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Business announcement and very personal revelations indelibly entwined follow.
OK, so, here’s the deal. You guys aren’t going to like this, but I’m not going to beat around the bush: Foam on the Range, while not actually closing our doors, is drastically curtailing online retail activity beginning at the end of the first week of April and continuing for the immediate future. Etsy will be going on “vacation mode” for the moment, and I expect to reopen it for Christmas, but I’m not sure when exactly that will happen. Amazon will continue to have products in its own warehouses for Fulfillment By Amazon for the time being, at least. We will still be attending the local farmer’s market starting up in a couple of weeks, however! And likely at least a few other local and near-local shows and markets; the latter half of the year when we usually go to those is still unplanned.
There are a lot of reasons for this, and it’s tempting to take the easy way out and handwave it as “personal reasons”, or the slightly less weaselly “health concerns”. And both of those would be true – and no, I don’t have cancer, calm down.
What I do have, on the other hand, is an anxiety disorder of about 25 years’ standing, manifesting primarily as intense social phobia but with many other lovely tendrils as well, which has been entirely untreated (unless you count NONONONONO NOT LISTENING TO THE BRAIN WITTERINGS as treatment, which, uh, I don’t) for that entire time. It’s been kept in check to one degree or another by the aforementioned ferocious skillz of denial and avoidance, but it’s still impacted my life quite significantly. For instance, I’ve rarely kept a job longer than a year, I dropped out of college twice (and eventually finished!) and grad school twice (and didn’t), due mostly to an unacceptable frequency of panic attacks leading to missed obligations. I’ve let friendships lapse and left others sorely neglected, I’ve pretended illness or voluntarily taken on extra work as an excuse to avoid social outings, and I have almost never been able to initiate a business-related pitch in all the years since starting to sell things.
It seems, summing things up this way, as if I should have realized a long time ago that this was a disorder which needed treatment, but instead I just thought it was a series of personal failures representing evidence of my unsuitability for the world of “normal” people, and it was best dealt with by pretending it wasn’t happening so I could avoid despair and worsening depression. It’s useless to rail at one’s past self, of course, and indeed my iterative progression toward hermit-dom is indirectly responsible for the birth of Foam on the Range in the first place so I can’t hate it categorically anyway, but regardless, it took me until just a few weeks shy of the age of 38 to finally come to terms with this on its own grounds and be able to go to see a doctor (incidentally, going to see a doctor when illness itself feels like a moral failing even when it’s not a mental illness? Yeah, anxiety disorders are self-reinforcing on many fronts).
So anyway, why am I scaling back the business now, once I have actually set out to seek treatment? Well, it turns out that when one’s only stick to keep the anxiety monster at bay has been denial, when one stops denying, things destabilize faster than medication regimens can be spooled up to take their place. So things are, uh, a little discombobulated in my head right now. Also, not to put too fine a point on things, but due partially to the anxiety issues hampering business operations and partially to the vagaries of business tides themselves, Foam on the Range has not been generating sufficient revenue for us to live on for some time, and an increasing number of my working hours have been being devoted to other endeavors for those reasons.
So in order to free up my attention to focus on both getting better and on paying the bills, this is the way things have to be for now. But since I don’t want to cut my non-local customers off without a chance to stock up on Foamy goodness for the summer, the implementation of the plan won’t happen until April 11. Until then, the Etsy store will remain open as normal. Orders accepted – and welcome – for the next three weeks!
After that time, well, if you just absolutely can’t live without something, drop me an email. I might be able to help you out.
I’ll miss you guys this summer.
So, farmers market season is just about over – only one Saturday morning market left in the regular season! Which is sad; I’ll miss the weekly routine. But there’s plenty going on to keep us busy for the foreseeable future anyway! So it seemed like time to sum it up in a list here, as well as the usual calendar-tracking you can find on the Find Us page.
Friday, October 30: Last-minute notice, I know, but we’ll be at the Women’s Fair in Oxford, KS from 4 pm to 7 pm. Should be fun!
