Saturday, September 20, 2014

My "Jerry Maquire"-esque Mission Statement. Really Being the Change

What the Wha???

Its been a blur and whirlwind of....well...nothing really.  Over the past year important decisions were made by myself that will impact my business and personal life...and I am so excited and happy by the dismayed responses I've had to my decision that I'm making it official here.

For my business:  I am going offline for the most part.  Over the past 5 years I have tried to build an online presence that quite most always based on people you don't know, people who follow you because they are promised something for free, or people who think they might be interested in you but not unless you have great sales.  I was on top of the world.  Etsy was my website of all websites and I sold a ton of soap.

Then things changed.

Everyone started looking at those of us who really could make a living making soap, books, diapers, etc. etc. and they said..hey...I can do that.  If you can do it I can do it.  And so it grew....the handmade movement grew and grew until it turned into a multi billion dollar industry for online web hosts and providers.  It went from a small Indie hey look what I made to a large Hey I know there are millions of others making what I make but I sell it for less conglomerate.

Now I'm not saying that the whole mantra of "if you can do it so can I" is necessarily fact in a productive fairy tale world it works quite great.  Everyone with the know-how shows those without the know-how to do the one thing that makes them money and soon everyone who was previously without the know how are overtaking the world and now we have a whole lot of those without any clue as to what they are doing providing goods and services that can be and most likely are inferior.  And those inferior products are choking those of us who have quality and know-how under our belts out of business.

So my point is this:  How do we go from sending fledglings out into the business world to sell their "Indie" made goods and insist that they have more than 1 day of training to do so?

First:  we need to stop telling people that, yes, they too can do anything they want with  only a few hours of training.  Training people to do what we do is great, but I see an awful lot of instruction going on in which people think they "got this" and are out selling to the world the next day after only a few hours of instruction.  Let's take soap for example.  People love to make soap because they think it is a huge money maker.  And it is....if you are willing to give up your personal life and turn your whole house into a mass production factory or rent out space to do just that.  Making and selling soap no longer entails putting up a website and telling people hey, I know you love me because you tell me so so here is where you can find me.  It is so much more.  A lot of people who are making and selling their items have never taken the 1-2-5 years it takes to formulate your own way of doing things and making your product....let alone the recipe for your product.  I know in the case of soap....most soap sold is the same kind of soap over and over because it is the same recipe that is being used and passed around from one 1 day trainer to another.

So the solution?  If we are going to show other people how to make soap, or anything else...we need to really discuss the product and teach our "students" for a week or longer.  We need to emphasize that making a product and providing a service takes time and a lot of money.  We need people to understand that having your own business is great...but you need to make that business your own.

So I come full circle with my business plan.  I have decided that in order for me to see a change in my industry and the Indie industry as a whole I need to start educating and making changes myself.  It is so easy to talk about change.  Everyone wants to make a difference.  Everyone wants to be the change.  But to actually put those words into action is something else entirely.  I've decided to keep on selling my soap because I have been making it for 8 years and it is my own formula and I worked damn hard for it.....but I'm not going to sell it online except to friends and family who want it but don't live right next to me.  I'm going to seek out more brick and mortar shops to host my soap.  And....I am going to start educating the throngs of new people who will listen to me how to make soap safely...and it will be a week or more training session...not just a few hours.

As I formulate my plan and get going on educating and helping others, I also plan on staying with an organization that I feel is great but potentially could use my help as well, and that is the Handmade Soap and Cosmetics Guild.  And...over the next few years I plan on going to more different soap conferences.  

It is time to stop talking about it and just do it.  I hope in 5 years time to see a change in the Indie industry that is not just money making for web hosts and shop owners.  I want to see truly talented and unique makers really making a difference and...of course money!

Thank you for reading....and if you have any thoughts on the subject feel free to comment!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Picture Show, Some Words, and a Whole Lotta Stuff

Hi everyone!  It has literally been days, well actually months since I have given this blog any kind of attention.   My absence from this forum has not been all for naught, though, as I have been busy with a bunch of random stuff that doesn't even relate to my business.  Which, of course is the business of soaping!

Shall we get to the soap pictures?

