Thursday, March 26, 2009


You aren't supposed to talk about it are you? Well - I won't go into absolute details because I might be giving away proprietary information for my little bid'ness venture...

I picked up my labels last night. Man, do they look SMART! It gives me that old twinge of excitement from when I first thought up this idea.

I sat down to begin crunchin' numbers. I have two different size products. A 6oz stand alone bottle of lotion in four different scents and a four-pack of 2oz bottles with all the different scents in a clear make-up bag.

The nice, fancy labels add .25 cents to the cost of my 6oz lotion bottles and .75 per package for the small makeup bag of lotions. Not bad.

The small bottles are pricey... I have to include the cost of the make up bag, along with the increased packaging involved - four bottles and labels vs. one.

Furry Husband and I have to include a profit margin that won't price us out of the market and we both think we should be paid for our work. I'm not talking a six figure salary, but our time is worth something. We have a wholesale price in mind, but we don't want to put ourselves out of the market and we don't want to stiff ourselves either. Talk about a fine line.

I know I personally don't pay a lot for bath and body products (I use my splurge $ for horse related items!) but I know many people do. I do have dry, dry, dry skin. Colorado sucks the moisture right out of your body and I will definitely pay more for a lotion that WORKS vs. a lotion that is crap and doesn't get the job done. My lotion works. It's not my bias either... Furry Husband's hands haven't gotten those deep nasty dry skin cracks and my farrier said he would endorse my product because it really helped his weather chapped hands.

And I've been reading and watching. When the economy is in the crapper, people splurge on smaller products like an expensive lipstick or a specialty lotion vs. buying the more expensive and traditional splurge items like new shoes or a new outfit. (ummmm - not that Furry Husband or my very manly farrier are buying lipstick...) Anyway, the idea being, people can buy the smaller items and feel good about a splurge without doing much damage to their pocketbook.

I'll meet with a couple of businesses I respect and talk to the owners about retail mark-up. How much do they mark up? I'm assuming 100% but I don't know that and you know what happens when you assume! How much do they think people would pay for a unique, specialty item locally made? I know the Denver markets will spend more than the Ft. Collins market. Ft. Collins is full of poor college students and cheap farmers/ranchers.

Ha - ME being one of them! I am a complete and total cheapskate. Hello? This is why I wanted to make my own lotion vs. buying it in the first place.

The ONE thing I saw last night that disappointed me was that my supplier now has paraben free preservative. I MUST have preservatives in my lotion. It prevents mold or bacteria from developing in a warm, moist environment like lotion, it keeps the goat milk and oils from going rancid... the risk of selling a product without preservatives is much too much for me to even think about.

Parabens are the new big bad thing in cosmetics. However, they have not been scientifically proven to cause any sort of human health issue. It's a case of the press spreading fear over something without really having any direct link or facts proving a single thing. There isn't enough data. Personally it doesn't bother me to use a product with parabens. However, I'm in Colorado and there are a lot of holistic, environmental, natural, green conscious people here and I have to listen to the market.

This is the one thing that people have asked me now and again. Could I make something paraben free? At the time I couldn't. Now my supplier has this paraben free preservative but my labels are finished - listing the ingredients of my paraben preservative. I made a note to switch but it's going to be a while... I have 2500 items to sell first!

I wanted to smack my head with a big ol' Homer Simpson D'oh!

I have to remember though, this question has only occured twice in all the lotions I've sold and tested. So yes, I'm sure some buyers will be turned off, but it can and will be corrected in the future.

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