Boston Tea Party, with fragrances green tea, chamomile and mango sage.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Boston Tea Party, with fragrances green tea, chamomile and mango sage.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I believe those of us in business are holding our breath waiting till it's safe to breath a sigh of relief.
So what do we do? I'm not going to let a bad economy drive my business into the ground nor should you.
Stratagize with other store owners, create some kind of events to attract customers. Also be aware today's customer wants a sale, wants to know that they are saving money. That's what we have to do to keep going.
And this is the reason for the post. I offered a 15% off on orders of $200 or more at the beginning of the month and this sale ends on Halloween. Now this can put extra money in your pocket or it could give you the opportunity to have a sale.
A $29.00 loaf at 15% off brings the cost of the loaf to $24.65 and if you cut 1" slices then each slice costs you $2.05 each. At this cost you can do a sale of 3 bars for $15. and still make a nice profit.
Anyway I hope you all are doing well, keeping up.
Next new item we are coming out with is a guest bar sampler. There will be The Boston Tea Party, Free the Elves and Come Home for Kozy. I should have pictures for you next week.
Till next time
Monday, October 20, 2008
Pictured here is a half a loaf of soap. You could also just cut your loafs into thirds. The slice was cut for the sake of the picture. Added a ribbon and a bath brush viola you have a great gift set. Outlet stores usually have great deals on bath accessories. Another idea is go to an outlet store like T.J. Max and look for bamboo cutting boards. Add your half or third of a loaf to the board, with a dinner knife. (I like going to salvation army and getting the more fancier silver knifes) Wrap it all up in cellophane and you have a great gift idea. This will look so special on someone's bathroom sink.
Another great place to find some inexpensive bathroom accessories is the dollar store. You can get bathroom holders and scrubbies and more there. Use your imagination to come up with some great ideas combining things to make it a great gift.
What I might add to the loaf would be
Loofah (dollar store has them)
pretty wash cloth or hand towel.
If you should decide to do this wrap your loaf up with some cellophane or saron wrap then attach your item.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
SANTA'S NOG SOAP LOAF
Using striking copper and red showcased in a pale yellow bar we've created what we think Santa's perfect drink would look like. We specially blended scents to create a cinnamonny egg noggy scent that will have you singing Merry Christmas. I promise the scent will just fill the room.
GIVE A GIFT SOAP LOAF
Green and gold are popular colors for the season and we took advantage of that to create this wonderful soap. This fragrance is a combination of Christmas trees, peppermint, spearmint and vanilla. It's a nice warm winter night type of fragrance.
UNDER THE TREE SOAP LOAF
Christmas morning everyone hopes that under the tree is a big bright red present wrapped in a bow. Here it is and we fragranced this soap with a peppermint candy scent. One whiff of this wonderful fragrance will make you think of Christmas and gift giving.
We so enjoy creating new and different designs. With this process we decide what the bar should look like and then come up with just the right fragrance. We love our work and we hope you will love our designs as much as we do. Our hope is that you and your customers will love them as much as we do.
You can see these and all of our other wholesale products at http://www.firstinlinesoap.com/holiday_specials.htm
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Ingredients in our mud masque make it an ideal product for those with troubled skin. The dead sea clay with brine helps tighten pores and stimulate circulation. The addition of Shea Butter helps protect the skin. Bentonite clay and Aussie Black Clay help pull the oils and toxin from the skin and sea kelp and glycerin are added for their moisturizing benefits.
Shealoe is a blend of aloe gel and shea created to soothe dry and irritated skin. Rice bran oil is also moisturizing. Along with this is Tarmind Seed Extract (wonderful cosmetic ingredient) that helps increase moisture to the skin.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Teaching Soapmaking Classes.
I think I'm good at this soapmaking and I've had people ask me if I have classes. Will I be giving away trade secrets, maybe but I think it would be okay. If you read up on marketing and all of that stuff you'll read about how you should show yourself as an expert. This will do that for our company and hopefully they'll come and buy our products when they see the time, love, enthusiasm we put into our products.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
It's the beginning of July and we may be a bit late in creating our fall and winter soaps. We focused that last couple of days talking about what we wanted them to look like. Today was the day we put those ideas into soap. We created one Works of Art Soap called Fall of Colors (picture to the left) During the colder months the warmer scents become very popular like our Oatmeal Milk and Honey soap during the winter we can't keep it in stock, now it's just sitting on the shelf. So creating soaps for the fall and winter is not only about the look to emphasize those months but about the scents. So we decided to do a smores soap, now that might remind you of the summer, Barbequing but the scents we used to create it is totally warm winter. We used a hazelnut for the graham crackers, marshmallow for the marshmallow and chocolate fudge for the chocolate. Yummy! We haven't cut into the loaf yet but will post a picture tomorrow. I do know that the soap smells great.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Laura Williams Musings has a wonderful blog and gave us a great review!