Thankfully the soaping bug hit early this year and I was proud to list 13 new soaps to my lineup on Etsy and the website!  And then I started looking through all my pictures and I found an old packaging picture from a few years ago.  Those of you who have purchased Barefoot products all along will remember this one:
I used to spend hours picking out ribbon and punching out scalloped tags and affixing those labels just so!  This method, however proved to be both expensive in time and materials so then I went to just a square sticker on the boxes...remember these?:
While both time and money wise this move proved quite fatal as I had removed for the most part my signature packaging.  Sales slumped horribly because of this.  It was my first lesson in packaging 101.  Even though something seems convenient and easy, it will prove to be quite costly in the end.  So...then recently I decided to redo my sticker all together, and I married both ideas into something that not only I feel looks pretty and pick up worthy, but makes sense for my business too:

The "ribbon" is strips of paper cut out on my Cricut machine, and I added my ingredients and a tag line under my business name.  My tag line?  "Fresh and Handmade....Just Like You!"

The revamped look is getting its debut not only on my sites online but in the consignment shops I have been lucky to be in for years now through all the different looks.  I hope you like it!

And now on to why I've been so lazy about this blog.  For a couple of years now I have felt that blogging was just another random way for me to be in the social media market.  Talk about yourself, your stuff...and make a few sales, right?  Well for me, social media has actually done the complete opposite of what it is supposed to do.  I literally saw my sales slump from the first day I opened my Facebook account.  Folks I have been making soap for 6 years and selling it for 5.  My time in this profession has been one of passion and the true love I have for this art.  I still get giddy over an order and I still love to hear what people think of my products.  When I don't get sales I start to feel like perhaps my passion has been lost in the recent surge of new soapers and people who promise things about their products they shouldn't be promising.  Its been a tough road and thankfully I'm not in this for the money.

The lesson I have learned in this is this:  If you stick it out and do what you love eventually your passion, hard work and time will be appreciated.  Those who sell just to make money will eventually go away.  They always do.  Yes, there are a few who are wildly popular and they sell like you would not believe.  I stick to the basic principle that I know I'm not very good at marketing myself and my awesome soap, but I have a great soap...I'm experienced and I don't take the art lightly.  Even though I don't sell like most soapers, the reviews I do get from those who buy are priceless.  Even if this business never gets to a high volume selling level I'll still be here 10 years from now.

Patience folks.  Its all about patience.

And that, my friends is the end of my blog post for today.  Thank you for reading and perusing and I shall return again!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This Post is Random

I am a lover of random.  My life is quite random.  The shows I watch are random.  Sometimes, when I'm alone and just the dog and cat are listening my talking to myself is quite random.

This post really is not going anywhere....I happened to notice that I hadn't blogged in quite a while and while I question the validity of blogging now that there are so many other social networking avenues, I still do it from time to today.  Do you like to blog?  If you you mix business with pleasure or do you keep on the straight and narrow and blog about one or the other?  Do you expect people to read it, or do you throw your hopes and dreams into the atmosphere and forget about it?

I like to think of the Internet social world as likened to a message in a bottle.  You can throw out just about any kind of thought or wish you want...and someone will either pick up on it or it will float around for months and even years.  Some day, someone is going to look at this blog, my facebook pages, and my twitter and wonder how the heck I was ever allowed to roam free.

Being social doesn't automatically mean your close and social friends will pay any attention to it.  I know when I first started blogging and facebooking I thought everyone I knew would love everything I wrote and comment at great length about my witty remarks.  But after several months of crickets and now after 5 years of absolute silence...the reality of being social on the Internet is all too real.

Doesn't anyone have lunch anymore?  What happened to going to a tea lounge and having a girls afternoon of talking in person?  I have become so isolated from the real world that I often find myself cringing in public.  OMG someone talked to me..what do I say?  Wait..I would know how to respond to that on Facebook or a blog...let me have about two minutes and I'll get back to you on that thought.

Well I told you this was going to be random.  Are you scratching your head yet?  Have you clicked onto another blog that features bedazzled va ja ja's or the never ending blog about how the kids are just a train wreck and look at what they did to an already messy living room? more thing.  You know the old stigma that step-moms and step kids can't get along?  Well I'd love to acknowledge that I have three of the BEST step daughters a woman could have.  They have probably often times called me a bitch and holy crap why in the hell did my dad marry her...but over the years I have come to understand how to relate to people and not be so judgmental.  It really helps to just sit and listen and to enjoy the people you are with.  It is nice to be able to have a chat with one of your step daughters and know that even though that chat might be a bit weird for her...she will give you her true thoughts.  So if you are a new step mom take it from me...step back and let them be.  You are not their mother...they probably already have one...just be nice.

