Riding The Rollercoaster of 2020

2020 began as just another year........

After the amazing year we'd had in 2019 at The Good Soap we began 2020 full of beans, and with plans.......we were working indoors using my kitchen to make products and working from a room that we'd set up as a self contained workroom indoors, in which we'd had huge soap curing shelves built, we had shelves for 'ready to go' products and a section of the room for packaging parcels, it all worked perfectly. 

January went off without a hitch. I began working on a range of cleansers, I worked on the recipe, submitted it for saftey testing and worked on the specialist packaging with our designer Rachel.

February 14th saw us launch our specially certified baby soap The Good Baby, which I'd been working on behind the scenes for the last few months. I was excited to launch the baby soap and was so happy to see it finally on sale as part of our range.

March began with rumblings of Covid 19 and on my birthday, 23rd March, the country went into national lockdown. For us this meant that as the business was run from inside my home I was unable to have Michelle and Gemma in to work for me and I was left alone to work. At this point our already busy business went into the stratosphere as the country NEEDED soap! I was determined to see this through, I felt a huge responsibility to my furloughed staff that they both had jobs to come back to. And so I set to work pretty much every waking minute, making soap and all of our other products, wrapping parcels and doing all other jobs involved with running the business, 7 days a week to steer our ship through. For more about my lockdown time there is a blog post here.

April, May, June I worked alone as orders flooded in. I was fortunate that my son Danny, who normally resided and worked in Liverpool, had chosen to lockdown with me here in Wales and he assisted in some of the wrapping of parcels, but as he had his own full time job with the civil service his time was limited - I have happy memories of Sundays that we spent wrapping together, music on loud having parcel wrapping sessions <3 

During June my dad converted our outdoor workshop, which was used mostly for storage of oils and ingredients, into a workable space in the garden and this allowed for Michelle and Gemma to return to work at the beginning of July. The workshop was insulated to make it temperature steady, we had electricity put in and we set up a cooker, more shelving etc and moved all stock from the house into the workshop to create a stand alone workspace. 

In July once the girls were back working with me, and once the printing company who were making the specialist labels were reopen we were able to launch our Facial Cleanser range. This was an exciting moment as it had been a long time coming! It was so amazing to be a team again and we soon adapted to a new way of working.

You may have thought at this point that I may have been able to take a break but no, there was still much to do and during July I started working on new recipes for our autumn and Christmas range. I got these recipes submitted for saftey certificates and worked on new labelling with Rachel, and we also redesigned some of our exisiting packaging.

In Autumn we had a mini launch of a few new soaps and moisturiser bars as a little run up to our Christmas product launch. Michelle was beavering away making all of the Christmas stock ready to go on launch date and the house, garden and workshop started to smell like Christmas!

One October morning I received a message off one of our customers to say they had just seen our Moisturiser Bars and Deodorants featured on the Lorraine Show on ITV. I was in the postal depot dropping off parcels when I received the message and so rushed home to catch it on ITV plus 1 with Michelle and Danny. It was very exciting to see our products on TV!

October also saw the launch of our suspended soap scheme where customers can donate an extra soap with their order, to be taken to the food bank. Times are harder than ever for a lot of people and we wanted to do our little part. We deliver a box of our soaps each week to Ty Hapus Community Food bank in Llandudno donated by The Good Soap and our customers.

November and December have gone by in a bit of a blur, our Christmas products have flown off the shelves. Michelle has beavered away in our little workshop making the products, Gemma has wrapped piles and piles of orders. 

Everyone has a different experience of 2020 and I feel I have been fortunate to be able to work safely from home. It's not always been easy on a personal level, sometimes it's been tough going, but I'm happy that we got through with our jobs intact and with a thriving business ready to take into 2021. 

As ever I couldn't do what we do without my wonderful Michelle and Gemma, who are as much part of the fabric of The Good Soap as I am, and Danny who was a huge help during lockdown. And to my mum and dad who are a constant support and help - and my faithful furry companion Ruby who is always by my side. We really are a team xx

So after negotiating lockdown, after having 4 separate product launches, drinking 100's of cups of tea, and sending out 1000's and 1000's of parcels it's time for us all to take a little break. Our website will be closed from Midnight 22nd December until 2nd January 2021 whilst myself and the girls take a well deserved break. We would like to wish everyone a peaceful and safe Christmas and New Year, and thank you all for your support during this last year. Lots of love, Dawn

December 10, 2020 — Dawn Rhodes

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