Scribbit is a fascinating blog about motherhood in Alaska. We sponsored Michelle's June contest with a $50 gift certificate. We had given her samples before hand and LOVED our Luscious Body Lotions.
Mummy Product Reviews gave us a GLOWING review of our products, and we couldn't be happier!
We also just signed up with two PR firms. We're very excited. We've already gotten a nice response from our first press release! We'll keep you posted!
John @ FILS/Soapier
First off, we've gotten a very nice response from the PR firm press releases we sent out. 15 different magazines, news stations and newspapers across the country are interested in seeing samples.
Now, let me put this into a bit of perspective, because I think it's important.
The release we sent out, we were told to expect about .5 to 1% response. We got less than that.
BUT. Prior to our sending out the release, we had ZERO exposure to these venues. So, we're all very excited.
Getting the Soapier brand out is what's important. We have another release going out in two weeks... we feel things are moving in a great direction.
I also wanted to post some images of our store, so people can check out what we're trying to accomplish here in Tarpon Springs.
You can kind of get an idea of what the store looked like a few months ago, here. It was good for our soft opening, but it wasn't enough. Here are some more shots.
We had the back wall orange, the side walls a kind of light orange. Couple months later, my mom wasn't too pleased with the colors, she said they weren't inviting enough.
The right side of the shop, the shelves, while inventive, weren't economic enough when showing product. The left side, the stained wood shelves, we all liked those. We liked the height of them for customers, and how clean they looked.
So, we changed the paint, changed the center display, added some great signs, changed the back wall display and the right side displays to this:
If you look at this picture, the top right, you'll see that empty shelf on the top. I put some more product out, so that they were straight, and shot this.
Looks better, right? Isn't that crazy?
Here's the outside of our shop:
We're kind of tucked away in the corner, but we get some very decent traffic during the season.
This is just a little display sign outside we use to get people to come in. It's two sided. The other side says "SOAPIER - SALE"
Redesigning the store window is next. Right now it's kind of functional, but plain.
We recently hired someone to work Monday - Thursday at the store, to free up my time so I can help at the shop, which needs cleaning and organizing. Then I'll start to work on more PR, the website, our fledgling myspace page and more.
Thanks for visiting, let me know what you think of the new shop!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Displaying product ideas for small stores
This is going to be one of those posts that will be in the "I know that" column for some, and the "Neat ideas" column for others.
What I want to talk about is how to display retail products properly. Now, this isn't an article on how to display items in a chain store where the home office gives strict guidelines on how to display and market product.
This is for small boutique shops that sell product they don't manufacture. Gift shops, salons, soap and spa product stores, etc. I'll be using our products to demonstrate... since we sell our products exclusively ;)
Promoting products in store
One of the things we wanted to help solve for our customers was promoting our line in their stores.
First In Line Soap, as a wholesale loaf soap seller, is trying to make the in-store marketing of our products as easy as possible. What we do is provide each loaf soap we sell with decorative signs, wrapping paper for individual slices, and decorative labels for each fragrance/design.
What this does is provide customers with an easy to read sign on the name and fragrance of the product. Wrapping a slice of soap and putting our decorative label on it does a few things. One, it reminds people of the product name they purchased and, two, sends them home with a little gift to open.
One of the things we've noticed at First In Line Soap is that our customers buy small quantities. Space might be the issue. We completely understand. Having our own retail shop forces us to not only make compromises with purchasing product, but also allows us to be creative in our displaying ideas.
Let's use our loaf soaps, which are our best sellers, as an example of customers making smaller purchases due to limited space issues.
Customer A has ordered two loafs of soap.
2 loafs of soap (and a slicer) would cost $83, plus shipping. We have a $75 minimum for first time buyers.
We recognize that space is always going to be a factor when it comes to displaying product. Most small business owners will tell you that they never have enough space.
Regardless of size, the fact is that a full store always looks better than an empty one.
What if you want to introduce a new product, but you only have a small space?
The first thing you're going to have to do is get some specifications. It would be a shame to buy a new product line and find out that not only is the space too small... but now you're stuck with all this new product, and you can't properly display it!
