Monday, March 5, 2012

Here I am! *waves*

I have been blogging at a new location this year! You can now find everything Luxury Lane Soap, from my personal to business development and all of the fun stuff in between at!

Right now I am using an awesome app called BlogPress and it makes it super easy to post on both Blogger and WordPress platforms so I will be doing that for a while before I have an exclusive switch.

Hope everyone is having an awesome year and a beautiful day!!

-Kylee Lane
(Imagine a fancy font.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Breaking the Mold

The other day I was watching YouTube videos (which is what you do when you haven’t owned a television in forever) and up pops the following commercial from Ivory soap:
Here is Ivory Soap, owned and manufactured by Procter & Gamble, a Fortune 500 multinational corporation that made $82.6 BILLION in sales this year, coming after me and my fellow soap makers. A company known as one of the most admired brands in the world is saying what I make isn’t soap -- evidently because it isn’t white and in the shape of a rectangle. This is news to me...

So you can imagine my surprise at this “Galactic Empire” of a company coming after a rebel like myself. I mean, have my fellow soapmakers and I suddenly become a threat to a company that has sales of more than $80 Billion a year?

The reason this hits me so hard is because I don't look like a "business owner" or even a "responsible parent". I have been bound, gagged and tied down by stereotypes. By people, banks and schools telling ME I can't be what I have worked my ass off to be because of the way I look, because I don't fit the mold. Cuss yes I'm covered in tattoos and I drive a giant flaming van AND I own a hugely successful business. YES, I was a teen parent and I let my children read comics before they even touch homework AND they are years ahead of their peers in educational development. The fact the my hair might be neon pink, my pants neon green, or that there is a giant Star Trek insignia tattoo on my neck, has not one single thing to do with it.

Since when do we have to squeeze ourselves into a simple, plain, mold to be something? Since when did our shape, size or color define what we were? If a GIANT billion dollar company can dictate what a product is by what it looks like...really, where is the limit? *insert my extreme paranoia here*

There are tons of things around the house, where instead of forking over money to some corporation trying to stuff you into a box, you could buy those goods from crafters, artisans, and small business owners who have love and passion for what they do and who are responsive to their customers. And for those things that can’t be handmade, maybe think of buying something used and fixing it up or simply upcycling! I recent bought an awesome cowly scarf, handmade by my friend Marissa, instead of buying new shirts for winter. Bonus points for upcycling my summer tank-tops and for supporting another crafter!

I’m not saying never buy anything from a big corporation, but we should all try and keep in our minds the idea that going to a big box store and buying something from a large corporation is only one of our options and when possible we should try and look at some of the others.

Meanwhile, Ivory Soap (and by extension Proctor & Gamble) -- you keep doing what you do and I’ll keep doing what I do. I pour as much love and passion into my soap as they can hold, and my customers return it all back to me ten-fold. I’m pretty sure no one loves your soap like they love mine. And the icing on the cake? (mmmm...cake!) The whole reason I got into soap making was that the likes of you couldn’t make a soap that didn’t make my son break out into horrible, bleeding rashes. YOU created the need for people like me to step in and make quality products that people not only enjoyed using, but could feel good about.

Everyone, go out and break the mold today. ♥Kylee

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dear Anonymous Jessie

I recently had this comment anonymously left in my blog and I thought I would do this "Jessie" a favor and give a real reply. If ANY of you ever have questions about my products, please please please feel free to ask away! I stand by what I make. I have no reason to hide anything that I do.

I am so very sorry if I have given anyone the impression that I have mislead them.

On a personal note, I 110% respect the viewpoints of EVERYONE. I may not agree with them, I may not believe the same things you do, but I still respect the fact that they are YOUR choices and ideas. All I ask it that we all try to be polite and respectful. If you are going to slander a person or company, at least have the guts to not be an anon about it. I mean really, how strong are your convictions if you can't even admit they are yours?

Anonymous said...
"complete open door policy"

Regarding that, I just received my first shipment from you in the past month and noticed a card that says you are "green" and environmentally friendly but then i went to follow you on twitter. To my surprise you eat meat, which even "grassfed" cows are still the worst thing you can do for the environment. You can't be a environmentalist and a meat eater according to the UN. So I just found that a bit misleading. Maybe you are only referring to your products but it's not clear.

However, I noticed most of your soaps contain palm oil, which is horrible for the environment and locals health as well. I know how great "labels" can be to make profits but in all honesty it's not fair to mislead the consumer who may not be aware of the damage such ingredients cause.

Also as a fellow Etsy craft maker, it concerns me that you use trademark logos for your soaps which is not legal or fair. Not only to the companies that created that art but to other members who are trying to make an honest living.

Thanks for reading. Hope you consider these issues in the future.

October 22, 2011 1:02 PM

Dear Anon Jessie,
Yes, the open door policy is for real! You raised several points, so I'll do my best to address them one by one.

First - unless you're a vegetarian who is eating only vegetables you've grown yourself on a solar-powered farm, with crops fertilized by the wastes from your own animals (and thus subject to bio-contamination), you're carbon footprint is likely almost as large as any meat-eaters -- and if you like your seasonal items like oranges or avocados year-round, it might even be bigger. Yes, I know meat is a resource intensive source of nutrition, but if you're eating vegetables grown in the Big Agri US-style farming environment or even worse - US-style agricultural products grown abroad and shipped here, that's pretty resource intensive as well -- petroleum products play a huge role in everything from transportation and harvesting fuel to fertilizer and power for irrigation, and huge monoculture farms require more irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides. So the issue, from an environmentalist's standpoint, about beef=bad, vegetables=good is not really so clear-cut as you put forward. From an ethical standpoint, I do believe animals should suffer as little harm as possible and there is a lot of room for improvement in this area. I would also point out though that while humans can survive on vegetables alone, we evolved to be omnivores, and while you may disagree with my choice to eat meat, I believe that doing so in moderation is responsible from a nutritional, ethical, and environmental standpoint.

