Enough to Make Your Eyes Cross
So, I'm making real progress on figuring out exactly how much money I need to make my first round of products. I've decided on the packaging (mainly consisting of bottles/jars, caps/lids/dispensers, labels, and other things like shrink bands and sealing liners), the actual product ingredients themselves (that list is a mile long), and then of course the equipment necessary to facilitate make large quantities quickly and easily. It looks like I'll be making 20-30 of each product (example: 22, 1 oz sample size and 20, 6 oz full size). I should have a number for that by the end of the day.
The next number I need is for things like running the website to sell and other costs of doing business (ie. accounting software, soapmaker pro etc). Since I'll be running this from home, I don't have the overhead of a warehouse or a brick and mortar retail store, but I will need an e-commerce store that supports having subscriptions. I'm still doing the research on that and have some sites in mind.
Also, I've got product prices set and perks for the campaign set! Yay!
Anyways, back to it!
I'm currently working on my Indiegogo Campaign pitch. One of the prompts it suggests you talk about is, "Point out your successful track record with projects like this (if you have one)." I do have one as it were. Since I'm already more long winded in my pitch than I should probably be, I think I'll go ahead and just put this here.
The Year was 1994
Remember “creepy crawlers”? It came with a few metal molds that were various bug shapes. You put “plasti-goop”, which was a brightly colored, oily, viscous… goop, into the molds and then put them into an Easy Bake Oven kind of oven (light bulb and all) and baked them till they solidified into a rubbery critter you could, I dunno, play with? I just really liked making them; I didn’t care what happened to them afterwards. I think I pretty much just gave them all to my brother. I also remember them being everywhere in the house. It’s been over 20 years, but I bet you money my parents still have one or two in their junk drawer.
I had so much fun with it. I made dozens of those bugs. Eventually though, I would run out of goop. My parents bought me the occasional bottle, but it did start to get a bit expensive. In order to feed my creative outlet, I needed money to buy my own goop. As a 9 year old, how was I to get money? I never had an allowance and I couldn’t get a job or mow lawns yet. The best my adolescent brain came up with was, “Sell the thing you like to make so you can make more!” Things haven’t changed much, have they?
I can’t remember the cost of the goop, but I did set a price that made sense to me at the time. I figured out how many solid, single color bugs I could roughly make per bottle and then with how much the bottle costs and then set a price per bug. I didn’t have a concept of overhead, but I did have a small concept of labor. I would charge a bit more for more intricate bugs that used more than one color.
And it worked! I made a whole bunch of single color bugs and sold them for $0.05-$0.10 a piece (depending on size). I’d bag them up 10 for $1.00 and everything. I even started taking custom orders for $0.25 a bug. They'd order something like a blue bug with red eyes or a black spider with green legs, and I'd make it. It was awesome. I was able to buy my goop and make my bugs. Everyone was a winner. I was even able to buy some glow in the dark goop for “specialty” bugs.
But, it was not to be. My mom got a call home from my teacher who wanted her to tell me that it wasn’t “appropriate” to be selling things at school and that all the bugs were becoming a “distraction”. My whole creepy crawler empire was shut down with one phone call from big education.
It surprises no one in my family that I’ve taken to starting a business that has me selling things I enjoy making. They are honestly more surprised that I have kids. I wasn’t exactly the “mommy” type while growing up. Case in point, I preferred much more to make rubber bugs than I did to play house or with dolls. So, even though some things haven’t changed, it’s good to know I’ve grown up some. Well, mostly. I also have no shame in admitting that if I had access to goop and a creepy crawler oven I’d be making them right now.
Difficult to Choose.
One of the more tricky aspects of starting this business is deciding which products to offer. My problem isn't that I can't think of what to make, it's that there are so many things I want to make, it becomes difficult to choose. Right off the top of my head I could make at least 7 different versions of a face cleanser. At this point in the game though, that just isn't very practical. Well, that is unless I was only doing face cleansers. But no, I'm doing face care, as well as general bath and body goods. For simplicity's sake, I've had to narrow down my products to several that are less targeted and more appealing to a wider selection of people. Without further ado.
A healthy, hydrated face is a happy face. Whether your skin is dry or oily, normal or sensitive, young or old, everyone can benefit from more hydration. Your skin is clearer and healthier looking when it is clean and adequately moisturized. The Hammer Soap's Skin Care line for All Skin Types is the answer for healthy, hydrated skin. These face products are formulated with rich botanicals to naturally hydrate and cleanse along with 100% natural, plant derived fragrance blends from therapeutic essential oils and extracts that works in synergy. Formulated without parabens, sulfates, artificial dyes, colors, or synthetic fragrances.
Bath & Body
Bath products are so much fun! What is it about mountains of foam in a bubble bath or brightly colored, deliciously scented bath gels that make you just feel so good? Hammer Soap's Bath & Body products are a treat for the body and the senses. Made with natural ingredients, gentle cleansers, and body safe colors and fragrances so that you can feel good about getting clean.
Bar Soaps of Course!
But Wait, There's More!
Well, not more products. For now at least. I think this is a generous and diverse offering of products for my venture at this point. Stay tuned to my blog and facebook page, because from here on out, I'm going to start showcasing each product and delve a little deeper into their ingredients and utility. I will also talk about plans for the future and how I plan on expanding my product lines. As we approach my launch date in late August, I aim to prove to everyone how amazing this is going to be. By giving you all details about each and every product, I wish to keep everyone engaged and excited about the future of Hammer Soaps. I hope this sneak peak gets everyone excited. I sure am!
I'm in the process of hashing out my Indiegogo Campaign and would love to hear some feedback. I've got a catchy title, a tagline, and I think I have a persuasive pitch coming along. I'm at the point where I'm to decide on perks. If you aren't familiar with crowdfunding through Indiegogo, or crowdfunding in general, let me fill you in. Perks are incentives for people to donate to or "back" your campaign. It's a win/win. The campaigner will get the necessary funding and the backers will get something in return. Often it is something to do with the product or service the campaigner is trying to fund. In my case, things like the bath and body products I will be producing would be a good choice. I'm already going to produce it, and this gives people who are interested in the project to experience its success first hand.
So, that being said, what perks would YOU like to see me offer? In addition to the bath and body products I'll be selling, I'm also considering a logo t-shirt. My other Hammer people out there do love hammer apparel! Suggest away!
Julie Hammer is the owner of Hammer Soaps Bath & Body.