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 28, 2015

Labels, Logos and Super Blood Moons

Scarlet Moon Creations
logo on labels
In honor of last nights Super Blood Moon, as NASA is calling it, today's post is about labeling, my logo and business name for Scarlet Moon Creations.

Let me tell you, it took me two years to get all the info on my main product label to fit in a pleasing manner. It took me awhile to make things legible on my secondary product label. Fitting ingredients and instructions for each different product is a pain. I can't wait to reveal my handmade book line since that will only need one label. So for those other small business owners struggling with labels, you are not alone. 

If you've read my Aromatherapy Laws in the U.S.A. post, you know that for bath and body products there are so many label regulations.  I must include company name, product name, net weight, directions and a list of ingredients on all products. For the ingredients list I have to include INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) names or scientific names of all ingredients as well as list them in "descending order of predominance". That makes for a lot of text. Honestly, the ingredients need to have their own label.

So, I was very happy to be able to finally settle on a logo design for my labels earlier this year. As you may have guessed the drawing of a red circle is my official logo. I drew that myself in paint back when I had no other access to design software or professionals. I needed something quick for my Etsy shop at the time. Something to go with my business name. I am quite partial to this image so even though I have an updated version ready, I'll wait for a business anniversary to reveal it. I do have a design background but it's time consuming and I'd like to fiddle with the scarlet moon image I created a bit more.

Obviously, the logo was made to go with my shop name, Scarlet Moon Creations. I think I've explained the creations part pretty well in my updated About page. To me the moon represents emotion, water, the changing tides and the color red, passion and warmth. Red happens to be my favorite color. Scarlet or blood red being my favorite shade. My bedroom walls are that color and have been since the end of high school, so over a decade now and I've moved a few times. In the early mornings its like being in the womb again.

Lunar eclipse October 8 2014
California Alfredo Garcia Jr
from Wikipedia
As you probably know by now thanks to the media, the Blood Moon happens during a total lunar eclipse where the earth gets between the sun and the moon during a full moon phase and cast it shadow on said moon. The red tinge happens because little bits of sunlight peak through our atmosphere. The Super Moon is when the moon is closer to the earth than usual so it looks much bigger. The fact that these two things happened last night is rare. But we all got a good look at the moon. I'll leave it to the Farmer's Almanac to explain if you want more details.

The Blood Moon is also what folklore usually calls the first full moon in autumn or the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox, which was on September 23rd here in the northern hemisphere. This is also sometimes called the Harvest Moon for obvious reasons. The full moon is considered a very powerful time and a lunar eclipse even more so since the moon is full yet appears new (or dark) for a time. New moons are a time of new beginnings but also a time of reflection. Now add in the fact that the moon is much closer to the earth, appears bigger and definitely has a greater affect on the earth and those of us on it and you have a very powerful celestial body in its prime. Super Blood Moon indeed.

These things are acknowledged in various cultural folklore's and in science. So adding these meaning to my own made for the best business name ever. Literally (okay being a little hokey but whatever)! This is what I put into each of my products, passion, emotions, warmth, caring and power. I create to serve those parts of me that are passionate and powerful. Every time I create something I am starting something new and when I offer it for sale, I am harvesting and reaping what I have sown. I put my all into this business all by myself; blood, sweat and tears (sometimes literally) go into every aspect of Scarlet Moon Creations. And when you purchase something created by me, you can rest easy knowing it was something made with care from the logo and label on the outside to whatever is on the inside.

~Lashette

Check out my Etsy shop, Scarlet Moon Creates to see what's available now. 


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.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fall Favorites

September is here!!! Though its not quite Autumn yet (I'm currently sweltering in a cool 91 degrees), I thought it was time to get my Etsy shop ready for Fall. Check out some of what will soon be available in the shop this Autumn season.

Last year, pumpkin spice season didn't start until the day after Labor Day. This year I saw Halloween decorations and pumpkin spice peanut butter (I need to investigate that personally) in the last week of August. I don't want to be behind the times, so be prepared this week for the return of the Pumpkin n' Clove Body Scrub.