Secondly - regarding palm oil. Yes, many palm oil harvesting operations have very bad direct and indirect consequences for the environment. However, in and of itself, palm oil is a great natural product that requires much less chemical- / energy-intensive processing than other types of oil, say soy for example. As a responsible environmentalist, you have to go beyond scanning headlines and do the detailed research necessary to understand the effects your choices have -- not just at a single point, but through a product's entire production, use, and disposal cycle. In this case, I purchase palm oil that is not only certified organic, but certified to have been responsibly and sustainably grown. I spend more money on these base ingredients and yet have to keep my prices competitive, so if profits were truly my driving force, I wouldn't go through this charade. I'd just buy the cheap stuff and charge the same price as my competitors and I'd be earning more money immediately.

Which makes a great transition to be able to talk about something that I believe is at the core of my business: integrity. I didn't start making soap because I wanted to make money, I started because my son needed something pure enough that his very sensitive skin wouldn't over-react to it. And I continue to make soap because it's something I have a passion for -- from the ingredients I put into the soap, to the care and attention that goes into crafting my own molds and making my soap, to how I advertise and sell it -- it all comes down to integrity. And I think, compared with many other crafters, that integrity can be seen in every single product I make. I can't tell you how many times I've been presented with a choice pitting integrity against profit -- I ALWAYS choose integrity.

Lastly, I feel I must take exception to your phrasing "to other members who are trying to make an honest living" -- I'm happy to explain my choices regarding the environmental impact of my products, after all I have links on every product page of my site which answer the questions you presented, and I still took the time to reply. But when you imply that *I* am making a dishonest living, I believe that crosses a line. However, I will tell you that you seem to be laboring under a seriously mistaken viewpoint regarding intellectual property, what exactly a trademark is, and what the concept of "fair use" provides for. None of the stuff I reference in my soap is really “trademarked” per se. People always get confused about this. There are intellectual property rights involved, but within the confines of the law, there is fair use and my products are always truthfully presented as the interpretations of a huge fan that in no way presents a threat to the rights of the owners of the intellectual property rights. I have been bullied into no longer selling some products by companies that have more time, money, and lawyers than I do, but I would not sell ANY product that was not honestly represented as what it really is and that I had the right to make.

Thank you for your comments and I hope you feel that I have given them the time and attention they deserved. My door remains open to you and anyone else who has questions and I wish you the best of luck making a living, honest or otherwise, as a crafter. I've been doing it for more than six years and have been blessed with opportunities, but I understand it can be a very difficult business for some who aren't suited to its demands.

♥ Kylee

Friday, October 21, 2011

It doesn't have to hurt.

First. I am posting NO links to the asshat who bashed con goers, or to 'the magazine'. I know how unique visits work. So if you have NO idea what I am talking about, consider yourself lucky and carry on...Oh! look! A kitty!

For the rest of you, you know what I am talking about. I first heard about the travesty via

My gut response was this (as commented on @NicoleWakelin blog)
Number one reason why I have raised my kids to not be assholes...

We are literally that family totally lost in a different world. Every weekend our home becomes the Enterprise, a TARDIS...the Death Star. My children even choose to sleep in cots because it fits better with where their imaginations are taking them that night. The beginning of every movie starts with us shouting "ENGAGE!" and my kids are more concerned with costume details over what they are wearing to school...

With all of THAT being said, my kids get picked on A LOT. I do not teach them to ignore it. I teach them about empathy. Feeling sad for the ignorant children at school who don't have parents who love them enough to dress in character or explain homework in the voice of a Dalek.

WE give people the power to hurt us. Whoever wrote this article is a very sad and shallow person and personally, I don't feel hurt by the article, and as a culture I don't think any of us should. I am proud that those REAL con costumers are on our team.
(End my awesome response)

I thought Nicole articulated the situation very well. After a lot of searching on twitter, facebook, G+ and general google searches I started to feel sad. Not because of the article in question, but because of how WE are responding.

After reading outrages all over the internet, I honestly have to sit back and ask myself “Why?”
WHY are we still letting these people hurt us?
WHY are we still willing to lower ourselves to their level?
WHY are we having internet tantrums, instead of saying “Fuck it. I am going to dress as Batman today in honor of the fact the I AM AN ADULT and can do such things if I want.”

I know it hurts. Been there, done that...But WHY, as a united group of intelligent, over weight, under weight, inside out weight, beautiful faces, are we STILL letting it hurt us?

You can not make everyone think like us. That is part of what makes us unique. Don't waste your time bashing some ass who has no idea what he is talking about. Celebrate who you are. Some of those people in the photos genuinely were overweight/underweight. You are too. So am I. It got pointed out...The end and clearly proving the intelligence level and originality of the writer. 

Instead of giving MORE attention to the magazine, bust out your con photos and get to writing about the freaking awesome people you see at these conventions! Write a blog about how to craft costumes. Write a blog about how liberated you are by the fact you buy groceries in a Starfleet uniform (*cough*). Litter our geek propaganda all over the place! Convert the youth! TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!!

Just do so in a polite and respectful fashion. We knew from the beginning it wasn’t going to be our shiny six packs that made us powerful, but our brains and unlimited trivia knowledge.

Now. For your enjoyment and for actually getting all the way through my rantish blog, this is how I am making the world a better place.