Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Swirl and Twirls

Swirls of indecision. I'm supposed to have the Autumn seasonal soaps and new product line already in the bag. The soaps should be curing merrily on their shelves. The new bath stuff should be decided, supplies ordered, labels made - the whole thing moving along somewhere in the works.

But I'm behind this time. Mostly because I just can't decide what to do. It's such a short little window from September through October, and then the winter holiday stuff gets introduced at the start of November. So I want to be a little smarter and pick scents or items that will last through the December rush, still be relevant and just be more fun choices for all the holiday buying that's coming up.

I also want to be smarter by using up some of the older fragrances and supplies I have on hand from previous years and seasons. It's not very efficient to just keep on doing brand new stuff all the time, and continue to buy loads of supplies which never quite get used up and start to stack up all over. It's a waste of money and space.

And there are other considerations too. I've got the Collage shop to think about now, with it's own set of unique needs. And the Puyallup Fair next month skews to a little different crowd but is a massive effort. I want to have some items that appeal to both markets instead of splitting it all up, investing in even more supplies, and going off in a million different tangents.

Unfortunately, either there is no way to do it all easily, or I just haven't figured it out yet. I'm still spinning around in circles, racing down one path, and then turning full circle and running down another path. So many ideas just wrestling it out, and frankly, there's nothing left standing that makes sense.

I've got a few batches of fall type soap made, and I think I can go with it. But I'd like to have a few extra scents to beef up the selection. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to fit in all the different batches of soapmaking I need to have done - the newsletter and fair are just a few short weeks away, and I've got a vacation planned in the middle of it.

The other stuff? there's one spray, maybe. Possibly new scents of the dead sea salts. Bath and body oil? Incense wands for the Fair? I can't keep the soap dishes, nail brushes and soap sacks in stock any more - it's crazy. What about labels and the whole look? That part is completely unsettled. Lip balms, yes, I want to do the pumpkin pie one again, and I've had it on my 'to do' list for weeks and just can't squeeze the lip balm making into my days.

Oy, the calendar needs updating. The web site needs a re-vamp and new pictures. I've got to get cracking on writing the letter itself. And the brochure needs an overhaul and my endless notes on all the above, that I've been collecting for months, are unreadable - although I have them all in one place now. Most of today has been spent on the computer - pricing, comparing, looking at options, calculating costs and profits. I'm tired, confused and feel farther behind than before.

What happens next is usually something miraculous. I have to say - it happens almost every single time, and yet I can never quite trust that it will happen again. Somehow I sit in this place which feels like a swirling toilet bowl for what seems like eons, panicking that I can't get it right. Weeks go by, and then months. And then one morning, I wake up and it's clear as a bell. And it's always just in the nick of time to finish it all up lickety split.

If I had to guess, I'd say it's part of the creative process - which is messy and unpredictable and scary at times. But when the deadline seems almost just out of reach, the whole thing falls together. From outside - it appears seemless and perfect. So that's my dark, little secret - just for those of you who read the blog. Shhhhh - don't tell anybody that my so-called seasonal genius ideas are really total chaos on this end. Last minute, seat-of-the-pants, luck.