Monday, May 30, 2016

Launching in 3...2...1...

I finally decided to do it. I'm taking the plunge into actually selling my home-made skin care products. As mentioned in an earlier post, I've been making my magical bug bite and burn salve for a couple of years with amazing results and the only ingredients are infused olive oil and beeswax! Taking what I've learned about infused oils to the next level is pretty intimidating but I've never been one to take on "small" challenges.

Sunscreen and lip balm were introduced here

Due to how much camping and hiking we do, all natural (and safe!) bug spray was my next priority. I found many recipes online that claimed to do the job but that was hard for me to believe considering they were mostly water. The two recipes that seemed to have the greatest compliments for efficacy were either entirely made of apple cider vinegar (ACV) which was effective but stinky or with a high concentration of essential oils which may not be safe for kids or pregnancy and may also burn sensitive skin, all categories with directly apply to my family right now.

So I combined the two recipes, took another ingredient from another recipe and combined them, and infused it all with eucalyptus, mint, rosemary, basil, and lavender. What came out actually smelled really good once the vinegar evaporated. I have tested it here int he PNW with good results and I have a friend in Texas testing it on herself and her family.

Witch Hazel extract
Strong decoction of distilled water and herb mix
Apple Cider vinegar
Vegetable Glycerine
Eucalyptus and Lemongrass essential oils

General body lotion and mature skin cream are currently in testing and should be available soon. There is still some tweaking I want to do with both of those and today I'm taking on the challenge of refining the lotion recipe which, so far, has ended up too thick.

Bug bite and burn salve is brewing for another two weeks, infusion for extra dry skin cream is brewing another week, and brew for face toner will be another week. Probably the most difficult part of starting all this is I'm trying to predict the demand for products that I haven't introduced yet and take several weeks to prepare.

This week I received the professional logo I requested, set up a domain name, and began setting up my e-commerce presence thanks to It was difficult deciding which platform to use to sell my products since skin care products tend to be small and with low price points. Etsy requires a listing fee and a percentage fee of each sale and you get hit a second time with PayPal surcharges. I found a great article by Grace Dobush, long time Etsy seller, which addressed all my concerns about e-commerce sites in general including a chart outlining the various platforms available for selling products online, what they offer, and how much their service charges cost for a variety of price points.

Later this week I expect the website to go live with all the products currently available. Already you can e-mail and expect a prompt response from me. Also on the "to-do" list are business cards, unique vintage labels, twitter account, and a facebook page. Until then, I will keep my Products page up to date with what is available. Shipping within the USA is available for $6.

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