Friday, February 19, 2010

Fresh This Week: Helping Hand soaps


Yanno how I had that brainstorm last year to add some little mini soaps to my product line, with half of the profits going to Kiva.org? I spent so much time trying to hatch up a good name. And eventually I decided on "Suds for a Brighter Day." I don't even remember how I arrived at that one. I just know that I wanted it to be cheerful and give some sort of hint that it was a "doing good works" kind of thing, without it being overly "charity"-like. If that makes any sense. Anyway, last week while I was just staring out the window in a stupor, a moment of total brain fog and I sort of got lost in what I was doing, a new name just popped up out of the blue and brought me right back to reality. The new name is "Helping Hand" soaps. It's so much more accurate. Perfect really.

The small sized soaps are truly hand soaps (or travel size) soaps. And they are designed to fundraise a little bit for one of my favorite organizations: Kiva.org , thus the helping hand part. The next little bit (in italics) is directly from the website and explains it all in more detail. I've kept the "Suds" listing on the site for now, but added the "Helping Hand Soaps" listing too, so that you can find one or the other easily. It's a perfect gift item. And I've sold bunches of them in the past couple of weeks, so I'm super excited to send them a really big number of loans at the end of the month.

The new soaps are more of the mini-soap bars (a la The Pacific Northwest Collection) that I added last fall. They are roughly half the size of my standard bars, 2x2 inches square, and weigh 2 ounces each. I am selling them in groups of four, packaged in a sweet, natural jute string bag, and the scents will change with each new batch.

The “Helping Hand” part is that half of all the proceeds for these new soaps will go directly to Kiva, the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. Tiny little loans of $25 go towards goals of several hundred or a thousand dollars, whatever is needed for a small business owner in a developing nation to get the help they need to start their business, or to take the next step towards sustainability. It doesn’t take much to help somebody who is struggling to make their little business a livelihood for themselves and their families. I’m so grateful that for the last 13 years I’ve been able to make a living with my own micro business, and I want to share just a little bit of what I have to help others do the same. It’s my way of having Soapworks Studio give back, and having you all - my most fabulous customers- share in that process, while getting the most adorable little mini guest or travel soaps in return.

One more thing – the fragrances of these will be in a constant rotation. This first edition has a fruity floral combo. I’m constantly doing experiments with new scents for seasonal soaps, or testing out samples, so I seem to have an endless amount of scents to try. These will be my new playground for now. You’ll get to try different, fun, new stuff. And as the year continues, there will be new groupings of 4 soap scents to choose from, matched so that they go well together.


Alright then? It's the same great little sack of tiny soaps with a new name. When the summer newsletter comes out in May there will be new scents to choose from. And the Helping Hand name will be official on the website and in the brochure that I send out. Have a great weekend - don't get too crazy with Spring Fever in all that sunshine!