July 22, 2013

The Not-So-Lazy Days of Summer

Full curing racks after the July 4th weekend.The lazy days of summer haven't been all that lazy for Artisan Soaps, but no one is complaining too much! Here are some of the highlights:

Artisan Soaps has been at the Great Bend Farmers Market every Saturday morning since the beginning of June and it's been a very good experience. The vendors have been wonderful from the beginning: Ron often saves me a spot under the corner shade tree. Sometimes we all swap goods---a few bars of soap for produce or delicious baked goods is not a bad deal. When the guys aren't teasing each other about needing to sit downwind of the soap in order to smell good, they're teasing me about being one massive bubble if it happens to rain! There are some good hard-working folks who come and sell their goods at the Farmers Market every Saturday morning; I encourage you to support them, regardless of whether it is here in Great Bend, or in your own little corner of the world.

The folks who frequent the Farmers Market here in Great Bend have been one of the best parts of my Market experience. I make handcrafted soap because I like handcrafted soap. That's all there is to it. How wonderful to discover that there are so many others who also enjoy and appreciate handcrafted soap, or who are taken back to the day when their mother or grandmother made soap. I have enjoyed, and find it easy, to share and talk about the soaps. And even when people don't purchase soap, I love seeing them gathered around as they smell, enjoy, appreciate, and share the soaps with another. That's very gratifying to me.

Another wonderful thing that has happened this summer quite by accident is the community of ladies who have emerged to help once a week with various soap making tasks! It started with just one person who liked handcrafted soap, and who just wanted to come help. Recently, two others have joined the Thursday night soap making party. Sometimes we make soap, but more often, we use that time to cut, trim and wrap soap, and other products as they are added to the inventory. The ladies get to take home some soap, and I get a little extra help. I have told them that I shall bring a bottle of wine next time! I am truly grateful for them!

The latest bit of news is that I have, and continue to revamp and improve the website. This past weekend, I have completely switched the shopping cart experience so that it is integrated more completely with the rest of the website. I think that this is a good move because it allows me to customize and expand the shopping experience for local customers who want to see what is available, as well as for out-of-town customers who want to purchase some soap. There are still some dead links for things like "Newest Products," or "Most Popular Products," but those will come in the future, along with other helpful shopping categories for men, for seasonal shopping, and more.

I've also added a page to the website that lists where you can find Artisan Soaps---a list that will grow over the coming months; I am very grateful for those who carry Artisan Soaps, or who have agreed to let me have space to put up an Artisan Soaps display. They have been very supportive and great to work with!

I've also added some of the great feedback that some of you have left about your experience with Artisan Soaps. I hope you'll continue to let me know what you like or don't like, not only about the products you purchase from Artisan Soaps and what you'd like to see in the future, but also about this website, and/or about your shopping experience. As always, thank you for your support!