Wednesday, January 19, 2011

OK, so what do you do for a living?

I'm often asked, "what do you do"? People are often perplexed at how I fit into the buying pool/marketplace.

Somethin Special provides a wider buying option in addition to the traditional bath & body over the counter (OTC) products.

When you buy from a big name bath and body supplier (Bath & Body Works, Victorias Secret to name a few), your only choices include whatever fragrance and product that a purchasing agent and/or marketing director chose to put on the retail stores shelves. Most of these choices were made a year ago. With Somethin' Special, you get to choose from a large variety of fresh made products in the sizes you want and in the fragrances you want. And get it within a week.

I've also been classified as an e-tailer (internet only direct to consumers) and an indie business (indie is short for independent). Small also means nimble and quick to respond to marketplace demands and bring new products and ideas to market. You don’t have to be big to be good.

Nothing is sitting on my shelves for more than 3 months, even though all my raw materials have a 2 year shelf life. For some of my items, I buy all the ingredients and packaging and make them fresh from scratch myself, such as:
oil based sugar scrubs
massage oils
dry oil sprays
body, room & linen sprays
soy wax tarts
wickless candles

For other items I buy the bases in small, fresh batches, blend in any additional ingredients and fragrance:
soap based sugar scrubs
solid lotion
shower gels
reed diffuser oil

And let us not forget the fragrances. I only offer DEP/phthalate free fragrance oils. I have a constantly rotating and expanding list of 160 scents. I am obsessively picky about the quality of the bases and fragrances I’ve chosen, I only buy from trusted suppliers that have the same freshness obsession that I do. I also make sure the ingredients are as natural as they can be, but they must have some preservative chemicals in them to keep the nasties from growing in them, such as mold & bacterias. All natural is great until you open a jar of cream and see green moldies on it (reminds me of my early attempts at making my own lotions). I constantly google new products to try and continually test the quality of my stock items.

Who chooses my scents and products? My customers. Your feedback and requests create and guide my product list.

Also, I'm a big fan of Bath & Body Works, I've been a customer of theirs for years. I love walking into their stores and seeing all the colored bottles and smelling the wonderful smells. I enjoy providing a similar products, but with a different buying concept and a wider range of choices. Fresh made. Did I say made fresh? I admire Lush too, but they are pricey and I have rarely bought from them.

There are many talented bath and body etailers who provide beautiful products and I love to stop by their web sites and have bought from them, such as Cheryl from Toadstool Soaps. She has a great conditioner (see review here) that makes my hair silky soft. Cleanse Your Soul, Bathed & Infused, Crater Lake Company, Pink Flower Scents, Mad City Sue, Lemon Bay Soap, Dr. Sweet Tooth, I Luv Fragrance, The Body Bakery, Margarita Bloom & much more.

One last note, I know how hard we all work and it bothers me when I see a long time, great quality etailer go out of business, because I've seen the love and care they've put into their business. I've often thought of how fun it would be to gather all these businesses under one roof for a great big scented bath and body mall. But for now, we'll have to accept the virtual roof that is known as the internet.

2 comments: said...

I love this Sue! Sometimes it's difficult for people to understand how people with non-traditional jobs make money. It never ceases to amaze me how the perception is still in the dark ages. Kudos to you!

Cheryl said...

I so Thank You for Your kind mention. ;-)All the Folks You mentioned are Top Notch Smelly Makers & there are just so many Awesome Folks out there creating Wonderful things now. ;-))

I feel like an old timer. LOL

Sincerely, Cheryl