We've Been Crazy Busy....
We haven't written on our blog in a long time because we've been just a little busy. We had our 5th blessing, baby Owen, in January of this year. He's already 7 months old now and such a joy! We've been really busy trying to get our yard and garden back in order too. We had chickens that free ranged in the yard and they absolutely destroyed all the work we had done with mulching and keeping our garden and flower beds weed free. We're slowly getting things under control, but it's taken all year to do so.
A short while after baby Owen was born, I was so stressed out from having a new baby, homeschooling, and trying to run the soap business that I wanted to quit it entirely and sell all my supplies, ASAP. I closed down my direct website that I had on Big Cartel and I'm glad I did. It was too difficult to run 2 stores and keep inventory straight. Plus, I was putting a lot of work into designing the website and learning how to do it on the fly. I was really burnt out. I also marked down all my soaps in my Etsy store and said we were closing right away. I had had enough. I wanted my life and family back. I was really stressed and post pregnancy hormones were taking it's toll. After I had a while to sort things out and not feel the pressure to keep the store running, it was a big weight off my back. We decided through much prayer and counsel that we could keep it open and it would be a great way to provide some extra income for our continually growing family. I would just have to slow things down. We were so busy last year with doing farmers markets, First Fridays, opening our Etsy and Big Cartel stores, and prepping for a 5th baby, it was insane! I really have no idea how we made it through last year, but we did.
Family Comes First
I have a whole lot of new soaps and ideas in store, but it's taking much longer than I would like to see my dreams become a reality. That's ok though. Family comes first. I also wanted to make sure the family was more involved in the process. For the most part, I was doing all of it myself. Although I had intentions of them helping, it seemed much easier to just do it myself. I wanted this to be something the family could work on together and hopefully be a full-time family business one day. That wasn't going to happen unless they became more involved.
Change of Direction
I also realized I wasn't going to have the time to make the hot process soaps anymore and it's a bit more dangerous to make with little kids undertow since you're dealing with the lye. I really wanted to keep making them, but at this point, it's not what's best for our family. However, I may continue to make our very popular beer soaps, but we'll see. I want the family to be able to help out more in the production of the soaps, and that's much easier to do with the glycerin soaps. Even our 3 year old daughter can help stir and she loves it. The boys are great with putting on our product labels and cutting out shipping labels for orders. So, we have decided to change over all of our soaps to glycerin soaps. All of our hot process soaps are currently half price in our Etsy store until we sell out. We've been selling a lot of them and hopefully will be sold out soon and our store and products will be more consistent. We are also going entirely vegan as well, so our goats milk soaps are half price until we sell out.
We've also been more active on YouTube recently. The boys have really taken to videography with my old video camera. We just recently purchased a new camera, so hopefully our videos will be better quality from this point on. I made a few YouTube videos around the beginning of last year and showed how we make an Oatmeal Lavender hot process soap. I really enjoy making the videos and have plans to show how to make some other hot process soaps as well as lots of natural bath and beauty product recipes, healthy recipes, and cleaning recipes as well with demonstrations. So far, we've made videos showing how to make homemade almond milk, popcorn, and how to roast coffee at home with green coffee beans. Our oldest son Camden, 8, has even helped with videoing some of the videos and the kids like to be in them as well. It's great experience for them and just one of the many ways we can add to their homeschool education and spend time together as a family. As they get older, I hope to teach them how to edit their videos as well. They even have a few episodes of their own cooking show, Cooking with Kids that I and Camden helped video and in the future, I plan to have them do it entirely themselves. It will be lots of fun!
So, that's basically what we've been up to and hopefully I can post more often about our new products and what's going on around here on a more regular basis. Stay tuned and check out our links below if you haven't already!
This is our new design for our French Lavender soap. We have lots of new soaps already in our store, and lots more to come!
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