Tuesday, December 7, 2010
After an explosive sales week, Luxury Lane Soap has hit record highs and we (@Rory_Lane and I...) are literally working around the clock making these orders fresh for you. Currently we are about 72 hrs behind shipping schedule. If you have ANY questions at all about your order, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will get get to you as soon as possible. ♥ I will NOT be charging extra for rush shipping. If you need your order this minute, I completely understand. Just let me know. And a huge thank you for your understanding.
Now that the business part of this is out of the way...I have a couple of personal things going on which are adding to the delay...
My son has pneumonia and his needs come first. He had been sick off and on for a few weeks and as soon as it seemed he had it under control, his temperature would shoot back up to 102. My Dad is here with us helping take care of Trent so that we can work, but PLEASE understand, if my little boy is crying for me to hold him, you are going to have to wait an extra day to get your order. There is no other way for me to put that.
This is another reason why I am not charging extra for rush shipping. It is my responsibility to get these orders to you and I will.
Annnnd, today is my birthday! AND GIANT SQUEEZE for all of the love you guys have been sending me over twitter/email/text/facebook! I wish I could thank each and every one of you personally but I am just being slammed with life right now. (Read above...) It means a lot to me that you have taken the time to wish me a happy birthday. Really. ♥♥♥
So...like always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about your order status or to simply tell me you think I am great. ♥ Hope everyopne is staying afloat and having a great Holiday season!!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I make shampoo and the the best part about my job is being able to create and develop products...so it only seems natural that I would also make a conditioner, right? Well, I have. I do. I just don't sell or market it. Why? Honestly, I didn't think anyone would be interested in it. Ooooh buckets, was I wrong!
Let me tell you a little secret about commercial conditioners (the stuff you buy in drug stores and grocery stores). The more you use those conditioners, the more you need to keep using them. *gasp* How can that be you ask?! Commercial conditioners contain a product called silicone, creating a short term illusion that the quality of our hair has improved with that artificial slick you feel once it is rinsed from your hair. However, when used over time, silicone-based hair products coat the hair shaft and seal out moisture, possibly clogging the hair follicles. Hair can become flat and greasy with build-up or dry and straw like with a lack of moisture. So, the more you use, the more you think you need.
My Crème Conditioner is different in that it contains none of the typical fillers and junk which cause this repetitive use more/buy more cycle, giving your hair a chance to actually heal and improve. When you use it, the first thing you will notice is how it doesn't just sit on top of your hair, it actually soaks in, providing actual protection and replenishment of natural oils that mimic what's in your hair already.
So? What's in it?
I only have about 40 samples and it is completely first-come, first-served. Also, I would love you forever if you email me your feedback (both positive AND negative are appreciated!) after you give it a try. ♥
Friday, October 29, 2010
"If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends.
If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends."
-Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com
Think about that for just a second. Customer service (henceforth "CS" because I'm cool like that) can either grow or completely destroy a business. You would think the chances of crossing bad CS would never happen...but it does. Especially online, where it is so easy to ignore our customers.
Fun personal facts about me: I have obsessive compulsive disorder, severe anxiety, paranoia and minor hallucinations. I'm so anxious I can't even talk on the phone. My voice mail is full so people can't leave a message. I hate getting dressed. I have to have strangers take care of me when I travel.
So how in the hell do I have a growing business with supreme customer service and a record for over five years now of 100% positive feedback?
Yup. That is pretty much it. Well that, and the fact that I actually care about what I do.
I just asked on twitter:
"Hey everyone! I am writing a blog about customer service....what does CS mean to YOU?! I would like to feature some of your quotes!"
Replies! (A good sign, and proof, CS DOES mean something to people...)
"CS is having it successfully explained to me politely that what I DON'T want IS best for me." -@WilliamPall
I like this. When I worked in retail I would be candidly honest with customers. It's true. Don't ever try to sell something to someone when it is not in THEIR best interest.
"CS is supposed to be about the customer. But these days if you do get anywhere, it's like the company's doing you a favor." -@JoeShopping
Attitude. If someone is spending their money, investing in your business, you are NOT doing them a favor by giving great CS. You are doing your JOB.
"Customer service is 'The customer may not always be right but they are listened to and appreciated.'" -@vadersmom
The saying 'the customer is always right,' is wrong. This sounds harsh, but it is true. However, you bend over backwards to LISTEN to your customer. You give that customer 110% of your time AND understanding. Next, you appreciate your customer for even coming to you with a problem.
Which leads wonderfully into this next one...
"Empathy and sharing the responsibility of a negative experience of their product or service." -@MrDystopia
I'm going to repeat from above, you have got to listen to your customer. It is hard not taking it personally when someone comes to you with a bad experience, especially if they have a problem with something you made.
"I am always happy to resolve, refund & replace." The Luxury Lane Soap Guarantee
Me. Kylee Lane. I take responsibility for what I create and sale and I examine each and every situation individually. THAT'S what I expect out of every business I do, well, business with.
Now you can only sit here and read about how wonderful I am for so long, so I guess it would be a good time for me to make my point...
After hounding @terrence_oleary for a quote, he indeed sums everything up wonderfully... "Customer Service - most important part of ANY business - so vital to exceed customer expectations - anticipate issues and be proactive..."
Big thanks and hugs to everyone who helped put this post together! ♥ Please feel free to share your CS experiences below. How could companies improve their services? What would you like to see business do for YOU?
Monday, October 25, 2010
So...now what do I do with it? In my last blog I had wrote about the need to expand and grow into the next phase of business and marketing. Facebook feels like part of the natural evolution of things (like ten years ago...) and I just want to make sure I am posting content that people (you!) find valuable and useful. I know the whole FB fan page thing is not new, or really even trendy anymore (or is it?) but I need a middle ground.