First In Line Soap loafs are 1-foot long, 4-inches wide and yield 12 1-inch slices.
On a 5-foot wide table that is 2-foot deep... that's a pretty impressive presence of soap you've got there! You could have a display similar to what we have at our Soapier retail store.
Now, maybe you have that 3-foot table. We're a new product for you and you want to see how things sell. So you buy two loafs.
What you're going to get is a pretty empty table with two great smelling soaps on it... but nothing that is going to catch your customers eye.
I recognize that this might be a bit of an exaggeration, but from our experience, we get so many customers that purchase only two to three loafs of soap, and not even multiple loafs of each! While there is no break in price for purchasing multiple loafs, we're all consumers. We all know that going into a store and seeing a rack of similar items triggers something in our brain that entices us to buy. Repetition, in all of its many forms, works to get people's attention.
Having a large selection of product (from one brand or multiple) can never really hurt you. But, having a range of products from a single brand you trust (and have experience with) will give the product a more impressive presence in your store, and will certainly catch your customers eye.
In our store we have a large set-up in the middle of the shop where most of our loaf soaps are. We also have our soap slice cutter there, so customers can watch us cut fresh slices for them.
We know most stores can't afford to give up that much space. But if you are opening up a new store (or looking to re-design your shop), you might want to consider displaying your strongest items (whether it be soap or stuffed animals or chocolate) like we have.
Let's take a look at two of our smaller soap products, our Soapier Accent Soaps and our Loofah Boats when it comes to displaying.
Soapier Accent Soaps are about 3.5-inches wide by 1.5-inches high and come in six fragrances.
Here's what you get when display 4 of our Kitchen Soaps. We get these kinds of orders all the time.
As a consumer, I would look at that and not be interested. The sign is nice enough, but there's nothing to hold my attention except for a bunch of white space. Put this in a store corner, and it will either get hidden or dismissed pretty quickly.
Here's what we did at our retail store. And while we know that space defines product quantities, you can be inventive on how you'd display 8-12 of these bars.
We used clear glass plates and stacked soaps all over, like they were spilling off the plate. The colors are such that that Kitchen Soap is striking, a contrast between the Chamomile, Clay and Seaweed, Jasmine and Orange Soaps. It almost serves as an anchor. And when customers get a whiff of chocolate and coffee soap... well, they always comment on it.
Don't have this much space? No problem! Get a large platter and stack the soaps that way. They are all very distinctive, people won't have a problem distinguishing between them.
Our Loofah Boats are a great combination of glycerin soap and loofah. They come in four great fragrances and are a hit with men and women looking for a soap and exfoliant in one. There are some people who are partial exclusively to loofahs, and they love this produce.
Here's an example of displaying them when purchasing a small handful.
When Soapier first opened, we didn't have signs up for our products. The store is so small, we figured that if people wanted to ask a question about a product, they would just ask. This is hardly ever the case.
Most customers don't want to be bothered with asking questions. They can see what the product is. They want to know the price and move on.
So we started making signs up for our products, and using a simple clear plastic bowl you can buy at K-Mart for $15, we displayed them like this:
Huge impact, nice sign, colorful, fragrant... makes a statement, right? Not a lonely box shoved in a corner, but a display that will attract customers. The ones you WANT to target.
The last example I'm going to give you is with our sugar scrubs. Sugar scrubs are not a cheap spa product. Super high end brands can sell for $40, minimum. It's not something retailers want to take a chance with because six of each fragrance from some of these companies will end up costing you an enormous outlay.
First In Line Soap respects its wholesale customers. And, frankly, in this economy, purchasing a new product can be quite scary. We deal with it every day as we try and stock our retail store with more and more bath accessories. What will work, what won't, what we won't be able to give away... we know the drill.
But just like everything else, if you're ready to take that step in purchasing a new product like our Sweet Sugar Scrubs, presence is key.
Our Sweet Sugar Scrubs come in a number of fragrances. 8 to be exact. You are going to want to offer your customers a choice of them, naturally. Perhaps not all 8, but 4 at the minimum.
Sugar scrubs look GREAT when stacked together. We suggest 6 of each fragrance. Take a look at how nice and vibrant our Sweet Sugar Scrub selection looks:
At our store, customers go right to it. All those colors, all those possible fragrances... they love it.
One of the things we suggest (though sometimes it's not possible) is to offer sugar scrub demonstrations for your customers. We have ours set up like this.
