Culling the (soap) herd

The things I know to be universal truths can sometimes be boiled down to [somewhat] pithy sayings. “Show up; do the work” … “Perfect is the enemy of finished”… and “Kill your darlings.”

You all know that I’m reducing my Etsy footprint, and just today I have moved all the soap I did have there, beefing up the soap section on my main shop (seriously, there are some fragrances that have eight bars! If you’ve been thinking about buying soap, I have almost a full fragrance roster right now).

Speaking of fragrances…

The soap fragrances that I use really only have a shelf life of two years, maximum. What that means is that every two years from when I brought a fragrance in, I need to replace that fragrance. It’s finally dawned on me that if you do this with a fragrance that’s not really selling all that well, tossing an almost full bottle of fragrance just to buy another one… that’s kind of a poor business decision – especially if that choice involves items that don’t sell well. So I have a list of fragrances this year that I’m checking against sales as it comes time for me to buy more of that fragrance — especially if the fragrance bottle is almost full. As such, we’ve already seen poorly performing fragrances like Cocoa Butter and Cucumber Melon get the axe this year, and I’m sad to say that even though it’s one of my favorites, Nag Champa is now being marked down and moved out. You can see what’s left of the stock in that in my listing for Miscellaneous Marked-Down Soap.

I’ve also had to take a hard look at my beloved Literary Soap Sets. While I love them, and think it’s a great idea and really enjoy pairing fragrances with some of my favorite books, when I recently did a cost analyses of the time it takes me to make them, plus the number of fragrances I need to keep in stock to make them, plus reordering those fragrances every two years regardless of how well they sell, it’s just not cost effective for me to keep making them. While I may do more in the future as limited edition sets (especially around the holiday seasons), they will no longer be something that I keep in stock year-round. I will not be marking them down, but did want to start putting the word out there that I will not be restocking them as they sell out in the future. There are a few fragrances from those sets that I currently carry in full-sized bars; that will continue to happen. I love my Kentish Rain and Advice from a Caterpillar!

That’s all, folks! Have a happy Friday afternoon, and a great weekend!

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