On that note, I'm outta here.  Have a great day everyone and really is like a box of chocolates.  Sometimes the whole box is full of nuts...but sometimes, it can be full of the rich gooey stuff too. Take it all in stride and don't let the world get the best of you.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Time Management...Take it from Me & My Tylenol Bottle

Before I begin, may I just say that I am no expert in time management.  It has taken me years to get to where I am when it comes to being able to multitask and getting things done before a deadline.  The only thing that even makes me think I am entitled to write a blog post like this is the fact that I have never missed a deadline, and I have never ever had to tell someone...oh, I'm sorry, I didn't get to that...can we just forget I ever said I would have it done by then and have it to you three weeks after you need it?

So you have a large project and now what?
Many people get all excited about doing a large project for something important.  And then the fear and then the mind crippling fear creeps in and all of a sudden.....


What to do?
First, realize your not the only one on the planet that has taken on a project and then realizes they have no idea what they are going to do.  Usually when I have something big and important to do I sit down and immediately plan out how I am going to accomplish this.  Do I need to order supplies?  Do it right away.  Is this something I would normally offer?  If not, why not?  Usually if you go and do something totally different than what everyone sees...your going to cripple yourself with ordering special supplies and the self doubt of will anyone love this.  Hence the time management issue that has now cropped up.

Do something you already do.

You are busy but you have decided to take on another project.  This is where a calendar and your cell phone will really help out.  Put down your deadlines and then count backwards 14 days from a due date and make that backwards date your ship date if the item is to be shipped.  A boxful of items arriving early is so much better than a boxful of items that are now late. While I have never had a package show up late, I have learned over time that sending something early instead of three days after a due date will save me a ton of headaches. Don't depend on the shipping service you use to get anything to its destination on time.  There are too many factors such as weather, the person who is handling your package, and the location of your recipient that can seriously alter how long it takes your package to matter how many days you select and pay for.  Lost packages are a reality.  Mangled packages are a reality.  Shipping ultra early ensures you can make arrangements for a backup to go out should the need arise.  This is also where submitting and using what you already make normally will help you.  Making specialty items and then sending them out into the world just breeds trouble.  In My Humble Opinion.

Time management does not have to be boring.  We are all artists of one kind or another.  My artistic ADD makes life very interesting.  I will have three projects going at once and sometimes they all don't get done...but the one thing that keeps me in focus is writing out what needs to be done and what is not just a side project.  Add things to your calendar and add a fancy jingle notification to it.  Tell your family what needs to be done.  My husband is very good at keeping me on task.

Don't assume everyone will wait for you.  The universe truly does not care what is going on in your life.  If you committed to it and do it well...but also make sure before you commit to something that you can do it.  I have literally been so busy at times that I have product flowing from my workspace to my craft room and to my kitchen...when I am that busy I make sure whatever is a priority is being worked into my everyday activities.

It is now time for me to sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee before wrapping the rest of my presents.  I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Things I Missed This Christmastime...

(before I begin let me just preface this whole post by saying I am guilty of most of these things on here..and that is why I write about them.  I would prefer it if you would keep your well you can change all this responses to yourself...if you read the whole thing you'll see my solutions---thank you and Merry Christmas!)

We all know that Christmas really is not what it used to be.  It used to be beautiful and magical and full of stories and the kids actually believed there was a Santa.  Some adults did too.

But now...we don't say Merry Christmas anymore,,,we say Happy Holidays...I'm guilty of it, everyone is.  We are so business driven and caught up in what is politically correct that we forget that this special holiday has been called Christmas for years and generations and decades.  We forget that this is the celebration of the birth of Christ...thus Christmas.  The only kids shows that even embrace the magical wonders of Christmas and Santa are the old snoopy specials...otherwise if your child believes in Santa..keep them away from the Disney channel....

