Friday, December 19, 2008

Death of a Salesman

It's over. My career as a soap maker is over. But my career as a soap hobbyist is flourishing, never you worry. It's just that I finally figured out, after 4 or 5 unsuccessful attempts to sell my soaps, that one or all of the following is true:
1) People have really poor taste in soap. Unrefined. Boring. Blah. 2)I really just like to make the soaps. I don't even like to use them. It's making them that's the fun part. So maybe that's why no one else buys my soaps but tons of people show up when I do a soap making party. Everyone likes the creative process, but not the actual soaps. 3) It's totally not economical to sell soaps that you make individually, one at a time. In batches, probably. but that's not how I do it. I like to try new things and make maybe 2 or 3 of the same thing at a time, tops. So it's never going to pay off to make soaps that way and sell them for $4 each. I spend hours and hours and hours making soaps and only end up with perhaps a dozen. It works out to about $.34/hr. Not exactly a working wage. My husband will be ecstatic upon reading this. He's been trying to convince me that I've been wasting my time since last year when I first tried selling my soaps at a farmers market (and sold exactly ZERO of them. I blamed the 40 degree weather and cold drizzle. But those may have been red herrings after all). So from now on, I am restricting my soap-making to for-fun only. Well, that and for gifts. I still intend to pass out my creations for every holiday on the calendar. You should start receiving your Hanukkah soaps soon.

Oh, and this is my latest creation. The Ocean Bar, scented like the Mediterranean sea. Salty and sweet. Price: $4.00 Free.


10 comments:

Suzie said...

Just when I didn;t think you could be more cynical, here you go.
You are awesome!
And just for the record, my good girlfriend who made and sold thousands of bars of soap back in the 90's says Bath and Body Works and liquid soap ruined her career/hobby.
hmph.

rychelle said...

I find that whenever I try to turn my hobbies into a "business", they loose all sense of fun.

That ocean design is really sharp looking. I love the h2o imprint.

devri said...

Sorry we don't use soap at our house..

jk


That is really cute...

My husband says the same thing about my tutus..

Koreena said...

I'm the same in that I like to make the soaps and give them away, but I hardly ever actually use them myself. I love that ocean bar!

Suzie said...

What if you hosted "soap making parties" Where you charged people to come use supplies and price per bar they make. Kind of like "bead girl" parties. That way you still get to enjoy your hobby and you make a little money and have some fun too!

Melissa said...

I think I would probably like your soaps if they smelt good.
Someone just dropped by a homemade soap (VT gift) and it not only STUNK! but totally dried out my skin.
Love your H2o design. AWESOME!

Tanja said...

I think their great. At least if its for a hobby you can still have fun with it!

Chelsea said...

That Ocean bar would be a great Hannukah present since it's blue!

I totally hear ya about making money from soap. I figured out pretty quickly that in order to make anything substantial you have to make/sell soaps by the thousands, whereas I do by the dozens. I'm not interested in having multiple wholesale accounts to keep up with. Ugh.

I still think you should open an Etsy shop! I think your stuff would move really fast.

tiburon said...

You know I like to makey!

Kristine said...

Interesting thoughts. I really enjoyed making soaps with you that one time. It was so relaxing. I hope the people I gave them to used them! I love the colors in the new H2O soap!