31 October 2012

What's in a Brand?

So often I am thinking of packaging- shape, color, texture. Afterall, the first thing people see is the packaging. I may use the best ingredients and have the best scent and the best formulated products, but if my products are lacking an image, a soul, I'm dead in the water.
I've read books, taken seminars and had some valuable mentoring from Ann Evanston. I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there. What I have learned is that branding is like a child. It grows sometimes gracefully and sometimes there are growing pains. You have to feed your brand to give it life. Through sweat and determination, an image will develop that is an extension of you.
Here are some photos to show where I was and where I am going: 

2009 Product Group Shot

2011 Product Group Shot by Stephanie Willson Photography

The Metamorphisis of Lip Balm Labels...
This is similar to my current label. I've enlarged the font to make it easier to read.

Soap! This is how I first labeled my soaps (it took forever!).

My current labeling. I still want to change this up (I'd love to drop the plastic), but I've not landed on a design yet.

My newest label! I still need to make the font easier to read, but this design feels good.
To me, the new label above is a lot friendlier than the labels below (note the 2 different designs!).
So, I guess branding and label design are akin to a good relationship. You have to feel it, you have to be devoted to it and you have to be willing to change along with it. And, neither a good relationship or good branding is easy to figure out!
Happy day,

29 October 2012

Happy Soap Making Inspiration- Bob Ross

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." ~Aristotle
...but... our parts contribute to our whole.
After rolling out of bed and attending to our girls, one of my first tasks is getting caught up on emails. This morning Google had this great graphic of Bob Ross on their page. After my smile, this image got me thinking. 

When I was little and I would come home from preschool and go to my grandparent's house, one of the shows I would watch was Bill Alexander painting shows. I loved his voice and his passion. I was hooked!
Eventually, I began to watch Bob Ross, too. Bob was a student of Bill Alexander's. Both Bill & Bob would talk about painting "happy little trees" and "happy clouds." I sign most of my letters "Happy day." I wonder if my random use of "happy" comes from these two fellows?
I also LoVe, LoVe, LoVe landscapes. Below are some photos and paintings I've done.

I even create landscapes in soap! Ocean and Desert Soap...

Is this a happy accident or happy influence? I'm leaning to the influence factor. :)

Happy birthday Bob Ross and thank you Bill & Bob for your inspiration. Your influence spans many different medias!

Happy day,
Calise Soapworks & Such

27 October 2012

6 Reasons to Buy and Use Handmade Soap

Are you unsure about buying and using handmade soap? Here are 6 reasons why handmade soap makes sense...

1. Handmade soap is beautiful. Like most soapmakers I take a lot of pride in creating my soaps. My first priority is to make effective soap. My second priority is to make beautiful soap.

2. Handmade soap contains quality ingredients. I usually use food grade vegetable based oils and butters in my soap and I try and source non-GMO and organic. No you shouldn't eat soap (although I used to when I was little; so, yes, I've found my calling), but feel assured that you can eat the cocoa butter or the olive oil before I incorporate it into my formulas.

3. Handmade soap contains glycerin. All handmade soaps contain natural vegetable glycerin. The glycerin is created during the soapmaking process. In addition to the recipe, the glycerin is what makes you skin feel soft and smooth.

4. Handmade soap is detergent free. I do not use sulfates or sulfites to create bubbles (I don't know of a soapmaker that does). I've worked for years to create nourishing, balanced formulas that cleanse without drying. Detergent free soaps are also better for the environment.

5. Handmade soap makes great gifts. Handmade soap is great for the person that has everything because you use soap, so everyone needs it. Also, soapmakers often have designs and scents that you can't find in big stores. Handmade soap is also easy to ship and carry on planes.

6. Buying & using handmade soap supports small businesses. This helps keep dollars in your neighborhood and you can see to whom your hard earned money is going. Buy Local Lincoln County is a local organization to promote and support locally owned small businesses within my county. I'm sure your area has a similar organization.

Happy day,
Calise Soapworks & Such

26 October 2012

Oregon Coast Weather

Planning for weather on the Oregon Coast can be easier said than done. 
Cool, drizzly, windy mornings can leave me chilled to the bone if I get wet feet while setting up for the outdoor markets. I often travel with a waterproof pair of snow boots and gloves and a hat and a rain coat and... (half my wardrobe!) Snow boots because I haven't yet succumbed to rain boots and I enjoy the extra warmth.
Last week, we had a fun day of weather. Luckily, I was working in the shop, so other than for a photo, we stayed warm and dry inside. While eating breakfast, we had a passing hail storm.
Followed by bright sun that melted the ice.
Only to end the day with heavy, long lasting rain.
So, if you're visiting the Oregon Coast, come prepared because our weather is like a roller coaster!

Happy day,
Calise Soapworks & Such