Subtitle

A personal look at the trails and triumphs of creating a business from the ground up; of starting a business selling what you create.

Monday, September 21, 2015

How I Got Started: Gifts

This is part II of the How I Got Started series. Each part can be read on their own but if you want to read part I, here it is.

I started out focusing on myself. I have a lot of allergies and decided to look for some solutions that didn't include constantly popping pills because been there done that. But one holiday season I came up short on ideas of what to get anybody. I was truly wracking my brains and coming up empty on gift ideas. This year too I wanted to include my coworkers who had become close friends (ones I have to this day even though I no longer have that job). Unfortunately, I had spent lots of money on a truly wonderful vacation in Las Vegas that August, so extra money was not in my bank account.

New Gift Packaging
So I googled (my google-fu is strong) gift ideas, gift ideas for coworkers and inexpensive gifts. Thanks to the mommy bloggers (who are awesome ladies) I became aware that due to the economy that homemade and crafty gifts were the in thing. This was back in 2009 so DIY was getting big and lots of bloggers were happy to craft ideas for inexpensive gifts. One of the popular ideas was homemade bath and body products, even gift baskets for females.

And what do you know, I already make stuff like that for myself and have tons of ingredients around. However, I have intimate knowledge of my own skin but not of others. So this took some more research into the worlds of all natural skincare, aromatherapy and herbology to get a better idea of what would and wouldn't work as gifts.

I'll be honest and say that I am a naturally curious person who enjoys learning new things. However, these were just gifts to friends and family. I wanted to know enough to give them good smelling, from-the-heart gifts without giving them a nasty rash or infection. I had to be sure that what was good for me was good for my grandmother and also good for my pregnant co-worker (its not by the way).

So, in this way, I learned more. I got some great books on the various subjects covered under skincare products and some not so great ones. I also learned about packaging, which sticks with me to this day. And ultimately, what people like  in their skincare products. But this was just the beginning for me. I would have a lot to learn still, just from practice.

Original Lemon Bath Set
My first body scrubs were so oily. So much that the salt or sugar separated from the oils not too long after mixing. I used to include table salt in my bath salts just because. But those first 6 or 7 mixes are what led me here today. The Lemon Body Scrub is still my mom's and some others  favorite.

All this learning, making, mixing, designing and packaging just for a few holiday gifts was enjoyable. At that point in time my life was very practical and analytical. This was an unexpected  creative outlet. I didn't realize how much stress it helped relieve until well into January.
It made me wonder what more I could do creatively?

Find out more in my next How I Got Started post, Creativity.

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