Basically, if someone is interested, you ask them what fragrance they'd like. Once they've chosen, you use the pitcher of water to wet their hands. Use a small spatula or spoon and spoon some of the sugar scrub into their hands. They rub their hands with it (make sure you tell them to get the backs!) and then use the pitcher to clean off the sugar scrub, all the while toting the sugar scrubs wonderful properties and selling points.
Give them a clean washcloth to dry their hands and viola.
The Sugar Scrub Hand Spa Treatment has been enormously successful in our retail shop.
Soap as a new product
This question is the rub, right? To try a new product or not to try.
I don't think anyone can really answer this question for you. And if they try and answer the question for you, chances are they're the salesman.
In regards to our products, the only thing you can do is the research and feel your customers out. Are you getting requests for soaps? Do you have space to market, display and sell a new product correctly?
There are very few products that sell themselves.
First In Line Soap prides itself on selling quality products, colorful, fragrant and unique, at good price points for our wholesale customers. We want you to make money, and we want your customers to like our products.
In the end you have to trust your own instincts. Because at the end of the day you have to look at your store and be proud of it. You have to look at your daily report and be happy, or figure out how to improve your business. You have to be happy with your decisions and stay positive.
It's hard, but we're not giving up. And neither should you!
First In Line Soap.com
Friday, March 28, 2008
What I (we) need to do is not bring my (our) personal spending styles to my (our) business. When faced with a buying decision we should mentally review and calculate what is the best business decision to make in regards to cash flow.
Now ABC company has a great item you want to bring into your store. You think it will be well received and your customers will buy it. Now minimum order is $100 but if you spend $500 you get free shipping. Click there goes that thrifty mindset on getting something of value for free.
But it's really not free because you've just invested $500 in merchandise that you are not sure will do well in your store. The $100 order would make a nice display and if they sell of course you'll make a bit less profit because shipping isn't free but it's a much safer investment for your money to just order the small amount and not get caught up in bargains. If it goes really well then do the bigger order.
I love sales and bargains and they just seem to find me and because I have an impulsive nature it's a problem. Hopefully I've learned my lesson after getting rid of about $300 worth of inexpensive jewelry for free to a friend who has a store that might do better selling it than I did. I tried everything to sell that stuff from ebay to garage sales to flea markets, but I realized that I was wasting my energy and time (especially when the flea market yeilded me $0.00 for 7 hours of work. )
So this morning I was up early and thinking about this and how I'm just moved to buy more because shipping is less. Now there's inventory to think about how to move it out and that's not a smart business move.
Now I'm not saying to keep your store empty with just a small amount of stuff, that's not my point. I'm saying that when you are purchasing an item don't make the decision to buy more because there is a sale.
Cash flow is king in the business world, not saving dollars and cents. Think cash flow first before making a buying decision.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I love color and all of my soaps reflect that. I think that bright, happy colors can put a smile on anyones face and that's my intention. So when we developed our bath gel line I was adamant on them also having great color appeal and I'm pretty sure we have accomplished that. Now the lotion... I opted to keep that in it's natural color.
Think about how these new products will fit in your store and how you'll be displaying them. All important things to keep in mind when you want a product to do well in your store and, of course, make you money.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I always wanted to have a store in an out of the way place and have it become a very popular place to visit. That's what my goal was for Soapier when I opened my store in Tarpon Springs in 2006 at it's location on Safford Ave.
Safford Ave is in the historical district of Tarpon off the main thoroughfare of Tarpon Ave. I know many many businesses have become successful even when they are off the main path of shoppers, I thought I could do that also.
Maybe I could have, but my focus wasn't just on retail. I have a web site (actually 2) and a wholesale business that needed my attention. The retail store took up time but to make Soapier a brand name and a place customers hunted for (and returned to) took up more time and resources than I had.
Plus, having the manufacturing in the same store (and with some rush orders) it never failed that product that was to be shipped always spilled over in to the retail portion of the store making for a less than pristine looking retail space. So we battled with keeping the store looking good while rushing to manufacture for our wholesale customers.
Hmmm... lots of foot traffic!
So I met a fellow store owner down there and he recommended I see his landlord for a space in The Sponge Exchange Mall.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Now, I've heard about this networking for years and just thought it was only for those professional type people. I have a store and wholesale business and just didn't feel like it was important for me to make the time to attend any of these events. Plus, when you are a small business you are wearing way too many hats and the networking hat just didn't seem to fit.