Honestly, this is the only analogy I can think of...It's late and I will probably edit this in the morning. ( I didn't...do enjoy my crazy talk...)
Twitter is like dating. You meet some crazy people and some really nice people and some really nice crazy people. You develop friendships...and sometimes you just have to click block.
Blogging is like being married. It feels lasting. Solid. It is your home, a place you feel comfy, a place that is yours. Annnd sometimes the mere thought of blogging gives you a headache.
Facebook has more commitment than tweeting but less than blogging. A good middle ground to run around and play. Like going out for lunch with your Mom...wait...more like playing volley ball with a group of friends...no, that's not it either...Facebook is a place where we all pay our own tabs. We aren't having constant chit chat, and we aren't spending paragraphs making a point...We are visiting and saying hello.
Did I nail it? Does that sound right?
So, what do YOU want to see on the new Luxury Lane Soap fan page? I do plan on linking press throwbacks and giving shout outs to the people who helped me grow. I am still in awe of the world wide support and can never say thank you enough. Ever. (What? You thought you were going to get through an entire blog with out me getting mushy??)
I also plan on featuring new products as they arrive to the shop. I know a lot of you follow me on twitter, read my blog AND already follow my personal FB AND business fan page (+10 for the creepy stalkers!!) and I just don't want to overload you with repetitive information.
Suggestions? How in the world to people manage all of these things without being rude and while keeping things...personal and meaningful?
Thursday, October 21, 2010
We lost the house we signed contracts on to a cash buyer. I cried. We kept on looking. (Yes, we *might* have been able to fight it, but when it comes right down to it, that house just wasn't meant for us.)
So, completely by chance, my neighbor stopped by while I was shooting some product pictures and one comment led to another. There was a house meant for us. It was actually waiting for us.
And that's all I am going to tell you about this house because, very much like me, it is different. It is also out of our price range. However, after meeting the current owners, seeing the house and having that feeling that we belong...Ok Ok, before I get mushy and cliche' I just want to point out that I make decisions based on air. Really. If you have ever gone house hunting, you know that feeling of when you walk into a new house and your gut feels something. I felt something in this house. A good something. A happy something.
We had always planned on having a middle house, and THEN buying land and building a home. Not with this place. This is the first property I have ever looked at and wanted to grow old in. This is were I want to be for the rest of my life.
Yup. It is that serious.
Out of my price range? Yup. Kids are in the middle of the school year. I'm just jumping into my prime selling season...Clearly, this is not the time to buy a house. BUT the sellers are so cussing awesome they are willing to wait until next Spring for us. THAT, that right there, see, my house was waiting for me.
That is also the first time I have called it MY house, because it isn't my house. Not yet. And I wont dare say it out loud. I won't post pictures of it and I wont even tell you were it is. But when I get it, you are all invited over for a HUGE slumber party. I kid you not.
The facts. Luxury Lane Soap HAS to double sales in order to move. I have to push my company to the next level. I'm ready, and what better time? So, I also need to step up my marketing, which means more product tweets and NEW products! Growth.
"I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb." Thomas Edison
I have failed a lot. A lot. In life, in business...All of my failures have been preparing me for this. And, if I don't get this house, guess what? It is only prepping me for my next success. #fact
What does this mean for YOU? Well, aside from spending the past few minutes of your life reading my hopeful blog post...
1. More product tweets in my twitter feed. (I have also changed my background to showcase products and my twitter name to Luxury Lane Soap, but my tweets are STILL @KyleeLane)
2. More blog posts. As much as my business is business, I will be posting more personal blogs (like this post) because there is no reason not to share the trials and tribulations of being the CEO of a growing home based business.
3. MORE PRODUCTS! Woo! Currently, the Luxury Lane Soap catalog holds over 62 products along with various scent and color combinations. This is going to grow weekly. Really.
4. More side projects and websites....Oh yeah baby, I don't mess around with expansion.
With all of this, I want YOU to know that I am not going to become one giant commercial. I don't even watch TV because I cussing haaaaate commercials...But there will be a few changes. Also, NEVER, EVER feel pressured to promote Luxury Lane Soap. I love you regardless. #fact.
So if I am not here to pressure you to go crazy and buy my soap, what was this post all about? Well first off, yes, I will love you more if you pass along the good word, but my point is...I have a huge goal and I am going to rock the CUSS out of it. Watch me. ♥
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
* About 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women
* About 54,010 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
* About 39,840 deaths from breast cancer (women)
Last Revised: 09/24/2010 -The American Cancer Society
It is #BoobieWed on Twitter today and while I was getting ready to get up my squeezy avatar and link to my past blog where this all originated, I realized it has been over a year!!
Breast cancer is real.
"Then I think of all off the women, my grandmother included, who need attention brought to this cause (breast cancer awareness). I think of myself and my daughter (and son!) who merely through genetics, may one day battle this disease. All of a sudden being anonymous is no longer an issue! So, this proud Mommy, Daughter, Sister and Friend has decided to take and post a picture of her chest..." <---I said that a year ago!!
And many pictures I have taken!
What's my point? Breast cancer is real, it is serious and it kills. I proudly post a weekly photo asking, demanding, everyone check themselves and their friends. EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES.
#Fact There is a 97%, 5-year survival rate when breast cancer is caught before it spreads to other parts of the body. -Breast Health Resource Guide
It is Wednesday. Make Wednesday YOUR day to give yourself a quick squeeze.
Not sure how to preform a self exam? Here you go!
Breast awareness and self-exam via The American Cancer Society
The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 35. Breast cancer death rates have been going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and better treatment. Right now there are more than 2½ million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Today I released the Companion Cube Soap. *gasp* I know. Stunning.
I really want to thank everyone who RT'd and sent love for my new soapy creation. Honestly though, all credit goes to my production leader, Rory Lane. (Who, btw, FINALLY has a twitter! @Rory_Lane. Give him a follow. He is awkward and hilarious.)
