Monday, February 23, 2009

Muscle Rub and Lip Scrubbie - Testing Phase

A few days ago, I reformulated my muscle rub and lip scrubbie recipes and they are now being tested by my fabulous testers. I made three different concoctions for each product with varying strengths of ingredients.

The lip scrubbie is always lots of fun to make and to test. The purpose of a lip scrub is to gently exfoliate the dead cells from your lips, leaving them smooth and soft from the high-quality oil ingredients. The muscle rub is made with olive oil infused with arnica flowers and is said to relieve muscle aches and pains.

Testing should be done in about three weeks or so. In the meantime, I'll be developing the packaging.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Muscle Rub and Other Stuff

About 7 weeks ago, I put together a cold infusion of olive oil and arnica flowers. It's ready now so today I will be making my test batches of muscle rub.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Apartment Therapy

So, Apartment Therapy is one of my most favorite sites ever. Today they posted several rooms decorated in pinks and reds in honor of St. Valentine's Day. One room in particular caught my eye and I decided that I would copy that room nearly to the T for Bollandi's waiting room/lobby. Please don't ask me, "WHAT waiting room/lobby?" A girl can dream, can't she?

I love love love this. I just would lighten the walls a touch.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New labels: I think I love these and I am getting great feedback. I'm going to live with them for a bit then put in an order with a professional printer.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Etsy Shop is Open

The Etsy shop is open for business! I only have two kinds up so far. Will post more soon.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Possible New Soap Studio

So, an exciting opportunity just presented itself to me this weekend. There is space available in a location that houses several small business including two fine art studios. Rent and utilities would total less than $500 per month. Financially, I can handle this...but barely, squeakin' by barely! I would have to cut back on a few things but I am willing to make those sacrifices. I am of the opinion that if I don't commit my all to this new business, then why do it. So, I have promised myself one year's time - also because the lease on the new space is for a year. If it doesn't prove cost effective, then it doesn't - and I will move back into my home studio. But I have a feeling it will. I am having very good feelings about this, positive vibes...not feelings of dread and mistakes. I'm not opening a retail store...this will just be my studio.

So, now the fun part! Why would this space be so great? Well, I'll blog about the benefits of being close to those art studios in another post (I have to save stuff to blog about!). This space would be great because:

  • It's close to my home
  • It's affordable
  • There are benefits to the location, which I will blog about in another post
  • It's big enough for ALL of my stuff and more
  • I can keep all of my supplies and inventory in one space (right now, some things I keep in my home studio, some in the main kitchen in the pantry, etc.)
  • The front door happens to be very close to where my mom has her gallery. Someone needs to keep an eye on that Italian woman!
  • It's not at my house - When I come home, maybe my dogs will have missed me.
  • It's a great reason to go shopping at Ikea.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Olive Oil, Shea Butter, and Goat Milk Soaps

Pics of my cold process soaps made with high quality ingredients such as olive oil, shea butter, goat milk, and essential oils. I'm still trying to get some good shots of them individually.

Top and Bottom: Arancia: Sweet orange, pink grapefruit, and patchouli essential oils
Second: Dolce: Luscious and sweet brown sugar fragrance oil
Third: Lavanda: Lavender and peppermint essential oils

Bella and Menta - Temporary Labels

Still waiting on my labels but here is Bella and Menta with a temp label. High quality glycerin with shea butter and goat milk, scented with jasmine and a touch of musk (Bella) and mint with a bit of rosemary (Menta). These are two of my best sellers.

Soap in the Likeness of Fine Art Paintings

Ok, so doing this isn't on today's agenda. Who cares!

Several of my soaps are for sale to the public at The Studio Experience, the fine art studio where my mother is a partner. For about a year, we have been batting around ideas about how to bring her paintings to life in my soap. I'm still working out the details, but I should be ready to start testing after I move into my new studio. We are still picking out some pieces that would be good starting points, but the below painting is one I would like to try after I get better at it. I'll post pics on this over the next few months. How cool would that be to have this in your bathroom or to give away as gifts or party favors? By the way, this picture doesn't do the original painting justice. In person, it's vibrant and has great energy. I hope she never sells this one. I want it in my house!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

From Ciao Bolla to Bollandi

Before we really started selling and putting our name out there, we wanted to change our company name because we discovered Ciao Bolla was similar to another company that makes similar products. We loved the name Ciao Bolla but when we found out about the other company, we had this nagging doubt that we might run into trademarking issues in the future. Obviously, we didn't want any part of that, so we changed to Bollandi.

How did we come up with Bollandi? It took weeks to decide. We literally searched for weeks for names that we liked. It seemed everything was taken. It seems nowadays the only names that aren't already taken are completely made up names. So we made up a bunch of names - didn't like them, went back to the drawing board, thought up more names, liked some, took a poll, more names, another poll, sigh, and so on. To make a long story short, Bollandi won the polls.

Bollandi is:

Bolla (Bolla di sapone, Italian for soap bubble) + Andie (my daughter) = Bollandi

Why the Italian spin? Easy, because we are a large Italian family.

Currently, I'm in the process of switching everything over to Bollandi and waiting on my labels, which should be coming any day now. Then pics, then posting back to Etsy, then open again. Folks can still email me if they want soap before I am up again.

I have three types of silk, shea butter, and goat milk soaps in the curing house - and these were made with the new molds that you see below in a previous post. That reminds me, when that mold company is open again on March 1, I need to order two more.

1. Lavanda: Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oils - Ready 2/13
2. Arancia: Sweet Orange, Pink Grapefruit, and Patchouli Essential Oils - Ready 2/25
3. Dolce: Brown Sugar Fragrance Oil - Ready 2/25

I also have ready the giant (8-9 ounce) glycerin chunks with shea butter and goat milk that you all love so much:

1. Bella - Jasmine with a hint of musk
2. Menta - Mint with a touch of rosemary
3. Oceano - Salty ocean breeze - I should have named this one Breezy...hmmm
4. Felice - Floral with undertones of musk
5. Amore - Pink cotton candy with hints of musk and citrus

Next Up: Bath Fizzies, Muscle Rubs, and Lip Balms. I dug out my old recipes from my old soaping life (The Smelly Soap Company! Good times!) and plan to rework them a little bit, then order containers, etc.