It's a round about story but it all began with Hurricane Katrina, oddly enough. I live in an area that was hard hit by this monstrous storm. We are about 60 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi. We were on the NE quadrant of the storm which most people know is the worst part to be in. My mother who was 77 at the time lived in the same town we do. We brought her to our house to wait out the storm. Her home was destroyed in the wrath of Katrina. I know most people would think this to be a horrible thing but it gave me an opportunity not everyone has. My mother moved in with my family and we were able to enjoy having her here with us. Something that probably wouldn't have happened had Katrina not come through our area
JUMPING ahead a bit...... I have a real thing for nice bath and body products which as most of you know can be very pricey. So, I began to study and research and make my own. Something I had never considered doing but found that I really loved the process. Not long after I began friends, family, and neighbors were my main source of product testers. Then they were wanting to purchase my products as gifts for others. The gears in my mind started turning and I began doing more research and learning all I could.
As time went on my mother's health began to deteriorate and I needed to be available to her more and more. After much consideration I quit my job teaching and began to really focus on my craft. Sometime around the end of 2008 I really got down to work. I still hadn't declared myself an entreprenuer but I was working hard. My mother would sit and watch me work, ask questions and talk about how I could do anything I put my mind to.
Things were just beginning to take off towards the end of 2009 when somewhat suddenly my mother passed away... she was 81. At first I wanted nothing to do with the craft I was working on but after a few months I realized that she would have wanted me to get back to it... she was my biggest cheerleader, the one who always told me I could do whatever I put my mind to. So it was with that in mind I got back to work. My business is once again beginning to take off, and I dedicate any success I have to her. She told me I could do it and I intend to prove her right.
NOW as we enter a new year once again I am working to build my business a little at a time. I sell wholesale as well as doing several retail shows during the year. I'm proud of the products I have to offer and believe in providing good quality without charging the huge prices found in most retail stores. I have some stock items as well as making custom made products.
My original premise was to make all custom made products but I quickly realized that as business goes that wasn't going to be profitable. I have studied what other crafters do in their businesses, combined that with what I want to be uniquely mine and have come to what I believe to be a sound business plan. I have some stock products and still make some custom made items as well. My bath and body products are made to order for the most part unless I'm making products for a show. My candles are all hand poured and unless they are ordered in larger quantities I rarely pour more than 2 or 3 the same. If we wanted something just like our neighbors we would go to a large retailer and purchase the item... am I correct?
So there is my story. My business is dedicated to my mother who I miss terribly but, when I work I feel her there with me still cheering me on. I hope everyone who tries my products enjoys them and tells a friend because that is the best advertisement anyone can get!!