Today I've totally changed my mind. How this happened was I had a Valentine's Party at my store. The reason was to sell product, and I wanted it to be an event that those attending would have fun. Major advertising went through a Tarpon Springs chamber blitz. This is email and faxes to all the businesses in the area. Plus we sent out invites to other customers.
9 people showed up and most of them were my friends. I hate selling products to my friends. It was something I was taught not to do as a kid, but anyway, I was so disappointed. Sales were great but attendance was very poor. Now I worked very hard for this event and to have so few show up was very disappointing but I said I have to step back and take a look at this and figure out why. My fragile ego wanted to jump right in and say "no one likes you, Linda," but I knew that wasn't true. So I thought and thought and then had my 'ah ha!' moment.
The first event coming up was a Tarpon Springs Chamber event that's called Coffee With Class. It's held at the Tarpon Springs Yacht Club and breakfast is served from Panera Bread. So I was determined to go and start meeting and getting to know other business people from the area.
Sometimes you just have to do things outside your comfort zone. This is one of them.
So off I went and did my little elevator speech, mine was probably 20 seconds long, that's how long I've determined the blood takes to get to the top of the head.
But success was achieved
One meeting and I met two woman who want to introduce my products into their spa.
One meeting and a sale at the store.
One meeting and another wholesale customer.
Now on the otherside of this is meeting people who you develop relationships with who can be of service to you. I know I'd much rather do business with people who I know and trust.
There is a new business that opened up in Tarpon called Liberty Tax.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
What was that you asked? Is this one of my goals? Well it might seem on the surface to be with my goals (I do sell wholesale soaps) but it's not. Every part of our goals takes time, energy, planning and working and building on each other. It's like creating a firm foundation. One day I will sell to Disney but it's not today. Today I'm working on what I've decided is important for my business and chasing Disney today might just be a waste of time and energy. Disney is in the future. If I really want to get that account I have to do the other things first. Understand?
Sunday, January 20, 2008
When money is tight as this economy is creating you think is this a wise way to spend my money? I think it was, because I got to see things that will help my business.
If you want your customers to keep coming back to you then you have to show them new and different things. Is there another way then going to the shows to find different items to purchase for your customers? You might be answer yes I can see things in the trade magazine and your right but not everyone advertises and the ability to see in person is invaluable. Your customers are expecting that you will go out and purchase items for them to purchase that they will love and probably not the thing they loved yesterday.
You might ask should it just be Atlanta's show, well that's a good place to start but I have a theory that those on the east coast should go west and the west coast should go east. Why you might ask, well new companies are going to start out where they are located and there's a good chance you just might find a new company with a great product that your competitor doesn't know about.
Big shows, small shows, craft shows go to as many as you can. This will familiarize you to what is out there and I promise you that when you come across something new and exciting it will get your creative juices going.
Another great source for products is the craft shows. I found a company at a craft show that sells a sugar scrub to die for who was willing to wholesale it to me and that was 2 years ago and we still are selling a bunch of her product. No one else around me has that product.
Retail today is tough but it can also be looked at as an opportunity for change and for growth both for the store and owner.
Oh one more tip, if it's a new product for you don't order at the show, go home sleep on it, talk about it, think about it, etc and then if it still feels right, order. Impulse buying is a curse, ask me how I know :-)
Go out there and get em!!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
So I was thinking about this today while I was showering using our Loofah Boat soap. Now the Loofah Boat soap is my favorite. I love this soap! Here is a soap that makes you feel great. I lvoe this bar because the loofah when you use it on your skin makes you feel awake and alive. I used that first bar till the very end. Now when a customer comes in looking for something I'll be sure to tell them about how much I love the Loofah Bar. I'm sure that I'll sell quite a bit of Loofah Boat. Now you know how thoughts travel and build into other areas. So I realized that my wholesale customers should be offering a sample bar of soap to their sales team. Get them to try the soaps. Let them have from first hand experience of this and then this way they actually know what this soap is like. Now they may really love it (and I think they will) and then they can't help but to tell your customers. We love to sell what we love.
Now I can hear you saying thatit's just another expense that you can't afford, but I think it's not an expense but an investment, a marketing advertising investment. This is a marketing idea that will increase sales.
Try this with one salesperson and keep track of the amount of sales that person has with the soap.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
This is a confession blog entry about my love hate relationship with the dishwasher. This is an almost daily struggle.
I love the diswasher and how it cleans my dishes, the silverware well that can use some help.
