Cash is King and Credit is a Pawn

Recently, I had the very unpleasant experience of having a corporate credit card cut my line of credit with them by 80% for no warning and no reason. Before you start to wonder, yes, I had made every payment on time, paying in full, monthly, for the last 7 years. My credit score has remained stable. Bramble Berry’s business has grown this year (thank you, thank you, thank you!). The company is stable. I am stable. There is nothing to ‘flag’ my account that this company can explain or I can figure.
Header

They sent me the form letter above. It’s cryptic and, it’s not even signed by a person. Meanwhile, it’s Q4, or ‘Busy Season’ when I actually use a line of credit to handle inventory swings. I have to wonder if my line of credit was cut because this company isn’t making any money off of me; I pay my line in full every month. There’s nothing to gain there. Or maybe it’s because I don’t play the Dun & Bradstreet game and refuse to give them my financial information because that information then becomes transparent to my (eh hem) fellow vendors (aka: competitors).

[Read more…]

Shimmering Sea Glass Cold Process

The ocean is a constant source of inspiration, from the icy blue colors to the fresh ozone scents. Inspired by the textures of the sea, this Shimmering Sea Glass Cold Process uses clear melt and pour pieces to mimic the look of translucent glass found on the shore. Melt and pour pieces are embedded within the soap, and placed on top with plenty of glitter for a crystal-like effect. A simple In-the-Pot Swirl creates a fluid swirl of teal, purple and white.

Over time, the embedded melt and pour pieces may begin to shrink slightly due to the loss of moisture. Using LCP (Like Cold Process) melt and pour bases helps avoid this, because of the lower glycerin content. Embedding melt and pour soap is a great way to recycle leftover bits from previous projects.

[Read more…]

Salvation Army Shopping Extravaganza 2014

Once you’re past a certain age, giving, rather than receiving, is what the holidays are all about. To get in the holiday spirit, every year Bramble Berry teams up with the Salvation Army to holiday shop for families in need. This year, the team shopped for more than 10 families! Team Bramble Berry had a blast picking out toys, clothing, housewares and anything else on the family’s wish list. A couple volunteer hours later, items for each person were crossed off the list.

Each team member received a list for a specific person to aid their shopping.  This list included what type of items the recipient wanted, along with any sizes or personal preferences. Below, Joe and I skim the coupons for any extra savings. More savings means more presents!

[Read more…]

Sunday Night Spotlight: Orange Essential Oil

Produced from the peel of the orange fruit, orange essential oils are well known for their bright and fruity scents. Popular in a wide variety of projects, orange essential oil is commonly used in cleaning products. Bramble Berry carries four varieties of orange essential oil: Orange Valencia Essential Oil, 10X Orange Essential Oil, Red Brazilian Mandarin and Tangerine Essential Oil. All are fantastic, but have various properties that make them distinct.
[Read more…]

Soapy Social Media Roundup

Anybody else feeling like there is so much to do, and so little time? The holidays have a way of magically speeding up time! This week has been full of holiday preparation, from decorating the house to wrapping gifts. On Wednesday, the team partnered with the Salvation Army to Christmas shop for more than ten families. We all had a blast, and it was great to get in the holiday spirit. Look out for a blog post next week documenting all the fun.

The kiddos are in full holiday mode, constantly asking when Santa is going to get here. “Soon, the elves are not done making the toys!” In the meantime, they have had fun helping me wrap gifts for others. Speaking of gift wrapping, check out the creative wrapping idea via my favorite pins below!

Pins:

Left to right, clockwise:

  • These Cheesecake Cookies may be too adorable to eat! Made with cream cheese and strawberry jam, the top is accented with holly drawn with food coloring.
  • Super easy to make, these Toilet Paper Roll Gift Boxes would be perfect for a wide variety of bath and beauty projects including lip balm, bath fizzies and soap.
  • Peppermint scented products are a great gift option, because just about everybody loves the fresh scent. These Peppermint Avocado Melt and Pour Soaps would make fantastic stocking stuffers.
  • “Throw kindness around like confetti.” Love this quote! We could all use a little more kindness in our lives =)

Instagram:

Once Christmas is over, it will be time to create soap for Valentine’s Day! This Queen of Hearts Cold Process soap is full love with sparkle, hearts, and cold process frosting.


Left to right:
I’ve said it once but I’ll say it again, crafting is better with friends! I had a blast  making melt and pour with fellow Bellingham business women. On the right, I’m in love with the adorable Stenciled Wedding Soap Favors that Jen from Something Turquoise created.

Twitter:

I hope you’re all having a great weekend! To keep up with the latest soapy social media throughout the week, you can follow me on TwitterTumblrInstagramPinterest, Vine and YouTube.

Facebook Photo of the Week (Dec. 6th ~ Dec. 12th)

It started raining early this week and hasn’t stopped yet, leaving Bellingham residents a little chilly. It was nice to warm up with the Roasted Rosemary Carrot Soup. With roasted carrots and onions, plenty of herbs and a little balsamic vinegar, this soup is creamy and full of flavor. It’s also paleo and Whole30 friendly, making it a guilt-free option during the decadent holiday season.

[Read more…]

Layered Lilac Loofah Cold Process


When planning a cold process soap design, fragrance oil selection plays a huge role. Some fragrance oils discolor brown (learn more about that here), making bright colors difficult. Other fragrance oils accelerate trace, which can make complicated designs like a Column Pour or a Peacock Swirl tricky to execute. Floral fragrances are known for their tendency to accelerate trace, but that doesn’t mean beautiful soap can’t be created with them! It just means you need to choose an appropriate design, and be ready to work fast. Setting up your soaping workspace beforehand helps immensely!
[Read more…]