Lucy's Soap Kitchen Natural Skincare Blog

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Category: Behind The Scenes in the Soap Studio

  1. 'Lucy's Soap Kitchen' Handmade Soap in The Leitrim Design House

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    I am really delighted to have my natural handmade soap and sensitive skincare products available with The Leitrim Design House at the The Dock, Carrick on Shannon, in lovely Leitrim. It's been available there for over a year now & it always makes me feel, just a little bit, proud that they feel it is good enough.

    I made the deicision this year not to wholesale my Natural Soap & Skincare products but to concentrate on my direct online shop. Selling products at a wholesale price makes it necessary to sell more to make the necessary financial return. This in turn means making more product. For me making & selling Handmade Soap is a lifestyle choice. I want to spend time with my small family without having constant deadlines adding to the pressure I sometimes feel. I still have deadlines and work commitments but they are mostly self dictated. When it gets too much or the children need me more, I can still choose to slow down. And I do.

    So, back to The Leitrim Design House! This shop is the only exception to my wholesale rule. They are close to me in my home county of Leitrim & easy to pop into for a chat & restock. They fly the flag for a lot of local Leitrim makers that I respect. It helps to raise my profile but also it reassures me that my product is a high enough standard to be sold in a premium venue like this. Perhaps I shouldn't need this reassurance - but if we are honest I think we all do at times.

    This is the little selection from Made in Lucy's Kitchen, Natural Soap & Skincare, that you will find on their shelves

    handmade natural soap celtic knots


    handmade celtic soap in gift box

     salt soak - handmade natural soap gift box

    handmade soap thankyou/teachers gift

  2. 7 basic tips from Irish Creative Experts to develop your "Essence of Design"

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    At the end of October 2014 I received an email asking if I would be interested in stocking products within the Leitrim Design House, based in Carrick on Shannon. I am growing in appreciation for this opportunity that I currently have.

    Yesterday I attended the 'Essence of Design' Seminar, held in the Design House, chaired by the straight talking creative mentor Eddie Shanahan. I presumed it wouldn't be beneficial  for me personally. I am not college educated, not attending trade shows or aiming to wholesale trade internationally. I thought the series of small lectures by each of the speaker panel would be directed towards people with those 'design qualifications'. I was wrong. It was insightful, practical and I enjoyed it. Here are 7  'nuggets' of advice I gleaned from the panel today; Heidi Higgins, Fiona Mulholland, Rebecca Marsden, Eddie Shanahan, Naomi Draper, Blaithin Ennis and Una Burke.

    1. Develop your business in achievable baby steps. There is no rush (only perhaps in your own head-this part is a Lucy-ism).

    2.) One off statement pieces are all well and good but to maintain cashflow a more widely accesible 'diffusion collection', that doesn't detract from your satement collection, is key.

    3.) Housekeeping & admin skills are the core part of your business. Without them you have no business.

    4.) Get in your car and take your product to the retail outlets that you feel are a good 'fit' for you. Business never just 'happens'.

    5.) Use good images that stylise a lifestyle, not a 'trend'. The age of 'trend' is gone.

    6.) Train regularly to find support and update your skills to use new technology that will enable you to move your business forward.

    7.) Always meet your customer direct and learn from their feedback how you can improve your product.

    Its very heartening when creative businesses in all avenue's face similar challenges and have the same concerns& thoughts as you. Who knew, I'm not so different after all ;).

    There will be more seminars and training to follow from the Leitrim Deisgn House during 2015 and if you have the opportuinity to go, take it- it will help!

  3. My 5 Best Selling Cosmetic Products of 2014

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    Keeping good records is one of THE most important things in business. I can improve in so many areas BUT I do keep great records! I like at least one thing to be organised, it keeps my brain happy. Things are often chaotic at home (currently you actually risk not coming out again if you venture into my office) but, if I'm pretty much on top of my admin, I can cope with all of that because I feel I'm still in control. It means I know what is selling, more importantly, not selling and can adjust as necessary. One important thing that my Overview of 2014 has clearly shown me are my 5 Best Selling Products...Some were a surprise...................