Saturday, October 31: Final Saturday of the regular market season; we’ll be at 21st and Ridge from 7 am to 12 pm. Come help us wrap up the season with a bang!
Thursday, November 5: Suds & Foam and the Gnome! This is a foamy event at a local brewery, Hopping Gnome. We’re launching a new Hops in the Shower soap made using their Frank’s Oatmeal Stout, and you can get custom-blended lotions and liquid soaps, too – as well as browsing a selection of our regular product line. All with beer in hand!
Saturday, November 7: Crafts & Drafts in Kansas City. This will be the third year we have done this show and it’s been awesome every time! And yes, this means we’re doing two beer-themed events in one week. But in different states!
Friday, November 13 through Sunday, November 15: Shops at the Gala at Century II. This looks like it’s gearing up to be quite a whirlwind of awesomeness! Three full days of shopping extravaganza.
Saturday, November 14: Buttons & Bows in Manhattan, KS. Yes, this is the same weekend as above! We’re pursuing a “divide and conquer” strategy here, and will have a presence at both events on Saturday. Anyone who brings a mocha to deliver to whoever is running the booth at either of these shows will get a free bar of soap, because we will DEFINITELY need the caffeine.
OK, I think that’s enough for one post – it gets us a few weeks into the future, anyway. I’ll talk about the rest of November and maybe even some of December later!
We’ve released the Spring/Summer 2015 line sheet for wholesale orders! You can find it at the Wholesale tab above from now until the next Fall/Winter line sheet comes out in August. Also, we will soon be set up to take wholesale orders online! But in the mean time, you can still e-mail orders in as before.
Happy sudsing, and we look forward to hearing from you!
Exciting news! Foam on the Range has been accepted to the Kansas Grown Farmer’s Market, which will be starting up for the season in less than two months. So local and localish Foam on the Range fans can get their soap fix every weekend – and stock up on fantabulous local produce at the same time! We’re thrilled, and can’t wait for it to get up and going.
Other announcements forthcoming soon!
Whew, what a whirlwind the last third of 2014 was around here! So very many things happening – mostly good, a few . . . not so good, but on balance, it was a pretty awesome year. And now there’s a whole new year starting! And true to form, we’ve got Plans. Lots and lots of Plans. The first new things should be unveiled later this month, in fact! But in the mean time, a few announcements:
First, we’ve got some changes in our core soap lineup. For one reason or another, Back in the Saddle, Before the Harvest, and Linden Blossom are all retiring. Coming in to replace them will be Gardens by Moonlight, Lemongrass & Clary Sage, and Lilacs in Bloom! The first two are available already, and the third will be along in a few weeks. Exciting!
We are also narrowing our selection of shampoo bars to 10 varieties, and the downsized scents join the three departing core soaps and an assortment of waning seasonals in our annual GINORMOUS clearance sale, starting today! Everything in the clearance section is 30% off original price.
I think that’ll do for now, but do stay tuned – we’re really excited about some of these new things on the horizon! For now, have fun treasure-hunting in the clearance sale, and happy sudsing!
We’re trying something new around here! Remember the old Foam of the Month Club? Well, this is sort of like that, only almost entirely different.
…helpful, right? Lemme ‘splain.
We have used the toolset available at Patreon to create a new soapy club that allows you to sign up to receive one-off, extra-special soapy creations, something between monthly and quarterly (it will vary, but it will only charge you as often as soaps are created). The first creation on-deck hasn’t been made yet, but it will be from the Pumpkin Spice school of inspiration, containing pumpkin puree and heavy cream, scented with spices and espresso. And who knows what we might come up with next!
Club soaps will be made in very, very limited quantities. You can claim a guaranteed bar by subscribing before a given batch is created. Any quantity in excess of what is claimed by club members will be available to the public for $8 plus shipping – but you could get it in the first place by signing up for $7, shipping included!
Interested? Click on through to the Patreon site to take a look at the details. You can even subscribe on behalf of a friend or family member as a fantastic gift that keeps on giving!