Monday, April 10, 2006

No Animal Testing

After last week's little flurry of shows, I've unpacked, taken inventory and am having a morning of re-grouping and taking stock . . . sort of figuring out which of the new scents and new products worked or didn't work. This is a necessary step, and after doing about five shows this year, and having a few months of mail orders to look back on, I can get a pretty good idea which items were flops.

And today it doesn't look that good. The vintage hankie sachets are going nowhere. A couple of the new spring soaps are a bust. The lemon sugar body scrub -- zilcho, and they seem to be breaking up a little bit, separating ingredients now that they have travelled around a bit, and when opened up for customers to smell, are leaking at the top, ruining labels and oozing sticky sugary goo everywhere in the bins. New jars? Re-mix the base? Sale time? It just smells so delish , and it made my skin really soft too. Back to the kitchen on this one.

Now, some of this stuff I test out and some I rush into madly with huge hopes that they will work out. Usually it's just time crunches and deadlines that just don't allow me to make things far enough in advance to test fanatically. And glitches in packaging sometimes don't show up anyway, until they've ventured out for a couple of months to shows (shlepping back and forth to the car, bouncing down the highway, sitting in the warm sun or cold rain) and travelled cross country in a box handled by gorillas.

My absolute favorite soap this time around is the Candied Ginger. I love it to death. Nobody else on earth does, it seems. Which is really dampening my spirits this morning. It's petty, I know. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and though I try to do a big variety so that most people will find something they are attracted to, there will be people who only like one or two, or don't like anything. Some will be huge hits, some just have a little cult following, and sometimes one of my personal faves doesn't become the next big thing. Imagine that. When I test these scents on family and friends, I usually get a gamut of opinions too, and I just have to follow my gut instinct. This morning, I am telling myself that I STILL have to follow my gut instinct, because after all, it's gotten me ten years of fairly successful business, hasn't it? Even if nobody likes the darn ginger soap? Or the hankies aren't as cute as I thought they were? Not everyone is going to have the exact same taste as me. But I'm just hoping I haven't really begun to lose it either. All in all, it was a pretty darn successful week and sales were up, so I'll have to let the pouting go, and get back to work :)