Another thing lacking...remember when we had time to go out and buy boxes of Christmas cards and hand write special sentiments inside?  I do.  This year I missed the mark and sent no cards whatsoever.  Just about every card I have recieved has been a photo card...and the photos on the card are not even seasonal!  I hate to be a critic about this, but Christmas cards used to be a yearly catch up with family and friends you don't see very often...they used to mean something.  Now all they are are self gratifications of what our kids look like.  Merry woo hoo.

btw...form letters in the annual correspondence are allmost as bad.  Especially when you send them to people who already know all the fabulous(or not so fabulous)things that go on in your life...

Shopping has lost its luster as well.  Standing in line to pay $200.00 for something my husband just picked out and then I get to go home and wrap it and put it under the tree has got to be a new all time low. I'd rather skip the adults in gifts and just go straight for the kids...

Anyway..if this all sounds like I'm about two steps away from washing my hands of the whole season you couldn't be more wrong.  I am so guilty of all of this that next year I will be making a change.  Here is what I am going to do:

----From now on it will not be Happy will be Merry Christmas.  Mind you I am not a spiritual woman but I was raised saying Merry Christmas and that is what I have always said.  The fact that I dropped it thiss year and said Happy Holidays is a personal smear on my own character.

----I am no longer going to ask people what they want for Christmas.  They will get what they get and it will be up to them to either embrace it and use it or use the gift receipt I include with the gift and stand in the long lines to exchange it.

----The Christmas cards are coming back next year!  I will literally sit for hours on end and write those suckers out.

----I'm going to deck the halls and light the lights and be as festive as I can be and to heck with anyone else. If anyone felt any kind of hurt about the things I wrote in this seriously take yourself too seriously.

Merry Christmas everyone...and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Through The Haze of the Turkey Coma...

The day after Thanksgiving and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...except for the spouse.  I in my jammies and he in his can only be a Holiday weekend...

And it is my annual weekend to be a part of a large giveaway event!
Click on the picture to read the fabulous right up Beverly did on my products(Thank you Beverly!) and enter to win a gift basket from Barefoot Bath & Body in which you can choose two soaps, one foaming sugar scrub, 2 lip balms, and 2 perfume balms!  Go...go now, and make sure you enter the other giveaways she has already put up and and will be putting up today...its an event people!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You Quit Your Day Job and Now What?

I cannot tell you how many people tell me how cool it must be to be a stay at home mom and have my own business...and I must admit, it really is pretty cool.  But, there are a few pitfalls that most people will not talk about or even admit.  Here are a few things you should know before you up and quit your day job:

:::Make sure your financials are in place.  If you have built up a nest egg great!  If not, and you are counting on your significant other to take care of all the bills plus give you a monthly stipend, make sure it is all set in place before you quit.  There is nothing worse than having to beg for money.

:::Now that you are home all the time, everyone assumes you have unlimited time to do everything.  This just simply is not true.  For example:  I spend about 3 hours each morning social networking, catching up with email, and planning my day.  When I first became a WAHM it took a while to budget out my time wisely...and I'm not going to lie here...I'm still trying to get it right.

:::Now that your at home all the time the house is going to look spotless.  Wrong again!  Unless you love to clean all the time, your going to find that beyond just simply picking up things, that setting days to clean the house will be essential.  You are more than just a WAHM...and making sure that others in the house help to clean up too is important.  Don't let yourself fall into the I'm the maid and the cook trap.

:::Running a business is so easy when you are home all the time.  WRONG!  I'm going to tell you something right now that most people would not admit to.  Since you are the one calling all the shots in your business, you have to tell you what to do all day long.  It is very easy to say..oh I'll get to that tomorrow.  Have set days to make your lovelies...have set days to clean the house...and have set days to simply be.  Sometimes the business and personal gets blurred in all aspects of your life...but it really is important to distinguish the two, or pretty soon your nothing but a WAHM with a floundering business.


:::Remember that sometimes opportunity comes knocking at your door.  It may be a huge opportunity that can transform your business from a small business that no one knew to a full time business that becomes a household name.  This is where you need to do a little soul searching, and get real about what your family can handle.  I have yet to have had the huge opportunity knocking, but I can tell you that children are resillient....if you can't go to the park one day because you have to make things...they will understand.  Truly.  No child ever went into therapy because their parents had to work.  But a child who is overindulged and never sees mommy taking care of herself and the things she cares about turns into an entitled brat. is where balance and scheduling really makes a difference.

