Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Welcome to 2016!

…I mean, OK, fine, that news is two weeks old; it’s been 2016 for long enough that the shine has worn off the change, and we mostly remember to write the right year when filling out forms, right? (I did say mostly.) But I’m running a bit behind around here, and while I am [ONCE AGAIN] dusting off my longstanding intent to do some more blogging, it always takes me a few weeks after the holidays are over to remember which way is up. Which isn’t a complaint! If the holidays didn’t knock me tip over teakettle I’d know for sure I was doing something wrong around here. But still, it does lead to a slow restart for January.

2015 was a rough year, I won’t deny. Sales were down in many areas, expenses were up in all of them. Depression was a big theme. Also stress. Good things happened too, of course! But all in all, I’m not sorry to have seen the end of it, and am determined that 2016 will be better.

A few things have happened already this year: We’ve said goodbye to some old friends, product-wise, and new things are waiting in the wings to replace them as the weeks go by. We’ve started the beginning phases of a new facelift to our brand as a whole, and I’m really happy with how the concepts are starting to come together. I’ve even made the year’s first batches of soap! (It’s always a twitchy time, December, when I don’t have time to make soap and the creative bits just pile up in my head and yell at me for not letting them out.) But we have more and more plans ahead!

Here are a few of the things we intend to accomplish in 2016:

  • Focus! 2015 (and to a lesser extent 2014) represented a time of aimless wandering, creatively and business-wise. It’s time to remember what we’re really best at (making spectacular artisan bath, body, and beauty products), and do more of that.
  • See above re: brand facelift. It’s a bit awkward to realize I’ve been putting the wrong face on some of my products; trying to make them into something they’re not. But as we feel our way through this process, I can already tell things are going to be much, much better when it’s done.
  • More blogging! Yes, I know I’ve said that before, and I meant it then, too. What can I say, except this time I’ll really truly try to get a post made at least once a week? Really! And if there’s something you’d like to hear more about – inside looks at things, whatever – let me know – I’m always looking for ideas.
  • We attended our first and second SF fandom conventions in 2015, and are looking forward to doing more of that in 2016. We aren’t turning the whole brand into a fannish exercise (which I won’t bother to pretend I couldn’t do if I let myself), but a couple of our Firefly-themed soaps sold well enough in 2015 that they will be becoming part of our core product lineup, and there will be some additional products made available in those scents. And that’s in addition to anything specific we might make for special events! (There’s a Star Wars soap curing on the shelves right now, as a matter of fact.) So the nerd is coming out from behind the curtain just a teeny bit.
  • Wholesale, wholesale, wholesale. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will always love selling product directly to customers myself. But I’d also love for more of you to be able to just nip out to a local store and pick up a bar when you’re running low! So if you’ve got an adorable little boutique, or a natural foods store, or other awesome spot in your neck of the woods, drop us a line and we’ll see if they like us as much as you do!
  • Relatedly, we may be looking into an additional online marketplace or two. This is still up in the air, so no details yet – but we’ll let you know when we get something worked out!
  • And as always, we’re going to spend all year getting better at making the things we make, so you can have even more Foamy awesomeness in your shower than ever before.

Whew! That’s a longer list than I really intended it to be, but that’s OK. They’re more like guidelines than actual rules anyway, right? Right.

Online Wholesale Ordering Now Available!

Getting Foam on the Range products into your store is now easier than ever with our online ordering setup! Browse the available wholesale items, add to cart, and off you go to checkout. It’s a snap!

Collaboration Soap!

For those of you who didn’t already know, the Other Half of the Foam on the Range partnership writes science fiction. (He even has a book!) We’ve been tinkering on a Super Secret Joint Project since well before Christmas now, going back and forth on the details, and finally we’ve got our various contributions ready to launch! So, without further ado, I present to you the Floating Market soap – and its companion story. Happy sudsing, and happy reading!

Floating Market

Floating Market

Floating Market - cut section

Floating Market – cut section

No Such Thing As “Too Pretty To Use”

In five years of sitting and standing behind tables at craft shows and markets, I have heard many, many remarks from browsers/shoppers, and not all of them are very nice. But by far the majority of people are quite polite and complimentary – or at least they think they’re being complimentary. One of my favorites is “Did you make all these?!”, which I know about half the time actually means “My goodness, I am impressed that you could make these” and the other half represents genuine attempts to determine whether these are directly-handcrafted goods or a reselling operation, which in the current marketplace is a fair question. I always respond with a cheery “Yep, sure did!” and leave it at that, but as anyone who knows me personally can attest, I have a bit (well, OK, more than a bit) of a smart-alecky streak, and sometimes it’s hard not to say “Nope, bought ’em all at Walmart yesterday!” …which would probably not have the desired result, so I refrain from indulging my imp of the perverse. SO FAR.

