So here are my soaps, no longer bare and naked, but now sporting simple wrappers. I initially wanted a soapbox that is of a neutral color, in keeping with the natural-ness of my soaps. However, there is no printing press in my rustic city that prints soapboxes and the ones outside of my city that do require a minimum order of not less than a thousand soapboxes — on top of the shipping fees. How could I ever afford that?
Much adieau about wrappers
The next thing I wanted was a personalized indie-sh soap wrapper — perhaps stamped or with labels handwritten in a sort of calligraphy — but I backed out of the idea thinking nobody apart from my personal friends would appreciate such and that it would most likely take much time off my already full plate.
Oh, I had a million deliberations and hesitations — black and white or colored? feminine or masculine font? elaborate or minimalist? paper or plastic? In the end, this won out, at least for now. A compromise of sorts — simple paper that wraps around the 60 gram-bar, leaving the edges visible if anybody cares to peer through the equally simple plastic wrapper; brand name just conspicuous enough; description and all the other hulla-balloo at the back; the url to my site discreetly placed at the bottom and the variant label right smack on the middle the only one that screams color.
I might offer bare and naked soaps at a lower price for those who want them so. Who does, by the way? It would save you money and save me time wrapping. Best of all, it would save on ecological footprint, as the ecological pundits would say.
Even much more adieau about marketing
After the relatively simple decision-making over packaging came the more befuddling problem of how to market it. I invested a bit of what’s in my PayPal for a Facebook ad but the link to my first blog post on soaping was broken. Sigh. Non-techie me could not fix it, and so I let it at that.
Then I tinkered with that long-standing-yet-still-empty Instagram account that I had, ever since blogging gurus told about having one. I styled a soap variant individually on a specific day — usually during that hour right after the kids have gone to school — while as yet the dishes to be washed are still waiting in the sink and the laundry hamper is so full it seemed to assume a sinister life of its own. All it took was a few minutes anyway — okay, more like half an hour, if you count the gathering of accents and whatnots, the styling and the cleanup. I had fun snapping photos from different angles. I then timidly shared on social media — timid I would say as there was no hard-selling involved. Just letting my soaps out. It was free, it was me and it let out that crafty, artsy side of me that has been hidden for some time due to more pressing duties.
Something must have snapped right there, for out of the blue, aunties from abroad, classmates from elementary, high school, college and that aborted medical college stint came PM-ming me for inquiries. None of my instagram posts were pushy — I am shy that way. Some even asked about resellership. I balked, telling them I was afraid their goods would not sell, they have to try first, etc, etc. But to all of you there who believe in my soaps more than I do, please receive my sincerest thanks.
My biz philosophy
I intend to let my soap venture go on its own pace, just as I have done with this blog. I could not possibly give up the many facets of my life just for one thing. I do not want to be gobbled up by a single focus. How monotonous that would be. I still want to putter around the house. There is always the ministry to involve myself in. And family to demand the largest chunk of my time. I still want to make that kimchi. Create another batch of curtido and sauerkraut. Buy myself a calligraphy set. Dabble in watercolor — just as little me has done in primary school. And garden! One night as I was praying myself to sleep, I told God to just run my life the way He wants. He knows the kind of life that would make my heart happy.
So when I sold my first hundred soaps 2 weeks back — with some going to Korea and a box to Thailand — I was more anxious than elated. What if this business grew more than I have the time or the passion for? How could I ever hope to hire people? I do not have the heart to scold or hold others to the same standard that I set for myself. Talk about cowardice, I have plenty of that.
And so I commit this to God who knows what is best. I trust Him to bring me buyers. Or none. Whichever would be better for me, my family and the ministry. I still will practice slow as against hard selling. I pledge to not resort to hypes and any hint of dishonesty. I know in my heart the basic goodness of my soaps and I am already seeing positive results in my own skin and I trust that buyers would experience that goodness as well.
To the buyers I have had the fortune to have, do leave a feedback if you have some or if you have the time to do so. And for those who have have so graciously left me feedback on Instagram, email, FB chat, etc, please tell me if you are willing to have your feedback shown here — perhaps later when I have the time to compile them into a page. I will never reward positive feedback other than to say my heartfelt thanks. Cebuano, Waray or Ilonggo is perfectly okay, if language is ever a concern.
I may still continue to create soap variants, just because I love variety and I want to experience a long spectrum of botanicals in my soaps. I wonder how variants of radish, cucumber, pineapple, mango and dragon fruit feel on my skin.
For now though, here are the soap variants I have come up with:
- Annatto or atchuete seed powder
- Moringa or malunggay
- Organic coffee
- Local cherry leaves or bignay
- Activated charcoal from coconut shell
- Papaya leaves
- Lemon or Philippine lemons (calamansi)
- Guava leaves
Currently curing are:
- Egg yolk shampoo bar
To know more about my soaps, read up about cold-process saponification.
To know what are in my soaps, read the Ingredients in Leafy Lather Soaps.
To view all the variants, click on Leafy Lather Soap Gallery.
To buy my soaps, here are the steps:
A. Each 60-gram soap bar sells for PhP40. My introductory offer is FREE SHIPPING NATIONWIDE if you buy 10 assorted soaps. Choose 10 soaps, any variant, any combination. Send the list to me via email@example.com Here are the variants:
6 Cherry leaves (bignay)
9 Activated charcoal
11 Papaya leaves
13 Lemon (calamansi)
B. Pay via any of these avenues: bank deposit (BPI or BDO), via money senders such as LBC, Palawan, etc., or via PayPal.
If via bank deposit, deposit to BPI SA#9219-1752-37 (account name: Michelle Asuncion Mabalod).
If you pay via money senders, please contact me via email or via my mobile nos. above so I can give you the address.
If you pay via PayPal, send to firstname.lastname@example.org
C. Send me your proof of payment — screenshot of bank deposit or photo of payment slip.
D. Send me your full name, complete mailing address and mobile number so I can ship the soaps ASAP.