Friday, February 14, 2014

Labeling my Soap my thoughts

So today as I am here at the computer and having my morning coffee I wanted to write this post as a way of outwardly thinking....I am always thinking.  Maybe a bit too much.

In my little world I have more going on in my head than I could ever produce.  I love all things related to soap making.  (well sewing too but that is another subject for another day).

I love going on Pintrest, eBay, Etsy, and Artfire to see all the creative soap makers products. It's like acceptable "porn" if you can imagine that?  I will say I do tend to check out many sites and see what other people are all about.  Creativity and sharing is a beautiful thing.  I tend to look more into the colors other soap makers use.  And I will say copying someone else's work is unacceptable.  But sometimes I get a color block and love to see what others use.  Sometimes I am very surprised to see the way colors actually work, or how they are used.  

I feel that there are certain categories that we all fall under, as a soap maker.  Some are simple and plain while others are bold and loud.  What does that mean?  Well I tend to be the simple and plain so with that said, I will speak about my philosophies and maybe you can best understand my simple approach.  

To be a soap maker means that one will posses a lot of equipment.  I'll leave that for you to research.  I have taken many roads over the past few years.  And I have decided I am not going to be one of those who has to keep up with the "Johnson's".  I did do this at one time trying to make my soap so unique, and using my own spin on labeling and such.  But I prefer not to do this anymore.

Many soap makers will break down the cost of everything they use to produce and package that bar of soap.  Even down to the ink they use.  Supplies do cost money and in the end what happens?  You buy the soap, tear open the package and throw it away.  Have you ever thought about how much goes into packaging?  You are paying for what you get.  

A few years ago I bought a simple label maker.  It's called a Dymo and it is a label writer.  It does not require ink, it is a thermal label maker much like you get at the grocery store, gas station receipts etc...  and these labels can be waterproof to a degree.  This investment was around $120.00.  It isn't real fancy and can do what I need it to do.  No color only black imaging if you will.  Best investment I ever made.  It is idiot proof, no wasting labels.  And the best part is I can go on eBay and buy 350 labels for as low as $1.94.  While all these other people are buying Avery labels and making fancy labels and using up a lot of ink, and hoping to get their labels like they want and centered.  I do have Avery labels too and do use them from time to time.  But I have an issue getting mine centered for the whole page.  Some times a few are correct while the rest gets off centered and that costs money.  I have wasted more labels than I can count.  Buying special printers to do labels which can be anywhere from a few hundred upwards to over a thousand dollars.  If your in big business and lets say you own your own shop, then yes I agree go professional.  

For the little small business I want to keep my whole approach simple.  I don't add in costs of supplies.  Because my packaging doesn't cost much.  My small business is a hobby and yes it's nice to turn a profit but I know your going to throw that package away and I personally want to keep everything simple, and to the point.  So when you get something from me just know I am not a lazy person and choose the quick easy route.  I feel that I've had my time with struggling with other types of labels and I am pretty much done with the "unknown" of how it will come out or even using so much ink, or wasting labels.  

Some people might judge if it is a fancy label it must be great.  Wrong!  I did order some soap from a soap maker and to be honest I do try to support other soap makers.  But this one soap maker, her soap was so awful I tried to like it but about half way through the bar I threw it away.  The worst part is the label was beautiful.  I think it's very hard to find someone you like, someone who makes great soap.  There are tons of soap makers out there and everyone is competing to sell their products.  New soap makers are coming on board each and every day.  My hope is one day we can all squeeze out the big manufacturer's and take over, but until we can change the minds of people this will never happen.  You get what you pay for.

So I want to express in this post that I am not following along with what everyone else does.
I struggle with a Logo, I always have.   Many people invest in having one made, everything they do to say this is me costs so much money.   My soap alone should be judged since this is the product your are buying.  You can do much with the label appeal, but appeal alone isn't going to tell you how good my soap is.   Also I want to say that I have many many loyal and repeat customers.  They don't judge my work.  I have been told to stop fretting, they love the fact that I tend to do my own thing, and that I show a handmade/homemade appeal.

For those who may scoff and say I want a certain look to what I am buying.  I say good for you and also know that your pockets might have to be a little deep.  Please remember too there are people out there who just simply cannot afford when starting out (to afford all the extra's) with labeling.  They will do the best they can and hope someone will not judge them.
It's a vicious cycle.  

My point is please take the time to be understanding, to not judge if the label isn't fancy.  I flip flop all the time with what I want to do, and I have no standard label. This does not mean I am a fly by night soap maker.   I most likely will in the future stop the madness and just find myself and be done.  Packaging will be simple but my label might have to one day be uniform.  I refuse to pay someone to logo me.  I give thanks each day for being here just one more day.  So I work in the moment and don't try to be like others.  The artisan in me says to do as I please and this makes me unique.  I venture to do what I feel or how the soap dictates me.  

I hope this might clear up my thoughts as to why I do what I do and how I do it.  I am a simple and plain person who does not require much in life.  Happiness to me sometimes comes in small packages.   

As always I welcome your comments good or bad.  
Thanks for another day to be here and spend it with you.
Until next time...


1 comment:

  1. Well said, Debby. I have a logo, but spent a lot on labels when I was married and could afford to. Now that I'm on my own, I need to scale back. I'm even pulling some of my molds to sell - I don't use them, so best to give them to someone who'll put them to good use. Simplify. :-D Hugs to you, Suzy