Monday, March 21, 2011

New Focus

Sometimes I really hate it when I have to sit down and get REAL about my business. But it has to happen occasionally, and it happened in a BIG way last week. After sitting down and trying to kill myself with spreadsheets, I realized we needed to make some drastic changes to our product line or it would end up burying me.



OLD FOCUS

I'm sure some of you have heard of the 80/20 rule in business. Basically, it's when 80% of your business comes from only 20% of your clients or product line. Well, we're experiencing that. So we are going to be culling some of the 'dead weight' out of our shop. It's not that the products aren't good, or aren't loved. Far from it. But the sales on certain products or scents have been slowing in favor of newer ones. It happens. It's all part of a business evolving.

We are starting with cutting a few scent lines. Okay, more than a few.... Ironically, it is our main line that is hurting. The one that this business was originally founded on. It's part of why this hurts so much. It's personal.



The new scents that we just introduced will be given time to prove their 'worth' before they get evaluated fully.

All of the discontinued products are currently listed in our Etsy Shop. We'll be pulling them completely off our website later tonight.

At the moment, we are going to keep offering all of our scents in perfume oils, so that you can still enjoy these amazing fragrances without their being too much burden to create and store them on our end. When the original fragrance oils that have created these blends run out, we will decide at that time whether or not to repurchase them for the perfume oils, or to let the scent go completely. We have pretty decent stocks on all the fragrance oils, so the perfumes should be sticking around for quite a while there.

We are considering bringing in the retired scents back in occasionally on limited edition sales down the road. Kind of like a 'break them out of the vault' kind of sale. We haven't decided on this one way or the other, but it is something we are considering.


NEW FOCUS

What we ARE going to focus on is our Facial Care Line. It's going stronger than ever, and creates more loyal customers than our original line. We recently expanded our Facial Toners, and it's been very well received. We also just barely got in our supply of soaping oils, so I have plans to be restocking all of our facial soaps, so hopefully the threatening & pleading emails for those will stop soon! LOL!!! And I have some plans to expand the facial lotions as well, offer some more custom formulas there. I just didn't have the time or space before, but all the ideas have been brewing forever!!!

And then we are going to be heavily focusing on our Makeup Line. We introduced the Mineral Lipsticks in the middle of last year, and they immediately took off. It was honestly the beginning of the focus shift for our business. When we introduced the eye shadows in January, the shift became even more pronounced. Enough of a shift that in less than 3 months, 80% of our business was from the makeup & skin care lines.

I'm not complaining, so please, no one think that. I've known for a while that I needed to cut back somewhere. I was spreading myself too thin. I'm still mostly a one woman show. I occasionally bring in help, mostly for shipping, but the production work all falls on my shoulders. And my to do list was always getting longer each day, never shorter.

PERSONAL FOCUS & PROMISES

So even though it is still a little painful to be cutting out products that helped our business get its start, I am excited about freeing up the time to fully dive into these two areas. I often feel like the kid who just got one of those boxes of Crayons with a gazillion different colors, and I just want to play with all of them! LOL!

Also, over the last few weeks, I've silently watched two companies self implode on what seemed to have started out as small lies that became so big that they were caught in telling new lies to cover up the old ones. It made me incredibly sad to watch this happen. They were both companies that I had always respected, and admired for putting out beautiful products.

I've always believed in running my business with transparency. I got into this business in 2003 because of allergies and skin sensitivities. It's something I DON'T mess around with. I've always believed in disclosing full ingredients up front and in public view. In watching these implosions, I want to step up my 'transparency' levels. As long as you don't ask questions about exact formulas, my suppliers, or money questions, I want to be an open book.

Everything I sell is made from scratch. I don't use bases for anything. My soaps are cold processed (lye solution mixed with soaping oils). With all of my products, I make a large batch of the base products (lotion, lip balm, etc), then split it off into smaller batches to scent, color, etc.

With our Mineral Makeup, each color is personally blended, and the base ingredients (the stuff that makes it 'stick' to your skin) is added based on what that particular shade needs. Some micas need more help sticking than others, so in my opinion, a one size fits all 'base' doesn't work very well with eye shadows. But all of our products and our colors are unique to us and us alone. We don't even have any shades that are a single mica color. EVERYTHING is blended with at least 2 colors, and measured out on a very accurate scale (1/100th of a gram) so that the formulas are repeatable with accuracy. We have some other things that we'd like to share about our process, but I wanted to include some pictures, and my camera battery is charging right now.

But like I said, I don't have anything to hide with my business. Some things obviously will always stay private, like our formulas, but we always strive to be completely honest with our dealings. Our business is only as strong as our integrity. So if you ever have any questions about us, our business, our products, please don't hesitate to ask.

lindsay@blsoaps.com

Thanks again for listening. I know this was a long rambling. It's been weighing on me for a couple weeks now! I love you guys!!!

4 comments:

Pili said...

I'm really so happy that you have started the make up line, I've been so disappointed by some lines that I thought were right... now doubt has made me stop buying there. But your line does give me a LOT of confidence, and I'm really glad for that!

Keep going strong but don't forget to take care of yourself too!

Body Language Skin Essentials said...

I NEVER want anyone to doubt anything I make. It made me so incredibly sad to watch two insanely successful companies falter because they hid the truth about a few things. Some of the lies, in my opinion, were minor, while some were criminal. But it still breaks my heart, because it was all so unnecessary.

But it reinforced that what I'm building is strong, it's safe, and top quality.

And I'm working on taking care of myself too, don't worry! That actually is what is making these cuts a little easier. It cut my current to do list at least in half! LOL!

After we had made the decisions to cut back some of our original line, we had a confirmation that it was the right move for us. The new project is still just in discussions, but it's focused around pulling our makeup line into a very busy website under a private label. It's exciting, terrifying, and honestly makes me feel like puking a little bit when I think about how BIG this could really get, but the excitement is mostly winning the battle! LOL!

Shana said...

Honesty is the best in anything!

Body Language Skin Essentials said...

I totally agree Shana!!!

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