:::Not everyone loves you.  Say What  you say?   When I opened up my Etsy shop the sales started rolling in.  Three years after that the sales turned into a trickle.  I have learned over the last 5 years that not everyone loves me and my product.  It truly is up to me to tell people why they must love my product.  In this day and age of everyone slapping everything on the internet for sale you have to work...and work hard.  Another interesting and important thing to consider when quitting your steady paycheck.  Also...don't let people know you have to make so many sales to pay the rent.  It really is not up to the customer to pay your rent.  It is up to the customer to find you  and learn why they should buy your handmade my humble opinion telling people you are running a sale because you have to get the dog to the vet is bad form and personally turns me off.  Don't use personal financial matters to make a sale...use your own talent.

And, just in case I haven't been preachy enough, have fun.  Remember there will be days when your making sale after sale, and there will be days when you can hear crickets.  Take the down time to enjoy your family and life...take a nap, stroll the park.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 24 Means more than Turkey Indigestion!

Hey gang!  I know everyone is getting ready for Thanksgiving..I know I am!  But I am also getting both my online shops in shape for the days after Thanksgiving..particularly November 24!  November 24 is a focus on small businesses...and I am proud to be listed (I am listed as Barefoot Bath and Body)in the American Express Small Business Saturday directory!  Shop from the comfort of your pajamas and lounger on this day.

What will Barefoot Bath & Body be doing on this fabulous day?  Not only will I continue the domestic free shipping, but each purchase will get a free 4 pack of lip balms as well..packaged in a lovely red organza bag ready for stocking stuffing!  You will also get great customer service and the attention you do not get with a large big box store.

Be comfy, be confident in your small.

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Little Things You Forget

This morning I came to this blog and I realized something...

All I talk about is business these days.

But I didn't come to that conclusion all on my own...there was a question on Facebook this morning about this very subject and I got to thinking about how I used to have fun on this blog.  Used to talk about my business..but also about all the mind blowing awesomtastic things that go on in my everyday stay at home mom life.

So..things are going to change a bit.  I'd like to call it a waking up, slapping the forehead and saying do-oh kind of moment.  We're gonna have fun!

We're gonna take our pants off and run through mainstree----Okay..maybe not that crazy.

I leave you for now with this blogpost, and a little song I think is good fun........

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Kinda Like a Hangover

Those of you who faithfully read my blog(thank you, btw!)know about the article I wrote a couple of weeks ago about doing the Country Music Awards backstage Talent Lounge via The Artisan Group.  Well, now I am going to write about the hangover...or rather..the soon to be wrap up from another exciting event.

The event started Oct 29 and went until 1/2 day Nov 1.  So...three 1/2 days of gifting heaven.  You might recall the display I put together and sent with my gifts:
Lovely...right?  Take away the doily, the candle, and two of the bars of soap sitting on the doily and you have what was actually displayed.  I'm not going to lie, I'm still disappointed about this, but apparently it could not be helped so I'm not going to scream about it..I'll just write about it once here, and then internalize it for all eternity.  

Then we got to the actual gifting hours.  If you will recall Hurrican Sandy had just rocked parts of the East Coast and so airlines were not running or were delayed...which affected the entire talent lounge profoundly.  Country celebrities  and press who were slated to come through the talent lounge did not show up until the last day and then it was all they could do to rehearse quickly before the show started.  But several ABC execs, CMA officials, and Country celebrity did come through.  We had Vince Gill, Kelly Clarkson, Reba(yes, that Reba!), Kenny Chesney, The Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and so many more!(basically, whoever presented and performed at the CMA's got a gift bag..pretty cool, eh?!)  Luckily our bags were allowed to be put into the dressing rooms of the country stars that missed the yay!  The interesting thing though, we ended up with more gift bags than we had the gift bags that are left over are promptly being shipped to the GBK American Music Awards Gift Lounge!  My display will not be up there, but my gifts will not go ungifted!

And now, you are probably wondering, hey Dee...did you products get a picture with a celeb?  Why yes, yes they did.  Thank you for asking!  I present to you:
Chris Thompson of the Eli Young Band!  Mr. Thompson is holding my Country Christmas and Margarita soaps...which were out on display and just so happened to be gifted as well!  

