Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's not cheese...



It's beautiful slippery, lathery soap. The feel of it on my skin; it's like the difference between Potato Buds and Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes made with Strauss Family Creamery heavy cream and butter, roasted garlic and Fleur de Sel; the quality is felt gliding across my body as it would over my taste buds.

And the scents; from lavender to anise--to petitgrain and orange, bay and rosemary--I know that inside of me is a person who can mix scents and textures to make soap in my basement the way I make dinner in my kitchen. Watching Lori Nova of The Nova Studio deftly creating soap today confirmed the instinct that sudsy bars for me may just be the thing. People---do you see the soap she made? Shower with it and you'll see why I am practically giddy. Watch Lori make soap and you'll see why I am feeling so high.

I'm great at flavors and good at timing in the kitchen and I know without thinking just what to do to make a perfect risotto. Why haven't I made a career out of cooking? The product is fleeting, I'm a little picky when it comes to food, cooking is hard on the body and restaurant hours are brutal. The inventory is extremely perishable.

But here, I get to mix and experiment and play and still get a scent and my oh my. Soap, people just might be my thing...who would've thunk?

9 comments:

Shaken Mama said...

Just remember not to use your KITCHEN spices here, WM. I mean, I like Trader Joe's Soy Vey Teriyaki as much as the next gal, but not in soap, you cooking fiend.

G'Ma said...

I'm not getting what the black speckles are. Can't say I want them on my skin...

Mrs. Whoozyer said...

Mom--I think the guests at the inn would be grateful for some high quality soap. Not that melt and pour glycerin with synthetic fragrance oils that every B&B known to man stocks. You need to be one step ahead--one step better. And you my dear-- need a Soapducation. Whoozyerdaddy knew instantly what the black specks were for. Exfoliation! Poppy seeds exfoliate. Whoozyerdaddy is a soap convert. He was not a believer. Now he just sits in his office chair sniffing soap. I kid you not. He says it is eternally refreshing and "some days you deserve it and some days you need it."

G'Ma said...

Good product should not require education. One should just fall in love with it. IMHO, the average, uneducated person is going to have the same reaction. Your pic looks like blackheads! Not a good marketing photo!

The poppy seeds would definitely not work for me - - - I can't see cleaning them out of my bathtubs, getting stuck in my washcloths and towels only to land on the floor, or them going into my gray water system. What is their breakdown rate? Are they going to clog my pipes? These are the kinds of questions you are going to have to be able to answer.

The B&B industry is a great target market, but the needs are very different from the needs of the average consumer. Have you identified your target market? I would need individually wrapped soaps with my custom label, and at a competitive price. Larger, more specialized soaps can be offered as a product line to sell to guests. I do a pretty good business with my mugs; soap would be a natural addition.

See http://www.paii.org/suppliermarketplace_results.asp?categoryId=17&Category=+Amenities for starters. (PAII is the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, the largest, best international association.)

And, oh - - - I use liquid soap on each sink to cut down on the cost of each guest needing to open their individual soaps, which is another challenge I would want met.

Unfortunately, it is usually less about product and more about marketing. You can have the best product in the world (look at the Angelcot) and fail when it comes to the marketplace.

BTW, left you a message yesterday. Will be in the area the 1st and the 15th. Call and we'll make plans.

G'Ma said...

You may make fun of them, the "glycerine soaps" that, BTW, all guests love and take with them, but this is a pretty great company and story, out of Novato, and your competitor in this arena. Another home-grown business that managed to do it right, and the price point with which you would need to compete.

http://www.fullersoaps.com/

Mrs. Whoozyer said...

Good points---although--I'm not marketing anything here. This isn't a product launch. I'm just writing about a new passion on a personal blog. Yes--it's a crappy picture. Not my best. But the soap can only truly be experienced in the shower. Tried to do a search on poppy seeds and plumbing and all I come up with are nefarious schemes on to make opium. Good to know for when my mother stresses me out ;)

Burts Bee's uses poppy seeds. The line is in Target. I doubt that they are an issue and that people won't buy soap with exfoliants added for interest and function. You also should put something over your drain to catch bits that are large enough to clog your system. That's what people do in kitchens--where poppy seeds are used in many recipes and where I am sure people bake lemon poppyseed muffins, eat bagels with poppyseeds or eat a poppyseed dressing as often as they use soap with a small amount of poppyseeds
mixed in.

Samples also say a lot. You can't base an opinion on a crappy picture on a personal blog. Any soaper worth her weight as a businessperson is going to develop a line and a marketing strategy. If she goes into wholesale or private labeling there's more to it. Lots of options there. Lots of opinions out there.

├╝berburber said...

oooh, I always WANTED to do that. tick another one off the list of hobbies I'd love to enjoy if I had the time!!! and/or add it to the list of things to do when I'm retired!

MtzMama said...

I admire you for finding something creative to do as well as soothing and lucrative (esp with two little ones)! You go you sassy, adorable, headturning, intelligent gal you! : )
G

Anonymous said...

I think it looks lovely and creamy...and like it smells delicious! I wouldn't think twice about the poppy seeds, I mean how many could possibly be in one bar of soap? They make it look like "gourmet" soap rather than just plain ole white soap. I just wish I could smell it through my computer!

n & j's mom :)