The Companion Cube was an idea we both had and became very excited over, but I knew I wouldn't have the patience to do it with such....well, I wouldn't have had the patience. Period.
The production of this piece was very slow (and at times extremely annoying...). It began with nothing more than a simple 2x2 inch wood block. That's it. From there, my husband was able to turn this basic shape into a marvelous work of art.
After many moons, weeks, and months, our creation is now ALIVE!
It is such a wonderful feeling watching something being built from the ground up. Making something like this is no easy task and not for the weak, BUT SO WORTH IT! Really, anything I say is going to sound cliche'...
So. I want to know one thing YOU have created. Anything. What have you made that makes you proud...or taught you a lesson? Anything. And if you have never ever made anything, go make something right now. Matter of fact, double extra points to anyone who feels inspired to create.
You need a bribe? Of course you do. ♥ (This is where I tell you I am going to give you something!)
Leave a comment on this post (with a contact email) telling me something you have made or want to make or are in the process of making and I will do a drawing for one winner to receive TWO Companion Cube Soaps. I will announce a winner Friday, October 22nd, during the #FF love fest on Twitter and tell everyone how awesome you are.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I am pretty sure my best work comes from trying to fix a problem -- often one I caused myself. If you recall the scrub incident, I couldn't get something right, and because I failed, I decided to try something different, and came back to it and kicked some ass and created something wonderful. (I am still so in love with the comments I am receiving about my Whipped Up Sugar Scrub...I love you guys!)
So what did I mess up tonight? I was working on a new line of perfume oils. A super-secret project I have been developing for months and I finally had the guts to just get it in gear. I take my fragrances VERY seriously. My ingredients, the purest of the pure...(organic oils are not cheap...) And while I was mixing some blends to send off for product testing, I knocked them over...*EXPLETIVE DELETED*
I watched my expensive formula pour across the counter. The essential oil blends I spent hours putting together...the fragrances I melded to not only smell wonderful, but to embody real emotion....ugh...there they were, just oozing across my sterile counter.
I cussed, as I always do. Roared the 'f' word and scared the crap out of everyone in my house. Next, there was a brief moment of silence... and I swiped my hand through the potion and put it in my hair. What? I wasn't going to waste it. I slowly started to roll the ends of my hair between my palms, in the fusion of organics and botanicals and to my surprise it wasn't greasy! (Now, little lesson here, the base use is Jojoba oil, which happens to be a wax, not an oil. The chemical composition of jojoba closely resembles that of the skin’s natural sebum, so it is easily absorbed...)
Anyway. My hair is softer than it has ever been before. I treat my hair like crap, having dyed it every color possible and I cut it myself so I will go months and months without trimming my ends. I coat it in chemical serums just to get it to behave and yank hot irons through it just to get the false appearance of smoothness. Well, now all I am ever going to do is put natural perfume oil in it...
My point? While trying to create one thing, I created another. I would have never thought to make or even try a hair oil like that. I was making epically awesome perfume oils...not a natural smoothing serum.
And while I sit here all yummy smelling, I was thinking to myself about how neat it is to just simply create. Yes, it is pretty freaking cool to set out with a purpose and rock the house, but to accidentally make something and have it turn out so well? Bliss. I could have just wiped up my mess and went on my way but my natural response was, "What's next? Now what can I make?"
I know so many people who do really fantastic things but they are afraid of messing up. Don't be. The power behind invention is that we don't know the problems we can solve unless we find ourselves faced with the problem in the first place.
I know it sounds dramatic, considering all I did was knock over some oil...but it is the idea, the scale. Take something tiny like this and put the theory to something larger. The possibilities are phenomenal.
♥♥♥ I want YOU to try my new perfume for free so I am going to do another giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post with an email to reach you at and *poof* you will be added to the drawing for your choice Botanical Perfume Oil! I will announce a winner on Friday, October 15th ♥♥♥ Want extra entries? You can 1.) Tweet about this giveaway and post a link to the tweet here and/or 2.) Tell me how much you love me.
We have out winner! Comment number 8!
*dances* Congrats lovely!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Hemp Bath first debuted Jul 23, 2009 on Etsy.com with wonderful response from the crafting community and public! 100% positive feedback with over 400 sales in only a few months! I sadly had to close down Hemp Bath due to Etsy fees climbing and so I could focus on expanding Luxury Lane Soap for the new year...
2010 has been more than phenomenal. I can't say it enough. I can not thank everyone enough for their support and input. Through this boost in traffic and exposure, I feel confident re opening my very first sub division. ♥
How is Hemp Bath different? After developing and perfecting three essential products, Gentle Hemp oil Soap, Hemp Silk Shampoo and Hemp Satin Body Cream, I have then been able to focus primarily on my fragrance blends. One of my most FAVORITE things to do is hand blend scents. I *see* fragrances. When I smell something my head fills with swirls of color and vibrant imagery. Synesthesia much?
Hemp Bath is an outlet for me to take what I love (again!) and turn it into something new and different. I have a Product Information page which goes into detail about the three avaiable skin care formulas and from there you get to jump right into choosing your scent! From Aquatic to Earthy, I have covered every angle on the scent wheel and only plan on expanding my blending abilities!
Hemp Bath is very different from Luxury Lane Soap in that I am tapping into a different part of myself. Luxry Lane Soap is very visually based, a place where I can perfect my molding techniques, I can work my hands at organic cold process products and I can offer something for everyone. From every member in the family to all of your friends!
Hemp Bath is something new in that it focuses on the individual. On YOU. Reading scent descriptions, layering different scents to produce your own individual tastes, exploring complex blends to single notes, it is 100% based on what you want.
- So, why Hemp Oil for body care?