And that, my dear readers is all I have for you now.  The Holidays are quickly approaching and I find myself busy already...but there is still room in my daily schedule to get more baskets and special orders done for your Holiday needs!  Right now, I am making soap, soap and more soap...and body butter balm.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another Girl's Night Out Event? Oh I Think So!

Yes that is right...we are putting on another fabulous evening of shopping and giveaways...and this time, we have a Facebook page to do it all from!  So..without further ado....let's see who is going to be participating in our November event...
November 15, 7pm

And the shops are:

We will be running our party on our Facebook page, which will direct you to the shops listed above.  Go to Girl's Night Out Events and be sure and "Like" the page!  Individual participating shops listed above will be linking their shops so that you can shop with ease!

Spoiler Alert!  Word has it there is going to be a huge multiple shop giveaway on November 15!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nashville Has Always Been on My Bucket List....

There is a notebook I keep in a kitchen drawer.  Not only does it keep all my vital online information handy, but it sits over another notebook that holds something even more near and dear to my bucket list.

My bucket list grows and changes with my age.  When I was in my 20's I wanted to go to a ballet, a blues festival, I wanted to see BB King.  

I got to do all those things.

When I was in my 30's I wanted to go to Mexico and I wanted to have a child and I wanted to be married.

I got to do all those things.

When I turned 40 my list got a little longer.  I am now 43 and so far I have seen Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Indiana, Hawaii......but I haven't been to Nashville.

So you can imagine when our founder of The Artisan Group, Valerie Guerrero,  comes to the group one day and says...we have an opportunity to do The CMA' can bet your sweet belt buckles I jumped at that chance!

I got a spot...that was a stressful evening.  I sat there and jumped and reserved my spot.  Anyway, then it was time to present what I would be gifting...BIG STRESS HERE as a panel of people I don't know would be looking at my pictures to determine if I was worthy.  More stress...but in my oblivious, stressed out and out of time state, here is what I submitted:

The bottom picture here is what I first submitted until I found out the judges didn't really need the packaging. I am thinking that they either looked at my website and saw the pretty pictures there and decided I was worthy or just wanted some yummy soaps in those bags because these pictures are NOT jury process pretty!

Anyway...despite the bad photo quality I got in!  Woot!  My soaps and lip balm will be showcased and gifted to the biggest names in Country Music backstage at the CMA Awards!  Watch LIVE on Nov. 1 at 8p/7p Central on NBC.(well, at least my products will be!  and they won't we on t.v....but a girl can dream, right?))  I will be on display for one day out of 3.  Now, I am stoked.  If only I could be a mouse in a corner for this one(wait, don't put that on my bucket list..I have a cat who likes mice.....)!
So...then after several months of waiting and waiting....I got down to business.  Would you like to see the soap that will be gifted?
Wide Open Sky

Country Christmas



The whole gift in either Mint Green or Silver organza bags.  One soap, one Margarita lip balm a hello card and two business cards.  

So...what happened to the bandannas for packaging?  Well...your never going to believe this, but you should of heard all the opinions about that.  From...make the bandannas and then use twine to tie it all make pouches made of bandanna material.  I actually put the original packaged soap in my purse for a week to see how it would that is how I judge how all my gifts will handle a large gift bag...and it didn't make the cut.  Then I got two bolts of fabric to make my own bandanna pouches...problem was my cool idea was no longer my own idea and probably had never been...Am I sad about it?  no...not at all.  I like how my gifts turned out...the presentation before they even open up their bags will grab those celebs!

Anyway, here is what the celebs will see on the day I am on display.  I won't know which day I am on display probably until the day I am.....
My display consists of:  Bayberry Soy Candle, Soaps in:  Crushed, The Wild One, Country Christmas, Juniper Aloe and Margarita.

I will post more about my press release and all that in a couple of days when my official press release comes out.  But until then, can I just say that this was the most stressful, drawn out, drama filled time in my was one of the most wonderful times as well.  This was my chance to show up a more organized and more grown up Barefoot Bath & Body from the one that was presented and gifted at the Golden Globes.  Will I get great success from this event?  I don't know.  I am hoping to have several pictures of great country stars taken with my products.  My husband?  He wants a picture and love note from Kellie Pickler.

Y'all come back later on next week for my press release...ya hear?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why Howdy Ya'll!

