On the personal ramblings side, I had a great time in Seattle yesterday and finalized the three top neighborhoods for our potential Otion expansion. The project is moving along very quickly, with mock budgets already done. Erik, the Otion store manager, will be working on three different retail store layouts – one based on more finished products, one based on more service related soap bar activities and one based on a much smaller footprint with only 50% of our current stock. It will be a busy month!
Last night, I hung out with Jody from Cucake Royale, Nicole from Baby Legs and Sam from Brain Candy Kids. We all met up to hear “Growth Expert” Bob Bloom talk about how to improve our offerings for customers. It was an inspiring talk. It got me thinking about building a community of soapers through more regional activities, like soapmaking boot camps. So, stay tuned in the next few months for plans around a Soapmaking Weekend in July in either Seattle or Bellingham.