Island - Aniseed and Orange Essential Oils

Spice Island – Aniseed and Orange Essential Oils

And Fragrance Oil soaps will be made using the ‘In The Pot’ (ITP) Swirl technique: (this first one is the soap that was in the mould in my last post – my first ‘post-move’ soap!)

Delicious - a dupe of the popular DKNY Be Delicious fragrance

Delicious – a dupe of the popular DKNY Be Delicious fragrance

Lemon Meringue - An intensely lemony yet sweet fragrance.

Lemon Meringue – An intensely lemony yet sweet fragrance.

The two techniques can sometimes look quite similar, and I might decide in time that that’s not such a good idea, but I’ll wait and see.

I’ll should still be able to indulge my creative streak as I’m hoping to make more seasonal soaps – I’ve missed a trick in the past by not making specific (for example) Christmas, Summer or Valentines Day soaps so that’s where I think I’ll be able to try out different fragrances and designs.

What do you think of my plan?

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16 thoughts on “A Range? Really…?

  1. That’ll be tough to rein in your creativity, but probably the best thing to do business wise. That and not annoying your web designer. πŸ˜‰

    It’s a great idea to keep the drop swirl and ITP for different types of scenting, although I’m sure you’ll have customers asking you to do the opposite, you know, just to keep you on your toes. πŸ˜‰

    Good luck with the business! I’m sure you’ll find the happy medium between what you want to do and what your hubby wants from you.

  2. I think your plan makes a lot of sense – have a range of core products and a few specials or seasonal soaps to spice things up. I am also trying to do the same thing, but I am not hurrying too much because at this stage, I feel it’s important to explore as much as possible. I’m sure the right time will come when I feel I have the best core products and I don’t have the urge to try out 100 different scents or buy 5 different BRVs. πŸ™‚
    Based on my observation, the people who buy all-natural soaps tend to keep on buying their favorites – probably for health reasons – but many of the customers who buy the fragrance oil-based soaps tend to anticipate new scents and designs because it’s part of the fun. πŸ™‚
    All the best on your website, business, and settling into your new place. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Silvia – I know what you mean about that urge to keep trying out more and more fragrances, but I HAVE to rein it in πŸ˜€

  3. That was the hardest for me…to stay with the same coloring on some soaps. People like what they like and some cannot do change, so have your “usuals” then be creative and fun with some “seasonal” choices. Your drop swirl is beautiful!!!!

    • Thanks Stacie πŸ˜€ Yes, the thought of being disciplined enough to do the same thing over and over doesn’t fill me with joy at the moment, but I know that’s the way it has to be if I’m going to grow the business. Ah well, those seasonal, creative soaps will be all the sweeter for it πŸ™‚

  4. I think that you are on the good track! Actually, I set similar objective for this year to develop soap range. According to current costumer demand (if I can name it like this) I realized that I always need to have soaps for sensitive/ dry skin, oily skin, face, exfoliation. I always do my best to have at least two different types of soaps per category. Whenever I want to try something new I always ask myself into which category that soap goes. I think that your soap range will help you to have good structure and planning and it defenetely will not kill your creativity :)!

    • Thanks Gordana – that’s really interesting about the categories – I’ve not really thought any further than separating the EO and FO soaps – you’ve given me more food for thought πŸ™‚

  5. I applaud you for your organizational skills and decision making. Definitely a great idea to make seasonal batches to keep your creative juices flowing. Keep kicking butt!!

  6. All of those soaps are gorgeous! I know that settling on a theme and product lines can take some time. You’ll find your path and decide what works best for you and your customers. Best wishes to you with your business!

    • Ah, thanks so much Jenny. It is causing a bit of a headache but like you say I’ll get there *crosses fingers* Put it this way, if I don’t, I’m headed for a desk job, yikes ;-D

  7. I think you made perfect choices for your ‘range’, and I think that’s a great idea to have seasonal and/or limited editions where you can bust out your creativity πŸ™‚ That’s what I had decided to do too, but haven’t implemented as yet…I’m such a procrastinator!!! πŸ˜‰

    • Ha ha ha me too Cee – that’s why the new website hasn’t made an appearance yet! It will though, it will Good luck when you do get down to it πŸ˜€

  8. Pingback: Makeovers (2: Wake Up!) | The Soap Mine

  9. Pingback: Makeovers (5. Lavender) | The Soap Mine

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