Sunday, December 02, 2007

It SNOWED!

Oh my GOSH! It snowed yesterday!!

Great big snowflakes, all afternoon. I never expected we would get that much, and it actually stuck. At least for the afternoon and evening. The kids were sledding and throwing snowballs, the cats were hopping around in it, when they finally braved it out from under the bushes. Or so my sister said. I was at the Phinney Ridge show all day, watching out the window and wondering how bad it really was. Because I needed to zip over to Bellevue as soon as we were done and break down the Hilltop show.

Turns out, it was starting to get slushy by then, and the roads were just wet, not icy. And the shows went very well. Almost too well.

There seems to be a shift in the universe lately. Suddenly there is so much more demand for the soap bars than I could ever have imagined. And I can't keep up with it. The mail order is so much bigger this year. The orders are larger than I've ever dreamed of. The shows are selling so many bars, bars, bars. It's not the same for all the other stuff, although that part is ok. But the bars of soap are flying out faster than I can make them.

For example, most years I'm doing another couple of shows this weekend in addition to Phinney. And I can only swing enough bars for the first day at that show, hoping that whatever I pick up from breaking down the other two shows on Saturday night will carry me through Sunday. Well this year I was only doing one, and it was the smaller one. So being all smarty pants, I had enough time and soap to bring the whole load yesterday - as much soap as I sold for the entire show last year.

However, by late in the afternoon, I was almost sold out. And what was left at Hilltop - almost nothing. And what I have here on the shelves - less than nothing it looks like. I've got orders all set aside that need to be shipping this week. And I've got just a handful of bars I was saving to restock Bellingham - far less than I would have wanted. And after that? Maybe 4 of this, 6 of that. The other batches curing need at least a week or two before they can go out - they are still squishy. So no way can I sneak those over.

I'm going to have empty bins. I'm going to have to be creative. And the shoppers today will have to come early or settle for other things -- like lip balm, bath salts, the fizzies. Plenty of those. But it's hard to sell little gift sets of soap mitts, washcloths, soap dishes and . . . . . . . no soap. I'm disappointed that I missed the mark, but who expected it?

So now, I do the best that I can, and crank up my plans for next year. If I get started early enough, and work hard enough, maybe. Just maybe. Pfffffffft. And then next year it will be the year of something else. Nah. I think the message is: it's the soap, baby. Just the soap.