Hello again soap family! So many things that have been on my mind... I've just finished cranking out the last of the winter soaps, with a 4-8 week cure time ahead, they're off to the curing room until their release for the holidays. Soap is planned out months ahead to be cured on time so it can be in your shower for the right season. And wow this gets me thinking about planning (because oooohhhh am I a planner) and what a massive difference we can make with some planning.
So many small businesses are struggling with what to do this season, do we make our normal amount? More? Less? I can't believe I'm still open---- I have SO MUCH GRATITUDE for you all who have shopped Little Cabin Soaps, whether you've been with me for many years or a new customer this year. I thought I'd close my doors in May but folks shopped for Mother's Day and we had record collaboration sales for that holiday. All we smalls can do is hope people step up to shop small business for Christmas like never before. While it can't make up for the first three quarters of the year, it can help doors be open in January for another year of business.
And this got me thinking....everyone has a passion in life. Yes I'm passionate about soap and dogs. But wowie am I passionate about handmade, artisan, small business. An unreal amount of passion for finding locally handmade treasures. All across the country, every town has someone amazing, and it might be someone yet to be discovered. Someone in front of their wheel turning mugs. I just met someone who knits breast prosthesis pieces for women post mastectomy. Someone making the soap....making the bowls...making the lotion...making the cards....cooking the jam...collecting the honey... all these people exist. Now imagine if we shopped with them?!?!?
A local bookstore posted this staggering figure so I'm putting it out there. July 2020 $13,000,000,000 is what the founder of Amazon made in ONE DAY. It's a record breaking amount. $5 is the average amount of money people say they save by shopping with Amazon. Don't get me wrong, I love Amazon. But those numbers blew me away....and got me thinking. Most small business cannot imagine a thousand dollar day, some a thousand dollar week. Some do cartwheels for a thousand dollar month.... You can't cry that places are gone, going out of business and disappearing if you don't SHOP WITH THEM.
WHAT IF everyone decided to spend thoughtfully and with purpose?? WHAT IF the Christmas cards sent this year were from a real handmade small business greeting card maker? WHAT IF the bags that hold the gifts are from a handmade paper guru making those bags? WHAT IF you filled the bags and boxes with handmade small business items? Case in point--- my husband's company sent out little we love you thanks gifts to their employees. An awesome idea....but one day there's a box from Amazon on the porch, it's another thermal mug thing made in who knows where aka "imported". Can you imagine if that CEO had come to a small biz and said hey we want 150 of whatever magical thing you make for our employees. OMG that small biz would have most likely cried that night. Praying thanks for the sale. Feeling valued and validated for their top notch product. Inspired to continue on through rough waters. Heart warmed for the pat on the back, and food put on the table from such a sale. THIS is what I've been thinking about....look at the power behind where you spend.
Look at ALL THE WAYS we can change our habits especially for the biggest shopping season. Give the handmade Christmas card. Then shift to handmade for all your cards, birthdays, thank yous and all of your pen pals. (yes I write real letters and have real pen pals!!) Give the gift of locally roasted coffee beans, handmade soap, a hand thrown ceramic mug....not another "imported" mass produced gift. Give one of a kind. GIVE that maker value and validation. When you shop with us small business folks we really do a happy dance. We really feel what we are doing is worthy. We really ARE inspired to push forward when we might want to give up. We do feel valued, like what we make is worthy, like we are worthy, you fuel the dream. And you alone have the power to do that all over the board this year. So do it. Get out there, seek the smalls.
l do collaborations because l love other small businesses. Currently we're looking at starting a second company that features ONLY small business handmade items, in one spot online. A mini Amazon if you will, of all locally USA made small business items. Clearly it's my passion, it won't launch likely this year.....but stay tuned for 2021.
Meanwhile I continue to do the pop ups, two more to go for the year. So if you live nearby check our FB page because they post on there. All of the handmade smalls I work with get their items out on the table. It is my great joy, my great honor to work with these people and get their work out into the world. Ceramics (soap dishes, mugs, bowls etc), scarves, jam, honey, soap, beard oil & balm, candles, body products---all from other small businesses. Hence I AM INSPIRED to see if we can get this little company off the ground. But for now, I'll set up on my porch and hope the folks show! And YOU can shop small, change lives
and warm hearts all winter long.