Wednesday, December 24, 2008
As a business owner, I am plagued with both the good and bad of owning a business. For the most part, it is good. Today was good. In fact, it was exceptional and reminded me why I love this business.
I received several gift packages this week from some treasured customers. One of those packages included a cupcake soap from Serahsonline.com. Lisa, the owner, included a note of thanks along with her gift. She wrote, "You are one of my biggest suppliers and your products help make my business a success."
The packaging of the cupcake soap was great! The container, right down to the label, was professional in every way. The hand-tied ribbon was an added touch that let you know this soap was packaged with care. Thank you, Lisa, for the gift. BTW... we had a special helper visiting us on Tuesday of this week (the niece of one of my workers). We presented her with this soap at the end of the day. She is a third grader and thought it was the "coolest" soap ever.
Be sure to shop GoPlanetEarth online December 26 through December 28 for great savings. The following promotions are in place on these dates:
Purchase $35 to $50 in product, receive $4 off order total
Purchase $50.01 to $100 in product, receive $7 off order total
Purchase $100.01 to $200 in product, receive $10 off order total
Purchase $200.01 or more in product, receive $13 off order total
No discount code required.
Don't delay! Promotion Ends at the stroke of Midnight (EST) December 28, 2008.
From all of us at GoPlanetEarth... Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We were delighted to learn that Martha presented the Fish in a Bag project on her December 11, 2008 television show listing GoPlanetEarth.com as her choice supplier for this project. Thank you, Martha!
This project is just one of many featured projects on GoPlanetEarth's web site. This is an ideal holiday gift to do FOR and WITH kids. You will find a complete instructional here along with a list of supplies needed.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Aaahhh.... I got it!
Family traditions are what the holiday season special. I hope that each of you take time to establish a holiday tradition with your family. Whether it's baking cookies, making handmade gifts with the kids, opening an Advent Calendar, or decorating your tree with ornaments collected through the years. Whatever tradition you establish, it's about spending time with family and making memories that will last.
At our house, it's nutcrackers. I've been collecting them for years. We spend an afternoon unboxing them, repairing the damaged ones, and then carefully arranging them throughout the house. It's a family affair and we cherish the time together.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I can't believe that Christmas is only 25 days away. I've been busy preparing for Christmas PLUS organizing my Annual Holiday Girl's Night Out soaping event. As you can see (above), we've already started putting together the kits for "Soap Night".
This year we are making vanilla spice soy-based candles in recycleable tins, soapsicles in two different scents (for the grandkids), a luscious body butter, and a monster-be-gone spray (for all those monsters lurking under-the-bed at grandma's house).
I'm excited about this year's packaging. I ordered "all natural" labels for the products and we're using the all-natural Kraft gift boxes from GoPlanetEarth (for the candle project). Natural raffia ribbon is being used to showcase the boxes (see below).
Between getting ready for "Soap Night" and decorating my house for the holidays, I'm wrapping Christmas gifts. It's hard to believe there was a time when I really enjoyed wrapping; now, I'd be willing to pay someone else to do it. Thankfully, my Mom has offered a hand. Since my Dad's death in September, she is looking for tasks to help fill her day. She's been a God-send and I appreciate her help. When you run a business or work outside the home, time is a premium commodity. Any extra help you can get is valued.
I sure hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. GoPlanetEarth will resume normal business hours on Monday, December 1st.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I have repeatedly received emails asking for tips on how-to make melt and pour soapsicles. GoPlanet sells the pop mold kit and those purchasing it are wanting help with how to make the soaps and how to release the finished soaps from the mold. Hopefully, this video will offer pointers.
We tested all GoPlanet melt and pour soap bases and found all work well. As this video instructional shows, the soaps will release quite easily when using just a standard kitchen knife. You'll want to watch the video for the details.
Our small soap bags work are the perfect size for wrapping this soap. We used a crinkle soap cutter (we used one from this set) to take a bite from the fudge bar. It was so realistic that my 2 1/2 year old grandaughter actually tried to bite into the soap even though we told her it was soap.
These are such fun soaps and a great hit with kids. I'm planning on doing a batch in December with the gals in my 'Girls Night Out' soap group. Hope you enjoy!
GoPlanet's latest melt and pour soap project offers step-by-step (voice narrated) instructions for making melt and pour holiday wreath soaps using Mold Market's wreath mold. Visit GoPlanetEarth for a complete listing of materials needed to complete this project.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
To get into the Halloween spirit I decorated the outside of our home for the grandkids. They were thrilled to discover all the scary looking characters and eerie sounds once the sun went down. My husband and I (NeeNee and Poppy) carved pumpkins with the grandkids and paid a visit to a local apple orchard for homemade cider and doughnuts. It was a glorious day!
