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A Planning Failure

If there’s one thing I’m learning, as the business slowly grows, it’s that planning is everything. Actually, I hope I’ve learnt a lot more, but planning IS crucial. I like to cure my soaps for a full six weeks before releasing for sale, and trying to work out potential demand a good month and a half ahead of time isn’t always easy.  Last year I made two Christmas soaps, and I had a good deal more left after the Christmas rush than I would have liked. How popular do you think a soap called ‘Christmas cake’ is in January? Yup…

This year, I was determined to avoid the same mistake again, and decided to make just one Christmas soap. I chose my fragrance carefully, and opted for ‘Jewelled Cranberry’, described as a ‘festive berry fragrance of juniper berries, elder berries and cranberries with supporting notes of pine nuts, orange peel and crisp apple’ and supplied by Gracefruit.

Jewelled Cranberry
Jewelled Cranberry

I gave it the usual six weeks cure time then posted it on my Facebook Page stating that it was a limited edition. The response was as amazing as it was unexpected – all 15 bars were sold within 24 hours. So that was it, my whole Christmas offering sold out before the end of October!  I was thrilled of course, but also a bit frustrated, at myself, for not foreseeing this possibility. Yes, I could have made more, but by the time I’d ordered the fragrance, made the soap, and waited the requisite six weeks, I would most likely be too late for the Christmas shopping period, and would end up with a surfeit of holiday soap in January again.  Very poor planning from a business point of view, but a valuable lesson learnt for the future!

Oh, and that Christmas Cake soap? I changed the name and it sold rather nicely, thank you very much 😉

Have you made Christmas soaps this year? Please share your links in the comments – I’d love to see them!

0 thoughts on “A Planning Failure

  1. Good for you for selling out early! And you’re still fairly new in the business, so each step is a learning experience.

    1. Thanks Monica – it certainly is 😀

  2. I had exactly that same experience last year! I took my soaps to a Xmas fair last year just to learn that people preferred all of the other soaps. I sold about two bars of my Xmas soap and that was it. 😀 I am so glad to hear that advertising them on Facebook worked better for you. Will try it next year.

    1. Hey Kristina – thanks for following 🙂 I think I just struck lucky to be honest – really wish I’d made more though!

  3. It’s hard to predict how sales will go sometimes. Sounds like your business is growing and doing well – congrats on having such a great response to your Jewelled Cranberry soap, which is beautiful, by the way! I’ve made only two holiday soaps this year – my Peppermint Wonderland soap and a Christmas tree soap that I haven’t blogged about just yet.

    1. Thanks Jenny! I’ve not had a chance to check out my soapy friends’ blogs recently – I’ll head over and check out your Christmas soaps asap 🙂

  4. Your Jewelled Cranberry looks and sounds awesome – no wonder you sold out quickly! It is a festive soap but it does not scream of Christmas. I think you can still sell it even after the holidays.
    I made 6 different holiday-themed soaps this year (one I have not blogged about yet; the other 5 you may find here https://soapjam.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/holiday-soaps/ ). I don’t worry if I can sell everything because my family and I can always give them away as Christmas gifts. 🙂

    1. Ah Silvia your soaps are gorgeous! Love them all!

  5. The Cranberry soap looks good, Vicky!
    Do not worry so much about this’ failure’ as you are new into this; after several years of practice you will be better at predicting how many soaps to make .

    1. Ha – thanks Natalia – I do hope so 🙂

  6. Thank you! Good luck with the soap party – hope you sell plenty 🙂

  7. […] for a seasonal ribbon, and it sold out within a couple of days.  I posted at the time that it was a case of bad planning, but by then it was too late to do anything about it, and I vowed to do better this […]

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