Hi everyone!  Well admittedly I don't blog as much as I'd like to.  Most of the time I'm trying to keep the social networking machine fed...and that needs to change.  Maybe less time twitter and facebook and more time being bloggy is in order...sound good?

Anyway, just a couple of things going on around here for October.  I am in with a great group of gals and we are doing an online Girl's Night Out event on October 10!
This is going to be a fabulous night of specials, giveaways, and great shops are participating too!
***Madi Bella                                                                    ***Alisa Marie Designs

***Esscentual Alchemy                                                       ***SoGa Soap & Cup Fakery

***Kathryn Designs                                                            ***Sienna Grace Jewelry

***Tiffany Victoria                                                              ***Hearts of Stone Jewelry

***Literally Inspired                                                            ***Barefoot Bath & Body

***Kath's Elegant Accessories                                            ***e & o clothing co.

***Bubbles Bath Boutique

***Lily & Gus

Feel free to visit all these fabulous shops, like them on Facebook for sure, because that is where you are going to have the best night of handmade retail shopping on the Internet, and follow them on twitter as well!
I'll have more for you about all of this in about a week!

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dear Reader,

Hi and welcome to all.  You might have been here within the past several days, and if you have google Chrome, it may have told you my blog has malicious malware on it  which another blogger had so lovingly planted here.  I am confident that I have removed all, you may see a few small differences in the way this blog looks.

First I actually made and put up a banner!  You might recognize it from my Facebook Fan Page!  Second, although I follow a ton of blogs and I try to read daily as many as possible, the links to them are no longer available on this blog.  I have found in the past that for some reason, having those links on this blog cause problems.(therefore all other links created by someone else have been removed too...only links I create and post are here..thus blog awards are now gone as well).

But the BIG NEWS OF THIS WEEK IS: *drum roll please*  I am selling online exclusively on my online .com site now...Etsy is put on (hopefully) permanent vacation!  Woot!

And finally, here are a few pics for you to enjoy and click on....and get out and enjoy the weekend...I hear the weather is going to be fabulous!  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Observations, What it All Means, and An Event Wrap Up

Hello and Happy Wednesday to my fine readers!  I invite you to read this a few times.  Really, I was in a good mood when I wrote it, so it is not intended to be towards anyone...just a general observation.  Mostly geared towards those who have their own businesses...but can be adapted to anything...really.

Observation:  You can go your whole life not trying to help a soul, but it really does feel better helping others, unless they refuse to help themselves.

Meaning:   Help those who want to be helped.  You'll find out quite quickly who those people are.  Alternately...are you feeling like your in a boat without a paddle?  Find out why that is..I think the answers would not really surprise you.

Observation:  If you don't tell anyone about your business or sell the items you make...who's going to know about them?

Meaning:  Get off your dead butt and actually do what you have in your mind to do for your business.  This goes back to the first observation.  There is no one going to promote you unless you promote yourself.  Plain and simple.

Observation:  This past weekend my business cards and a sponsor ad for Barefoot Bath & Body were included at the GBK MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge for 2012 via The Artisan Group.

Meaning:  The experience was awesome, I got some celebrities to tweet me back, one even retweeted my tweet....and traffic to my Etsy site has been fabulous.  It just proves that even if you can't do the actual gifting, that you can make things take off by doing the simple act of having your business cards included.   This goes for anything.  Can't afford advertising?  Hit the billboards in your town...ask the owners of those billboards if you can hang your business cards on them.  You'd be surprised how much a little bit of free advertising goes a long way.

Do something for yourself that is out of your comfort zone.  Not used to tweeting?  Do it...I dare you.  If you think tweeting directly is just too scary, use a tweet scheduling service like Hoot Suite or Tweet Deck...this way, you can schedule your tweets, and it seems to make the whole thing a lot less nerve wracking.

Walk into at least one boutique a week and introduce yourself.  I no longer do this as I am all boutiqued up, but if you are wondering why no one is carrying your items...think about how hard you have worked to get them to that point.  I think, if you were very honest with yourself, you'd find you didn't really do much at all.

I write these things because every now and then I have to give myself a little chat...and when I think I've not been heard or seen I have to think back and honestly assess how hard I've worked to achieve what I want.  I really think more people should do this.

And now, its time for me to wrap this up.  The next event for The Artisan Group and myself  is the GBK Primetime Emmy Award Show Gift Lounge....and my business cards, sponsor ad, and press gifts will be there!