    In 5th Place...Loveheart Bath Melts Gift Box.....These are a little winner especially during the colder months. They are so nourishing for the skin and a great time saver as I don't know too many of us that have time to moisturise our bodies the way we should! Just pat yourself gently dry and hey-presto, silky smooth skin. These were mostly bought to be given as a gift but I know alot never made it.

    In 4th place....Lavender & Eucalyptus Salt Soak......Despite concerns here in Ireland about water charges and spiralling water costs people are still soaking and easing those aches and pains. Through the year we have worked hard at 'tweaking' and perfecting these therapeutic blends. Lavender and Eucalyptus came out on top in the battle of the baths...

    In 3rd place.....TLC Balm....Our TLC Balm is such a handy all in one tin. It's had great feedback from people that garden, have their hands in water all the time and have contact dermatitis. I havn't personally worn any makeup for almost all of 2014 (it just irritates my skin) and would use this on my face numerous times during the day. Yes, my skin probably glows permanently from the butters but I really don't care, my skin feels great!

    In tied 1st place...."Lavender Digestive" and "Blooming Zesty" Handmade Natural Soap Bars. These are my top selling bars and both smell gorgeous. Perhaps some of my simplest bars but it just shows, simple is often the best!

    2015 is already moving on a pace and there are plans in motion for new products, adjustments to current ones and yes you guessed it I'll still be keeping my records :)


  4. 5 essential tips for blogging beginners

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    Thursday mornings have recently seen me racing to 'The Hive' in Carrick on Shannon to enjoy the 'Social Media Marketing' course facilitated by Leitrim Local Enterprise Office. Last week I arrived (only) 10 mins late carrying a peppa pig plate with my breakfast of bread & jam. After making my way to the back and sitting at a desk, I looked down to see the right leg of my jeans was in fact rolled hafway to my knee. Realising there was no chance now of being taken seriously as a local business woman, I sighed, pulled out my fine tipped pencil and started taking notes. For all of you who won't get chance to attend such a course (I highly recommend it) I have whittled down the blogging info to give you some handy tips I plan to put into practice myself.

    1. Start your blog

    Johnny Beirne (instructing the course and C.E.O of Digital Business Institute) gave a great illustration. A website is like having a 'high street' shop. If footfall in the high street is down you need to take a 'pop up' shop to where the footfall is & give people a reason to go back to the main shop. Social media and in particular a blog is the pop up shop- its where people are and can help increase the numbers to your website. Schedule time each week to do it. Keep a notebook handy to write down subjects when you think about them. (music to my ears- i lurve notebooks).

    2. Keep it regular

    Blogs are so effective as they are very google search friendly. But google loves fresh information so keep your blog regular, weekly if possible.

    3. A key blog title

    Google will pick up the blog title. Look at mine for this post. I could have called it many things ("Tell me why I don't like mornings...?" "Exactly how did my jeans end up like that?") but when anyone googles blogging (and many people are setting up blogs) my chances of google picking up this post and therefore directing people to my website are increased. Use key search words for your blog title

    4. Be Local

    Every so often mention local things in your blog title. Then when people do a search for anything in your area up you'll pop up to give them a little wave and a "Hello, I'm here".

    5. Link Love

    Johnny talks about 'Link Love'. Your blog set up will give you the ability to create a link that people can click on and be directed to someone/something you are talking about. Google loves this and again you will whizz up the search results. If they give you link love back well then everyone is very happy and loved up. I will now attempt some link love to Johnny Beirne (some very handy tutorials here).

    So 5 things I found very useful to know as a complete new girl to this, hope you find it useful too!

    Love Lucy x

    p.s I really have no idea how I didn't notice my jeans were like that........worrying isn't it ................