I Put A Spell On You

But that’s not what I came here to talk about today. I came to talk about the “too pretty to use” phenomenon, which is probably the most common thing I hear from people talking themselves out of buying. Now, I am certainly pleased and flattered that my products are seen as being objects of beauty in their own right, and I would never dream about complaining about that. My quibble is somewhat more subtle: Where did we get the idea that pretty things are not to be used? That the attractive soap goes in the guest bathroom soap dish, never to be touched, and we must wash ourselves only with things we deem ugly or plain enough? Besides, beauty which is ephemeral is no less beautiful, as sunsets and fresh flowers demonstrate quite well.

I understand it to some degree. After all, an unused item has a pristine air about it, an aura of freshness, almost a purity of purpose, and once it ceases to be unused and becomes half-used, this pristine quality is sullied in some indefinable way. However, a bar of soap has multiple purposes, and its beauty is only one of them – and not the primary one, either. If it is not allowed to go about its other purposes, of bringing cleanliness and happy skin and glorious fragrances to its users, it must therefore go through its little soapy life feeling thwarted and unfulfilled, collecting dust and gradually ceasing even to be beautiful.

Is it not therefore worth learning to appreciate the different kind of beauty found in a half-used bar of soap? Your skin will thank you for it! Besides, you definitely deserve pretty things at least as much as your guests do!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all of my USian readers are having a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of family, friends, and food – as much of each as they want and no more. As for my non-USian readers, well, I hope your Thursday is at the worst no worse than the average, and hey, at least it’s almost Friday!

Anyway, I promised this year that we’d be doing something other than the same old, same old Black Friday deal, and so we shall! Thanksgiving is a season in which to be particularly mindful of the good things in one’s life, and our customers are always high on our list of those in need of thanking. So, thank you! And because thanks are even better when they come with a token of the appreciation, we are running a Thank You sale campaign.

Here’s how it works: Place an order on our Etsy store using coupon code THANKS2014 and get 30% off everything you buy. Pretty neat already, right? But if you want to take it a step further, include a note with your order telling us something in your list of thanksgivings (no, it doesn’t HAVE to be us you’re thankful for!), and we’ll include a bonus gift as yet another thank-you with your shipment!

The sale will run through end of day December 2.

Hooray for Fall!

Well, OK, so it’s not technically fall yet for another three weeks. But it’s September, Labor Day has passed, most of the kiddies have started back to school, and there are Pumpkin Things on the shelves in the stores, so it’s sort of mostly fall, anyway. It’s honorary fall, that’s the ticket.

I don’t know why I’m so eager for fall this year – usually it’s because I’ve had my brains parboiled in July and August scorching heat, and I’m ready for some beautiful 50-degree mornings. But we’ve had substantially fewer than usual brain-parboiling days this summer (about which I am entirely happy!) and so there’s not quite the usual “please deliver us from this unrelenting heat” angle to the whole thing. But still, summer has had its day in the sun (less sun than usual notwithstanding), and I’m ready to move on to fall!

…besides, we have all these nifty fall soaps and such (two more coming out tomorrow, and the last two next week), and show season starts back up for us soon (watch this space to see where we’ll be headed first), and I’m just ready to get going! We took the summer off from doing shows, and while I think it was probably a good idea, I really have missed chatting with customers and the general hustle and bustle of craft show life. 

So anyway, let’s hear it for all things autumnal, and I hope to see y’all soon!

Giveaway Time!

Y’know what we haven’t done around here in a very long time? A giveaway! And since it’s been so very long, we’re going to go for a three-fer. One lucky winner will win a $50 gift certificate, and two more will each win $10 certificates. Awesome! Yay gift certificates! You could buy this:

Apothecary SunSoap

Apothecary SunSoap

Or this:

Cold Water bath bomb

Cold Water Bath Bomb

Or maybe this:

Linden Blossom Shower Splash

Linden Blossom Shower Splash

…the possibilities are – well, OK, they’re not endless. But there’re a lot of darned possibilities, is my point.

So anyway, how do you enter this here giveaway, I hear you ask? Simple! Comment here on this post with why you love Foam on the Range! If you’re a long-time customer, let us know why; if you’ve just found us today, well, you may have to compliment us on our stunning photography or riveting product descriptions, but I’m sure you can think of something. Want a second chance to win? Oh, sure, why not. Go to our Facebook page OR our Google+ page and share the link to this post. (Only one win per person, though, even if by some freakish chance both of your entries come up in the random draw.)

Right. Go, ye, and enter the giveaway! You have until 8 pm Central on Monday, August 25 to enter. Winners will be announced Tuesday.

Note: If you haven’t commented on our blog before, the comment will be automatically screened until I have a chance to approve it. Nothing personal, it’s just set up that way so y’all don’t have to see a constant sea of comments trying to sell you dubious pharmaceuticals. I promise I’ll click it through as soon as I can – you don’t need to re-post!