"With regular use, Hemp Oil can help slow down the effects of skin aging, while reducing skin discomfort by soothing and restoring dry or damaged skin. Leaving the skin smooth and moisturized, it as been shown to relieve the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and even acne.These healing enzymes and vitamins can be absorbed directly into the skin to replenish missing oils, without leaving a greasy residue."
As with Luxury Lane Soap, I want to develop Hemp Bath around my friends and customers! ANY suggestions, any scent blends you are looking for, anything, do not hesitate to ask. ♥
Thank you for your continued support. For your love, your tweets, your high fives and for reading my mushy blog. *squeeeeeze*
Monday, September 13, 2010
"We don't have mistakes here, we just have happy accidents" - Bob Ross
While trying to develop a scrub for my beloved Numbers Geek, Kathy, I began experimenting....for weeks...and months...finally when I thought I had found the perfect recipe, I...failed! *gasp*...and then I immediately threw four pounds of product on the floor...and then cussed...and then went and pouted in my bedroom. True story.
An hour later, I had an epiphany! My Whipped Soap Frosting! My prize Pumpkin Cupcake scent! Organic sugar, pure unrefined botanicals!! Ahhh! Mix mix mix... *lighting bolts* *me crying out "LIVE!"*
*silence* *SQUEEE* ...Just ask @geekwithsoul ...I am THRILLED about this product. ♥
Heck freakin' YEAH! I had finally done it! The most delightful, clean-rinsing, moisturizing body scrub EVER!
Not only that, but I ran out of 4-ounce jars, so this epic Pumpkin Cupcake Whipped Up Sugar Scrub comes to you in a limited, whopping 12-ounces!
I am seriously excited about this, and I want YOU to try it! I am giving away 2 jumbo travel jars to two lucky people! What do you have to do to win such a prize? Just leave a comment down below and I will randomly select a winner using one of those fancy random number generators. Oh the future...
We have our winners! Number 7 and number 16!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I am giving away free soap! Really? Yes. Really. Last Friday I gave away 25 NES Controller Soaps without any process and thanks to @chibi_missy we now have a process!
So, how do you acquire said free soap? So very glad you asked!
Simply tweet a link with your favorite item from LuxuryLaneSoap.com and tell me WHY I should send you that item FOR FREE! ALSO (this is very important...) Please hash tag your tweet #CleanMe . Thats it! The top ten tweets will receive their item of choice!
You don't have to follow me on twitter, you don't have to @KyleeLane, you don't even have to like me (though you should, because I like you...) BUT I do accept bribes in the form of extreme flattering and undivided loyalty.
You can tweet as many items and as many times as you like! I am looking for fun, creative answers this time around. It IS Friday after all...I will even give you a tweet example!
"http://luxurylanesoap.bigcartel.com/product/boba-the-soap I want this because it would get me laid. #CleanMe" (Feel free to use URL shortening when posting links so you have more characters to be clever with)
I will be RTing your tweets all day Friday and DMing the winners! ♥ Ready...set...GO!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
There have been many, many blogs going around with a common and reoccurring theme: Friendship and the common and overpowering appreciation for people simply paying it forward. This is how small little acts of kindness and goodwill lead to bigger and better good things, a snowball of *snugs* if you will. Even if you're stuck in a one-horse town (raises hand!), you can still help change the world by spreading that goodwill all across the globe and help reward with kindness and love those other folks out there doing the same thing.
Essentially, we are rebuilding ourselves through these blinky, bright lovable digital monsters sitting in front of us.
I need you to do me a HUGE favor. Click on this link ---> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/812334444/uberdork-cafe-a-dork-with-a-dream
Now you either:
A) Clicked on that link and got lost and may never make it back to this page because you are looking at an ad for a free toaster and you want to click it just to see what the deal is. You want to know how they are going to totally rip you off and what is the gimmick? The angle? What do they REALLY want from you? Or maybe it actually is a pretty sweet toaster. EIGHT slices of bread? Srsly?!
B) You made it back here and you are genuinely interested this time around.
The rest of this is written for Group B. Group A, You ROCK those toasters! (please fwd me the info...)
So, Group B. You want to know why I asked you here? Simple. I love my internet friend Natali. I have never met her face-to-face. I DO know she makes a sweet ass Yoda Cake and that her daughters love the heck out of their momma. She is intelligent and funny in ways I cant even express. (She can though, go check out her rocking blog!) I know these things about Natali. I know that if we knew each other IRL, we would take our kids bowling and be the cool group. Our kids would probably beat us at bowling...totally...I just beat my highest score of 44 with a 53. ...We would skate too. We would be besties.
Natali isn't the only one either...there are SO many people I would jump in my van and go see, right this second. And I could be myself. You know who you are., cause you listen to me rant about being crazy and you support me for the one moment when it all falls apart. You've never met me and you help me, thank you. Really :)
Dude. This is the longest blog I have ever written. Ever. I am NOT known for long ranty blogs. I hardly ever even finish a sentence...
What does this all mean? (because you know I always have a point!) Well, this all means Natali's dream is very important to me and I need you to help her out. Even a dollar brings her one tiny step closer. A LOT of us know that one teeny tiny step forward can sometimes be the difference between crashing or having your dream fulfilled. We also know that from every major crash, there is a larger and wiser dream built upon it.
If you cant help monetarily, spread the word! Tell your family, tell your friends, heck, tell your enemies and they might even mend their ways! Light one more fire with her dream. Plant the seed of an idea in our youth, sitting on the internet right now, linking and posted and reading...and educating themselves. Spread the word so that even IF Uberdork Cafe doesn't get built right away, even if it is an idea that floats away because we lose track of whats important, even if the worst happens, you know what? You will have passed along the IDEA that we all need to chase our dreams as often as we can and with as much love as we can muster! "IDEAS ARE BULLETPROOF" and who knows...someone may accidentally come across your blog through a link on Twitter, or a mini-feature you wrote, and then that idea is passed on and inspires others.