So, in the spirit of Halloween and all the fun it represents to kids (and adults)... here are Happy Halloween wishes to all of you from GoPlanetEarth. Hope you enjoy!
View our Halloween Greeting...
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Click here to buy a "MONSTERS BE GONE" kit. Includes everything you need to make (4) two ounce spray bottles.
Our eco-friendly, earth-friendly symbol is now being displayed on our web site. When you see this symbol, you can order with confidence and know that the product is part of GoPlanetEarth's green commitment. Not every item is offered as eco-friendly, but when that option is available, rest assured, we will always select the "greener" product.
Other "Eco-Friendly" products currently available:
- Olive Oil Soap Base
- Cellulose Bio-Degradable Bags
- Room Freshner Spray
- Organic Soap Base
- Pure & Natural Soap Base
- Phthalate-Free Fragrance Oils
- Adzuki Bean (an exfoliant)
- Stone Ground Oats (an exfoliant)
- Ground Loofah (an exfoliant)
- Natural Raffia
- Natural Kraft Gift Boxes
- Handmade Papers
- Natural Corrugated Wrap
Sunday, September 21, 2008
GoPlantEarth offers a nice selection of molds for making chocolate covered cookies. This is a great gift for the upcoming holidays and fun for the whole family. You can find the chocolate wafers (both dark and white chocolate) at local craft stores. I've listed links below on where to find these cool chocolate cookies molds on our web site, PLUS an instructional on how to make them.
Imperial Cherry, Awareness Ribbon, Plumeria, Stemmed Rose, Pumpkin, Cross, Bunny Rabbit, Easter Egg, Teddy Bear, Bride & Groom, Double Heart, Large Single Heart, Christmas Tree, Snowman
Remember, these same molds are also ideal for melt and pour soaps. They're a perfect guest size, approximately 2 ounces. We've used this same cookie principle but substituted a layer of chocolate brown soap; then, a layer of white soap frosting (see our video on soap frosting), and a final layer of chocolate soap.
Watch the video:
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
My main concern is my Mom. She will be staying with me for the next several weeks. I don't want her to be alone right now.
Thanks to all my wonderful customers for your emails and prayers. It is so appreciated.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Pictured above is my Dad with his 3rd great-grandchild just 2 days before his passing. My Dad was 76 years young.
Many thanks to all of you who have sent well wishes and prayers during this sad time.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I have cried more tears in these past few days than any other time I can remember. My heart aches and mourns as I watch this once strong man succumb to bone cancer. I pray that God takes him soon as I can't bear to see him in this state.
For those of you who have never suffered the loss of a parent, it's indescribable at any age. Helping my Mom pick out funeral clothes for my Dad's burial, sorting through a lifetime of photos for the funeral story boards, witnessing my Mom's pain at losing a man she's been married to for 56 years.... it's heart wrenching, but all part of the dying process.
My staff is working diligently to keep orders going out on a timely basis. They have been going above and beyond in helping me through this past week. So, if your phone calls are not returned promptly, or emails not answered immediately, please bear with me. I need this time to be with my family and to mourn the impending loss of a great man.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
As much as I hate to see summer end, I also look forward to the glorious Indian Summers that Michigan is known for. We have a put together a pictorial video of how to make our Autumn soaps. You will want to snatch up a Mold Market Maple Leaf mold for this project. It has fabulous depth for the various color pours.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I would love to take credit for this creative display of bath puffs. But, I can't. This wreath was made as a gift (by a friend) for Linda Nigro from Soapier.com.
Note the bath salts and shower gel attached to the wreath. I love the Santa in the tub. I'm guessing that the words "Soapier" were done with puffy paint or something similar. The clear iridiscent mini ornaments (used as bubbles) can be found at most discount stores during the holiday season. We're going to making a few ourselves and we'll post about it as we complete the project.
Did you note how the little bag of bath salts and shower gel were integrated into the design? The santa is an ornament positioned in a miniature bath tub. How cute!
Our goal is to inspire!
"I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I've been making M&P soap since 1999 and feel that I'm pretty experienced in it but your blog has taught me a thing or two... Again thank you for a great informative blog for this addicted soapmaker."
I met the woman behind this post, Linda Nigro, and fell in love with her web site soapier.com. I've pictured a few of her soaps in this post, but you really must pay a visit to her site. It's inspiring as is the interview she so kindly granted. Read below how Linda got started in the biz and glean business insight from a pro.
