Alright, gang, hold on to your seats! It’s time for 5 quickfire questions for Melissa. Here we go…
Melissa: I have always enjoyed arts and crafts and making things. I also used to travel quite a bit for work and realized that bath products in the hotels were not so nice for my skin. Once I started researching ingredients and their impact on skin and complexion I understood that I needed to make some changes. I found a great business nearby, The Nova Studio, where I could take a class on how to make soap. Lori Nova, the founder and owner of The Nova Studio is a great teacher and I admire the way she has developed her own niche and business to help others learn new skills. From there I started making soaps from scratch in my kitchen, storing them in the garage and packing them in the dining room. Several months later we built a website and sales started coming in slowly and have been growing steadily over the past year.
Melissa: The creativity involved. The opportunity to dream big, and to learn (by doing) how to turn the dream into a viable business. There is so much to learn, and so many people out there who want to help small businesses succeed if you just ask for guidance.
Melissa: The Synergy Blend Essential Oils. These are great essential oil blends that take the guess work out of discovering the right blend of oils. I also like the website layout. It is easy to navigate and provides clear details on all products – thank you!
Melissa: I am inspired by images and scenery; images in nature and in publications. I can easily spend hours exploring gardens, and when I travel I try to visit gardens to learn more about a region’s flora and how they are used in making local beauty products. Ideas come to me when researching ingredients, and from friends, family and people I interact with in all types of settings. Our Shaving Soap was inspired by my acupuncturist based on her knowledge of herbs and personal experience, and my husband inspired our Manly Man Soap which is now our most popular bar.
Melissa: Be patient. Be clear on your goals and set a realistic time line for achieving both small and big goals based on your time and financial resources. You may need to change course along the way in order to achieve a goal, and you may also discover a different focus as well. This is OK, and will ultimately produce a more successful business. Be open to asking and receiving help; it is OK to delegate tasks to people who have experience in areas where you do not. You will save so much energy and worry less if you realize that you do not have to do everything yourself. If you are not having fun anymore it’s time evaluate why and what you need to adjust, change, stop doing, delegate, etc. Stay inspired.
Learn more about the Joy of Soap here:
Joy of Soap Blog
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Kat, small business owners always wear too many hats. I think it sort of just comes with the territory, ya' know? Oh, and the notebook thing? I carry one with me everywhere. And, it's funny how many of those 'great ideas' go by the wayside after I have a few days of quiet contemplation with them. As for your email program, check out Streamsend too.
Duh, I forgot to mention the other thing; finding inspiration from travel and things like gardens all around you. I totally relate to that; and I like Soapylove's advice on that: She says to keep a notebook. Write down all the details. Wait about a month and if the idea persists, then go for it. (loosely looosely paraphrased)
But that sounds like sage advice. When the idea just won't let go, then that is a signal to let loose.
OK. back to Mail Chimp vs. Constant Contact; the query……
Great interview! I needed that advice and I like the part about
being patient. Yes.
And the asking help. After we wear all the hats don't we. It can be exhausting; and I am so glad I have a "helper" to help me where I know I am outside my capabilities; particularly graphic design. But even in that arena I still wanna know how….. 🙂
You know, Type A persality and all….
What a great interview! And beautiful soap. I really enjoyed your advice..especially regarding asking for help and make sure it fun. Best wishes with your business!