Let’s talk acorns and yarn balls

You know, if it’s one thing that I miss about Hanks, it’s that sometimes I get an idea, and that idea needs to be fleshed out by talking about it — I reach a point with ideas where stewing in my own brain pan ceases to cook and just… sets. Sharon was awesome for bouncing ideas off of, because she does not think the same way I do AT ALL – meaning that she always brought a different perspective to what I was thinking, and that can be a good thing.

So, I have two soap molds, that I think are the cutest things ever. One is an acorn, and the other, while called on the site where I bought it, “braided round,” to me looks like a small tightly wrapped yarn ball.

Acorn soap yarn ball

I think they’re both adorable; plus they’re both exactly the right size to fit in the palm of your hand, so they’re great for things like travelling and taking just the soap you need for your trip, or when you don’t know if you want a large bar of soap in case you don’t like the fragrance, or HELLO you just want something cute! Sadly, neither of them sell hand-over-fist like I was hoping they would. That makes me ask myself two questions: “why?” and “what can I do to make that happen?”

I’m pretty secure in my pricing strategy, so I don’t feel that they don’t sell because they’re too expensive. Perhaps I don’t have them in enough fragrances? I’ve had them both in about five or six different fragrances. And don’t get me wrong — they do sell, they just don’t sell fast enough for me to have had to make more of any of them yet.

So I’m thinking about doing three things. One thing is reevaluating the fragrances that I offer in these designs. I’ve gotten some new woodsy/autumn fragrances since I started making the acorns, so I’m thinking about an overhaul there; and while I had made the yarn balls in some of my favorite fragrances and ones I thought would do well based on other sales, perhaps pulling those and only making them in one line — say, floral/herbal.

Coming soon to Wild Iris BooksThe second thing I’m thinking of is making a bowl, similar for the guest soaps that I put together for Wild Iris Books. I would take that to Craft Markets and hopefully the sheer quantity and cuteness would draw people in, and the fabulous woodsy fragrances would make people buy. Hmm… have you seen my acorn birdfeeder? I could not do the cutouts on that, but instead cut off the top as if it were a lid, and use that for an acorn soap display. I DARE YOU TO RESIST THE CUTENESS.

Soapmaker's FavoritesAnd the third thing I’m thinking about is either in addition to or instead of selling them singly (I’m not sure which yet, or both), selling them in a bag – as seen in my recent reworking of “Soapmaker’s Favorites” here – as a set. They’re $3.50 each, and so I think I’d probably not want to put more than five in a set. I could do a year-round acorn fragrance set with Ancient Sedona, Cedar, Lost in the Woods, Spiced Mahogany, and Teak & Sandalwood; and then maybe a Autumn-only set with Forest Pine, Pumpkin Lager, Pumpkin Spice, Winter Holiday Wreath, and… and one other. Either Frankincense & Myrrh, or Autumn Harvest. And a year-round yarn ball set with maybe… Blackberry, Coconut Lemongrass (a former Hanks fragrance), Lavender Patchouli (or Lavender Rose), Rosemary Mint, and … Woodberry? Rain on the Down? (Which, by the way, I’m thinking of renaming to the original supplier fragrance name, “Kentish Rain,” because out of context of the Watership Down club, I don’t think many people grok the name.)

Anyway. Just some things on my mind, and the dogs aren’t terribly helpful in giving me feedback when I bounce ideas off them. “Blah blah blah blah blah blah, OLD DOG.  Blah blah blah blah blah blah, BACKUP DOG.” That’s all they really hear, I think.

So. Acorns and yarn balls.

4 Comments

  1. Quinn

    I like the bowl idea for craft markets. I also like the idea of year round fragrances.

    Perhaps for online, you could sell the acorns on a pile of fall leaves (craft store supply as you’re not in a fall leaf state 🙂 )

  2. m9m

    I would surely buy acorn soap if you piled it unwrapped inside the acorn bird feeder WITH the top on (more acorn-y) and if it smelled like wood. The best incense I ever had smelled like Oak.

  3. AnneB

    What about making combinations of ceramics and soaps? I don’t remember if you have a soap dish in a leaf shape, but perhaps there’s a way to combine a set of acorn soaps on an appropriate soap dish that makes a nice gift set? The yarn mug full of yarn soaps? I can see this could pose some real time problems for you though, considering that the soaps take less time than the ceramics.

    I also like the fragrance sets idea. Perhaps a fragrance overhaul is in order. Maybe the fragrances aren’t striking people’s fancy?

    I really liked the little organza bags you packaged soaps in that I ordered last fall, for what it’s worth. And I always enjoyed opening one of your kraft boxes — are there other sizes of kraft boxes that would make fun packages for a set of soaps? What about packaging them in clear packaging so people can see the bar they’d buy, rather than seeing a sample of what’s under the wrapping?

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