Denise: What about soap making intrigued you enough to turn it into a real business?
Linda: I'm a 59 year old and for as long as I could remember I just wanted to make something that others would buy. Back in 99 I started looking at message boards for different crafts and came upon the soapmaking forum. I really wanted to do cp but was a bit afraid of the lye (at the time I was in a small apartment) So I started doing m/p and haven't looked back since. It's a wonderful way to be creative and release those desires.
Denise: Businesses generally evolve. What evolutionary processes have you gone through to be where you're at today?
Linda: I could write an essay on this. I'm still evolving and besides learning about business you end up learning so much about yourself. In the beginning I did wholesale and I thought it was the way to go today I find it very difficult and time spent reproducing soaps leaves little time for creating. So now I'm cutting down on wholesale and doing more creating. One thing personally I've learned is that even if you think you are doing what you love (creating soap) I wasn't because of demands on production.
Denise: What advice do you have for others just starting out in business, or those wanting to start their own product lines?
Linda: Be clear on what you want to do. I believe very very strongly that the desire we have in our heart (for me was to create) is what we should be doing. Then find a way to do it that it will bring income. Don't be fooled and follow the $ first follow your heart. I followed the wholesale because of the bigger dollar and for quite a few years got tied up in it and lost what I loved to do.
Denise: What kinds of start up costs are involved in owning a soap making business?
Linda: You can start very small and then use your earning to add to it. Recognize if you become addicted to things Iike I did. I have about every color there is out there, plus a really really large inventory of fragrance oils. This cuts into your cash flow.
Denise: What makes your company unique?
Linda: No matter how many steps there are to making a soap I'll still do it for the creativeness of it. I want to be known for wonderful looking soaps that make you smile.
Denise: What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
Linda: Wearing every hat. You are the marketing person, the cleaning woman, the advertising expert, the bookkeeper, etc
Denise: What thoughts would you like to leave our readers with?
Linda: Love what you do, that's what we should be doing. It's wonderful to get up in the morning and be happy to get to work.
Denise: Thanks, Linda. I certainly wish you continued success! Your an inspiration to many aspiring soapers.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
The glossary lists terms in alphabetical order for easy reference.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Not only does Mold Market offers top quality soap molds, but they are also a strong supporter of the soap making industry in general. Their support includes the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild (HSMG), Novi Studio, Saponifier magazine and a host of annual soap making conferences & events throughout the US. Best yet, all Mold Market molds are made in the USA. Here is their commitment to USA manufacturing:
"Mold Market is committed to providing jobs for American workers and to supporting domestic manufacturers and suppliers. Our molds are American made and we are proud of this fact.
Mold Market molds are produced in United State factories. Many mold companies in the industry have moved production overseas to take advantage of low labor costs and generally cheaper production and material costs. We are saddened to find that some companies are advertising "Made in the USA" when this is not true. Mold Market elects to provide jobs to the U.S. workforce despite the competition from lower cost imports.
We hope that you will support us in our effort to provide high quality designer molds for discriminating consumers desiring U.S products."
Currently, GoPlanetEarth is offering a special. Purchase 7 or more Mold Market molds and we'll include a FREE eco-friendly, reuseable tote bag in your shipment. The bag is perfect for the beach, groceries, or the gym. Get yours while quantites last.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Among other things, the new legislation strengthens rules for lead content and phthalates (a chemical used in plastic) in children's products, mandates third-party testing and provides more resources for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal agency that will implement the new requirements. The vendors and manufacturers that we work with have taken an active role in the legislative process by working with members of Congress and the retail and toy industries, all with the goal of strengthening the safety of children's products in the United States. Since we sell a good number of rubber ducks and other toy embeds for soap making projects, we wanted you to be assured that
- 100% of our toy products are tested before they ship to us. We do not authorize shipment of products unless they meet federal safety requirements.
- The toy products we sell are tested by one of the world's largest independent consumer product testing laboratories.
You can be confident that I am focused on the safety of our products and are doing all we can to ensure the safety of children.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
I won't have much extra time the next couple of weeks as I lend a hand to care for my other two grandkids so that Mommy can recover. Please be patient while I take some time to enjoy this wonderful celebration of life. I promise to be back up to full speed by August to once again answer your questions and assist you with your soap making endeavors.
While the bulk of the document addresses the safety of foods and drugs, there is a section on cosmetics that, if enacted as it is currently stated, will have an adverse effect on any cosmetic manufacturer - and that includes all of us who make any products that fall under the FDA definition of "cosmetic".