What we put out into the world, we pass on to our youth. What ideas are we leaving them? You know -- the ideas THEY will one day take and grow up and teach THEIR children. (Hopefully also passing along the idea that they want to take care of their awesome parents and give them cake and not put them in a nursing home...and never sell the OLD car because it will one day be worth a lot of money. Do not lose sight of the past.)
So wrapping all this up in a neat little package with a bow and lots of little hearts in it: As I stated at the beginning, each of us, no matter where we are, now have the ability to help those like-minded peeps who look to build a better world one ♥ or *snug* at a time. And we all have the ability to help those who want to take some of that geeky love and build something we can all touch and experience in the real world with it. Not to shut anyone out, not to say "Geeks Only, No One Else Allowed" but to set up the kind of place where all that great energy geeks have can be shared and grow.
+10 if you made it this far. You just earned the achievement "Make it through Kylee's Longest Blog Post EVER!" If we ever meet in person, I owe you a hug in real life. (heart)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Soap in Carbonite just had a price increase! Current price: $9.95 / New price: $12.95
(peeks through fingers)
Laaaame! I know. Let me explain.
First the soap – while this soap is from a mold, it also has tons of hand-finished details and a hand-applied finish (ALWAYS done by yours truly *curtsy*). And the cost of my materials unfortunately isn't going down, so that's part of the price increase.
Secondly, within the last 8-weeks my life has changed dramatically. In a huge way. If you have been following this blog, you know what I am talking about. If not, please feel free to poke around. I read every single comment) In short, I am literally on the path to a whole lot of awesome. I do not have to get up to an alarm clock. I do not ever have to wear denim again. Isn't that everyone's goal? And while that's terrific, it also means some other changes . . .
I've had to actually HIRE people . . . both to help develop Luxury Lane Soap and to keep what I can of my sanity. A wise person told me (more than a few times) “Don't waste your time doing something someone else can do better than you.” … or something like that. Well, I am really really good at making soap. Not just that, but I know and understand how to manage my business well. I can't balance my check book, and meeting people IRL scares the crap out of me, but otherwise, I have found the thing I do best.
So with that being said, I've got more costs. I've got EMPLOYEES (still weirds me out). I pay people. I have storage facilities and bulk accounts! And honestly, there are somethings that become easier with higher volume, and this soap is NOT one of them.
So yes, Soap in Carbonite has gone up in price. I could have raised my prices all across the board, but instead I put it on the one product that is taking up soooo much of my time. (In a good way!) I have hand-detailed over 700 cussing gray soaps in the last 8 weeks. My whole business is growing, which absolutely thrills me! And I do not want to inhibit that growth, So, Mr. Soap in Carbonite, you got me into this and now you are going to earn your keep. ♥
To make up for the fact that you now need to give me more money, I am offering to make Soap in Carbonite cooler. Cooler? GASP! How is that even possible?! Well, let me tell you... I am now personally signing each and every soap, along with personally adding “frozen on dates* Yeah.
More awesome? Oh, you know it! I am hand-detailing each and every single one of these with not two, but THREE pigment depths. That means your soap has been created solely for you and is an individual piece of epic awesomeness. There will never be two pieces exactly alike. Ever. Like little Carbonite snowflakes :)
So in order to keep up with so much cool, I can only produce 75 each week. That. Is. It.
PLEASE NOTE: As most of you know by now, I am a HUGE sucker for people telling me how great I am, so if you really need one and I am sold out for the week, I will probably cave if you spend more than 7 seconds on an email and make your story good. I will have to make special requests during the weekend while my kids are screaming and pestering me for food, so I am going to charge you more. A rushed or special order will be charged an extra $15.00 w/ $5.00 shipping. When I work on the weekend I am giving up TNG time and I just finished the fifth season tonight and going into the sixth.
Please keep this in mind if you hunt me down and make a special request.
♥ Again. Thank you to the amazing people in my life who have helped me get to this point. From fan to friend on Twitter and to those people who put up with me never answering my phone or replying to emails. I love you. ♥
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
While doing extensive research (Thank you Google...) I have come across many informative and beneficial articles....
" The fact is, researchers are turning up more and more new evidence of honey's medical benefits in all directions. The benefits of honey don't just stop at satisfying the palate; honey also offers incredible antiseptic, antioxidant and cleansing properties for our body and health, and amazing healing properties as a head-to-toe remedy, from eye conjunctivitis to athlete foot. Its powerful healing attributes have long been used thousands of years ago and known to promote healing for cuts, cure ailments and diseases, and correct health disorders for generations after generations..." -http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/
"Due to its qualities honey is widely used in different skin care products. It is used as a skin care product (for) centuries. Cleopatra used honey and milk for her bath to keep her looking youthful..." -http://www.skincareresourcecenter.com/honey-and-skin-care.html
"Honey is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are wonderful beauty aids that nourish the skin. Honey is high in vitamin C, a variety of B vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid, as well as minerals such as potassium. It is rich in amino acids, the basic building blocks of life, essential to our very existence." -http://www.amazing-green-tea.com/honey-skin-care.html
Really, I could go on and on... But it boils down to the fact that I want to make honey soap! NATURAL honey soap, not pre-made, stored on a shelf for years, honey soap, but the real thing.
My dilemma... Is or isn't Honey Vegan? Some say yes and some say no. I pride myself on having high quality, Vegan friendly, cruelty free products. Does producing a soap containing honey, even with all of the potential benefits, directly violate my prime directive?
I would love to open this up for commentary! NOT a debate on whether Vegan is better or not...I enjoy fat amounts of steak and I love meat. I DO live in farm land after all...however, I am STRONGLY against animal cruelty. No person has any right to torture animals, especially in the name of beauty production.
