Things are so fast paced these days, we spend more and more time either away from home working or working from home on the computer or both. Some of us have one or more jobs, then we take care of our children, our elderly parents, our spouses, our pets, our cars, our bosses, our laundry, and the list goes on and on. We rarely take care of ourselves. Those who give of themselves consistently, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, they are even taking care of others while on vacation. Taking care of ourselves is the last thing we do, sometimes it isn’t necessarily the last thing on our minds, but there just isn’t anyone else around who will take our place for a day or two so we can take care of ourselves.
If we don’t take care of ourselves, we will eventually break down. It is vital to our health and well-being to take care of ourselves, even just a little bit each week or each day. Taking care of ourselves can be as easy as spending 10 minutes before bed or just after waking up in the morning doing silent meditation. You can spend 10 minutes in your car before you exit thinking about the wonderful gifts or blessings in your life, how proud you are of a recent accomplishment. Take 20 minutes to yourself before your daily shower and apply some face mask while listening to some beautiful classical music such as Eden by Sarah Brightman (one of my all-time favorite classical music albums and music from La Luna a close runner up). Schedule yourself to take a yoga class, spinning, Zumba, Tai Chi or kickboxing or whatever it is that gives you a few moments of peace, tranquility, or time to yourself. Consider scheduling a monthly massage appointment for yourself or at the very least a pedicure where you turn off your cell phone and just sit quietly in the chair without thinking about all the other things in your life that need to get done, totally unplug for 45 minutes. You may be surprised at how good you feel afterward.
Drink extra water, reduce the amount of caffeine you consume, try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, use sunscreen when you are outdoors, wear your seat belt in the car, do things that give you peace, and spend a little time each day or each week on things that help you to recharge your psyche so you can continue to take care of the others in your life that need you.
As with most retail stores, I am in the midst of making products for the Fall season during the heat of summer. It can be hard to make Pumpkin Pie Soap, Hot Cocoa Dessert Candles, Winter Frost Lotion Bars, and Cranberry Room Sprays while the temperatures outside are in the 90’s with 70% humidity. Trying to conjure up thoughts of winter and cold, thinking up all the fun product names like Zombie Soap for Halloween and Snow Day can take some inventive tricks like playing holiday music, watching the classics like Miracle on 34th Street, and whatever else you can do to get into that frame of mind to pump your creative juices through your veins.
That’s part of what I love about running my own business. I get to come up with fun names for the product scents, I get to turn recipes on their head to see how I can reformulate for a different outcome, and figure out which colors I can use to help tell the story of each product.
All of our Spring and Summer products were created during the cold winter months of January and February so they would be ready for the warmer weather when it arrived. It’s funny thinking about floral scents like lilac and gardenias, fruity blueberry and peach fragrances when it’s snowing outside or the windchill is -4 degrees. Planning makes all the difference in the world. Putting those products onto the production calendar and planning for those products helps to keep things in perspective and keeps everything on track and moving smoothly forward.
Running a business involves some extensive planning, having a yearly-plan usually a very detailed monthly plan of product production, social media posts, and dates to purchase fragrances and other packaging and raw materials in advance of production can help you be prepared our customer’s desires. Having a business plan at least five years out at a higher level with somewhat less detail than the yearly can keep you focused on where you plan to go and how you want to get there. Planning in your personal life is just as important as planning in business.
There are so many ways to plan, there are so many tools you can use to plot your goals and achieve your dreams and accomplish the smaller tasks that lead you the bigger picture.
We will be excited to unveil each product line and scent profiles for each of the upcoming Fall and Winter Seasons. Stay tuned for what we are doing next…
When I brought my beautiful son home from the hospital and gave him his first bath at four-days old he broke out in a rash all over his body. He instantly had red bumps all over, everywhere! I had no idea why or what I had done wrong. I was so upset and worried and felt so guilty. I didn’t what had happened to him.
The next day after feeding him I washed his face and neck and he had another rash, I figured it must be the soap I was using so I stopped using it and only washed him with warm water for several months. I had bathed him with the hypo-allergenic soap that the hospital sent home with us.
I had always been interested in natural remedies although I had not utilized them much prior to the birth of my son. I started researching more about essential oils and using herbs in natural soap, bath, and skin care. I was at the local Davis Food Co-op to buy essential oils and decided to look through some of the herbal magazines when I saw a recipe for a natural soap using essential oils, and herbal teas. I bought the magazine and tried the recipe and it had such a heavenly aroma with Lavender and Rosemary steeped in hot water then used as part of the soap with a few drops of Lavender Essential Oils.
The next time I bathed my baby I used the natural soap and there was no rash. I was so very happy and relieved. Bathing my baby became a beautifully fragrant ritual that I adored and Dawson enjoyed. It was a peaceful and relaxing experience.
I gave a few bars of soap to my family who loved it and asked for more. I only made a few bars in that first batch of soap so I had to make more. I gave some to my friends and they loved it and wanted more. I saw a great opportunity to learn more about natural skin and body care. I started to experiment with ingredients and create formulations with herbs and essential oils. I applied for a business license in 1996, created a website and began learning how to make lotions, lip balm, liquid soap, sugar scrubs, and started selling my products.
Fast forward almost 20 years and I have now been teaching classes for over eight years to others who want to start their own businesses. I have a brick and mortar store, the business has grown, I am still learning, and still researching, and experimenting with new ways of doing things.
I have been on the Board of Directors for the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild as well, been a volunteer on several committees as well as worked on their conference team throughout the last nine years preparing the conference materials for all the attendees.
Each day is a new adventure, which I embrace with joy.