Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day

Good morning all:

This is one of my favorite days of the year...Earth Day.  I'm closer to Mama Earth today than ever before in my life.

I live in the woods between two ridges of Dogwood and Redbud beauty this time of year. Honeysuckle is greening up and blackberries are leafing out.

I live in a Hollow where I'm dependent on the weather for my garden crops and herbs' production.  I have no air conditioner to obstruct my relationship with the air I breathe, and my water comes from a spring.

When the weather is not good, it is not good for me, either. But, when the weather is good, it is perfect.

I'm surrounded by trees, bushes, and plants of all types. The stars show themselves at night when there are no clouds, because there are no lights to block their beauty.

Birds in abundance, as well as insects, bees, spiders, and snakes.  I appreciate them all as I see how they live in nature, dependent on each other for food.

My mother cherry tree fostered hundreds of little trees under her girth.  It looks like a Cherry Forest!
This time of year, life begins anew. I'm glad to witness it once again.  And, I'm thankful my life's path has led me here, close to Earth on Earth Day. :)

Thank you all for allowing me to breathe aloud my thoughts for the day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New ArtFire Shop

Hi again.

I've opened a new online shop this morning at ArtFire.  I read there are some real concerns with the opt-in privacy issues at Etsy.  I realize, while reading forum threads and blog sites, that some customers will no longer shop at Etsy.  I don't know for sure if any of my customers have taken this stand; but if they have, I want to offer them my products at a more private friendly site.

It is my understanding that you don't have to "join" ArtFire to buy from shops listed there.

Many venues offering crafts and arts people a place to sell their handmade goods are socially inclined. Etsy, ArtFire, and a few others I've passed through encourage connectivity between artist and artist and customer and artist, and customer and customer by providing forums, blogs, ratings, etc. ArtFire just seems more user friendly to those who do not wish to connect.

So, this is a just a note to advise you of my new shop! I hope you will visit me there and check out my added location.  The Site is called Sweet Creek Soaps, but my banner is Sweet Creek Herbs.

Thanks ~Kathleen

Friday, April 8, 2011

Elegant Handmade Skin Care Now Ships FREE!!

April's Newsletter

Hi all!!

1) A definite news flash:  Sweet Creek Herbs now ships free (and reduced international) with a $10 minimum. 

I received a LL Bean catalog in which was stated that they were going to Free Shipping on all orders indefinitely, because the founder started the company that way.  It is a big deal in these hard economic times with gas prices increasing daily. It provoked me into thinking if I can offer the same to my customers.

I read in a forum that businesses do not make money when they ship free.  That is incorrect.  It cuts out the retail profit, but there is still wholesale profit. In order to keep the Free shipping indefinite, a small minimum of $10 will prevent losing money. 

2) New Format

You may have noticed some changes taking place in the Shop.  The goal is to create consistency, provide more than one of a product for sale at the same time, and provide feedback in a more convenient manner.

The consistency comes in the title and description.  Are you able to read the title and description with little question in your mind?  That is the goal.  What this means is you won't find Whipped Shea Butter, lavender in a listing.  But, you will find 2 listings of 4 oz. butters and 2 listings of 2 oz. butters of Your Choice - and you will now be able to buy 2 of the same butters without a special order. This will require entering your choice at checkout, and so far, it is working great. Thanks!!

Also, you may notice in all listings but (yet) the soap, feedback for that product. I am pulling (private) feedback from my shop's FEEDBACK and entering into the listings. I will continue to add as we go for your convenience in knowing what others say about it.

Which brings me to my next topic.....

3) Feedback!!!  I have received my first neutral feedback.  And, it seems, right after having received it, quite a few rolled in.  Much like the first one opening the door to a few standing in line.  0_0    Many of my peers and customers scoff at my concern as they seem to take into account my sales:

(Yippee!! > bragging rights>>)
 Over 3000 items sold
         1400 orders
          1900 positive feedback

Yet, 7 (7???!?!?) Neutral feedback as of this writing.  I've become nervous opening up the new feedback to read it.  LOL

Okay, yes, if you read them, you will notice many of them are nothing to do with my product.  hehe   And, all right, it is neutral and not negative.  And, thankfully, it doesn't seem to affect sales. (whew!)

And, I'd like to say for the record, I will not retaliate. In fact, I give positive feedback to every paying customer.

But, it does tend to bum me out when I read them.  If you are one of those 7 and are reading this - I offer to refund your money for your order.  Thanks!

4)  New products have been and are being introduced.  I now offer soy wax tart melts.  Not only are they a blast to create and make, but I love melting them in my personal sized diffuser.  I didn't have to buy a special tart warmer, which pleased me, to test and use my melts.  They are strong and true! One tart can last through several burnings and still continue to scent the air around it!

New soaps include 2 new castile soaps.  I love them! I'm using the scented right now, and it has become my soap of choice. They are made with organic extra virgin olive oil.  At trace, I add activated charcoal, a blend of green and pink French clays, rhassoul clay, kelp, and green tea powder in a bit of grape seed oil, and to the scented one, a blend of lavender and eucalyptus oils for scent (and benefits to ALL skin types). OMG, man, it's good.
Another new soap is my Goat Milk Banana Mango soap. This at the request of one of my customers. It smells rich and sweet, and the soap is a beautiful goat milk soap.  Mango butter is added at trace.
Brought back from last year's warm seasons and available very soon are Honeysuckle Hollow, Calendula Honey, Blueberry Cobbler, and White Jasmine.

Heads up - Whipped butters (all but the Mango) are in their last month of availability. Just letting those who read this know...they will go on sale the last few days of April.

5) I've made a major decision in my soap making career. I've decided to pull out of the Farmer's Market (65 minutes away) and put that focus into my online shop, gardening, and my family.  I have been a part of that market 5 years. I've made friendships that will last the rest of my life. :)  However, it requires 3 or more days a week to operate efficiently, and I've realized recently that has taken its toll on my family, health through gardening, and even myself.  This decision has brought a sense of relief and weightlifting. I hope you will see the results of this decision through my shop and activities here online.

Thank you for taking the time to catch up with Sweet Creek Herbs. I hope to be packaging y'all's order very soon.  ~kathleen