The Very Beginning
It had to be five or six years ago when my sister started her jewelry shop (Young Method. Check out her website at youngmethod.com for simple and affordable jewelry!). Shameless plug, anyways I really looked up to her for tackling such a project and I knew I wanted to do the same. I spent the next five years bouncing ideas around and not being sure of myself. I honestly wasn't actively planning a shop, it seemed to stay a distant thought and desire. When I think about those years I wonder if I would've had the time, money, or necessary level of commitment to run a successful shop. I think not. Recently I realized I did have all those things. I happened to have some extra dollars looking to be spent, and as Summer starts I will have some more time on my hands. AND I am completely dedicated. I had no intentions of starting Sweet Mango this Summer, but I have accepted the responsibility with great excitement. It's been a quick and full journey, but here I am writing a blog on my new website!
My First Steps
Once I officially decided I wanted to make soap and lip gloss I did A LOT of research. There are so many methods of creating products and it's important you find the right process for you. I used google to find all the information I needed. Of course, Google led me to many soap making sites. Creating soap seemed to have more customizable options than lip gloss, so I found more articles about soap. I looked through plenty of recipes, reviews, and personal opinions. Once I found a few techniques I liked I started researching the supplies I would need. I took notes and did a lot of brainstorming during this process. This helped me finally decide which process and products I wanted to use. I bought all of my supplies from Bramble Berry and Amazon. I like Bramble Berry because they carried most of the supplies I needed as well as recipes, videos, advice, and fragrance/lye calculators. Honestly, I didn't look at many other sites in my early researching. I later found other sites like Nurture Soaps that has good reviews. I especially liked the recipes and videos from Bramble Berry's CEO/founder.
Another part of my research included finding other shops that are already doing what I wanted to do. I used Google, Etsy, Instagram, and Facebook to find other soap, lip gloss, and health/beauty shops. I learned about the selling and buying community this way. I saw what customers were expecting and what sellers were offering. I quickly developed an idea of what I wanted my shop to look like. In same ways similar or differing from other shops.
Gettin' it together!
My goal was to buy as much of my supplies as I needed at one time. I created a list of what I thought I needed (to be added to many more times). I checked items off as I added them to my cart. I started with Bramble Berry. AFTER planning which soaps I wanted to make, how I would make them, and how they would be decorated I THEN added every ingredient I needed to my cart. I eventually added other items like molds, cleaning tools, and some packaging I planned to use. What I couldn't find on Bramble Berry, or could find for less, I bought on Amazon.
After everything was bought I did the same for packaging/mailing items I would need on other sites, and again for marketing supplies. Basically for each step I did research, made a list, and searched some more before buying.
Tackling That Website
I knew I wanted to use shopify, and not just because of that discount they had going on! I did some research, but really I wasn't going to budge on shopify. So far it's been easy to follow the steps they give you to make sure you have everything set up correctly. I could've gathered more info before starting. It's taking me a little longer than I expected to get the site and other socials together, but it's not hard work. And once it's done I won't ever have to do much to it again. It's been a fun and not stressful process.
That's it for now. I'm close to a finished product, but I still have plenty to do. I'm putting my odds and ends together and I'm excited to launch!!