Have a great day everyone...make it a great day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

My GBK MTV Gift Lounge Press Release

Deanna Crowe, owner of Barefoot Bath & Body, a handmade soap and candle business based in Big Lake, Minnesota is proud to announce participation in the GBK luxury gift lounge at the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills honoring presenters and nominees of the 2012 MTV Movie Awards June 1-2.

Barefoot Bath & Body will be participating at the GBK 2012 MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge via The Artisan Group by including their business cards in the celebrity gift bags.  A quarter page full color ad will be featured in The Artisan Group official gift guide as well.

Started as a hobby in 2007, Deanna Crowe started her business in her kitchen with a block of glycerin soap base and a couple of fragrance oils.  Deanna’s goal was to be a stay at home mom without going crazy.  It was not long before the hobby grew into a thriving business, and has continued to be a great outlet for Deanna’s creative energy.

“Soap is not just something we use…it is also an art form.  Natural soap is so beautiful and so good for your skin.”

Barefoot Bath and Body features handmade, natural products such as Soap, Candles, Lip and Body Balms, and Crochet Soap Bags.

To see Barefoot Bath & Body products go to  For inquiries email at or call 612-242-0205. 

Barefoot Bath and Body has recently contributed business cards to the 2012 celebrity recipients of Earth Day and was a gift contributor and display participant at the GBK 2012 Golden Globes Gift Lounge

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Update!

Blogging for me obviously doesn't happen every, let me open this post by saying thank you to all the awesome followers and those who go back to old posts as well!  Right now, the most viewed post is my Adam Lambert Mad World video...that really is one of the best songs he has ever sung to date!

Anyway, a while back I was going on and on about how I was trying to change all my photos to a white background.  To be perfectly honest, I went into it about half excited about it...but, after reading a ton of comments on other forums about how a white background is sooooo desirable and makes people want to buy it more...I just had to try it.

Here is what I found:
I took a few pictures in the light box with a white background and decided that format was great for some things(like my body butter balms and possibly candles)...but not so great for others.  Part of what makes Barefoot Bath & Body is the soap pictures with the rock.  Now, most people are going to say, well Barefoot doesn't exactly scream walking on rocks...but when I look at my whole just seems to a funny way, it has become part of my, for now, I will take the advice of one of my readers and mix the rock pictures with the light box pictures...

I think it is a lovely marriage.

Now, go outside and have a beautiful day.  Not only is it mother's day, but there is gorgeous sunshine, the birds are singing, and its just a great day to sit on a deck or stoop and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and relaxation!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Backyard Beauty

I like to get in the car with my camera and go where interesting things are....but, sometimes that just is not happening.  So the other day I took my camera to the backyard with me and started looking around...and here is what I found:

Today the inside of my house is getting painted...if the fumes drive me outdoors, I'll be looking for more beauty in my own backyard.

Make it a great day usually happens when your not looking.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hearing Crickets? Perhaps a Change is in Order....

Most of you who shop with me know I just love to make my pictures look down home and rustic...its something I do right off my back deck and the natural lighting makes me swoon...

But recently I've been reading a lot about how a nice white background is more desirable.  I have yet to really "buy into" that whole philosophy...but I learned a very large lesson....when you ask a question about your pictures and you hear crickets...perhaps it is time to make a change.

So...what have I been doing these past days?

About 4 years ago I bought a light box that came with these little teeny tiny lights.  It isn't the best set up, but I started playing around with it yesterday to see what would happen if I changed my product photos from river rock to white background.
What my pictures look like right now
This picture was taken in the light box...after using no prop I decided I needed something to break up the white a bit.

What I have discovered:

It is darn hard to take pictures with an all white background.  Artificial lighting is not a cameras best friend, and after 5 hours of photographing, and then coming back to it today, I have discovered I need to play with my white balance a bit....or maybe not?  Perhaps a little bit of an off white cast works better with bath and body?

What else I have discovered:

After posting the new pictures to my facebook fan page I got more positive responses to those pictures in one post than I have ever had EVER on that page.

So perhaps a change was needed...and I will embrace it!  More pictures to come when I feel I have perfected my technique with the light box(and new bigger lights come).  My goal from now on is to take the crickets and turn them into chatter...lots and lots of chatter.