Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meet the team:

Jean-Marie
of Daisycakes Soap

How long have you been making soap?
I've been making soap for almost 9 years. It has changed a great deal since I started. The availability of supplies has grown, and the number of soap makers has grown exponentially! The quality and variety of supplies has improved, too.

What about soaping (or B&B in general) intrigues you the most?
The business aspect of Daisycakes is what interests me the most. It's not my background at all, and I read all the time about business, finances & marketing. It's easily my weakest area, and studying how to improve my business in this area doesn't ever get old for me.

What is it about soaping that is all yours - something no one else does but you?
That's hard to say, because I don't study what others shops do. I do what I do, I love the B&B community on Etsy, but because I like and respect the soap makers as people, regardless of the fact that they are soap makers.
That said, I probably wouldn't even have Daisycakes if it weren't for authors like Sandy Maine and Susan Miller Cavitch, though. When I first started, I bought every soap book I could get my hands on. I read them all, read them again; and cross-referenced them. After I got the chemistry down, I don't really look to others and try to set myself apart from them, I just work hard and do what I do, if that makes sense.

Are most of your sales new customers or repeat customers?
My customers are a mix of new and repeat customers. I get many many first time Etsy buyers, which I love.

What is your best advice for someone just starting out in the soaping/B&B field?
Be yourself, and remember the only comparison that counts is your business now to your business in the past. Don't get bogged down with the cost of that ad or that show or that material--decide what you want your business to become in the big picture and then make the choices you have to make now to get there. There will be income gaps, huge visa bills, downtimes with technology, and gigantic investments of time with little immediate results. Count on it, so you don't lose sight of the big picture when they happen.
What is one thing you'd like to learn?
I'd like to learn to master color. I only made natural soap for the first 7 years, so I don't have a long history with colorants, and I don't have it down. I bleed often. ;)

2 comments:

DreamersWeb said...

And she's a super NICE person to chat with in the forums! :) Great to hear that you have a weakness too. It's easy for smaller soapers to feel overwhelmed, so it's good to know the larger soapers get overwhelmed by marketing and promoting too.

DancingMooney ♥ said...

I absolutely love the newbie advice you gave. I can't tell you how much it eats at me sometimes to use the visa AGAIN, to get supplies, but it's all to better my business and meet bigger goals.

It's nice to hear it from someone else, that it's okay to make sacrifices sometimes to help get to where you're trying to go.