This video gives more insight about how this act will affect small businesses and why it's important to take a proactive stand against this proposed Draft Legislation. As it stands, the act would require small cosmetics companies to pay thousands of dollars a year in registration fees and comply with burdensome paperwork that would serve only to put them out of business.
We understand that laws must be in place to protect everyone from unsafe products, but we are outraged by the Draft Legislation that would require small cosmetics companies to pay thousands of dollars a year in registration fees and comply with burdensome paperwork that would serve only to put them out of business.
If passed the legislation would deny thousands of families the ability to earn an honest living, and also deprive consumers of the variety of cosmetics and personal care products available to choose from.
We oppose this law and condemn any companies that support it as being interested only in creating an unlevel playing field where small and family owned businesses will be forced from the marketplace before they even get a chance to start out.
We urge you, as our representatives in Congress, to stop this law which would serve only to make it even harder for families to support themselves. We call instead for a real and meaningful discussion about how Congressional goals can be accomplished without enacting unfair laws that make it impossible for small businesses to survive.
In signing this Petition, we formally request that the Discussion Draft of the FDA Globalization Act of 2008 be marked up so that the legitimate concerns of small businesses and the consumers they serve can be translated into reasonable laws that protect consumers without also killing small businesses by making them pay unfair fees and comply with burdensome paperwork.
We sincerely thank you for your time.
Unlike other lye calculators on the web, the HSMG Lye Calculator allows you calculate by the total amount of oils used OR by the percentage of oils within a specified batch size. You can also calculate sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH) or a combination of both.
The Guild has licensed with the American Oil Chemist's Society to use the SAP values they have determined as standards for the oils. Since all oils vary from location to location and year to year, the AOCS provides a range of of acceptable values for each oil. In the HSMG Lye Calculator, you will see what those ranges are and what number is being used in the calculations. You will have the option to change the SAP value being used if you know the actual SAP value of the oil you have.
While there have been lye calculators available, there's never one like the new HSMG Lye Calculator when it comes to providing you with all the information and calculations you need to make the best possible batch of soap.
If you are not already a member of the Soap Guild, I encourage you to join! The Guild offers many valuable services designed specifically for those in the soap making industry. If you are already a member of the Guild, you can check out the Lye Calculator by logging in to the member area and you'll see a link in the top left menu bar.
Monday, June 23, 2008
For visual appeal and texture we added medium coarse sea salts, ground oats, and caraway seed. We were pretty happy with the results. I am hoping that the pictorial video we put together will inspire. How about a fruit kabob or chocolate fondue kabobs? Try adding some ground loofah for texture, or botanicals.
If you don't want to use bamboo skewers, use a large-eye needle (found at most craft stores) and thread the soap pieces onto hemp or natural jute cord.
Step-by-step printable instructions should be posted on GoPlanetEarth web site within the next few days. You can view the pictorial video below.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Happy Birthday Chocolate Spa Cupcake $29.99
A whimsical Happy Birthday Chocolate Spa Cupcake filled with indulgent chocolate-scented treats, including bath gel, body lotion, foot scrub, a candle and more.
Consider using a chocolate theme for your own bath and body products. GoPlanetEarth's fudge brownie, chocolate cherry and chocolate fragrance oils are ideal for "chocolate" themed products.
Package your "themed" bath products in a large paper bucket available here. Decorate the unprinted bucket with cut-out shapes from up-scale wrapping paper. Adhere the cut out shapes with craft glue. Fill the bucket with colorful paper shred, arrange your product in the bucket and you're good to go. When marketing themed product, you want all of the product, including the bucket, to have the same color scheme.
The gift set pictured is availabe at Costco and includes the following:
16 oz. White Chocolate Bubble Bath
8.4 oz. Cocoa Chocolate Bath Gel
8.4 oz. Milk Chocolate Body Lotion
7.5 oz Chocolate Scented Candle in glass jar
4.4 oz. Chocolate Peppermint Foot Scrub
2.2 oz. Cocoa Chocolate Bath Salts
Plastic Pumps 2-pieces
White Poof Sponge
Friday, June 20, 2008
The bag is constructed of 100% non-woven soft textured polypropylene with the look and feel of cloth. Measures 12" x 16" x 6". This bag sports stitched seams for durability, side and bottom gussets for extra room. Tear resistant and water repellent. Perfect for the beach or a day of shopping. Blue color. Hurry.... while quantities last!
Check out a few of the Mold Market mold designs: