2019 - What A Ride!
I just wanted to write a little piece as a review and reflection of The Good Soap through 2019. Myself more than anyone is still amazed and constantly delighted and excited about the success of the business. The more customers fall in love with our products the more products we sell - and each product sold means one less plastic bottle in the system.
Over this last year also, as well as helping to reduce plastic waste it seems that we have helped many many people improve the condition of their skin - we never make fancy claims about our products but it seems using good raw ingredients, with no added chemicals has a mighty benefit on skin health and this has been confirmed to me by literally hundreds of inbox messages I've had along with comments on posts and reviews on our facebook page. This makes me extremely happy.
I started selling The Good Soap products, beginning just with soap / shampoo bars in September 2018, and in January 2019 I launched our deodorant bars, this was quite nerve wracking as up to this point I'd only been making soap and a totally new product was quite a risk but it was very well received and we've not looked back. January also saw the launch of our shaving soaps and salt soaps.
I started 2019 by still wrapping parcels on my dining room table, the business was expanding and taking over the house and so in February I made the decision to have a workshop built in my back garden. I'm lucky enough to have the free space, shared with my 4 chickens and Ruby the dog. In February I launched my website, built by my own fair hands (a woman of many talents!) and sales started increasing due to more visibility. February also saw the launch of our solid moisturisers, again my own recipe and a nerve wracking experience until I knew that customers loved them.
In March my sister Gemma joined me on a regular basis to help wrap my ever expanding orders.
May bought the opening of our local Zero Waste shop, the only one in our local area, and The Good Soap was, and still is, one of the suppliers - we are proud to have pride of place on the shop counter. May also bought the design of our beautiful logo, designed by my very talented graphic designer friend. Also during May my best pal Michelle started helping me wrap parcels as I was getting to a stage where I could barely keep up so really from that point Michelle was on board as a team member, casual to begin with until making things official in the summer. Mum too joined in with the wrapping. The team was growing!
At the beginning of June we launched our new branding and packaging which I designed alongside Rachel, the super talented graphic designer. The new packaging was very well received by the public which pleased me, also it was much quicker to use than the tissue paper we had been using up to that point.
By July I'd taken to drinking gin in the garden, ha only joking.....In July we began posting out in our cardboard boxes, saving us time and allowing us to give up the plastic tape - hence we were now 100% plastic free - Yey! We worked hard through the summer and I began to teach Michelle to make the products, if I'm quite honest I was struggling to keep up with demand being the only person making them. I'd got to a stage where I felt I was a little on a treadmill, I was working 7 days and making hundreds of products alone, waking up in the morning unable to stop until I'd produced enough. Michelle learning to make these took so much work off my shoulders.
Behind the scenes I was making new recipes for items I knew I wanted to launch, so making my recipes, testing my recipes then submitting them for cosmetic safety testing so they were ready for us to start making to launch to the public on the 1st October. This added Moisturising Skin Balms, Lip Balms, Pumice Soaps and 5 new soap flavours to our range. The launch was a huge success even though once again I was nervous of public reaction - again when the feedback started coming in I was very relieved and excited. In October too we had to move indoors to work, to a room in the house, it was getting too cold in the workshop - my dad did an amazing job getting the room ready for us, decorating it and building us custom designed shelving for curing the soaps.
And then the next stage of the year was towards Christmas, with Christmas products galore, Christmas photo sessions with our products, often placed in the Christmas tree or on my green velvet coat! One of my favourite jobs is taking product photos. With Christmas stalls, including one in Debenhams added to our usual work, December has been manic, and fun, and crazy and tiring! And where would I be without Michelle and Gemma, and without mum crocheting away our cotton items behind the scenes? I would not have been able to do all of this without the back up of my amazing team and I'm so grateful to them.
I could write so much more, it really has been a crazy ride - however, I don't want to bore anyone. All that is left to say is thank you to each and every person who has either bought a Good Soap product, or shared our posts, or commented on our page - we appreciate every single interaction. And each and every one of us is playing our part to help our one beautiful world. Here is to 2020 - and more of the same, and new products for you.
Lots of love from Dawn xx