A typical day here at Good Soap HQ during lockdown 2020
Get up at 7.30am hopefully after having a good sleep although that is patchy right now, like for many of us. Put kettle on - very important! Feed chickens, feed Ruby the dog, feed my goldfish Luna. Make a cup of tea.
Check Facebook messages and comments from The Good Soap page - I often receive questions and queries all the way through the night to my inbox so I deal with those as soon as I can. Check my emails - reply to any that require a reply. Check my web app to see what orders have come in since I went to bed - it amazes me that I get orders through the night, people on night shifts I think!
Unmould and place on trays any soaps or moisturiser bars that have been made the day before, this is a time consuming job. The silicone moulds then go through the washing machine on a hot wash so I take those out to be washed. This all happens whilst I am still in my pyjamas, so glamerous!
Try to have a little sit down to look at the news before getting dressed about 8.30am. As soon as I touch my clothes Ruby knows it's her walk time and I take her out for a 30 minute walk.
Get home, quickly eat breakfast, make more tea. Post on social media, and then I'm off out to the workshop to weigh out my pans for the day, between 4 and 6 pans depending on what is on the menu that day. Get moulds / tins ready for the products I am making. Carry the pans into my kitchen where I make the products. Most mornings I spend about 4 hours making products, inbetween answering customer messages where possible. I don't answer messages or posts when I'm making soap as I like to concentrate fully.
Once all products are made and in their moulds or tins I then spend time loading up the dishwasher which I have in a brick outhouse with the washing machine. Switch dishwasher on and peg out the soap moulds which have washed in the machine. Clean the kitchen and oven top before leaving the kitchen to continue other jobs.
If it is a Post Office day Dan will come with me to help me carry all of the parcels to the car and into the Post Office, on his lunchbreak as he is working full time at his own civil service job from here. This trip takes us about 1/2 hour in all. Home, where I try to have some lunch, check messages, emails and social media again.
All this time orders have been coming in through the website and they need to be wrapped and packaged so off I go to the office to print off my pile of orders and package them, usually about 2pm. This job takes up to 3 hours on a typical day, often longer. As I am wrapping, more orders and messages are coming through and so I complete those too.
After a wrapping session I will then put the soaps I unmoulded that morning onto my shelves in rows, after logging them into my Product Information File and assigning them a batch number. Placing these onto the shelves in rows takes time. Then there are batches of moisturiser bars or deodorants, or both, to place in their little bags, to be sealed and labelled, this can take over an hour. Again they get logged into the file, assigned a batch number and placed on shelves.
Any batches of soaps that have been curing that are now ready can move onto the 'ready to go' shelves. By this time it is usually well after 6pm.
At this point I need to log new stock onto my website daily and make sure numbers are correct, if anything has sold out I make sure is shows as sold out and if I won't be able to bring it back until my staff are back I remove it from the website. Soap sleeves need labelling so they are ready for the next batches, the office needs tidying ready for the next day. Any recycling is sorted and put in the correct tubs. Bins emptied.
At some point during the day I am often ordering stock - either ingredients, or tins, or soap dishes etc Some deliveries are taking longer at the moment so I try to factor that in. I also receive daily deliveries, which need to be unpacked and put away in their correct place.
Throughout the weekend orders are generally even busier and so I wrap these as they are coming in so I don't have a back log to deal with, if I leave them till Monday to wrap I will have a huge mountain to wrap in one go and there won't be any time to make products. Even though I still wrap orders I never make products on a Sunday, I usually try to make something for my home like a cake or bread which helps to relax me.
And so this is currently my daily routine - 7 days a week! I'm grateful to have my business still thriving, it's important for me to keep it going after all of the hard work myself and Michelle and Gemma have put in over the last couple of years. It's also great to be able to work safely from home at a job I love and I get overwhelmed by the support I have off my customers. It goes without saying that I cannot wait to have the girls back here working with me, not only to ease the workload but for the fun and laughter and friendship we all have. I really miss us being a team.
I also just want to end by saying to anyone reading this who has been working on the frontline, either in the NHS, in any kind of care work, in shops, in the police service, in transport, in the postal service, or in any capacity THANK YOU so much, from the bottom of my heart, you are appreciated, you are awesome xxx