When you try to define honey as Vegan it gets messy and sloppy and I do not like it. Would organic honey be a better alternative? Then you get to jump into the "What is Organic, by definition" debate...
So really, I am asking my friends, and customers and whomever, what do YOU think of Luxury Lane Soap releasing a line of honey based products? Do you feel is a direct contradiction to my Vegan aspect, or do you feel it is an avenue which should be explored for the health benefits?
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Never, ever, EVER let someone tell you that it is best to just shut your mouth to keep the peace.
So as you might guess, today was a rather interesting day. (<--This day was actually last week, but the point is important as ever...)
My morning started out wonderfully with a call from a very magical and wonderful woman named Kathy. Business seeds were planted and I am so excited to see them grow!
My day of awesome then took a turn for the not-so-awesome. Suddenly I was interrupted by one thing after another, and that in turn developed into a rushed tattoo outline of how I felt. (It turned out AWESOME though and an insane amount of crazy love to rhysmcdonald for being awesome and drawing something up for me and to my dearest Chad for making time for me)
It was while that was getting done that I spit some of the anger I was feeling about life at the moment on Twitter. And somehow that automagically turned into a giant ball of love that rolled back over me in one big *squuueeeezle*. I cant even being to explain what it feels like when I feel alone, isolated and bottled-up to suddenly have people I've never even gotten to meet in person giving me hugs and just taking time out of their probably-also-hellacious day to send me some love. I want to cry thinking about it (Yes, I am a giant baby...)
The day came to an end, and someone decided they needed to tell me the following: “You can change how people view you without changing who you are...bite your tongue and let things go ... just to keep the peace."
This brought forcibly home that I now find myself at a turning point. I have mentioned in past blogs that I walk a tight rope between my personal and professional life. All my life, I've heard either these words, or what amounted to these words: "Look one way and act another." "Please other people, even it it doesn't please you, because you've got to make that sale." "Keep your emotions out of the business." What it all amounts to is people telling me to draw that in between who I am and what I do, I need to draw a line in the sand and make it thick and apparent. Hell, they want a border fence, dogs, and some machine guns guarding that border.
I've been realizing more and more that I don't have to do that. I can, in effect, say screw it and just be me. Now, I have struggled with this blog from time-to-time because, well, lets face it, when you arrive here, this could very well be your first impression of me. *EEK* I swear I am not a drama queen. Ask around. Really.
However, I am at a point of self-discovery through my soap-making-and-crafting-
What's that I hear you saying "Get on with it Kylee, WHAT does that have to do with your rocking soap business? I am here to know when you are getting those soaps out and shipped to me!" Well, Mr./Mrs. Impatient Pants -- Take a look HERE if that's the info you need, cause it is about to get mushy up in here...
Honestly, if you want to do something, if you want to try something, if you just want to be something -- Don't shut-up to keep the peace. (You'll be trading your peace for their's) Do not pretend to be something you aren't. (Because you'll always know it's a lie). You don't. In fact, the only one who can make you give up what you want, who you are, or who you want to be is you. ...Easier said than done, I know.
Arrrgh! Jason! You just called me and now I am all happy and totally lost my direction! Sheesh. You trouble maker. :p
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Which lead me to THIS BLOG
Which made me realize it really isn't the whales fault at all.
It is how the Government takes over and deletes something we aren't suppose to know. Right now, some one just tweeted something we NEED to know. Some vital clue to what is really going on. She just had her front door thrown in and is now being black bagged. Drug off, kicking and silently screaming while her neighbor sits reading the paper...no, no wait, watching TV, wondering WHY Angela Jolie wants to have another baby and get fat AGAIN?
I'm not paranoid. Really. Just very well informed.
*notices her tin foil hat should probably be re-designed...*
I wonder if it actually IS zombies this time? Somewhere in some remote place there was just an outbreak and the dieing are grasping for anyway to contact the outside world. Twitter!!! People need to know! Hurry! Blood everywhere! National Level EBS
Maybe I need to just go back to bed and wait....
**I came back to add that I've got the #BoobieWed avatar taken care of. Seems to have fixed everything on Twitter. *whew*
Monday, May 17, 2010
Now, my house is nearly paid off and I own seven cars. My inked skin alone is worth over $10,000. I am happily married with two wonderful kids . . . sounds idyllic and so easy right?
Well, the first of those two wonderful kids was the result of that guy I'm happily married to knocking me up while we were in high school. And all of my cars? Well, none some of them dont actually "run," but if you ask my husband he says "technically" you *could* get them around the block...at least once. Maybe. I never made it to college, and I've had my battles with drug abuse, I have run away, and I wasted a lot of my life being selfish. And while I've been successful at what I've done, my husband always paid the bills, so there was no threat of failing.
Over the last year and a half, I have literally changed my life around. I wrote a post for GeekGirlsNetwork which puts it pretty well and without all of the drama of the I-had-it-worse-than-you bullshit. I am not looking for pity, just for folks to join me in celebration. Anyway, I have wanted for a long time to incorporate my personal life with my "business" life. I feel like I have always been fighting between choosing to be professional vs. being fun. Being professional equaling fitting the mold and doing things the same way everyone else does, and being fun meaning, well, being me! My major problem is I can't even imagine being one of those fake people who puts on a stupid facade and hides who they really are from the rest of the world. (Go read that link if you have no clue what I am talking about.
I think a lot of us are really afraid to admit we are lame. It is SO easy to be whatever you want. Thank you World Wide Web. But I digress.
My point is that in this past year and a half I started accepting who I was. I didn't avoid it, I rolled around in it, and slowly but surely, who I was online began to match who I was IRL. It has the most amazing transformation I have ever been through. Twitter especially helped me not only feel out what it would be like being myself but also in helping me realize I like who I am.
And it keeps getting better!
Today, I landed my first purchase order with ThinkGeek.com! And they were the ones who contacted ME! *squuueee!* I got an email from them expressing interest back on April 23rd, 2010. I nearly passed out.
And it still keeps getting better! (I know - you all might want to catch your breath and pace yourself, cuz this next one is HUGE!)
Guess what Lesley and I made?
THIS!!!! ---> G33Kmade
In a very literal story of one thing leading to another G33kmade is a celebration of us REAL AND ORIGINAL artist/crafter/parents/children/clowns/notreallyclonwsRORYisafraidofclowns/friends/whinersandmoaners-type folks. We create things. We are driven. We do not care what ANYONE thinks of our obsession with perfect. What we create with our hands is a reflection of who we are, of WHAT we are. Many of us started by creating things for friends and family, and whether we did it because we cared or because we were short on cash and couldn't actually *buy* people things like normal people has nothing to do with it. Our creations are and continue to be the stories of what we have LIVED and DREAMED.
MY POINT... G33kmade is a celebration of real people. Of what we make. Of what we obsess about. Not only the what we made, but how we made it, and if you're lucky (and we happen to know) why we made it.
I'm so excited, I'm all tingly! <3
Monday, May 10, 2010
I'm trying!!! Today Rory and I shipped forty Soap in Carbonite soaps. *whew* Same goal for tomorrow! (I actually started writing this blog on Monday...it is now Friday...) Just wanted to let everyone know I didn't take your money and leave the country! Though Canada sounds lovely....
Last week I had posted about how to get a hold of me. I am SO happy that you are indeed, getting a hold of me.
I have actually had a few of you express joy because I am NOT a robot. I am a real person. *waves* (If you were to ask anyone if I have ever posted a no makeup, in my comfy clothes, non edited, messy house background pic, they would instantly tell you no. Go look at my TwitPic See? It is so full of cute...and sarcasm)
Dearest customers, I am doing everything possible to get your orders out the door. I swear to you. PLEASE feel free to nag, email, call, tweet, text...Anything! I can't always get to replying right away, I am not ignoring you. Sometimes I shower and I would HATE to get my phone wet...Sometimes I sleep...but more than likely, I am in the shower....
The top thing I am noticing from customer inquiries is that the majority of you are shocked I even care. That I am indeed, not a robot. I am going to take a second here and brag. You can check out my rocking Etsy Feedback HERE and HERE Over 1,300 happy transactions.
If I were you I would be pissed I didn't have my order yet. I am not asking for my customer to just brush this off. I am asking you work with me. Let's hug it out. I have said it before, and I now say it again, I LOVE what I do. I love making things and I love every single aspect of learning how to run a business with this high of volume. I want everyone to know, ALL SOAPS WILL BE (finally) SHIPPED NEXT WEEK! I kid you not. Haven t gotten your order yet? Oh baaaaby it is coming your way in under seven to ten days. ♥
In all seriousness, Thank you. When you email me telling me you love your orders and you wait for me to finally get on twitter or finally reply to your email...It means so much to me that I am working with friends.
Now, that is enough mush and love for one day. I will be out of town this weekend and *trying* not to work, so I have GOT to PWN this Friday like non other. Really rip this Friday a new one. It also happens to be #FollowFriday on Twitter and I probably wont get to a picture or posts. SO! Go follow everyone I follow and love the cuss out of them.
Again @jeffisageek is rocking my socks off.... http://bit.ly/aqyBB6 He melts me with his kind words. ♥ If you dont follow him, you should. He has the hook ups when it comes to cool.
And could you do me a giant big favor and give some love in the way of @UberDorkGirlie She is working on the coolest project EVER. Take these surveys. They are quick and painless...you know you are sitting there doing nothing anyway. ♥
Time to get my work on! ♥
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Yesterday was my husbands last night of “work”. He had a shitty job that wasted his talents. But it pays the bills you say! Gasp! Seriously...screw the bills. Yes, yes, I know, I know . . . we all need to pay for our cable, car payments, new toys, new shoes, whatever the TV is telling us is cool.
But the truth is you don't need all of that shit . . . really, you don't. However, I am not going to lie and say that I wouldn't spend thousands of dollars on this. I would. I really, really would.
You never know when one single act of kindness will change someones life.
I make soap. Lesley makes soap. I am going to now pimp Lesley's soap ♥
I have come across some truly wonderful people in the last year. Which is a good thing, as I have no room in my life for unnecessary negativity. I don't want to be angry all of the time. I don't want to hate people. Yes, a lot of things truly piss me off and sometimes they make me so mad I could spit. Spit I tell you! Spitting is gross. It freaks me out. I have a fear of mucus. So, I would prefer not to get that mad...I digress.
Back to my point . . .
Don't be a jerk. Be nice to people. Stop worrying about how YOU are going to get to the top. Who wants to be up there anywho? I find it is generally full of assholes anyways. Do your own thing and do it with style. What'll that get you? Well, I have cool tattoos, I am a way hot Soccer Mom. My husband totally wants to do me ALL the time. I make a living doing what I love. Does it get any better? Not really. I am this happy because I CHOOSE TO BE.
So, in summary, this is what Lesley taught me: You never know when one single act of kindness will change someones life.
For the assholes out there, it may already be too late, but the closest translation for you is: Stop being a dick.
P.S. A giant shout out to @geekwithsoul for understanding what I wanted to say. You rule.
Monday, May 3, 2010
I love you.
I swear to each and everyone of you, I am getting to your orders/emails/texts/calls as fast as I can. I am honestly the only person here...so far. (Rory starts working with me full time this week! *jumpsupanddown*)
In the last three weeks alone, I have received nearly 3,000 emails and 3 phone calls regarding Luxury Lane Soap. I sold over $8,000 worth of product in under 7 days, hitting $4,000 in sales in under three days.
I refuse to go on autopilot with this. I am responding to every correspondence personally. Seriously.
If you have any questions about anything, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE feel free to email me, tweet me, text or call me. I probably wont get a hold of you right away...
Choose your correspondence wisely...
You can find me on Twitter for a more personal experience if you'd like. Be warned, I post a lot of science fiction, geekery and general coolness. This is my personal twitter account. I should probably make a business one but that would be boring. I haven't had a lot of time to tweet but when I do, I will totally clog your time line.
Probably the best way to get a hold of me. I use to send emails instantly but I am learning how to divide my day up better for this whole Cool Mom/Hot Wife/Business Lady thing. (Dear friends, THANK YOU for letting me stress out in our emails and not being mad when I never respond. It has helped me keep my cool publicly so that everyone else thinks I am a Cool Kid. Could you even imagine what people would think if they found out I live in my pajamas cause I refuse to wear uncomfortable clothes or that I hate wearing bras and socks.? I have Star Trek AND Star Wars tattoos? Gasp and if they knew I was a teen Mom way back when and that I have liberal tendencies? Whew good thing it is only between us, right?)
Please note that if you call me, I will be the one answering my phone. My personal line just kind of became my business line...so if you hear my children in the backround or I am in the middle of working, do not be alarmed. I am a real person and not a robot. I appreciate your calls and if you need an immediate response you will get one, a real one, unless I am eating candy, watching TNG, playing with my kids or brainstorming with my husband.
Awesome people send me cool stuff. Thank you @GEEKLEETIST for starting this trend with your freaking mind blowing coolness. I also want to thank @lisaluluquinn@katiedoyle @geeksoap @rabbitinski @CapSteveRogers @UberDorkGirlie @geekwithsoul @nerdrage42 for spoiling me with mail.
Want to send me cool stuff too?
P.O. Box 593
Primghar, IA 51245
Visit my FAQ for more information!
Thank you @darthmolen for pimping my soap and tricking @jpuent into thinking I was cool. Thank you @GeekGirls for giving me a chance to write to the world about how much I love my Nerdy little family. It was the first time I had ever been aloud to just yell to the world that I freaking rule.
No, no wait...
(Future) Thank you @PhysicistLisa for hanging out with me at #SDCC.
@jeffisageek for making that one video of my soap. I never properly thanked you for being the very very first person to ever have my soap in a blog video. *blush*
PSS! There are a ZILLION people I want to thank. I have been working on a HUGE thank you blog post for all of my lovies. Coming soooon *wink* Until then, go hit on @geekgirldiva for me. ♥
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
2. Conformity! If it works for everyone else, it will work for you!
3. Never admit you are wrong.
4. Be professional at ALL times.
*whew* It is a good thing I am just some girl making mini soap sculptures! Having a business sounds like no fun at all...I have gotten a lot of 'advice' this past week about how to be successful, the majority of it being told what not to do. So I have been taking notes this week on what I think is important...
1. Don't try to be a professional, because you aren't.
(*Note your pajama pants.)
2. Always have SortKwik on hand. Literally.
3. Color code your notes. You will have one heck of a cluster cuss if you don't...
And that's all I can think of right now because @UberDorkGirlie @FyrGurl & @3dg4r are tempting me with a snuggle pile ATM...We will continue this discussion tomorrow morning. *pounce*
What day is it? #BOOBIEWED! Touch yourself, touch a friend and remember to tell cancer to go to hell.
Why do I put my bewbs on Twitter?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
While replying to a customer...
Me: (types) "Good gravy! You will not pay extra for priorit...."
You: You did not just say “Good gravy”
Me: pause Of course I did...Why wouldn't I? Good gravy, that's how I talk!
You: *stern look* That's not very professional.
Me: *Looks down at neon green pj pants and up at crazy blue hair* What about me shouts professional right now?
Monday, April 5, 2010
Not a $50 gift certificate...
Not $50 in free product....
$50.00 CASH! Oooooh yeah. Really.
I will be having a contest for the rest of April (AND MAY) for the best, most creative picture featuring Luxury Lane Soap. Yup, featuring any product from LuxuryLaneSoap.com. Pretty simple, huh? You can take a picture, draw a picture, paint a picture....You get the idea.
Rules? Not really...just be sure your anatomy is covered, for the most part, as these will be displayed on my website for the world to see and love. Get your 15 minutes of fame as submitted pictures will also be tweeted about. So, you could win $50 AND be famous! How can you even pass that up??
Please email pictures to: LuxuryLaneSoap@gmail.com
Feel free to email me anytime with questions or you can always reach me on Twitter.
Contest ENDS on June 1st!
Get your camera out, get your soap action on, get a chance to be famous AND win cash! Woo! ♥
Friday, February 5, 2010
This soap has been made using a custom soap mold you will not find anywhere else...because we made it. Fact. Greatest soap ever.
Each letter on each soap is hand detailed for greater clarity. Please note, there will be tiny slight variations from bar to bar. These are made one at a time, as ordered.
Colors will not bleed into each other! Awesome? Yes. In case you want to save your soap so all of your friends know how cool you are.
The labeling for this soap is in Aurek-Besh. Don't know what that means? It means this soap just got even cooler. This is SURE to please any Star Wars fanatic.
You can find this super fantastic soap on Artfire or Etsy
Thank you for checking out my newest creation. ♥
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thank you for your patience as I have not been posting new listing on Etsy or ArtFire. I am still filling orders, but the new projects are staying behind to curtain for a little bit longer. Excited? I know you are.
You can find me on Twitter or Facebook for a more personal experience if you'd like. Be warned, I post a lot of science fiction, geekery and general coolness.