A Planning Failure

If there’s one thing I’m learning, as the business slowly grows, it’s that planning is everything. Actually, I hope I’ve learnt a lot more, but planning IS crucial. I like to cure my soaps for a full six weeks before releasing for sale, and trying to work out potential demand a good month and a half ahead of time isn’t always easy.  Last year I made two Christmas soaps, and I had a good deal more left after the Christmas rush than I would have liked. How popular do you think a soap called ‘Christmas cake’ is in January? Yup…

This year, I was determined to avoid the same mistake again, and decided to make just one Christmas soap. I chose my fragrance carefully, and opted for ‘Jewelled Cranberry’, described as a ‘festive berry fragrance of juniper berries, elder berries and cranberries with supporting notes of pine nuts, orange peel and crisp apple’ and supplied by Gracefruit.

Jewelled Cranberry

Jewelled Cranberry

I gave it the usual six weeks cure time then posted it on my Facebook Page stating that it was a limited edition. The response was as amazing as it was unexpected – all 15 bars were sold within 24 hours. So that was it, my whole Christmas offering sold out before the end of October!  I was thrilled of course, but also a bit frustrated, at myself, for not foreseeing this possibility. Yes, I could have made more, but by the time I’d ordered the fragrance, made the soap, and waited the requisite six weeks, I would most likely be too late for the Christmas shopping period, and would end up with a surfeit of holiday soap in January again.  Very poor planning from a business point of view, but a valuable lesson learnt for the future!

Oh, and that Christmas Cake soap? I changed the name and it sold rather nicely, thank you very much 😉

Have you made Christmas soaps this year? Please share your links in the comments – I’d love to see them!

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13 thoughts on “A Planning Failure

  1. I had exactly that same experience last year! I took my soaps to a Xmas fair last year just to learn that people preferred all of the other soaps. I sold about two bars of my Xmas soap and that was it. 😀 I am so glad to hear that advertising them on Facebook worked better for you. Will try it next year.

  2. It’s hard to predict how sales will go sometimes. Sounds like your business is growing and doing well – congrats on having such a great response to your Jewelled Cranberry soap, which is beautiful, by the way! I’ve made only two holiday soaps this year – my Peppermint Wonderland soap and a Christmas tree soap that I haven’t blogged about just yet.

  3. Your Jewelled Cranberry looks and sounds awesome – no wonder you sold out quickly! It is a festive soap but it does not scream of Christmas. I think you can still sell it even after the holidays.
    I made 6 different holiday-themed soaps this year (one I have not blogged about yet; the other 5 you may find here https://soapjam.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/holiday-soaps/ ). I don’t worry if I can sell everything because my family and I can always give them away as Christmas gifts. 🙂

  4. The Cranberry soap looks good, Vicky!
    Do not worry so much about this’ failure’ as you are new into this; after several years of practice you will be better at predicting how many soaps to make .

  5. Your soap is beautiful, no wonder you sold out 😊
    I also got short on my christmas soap this year – so I had to make another batch…. I’m throwing a soap party for my friends next week, guess the rest of them will sell out…. 😊

  6. Pingback: Christmas 2015 Soaps | The Soap Mine

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