Monday, August 24, 2009

Artisan vignette. Annie's Powder Room

Hey All! Happy monday :) So here is the interview i promised of from Annie's Powder Room, a handmade soap shop that is too cute for words! And yes, these are SOAPS, adorable, want-to-eat-them-they're-so-cute-soaps! Some of my favorites at Annie's Powder Room~ An Etsy Shop.

Artwark: I tumbled onto your shop while searching for nautical themed articles and i LOVE your shop! You soap scultures are so cute I would have a hard time actually using them!! Are they for use or decoration?

APR: I actually get this alot. I always say... "It's soap! Use it and come back for more

Artwark: :) They are so cute :D How long have you been making soap? What got you into it?

Crystal: Well thanks! I've been making soap for about 6 years now. My husband had just started his own business when my first daughter was born and it was a disaster from the very begining! That business was a MONEY PIT! We needed money bad and I really felt the need to help out but I did NOT want to get a job and leave my baby. So I started looking for things that I could do from home. I tried alot of things but when I tried my hand at soap making I was hooked! Back then it was just extra cash around the holidays but today its putting my husband through nursing school and my kids through sewing lessons! The whole family pitches in on some aspect of the business and we have so much fun with it! I think I may have three of the smallest soap makers on the planet!

Artwark: That is very inspiring!! Do you also sell your soaps in stores? How do you market your products successfully?

APR: I have gotten alot of wholesale accounts through Etsy! As of right now you can find my soaps in several states across America, in Germany, Austrailia and Japan...and counting ;) I also have my soaps in alot of little shops around my area.
I don't really do alot of promoting or advertising. Etsy has kept me really busy that I am afraid to promote too much because I don't want to get too busy. I homeschool our three little girls so thats priority number 1! I do teach a soap class at a little art studio by my house. My local business has really picked up since I started doing that and I have started working with alot of brides in my area. (soap makes great wedding favors!)

Artwark: Thats wonderful! Congratulations on all of your success :D! I really don't know anything about soap making...what is the process? Do you sculpt them or use molds??

Also~ as your business is booming, What do you see for the future of your soap business down the road?

APR: Thank you! Well...because my kids help out so much I've switch over to the M&P method. I've found a really good base that I like and I just melt that down and scent and color it. It's alot less involved than cold process but it allows me to stretch my creative muscle a bit more and its alot safer for the kids! My booger soaps are hand sculpted but for everything else I use molds...I really think thats the most important part...knowing a good mold when you see one. My dad is actually getting into mold making so once he gets good at it I've got a long list of ideas he has to work on :)

The future looks bright from here! I've always said that I'm gonna keep it small time while my kids are young so I can homeschool them and just hang out with them but when they get older I wouldn't be suprised if this was a full time family business complete with our own little shop...with dad brought in as the full time mold maker :)
When you ask my kids what they want to be when they get older their responce is "A Soapmaker!" I love that!

Artwark: Very cool :D Thanks and Im guessing you are Annie? or is that a shop name?

What state are you in? Do you think your location has helped your success? Any tips for other Etsy sellers??

APR: No- my name is actually Crystal. Annie is my middle daughter. My husband and I have a habit of naming our businesses after our children :)
I am located in Fort Worth, Texas also known as cowtown and I don't really think location has a made a huge difference for me. My number one tip for etsy sellers is to start with a good foundation! Don't jump in and try to get real big before doing your ground-work. Get all the business stuff taken care of, (the books, taxes, logo design, budget...all that good stuff) and then get a business plan. It doesn't have to be anythig super formal just a few business goals and how you plan to achieve them is a good place to start. And...if possible...DON'T get in debt!!! Oh and most important...HAVE FUN!!!

Be sure to stop by Annie's Etsy shop for sweet scented treats..and they are SO cute, make sure you don't eat them! I know i want to!!

See you wednesday for the weekly wishlist!


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Artwark is an up and coming jewelry business that began as a hobby 2 years ago. I am designer/marketer, Sarah and i welcome you to my little corner of the world :D