Later this season I will also be bringing back the Pomegranate Body Scrub. So far its the only scrub I have made with Himalayan Sea Salt and it has to be the healthiest scrub I have. I can't forget to add the return of the Sweet Facial Scrub and the Sweet n' Spicy Body Scrub. Both made with brown sugar the softest exfoliant for those with sensitive or delicate skin. Or if you just want to smell really, really good.

Other than scrubs, the Autumn bath soaks are returning as well. Virgo (already available), Libra and Scorpio Bath Soaks make perfect birthday presents for those born in September, October and November. Psst! I'm a Scorpio if anybody is thinking of me. For those who follow pagan and Wiccan holidays, you can already purchase the Mabon Ritual Oil as well as the brand new matching Mabon Incense. Coming later this Fall will be the Samhain Ritual Oil and Samhain Incense. 


And finally, what's new!! I am so ready for apple picking again this year. Hopefully it doesn't rain this time. But in homage of the time-honored Autumn tradition, I will be bringing you the Apple Cinnamon Body Scrub this October!!!

I also have two new product lines that I cannot wait to debut this year. They have been waiting at the starting line for awhile but I wanted to get them just right. Finally, they are a go. If you follow my blog, I've mentioned them before so its not a complete surprise. If you want to know exactly what is coming out when, hit the Subscribe to Newsletter button on your top right for up to the minute details.

Have a Great Day!!
~Lashette



Monday, September 7, 2015

When One Door Closes, A Window Opens

Just learned some disturbing news about a friend. My mental response was flat out shock. She is extremely talented, very focused and driven, good at her job and compassionate. How could this happen? Why did this happen? You do all the right things, take all the right steps and still things can go wrong. You can be wrenched out of your reality, your comfort zone. I am feeling for her because I’ve been there and was lost because of it. I didn’t have a contingency plan and following the rules got me nowhere.
This got me thinking about how as much as I know about planning and organizing, I hardly apply those techniques to my life. I’ve thought this before and am trying to rectify that but its still true. Back up plans, emergency plans, contingency plans, worst-case scenario plans; we need them for every aspect in life and then we can be relaxed when something goes wrong. I’m an advocate of planning. I’m not saying this would have saved my friend from this situation. It literally just happened so she deserves a moment to readjust. I just think planning could have helped me more when it happened to me. Also, listening to my instincts, my gut at the time was telling me to get out, to move on but I didn’t because I was comfortable. And I wasn't for along time. But when one door closes, a window opens.
At the end of the day (and the beginning) I have to tell myself that I am 31 (almost, I have less than two months so I have to start practicing ) but it’s not the end of the world. I can still do this. All of it. And I will if I plan. People are living longer lives. I’m not automatically destitute spinster if I don’t have it altogether at this age. That whole 20-45 years at one job with full benefits to retire at 65 is not the reality anymore. Its not impossible but it is improbable in today’s times.
Plus variety is the spice of life. Its why I love event planning. I can start my business in the social events. Start as an officiant, start as a wedding planner. Make money, go back to school for meeting planning while getting certifications. Offer event marketing to small businesses and work my way up to conferences and the like. I think my blog can evolve the same way and I am already working on those steps with my etsy shop. Start small, keep my eye on the next milestone while working hard on the current steps.
I wrote this post as soon as I heard the news. This wasn’t my planned post for this week. I had one that was supposed to come out last week but the images have been giving me such a hard time I had to delay it. But this, the feelings behind working for what you want no matter what your chosen field are just as important as the work you put in. I knew I had to share this publicly. I know I am not the only one feeling this way and I know that my friend and I are not the only ones who have gone through this in their lives. Others deserve to know that they are not alone.
To my friend, you should know I still find you to be an amazing person. I know you will rise from the ashes once again. You inspire me in many ways. This post being just one of them. I can only hope that between the two of us we inspire many others.

~Lashette