Our aim is to expand our range of products by promoting sales through outlets, internet and social media.
About the project
I started to make soap a few years ago and gave it away to friends and family to see what they thought. After compiling a list of what was most favoured I then developed my first range of Goat's Milk Soap with essential oils. After some more research I then expanded onto a more luxury range of soap made with coconut milk, pure silk and extra moisturising properties plus fragrance oils. These also proved highly popular so I then took them to the public through craft fairs. I finally launched my business in November 2014 after many trials and alot of research.
How my products looked and were presented was very important to me as was keeping my ethos of handmade, excellent quality and reasonable cost to the consumer. To achieve my expectations I only make small batches of soap, handcut them and wrap and label each one myself.
I created my own labels from pictures of my home grown orchids.
In the beginning I had a range of 12 soaps, presentation baskets and gift boxes plus soap ladders and soap bags. I also handmade the boxes and other various boxes so the soap could be given gift wrapped.
Recently I have launched 3 new ranges to the business. Six body butters, six lip balms and six bath bombs. I have been able to do this as all sales are reinvested in the business and used to buy ingredients and pay for the cosmetic safety assessments which are needed to enable me to sell my products.
I would like to expand the range further at some point but need to increase the sales of the current products to do this. At present I am limited to craft fairs and would like to make enough produce to stock local outlets who are interested in taking some of my range, have some professional marketing material printed and develop a website with the help of a professional designer.
This is a small selection of my products.
The new range of Body Butters which includes, White Chocolate & Coconut, Shea Butter with Lemongrass, Lavender, Mango, Lemon & lime and Aloe vera with tea tree & peppermint. To see the full range of products please visit my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Apso-Soaps/1487167111516280
I have also been using twitter and etsy.com as a further method to increase awareness of the business and extend my reach to the public. My etsy shop can be found https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ApsoSoaps?ref=hdr_shop_menu
HOW YOUR PLEDGES WILL HELP.
The main aim of this project is to expand onto the market by supplying local outlets with products while still allowing me to attend as many craft fairs as possible. Any money made from sales is immediately put back into the business which has been used to buy ingredients, pay for assessment for new products and packaging. With your help I will be able to buy more ingredients and develop the packaging, promotion materials and be able to approach local outlets with a view to stocking my products.
Your support would also enable me to get a website developed with the help of a professional and increase sale revenue through this avenue.
I would also like to expand the product range with face and eye creams and also a mens range. This would involve more safety assessments to allow me to sell these products as it is a requirement within the EU. An assessement costs up to £180 per base with 6 variations. To date I have spent £1000 for assessments.
My aim is to make Apso Soaps a household name. My products are of excellent quality and I do nothing to them except cut them so customers can be assured they are buying quality items. I believe strongly in my business and have given up full time employment to devote my time and effort into promoting my business. I'm still learning new skills like using social media but also how to promote and design my product presentation.
To date I have funded the business from my own personal savings and from money made by the business which has been used to its full. With the launch of the new products I have already seen a clear increase in sales.
My soap is made by the cold process method. I only make small batches which results in higher quality products being the end result. I use good quality oils such as Olive oil, Coconut oil Cocoa Butter Shea butter, Avocado Oil and vitamin E oil, and do not use any preservatives.
The body butters and lip balms have 7 different oils along with fragrances and flavour oils. The bath bombs are also made from stratch and contain such things as sweet almond oil and epsom salts.
All the product have been tested and developed over a period of time with the customer in mind before going to market for sale.
CURRENT SALE VENUES
At present I sell privately through facebook and attend as many craft fairs as I can find.
This is one of the craft fair venues I attended recently. I have already been approached by craft fairs to attend christmas fairs and am beginning to have a good profile on the craft fair circuit.
Recently I have purchased a pop up banner and business cards to help with the marketing end and also changed my packaging and labels which has resulted in increased sales
IF MY PROJECT IS SUCCESSFUL
I will be able to purchase enough ingredients and buy packaging to stock at least 6 local outlets or more and be better prepared for increased sales from social media and marketing. £1000 would enable me to purchase enough ingredients to get a head start on production of products so that I could then approach local outlets to stock my product while continuing to go to craft fairs and meet orders placed through social media or private
The remaining funding would then go towards the website and marketing materials and any short fall would be met by the business if necessary.
Any increase in sales from the outlets will go directly back into the business to develop further products and pay for the necessary assessments.
If the project is successfully funded I will place my order to the suppliers immediately and start on production of stock. During the time that the project is running I will be compiling a list of outlets across Northern Ireland who may stock my products and by close of project should have a list of every outlet who has agreed to stock the products.
During the life of the project I will also source professional quotes for the website and therefore will be able to advise who is working on the website development and the time line for launch.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all who have read my project and taken the time to visit. I will keep everyone updated on its progress.