Friday, January 15, 2010

Fresh This Week: Erm . . .

Ok, so I've committed myself to posting a blog every Friday, announcing what's freshly made or new this week. It seemed like a great way to be more regular with the blog, more productive with my communication and a way to describe what's going on behind the scenes here at the studio/factory. All really good things.

One of the most important things I want to do with this regular "Fresh" feature is to link to the cool new stuff on the web site and hopefully increase traffic and sales. Of course. This is a business after all.

But this month it's really hard to do that. The "what's new" is still curing for a couple of weeks. I'm up to my eyeballs in making batches of soap to catch my inventory up to speed for the whole spring seasonal announcements in a few weeks. I'm making batches of the regular scents, batches of the spring scents, soap, soap, soap.

And I don't want to spoil the anticipation and excitement of what the spring stuff is too soon, so I'm keeping my lip zipped about that this week. In fact, I'm not even 100% sure what they are. I do a few experiment batches alongside the ones I think I'm going to do. Just in case something turns out super good, or super bad. It gives me wiggle room.

The other thing I've spent a ridiculous amount of time on this week, is sourcing new packaging. Sitting on my butt at the computer searching the internet for cute new bags and bows and boxes. Retail is all about packaging, so they say. And I strive to have new and unique looks to the gift stuff. I'm reworking the Pacific Northwest collection for this year, and the Suds for a Brighter Day sets that I had last year, where a portion of the sales went to Kiva. The balance is concept vs cost. I can't make it too expensive that it won't sell and I'm stuck with a big investment of pretty doo-dads that sit on the shelves. I placed a couple of small orders yesterday to try out some ideas. So that's not that fresh either . . . hmmm.

And finally, I've spent a few days shuffling around the show applications, pencilling in and scratching out things on the calendar. Trying to come up with new and better photos for jurying for the shows. Today the whole pile of them get mailed off. This particular task? So not fresh or exciting to announce. I won't know which shows I get into (or not) for weeks. So the show calendar on the web site is totally bare for 2010. I've got a few that I know for sure, a few that I'm pretty sure about, mostly later in the year. But nothing groovy and new to announce this week.

Other tasks going on this week: planning out an email promotions schedule for the year, supply orders, errands to pick up supplies and equipment, costing out shopping bags, catching up on filing and cleaning my desk, infusing the healing salve oil for production next week, drafting the spring mailing newsletter, buying stamps and getting envelopes ready for the mailing, sending out orders, trying to keep the cats from going insane with all this endless rain day after day.

So that's it. Nothing fresh, new, exciting or linkable for this week. But in the spirit of keeping up the commitment, I've duly noted what is happening here in the studio this week.