I love the dishwasher because I can just dump them (dirty dishes) into the dishwasher and viola my kitchen is clean. The dishwasher is amazing and I wouldn't be without it.
But here's the problem, I hate to empty it. I really do and I avoid it like the plaque. Now this is really serious because I can look at that dishwasher with it's clean dishes and know it has to be emptied and I start to make promises to it and me that I'll get to it. Hmm when?
So at night I'm tired and I know that the dishwasher wants to be done but I'm tired and I just promise myself that tomorrow morning I'll do it cause I'm a morning person. So that night's dinner dishes sit in the sink waiting patiently to be put into the dishwasher.
Morning comes my energy level is high, I eat breakfast, drink coffee, walk the dog but decide that I'll just empty the dishwasher when I get home cause I really want to get to my business and that's way too important. So in the sink goes my breakfast dishes.
Nighttime boy am I beat I worked a good long day and I deserve this glass of wine and in a whisper I hear the dishwasher calling me. Especially when I see how dirty looking the kitchen looks with all those dirty dishes. "Dishwasher please I have had such a busy day, I promise tomorrow morning" On the counter goes the dinner dishes (cause the sink is full) with an I owe you to the dishwasher.
Morning comes with a resolve that I won't leave till the kitchen is clean. I keep that promise but first before I clean the kitchen I have to empty the dishwasher. I open the door with an ugh under my breath and just dig in. Not 5 minutes has passed when the dishwasher is done, cleaned out, empty, ready for the new batch. 5 minutes and that ain't no lie. All that promising and procrastinating for what? To get away without doing 5 minutes of work and it's really not work it's just putting dishes away I never broke a sweat or got achy joints or muscles from it.
I really can't figure out why I feel this way, so you might ask do I procrastinate putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher? Absolutely not I'm always ready to put in the dishwasher dishes that are dirty though except if the dishwasher has to be emptied.
So there is no rthyme or reason to this madness, I guess I'm just a bit crazy and have a phobia about emptying the dishwasher. How does that sound? You don't buy it, hmm me either.
Till next time
Monday, January 7, 2008
Well for one I HATE shrinkwrapped baskets. They look so cheesy and cheap so anytime I did one and did the shrinkwrap covering it was ugh. Plus have you ever felt that stuff? You know we are affected by all of our senses and feel is one of them and touching that shrinkwrap after it's be shrunk feels like brittle saron wrap now what kind of impression in your mind would that conjure up?
Okay so no shrinkwrap, NEXT I went on to cello on a roll from the local craft store. Have you ever tried to cut that stuff? Dear Cello On A Roll has a mind of it's own and hates the scissor. When you finally get it cut to fit, you gather it all up around the basket with products, add the ribbon and with all that work what does it look like? Folds and folds of cello and if you look really close you can see the product. Nope I hated that almost as much as the shrinkwrap.
Ohhh one day I came across some netting at Walmart for $1.00 a yard. Bought all they had went back to the store and did up some more baskets because I was convinced this was the way. Well this was getting better but I just wasn't happy, I didn't feel that zing when I'm totally happy with what I've done. These baskets reminded me of bridal or baby shower gifts and they weren't.
One thing I did forget to mention in my quest for the good looking basket was I wasn't placing my merchandise high enough in the basket. Actually all of the stuff should be up as high as the rim of the basket. Did anyone think to start a Gift Basket University for us people who need alot of help making baskets. This would save the trial and error period.
Gift basket creating is an art, and I didn't think I had it, which was depressing. With realizing one aspect of a good looking basket was to position the items way up and also using glue dots I was starting to get a bit hopeful that I might just get it yet. I wanted to create a basket that someone would be happy to give as a gift.
So for our Valentine push we decided to order some very cute stuffed animals from http://www.burtonandburton.com/. Even at my age (58) I still love stuffed animals. Now Burton and Burton is geared towards gift basket companies and they have some cello bags in sizes big enough for gift baskets. So I decided to try them. I am so happy that I did that I'm doing a happy dance. Now each bag costs about .20 each but they are so worth it. There are no folds that your merchandise is hiding behind. The quality of the cello is such that it's a crisp and clean look (remember creating for all senses) and most of all my merchandise looks fabulous darling.
Oh yeah and the stuff animals holding my product in the gift basket doesn't hurt either. I'll post some pictures as soon as they are done this week.
So if you haven't thought about doing gift baskets in your store do try it and if you have and were like me and had problems with them just keep plugging away and if I can help please feel free to email me at Linda@firstinlinesoap.com