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.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where's My Salon Size?!

I am sad to “officially” announce that 16oz Salon Size bottles of Hemp Satin Shampoo and Crème Conditioner have been discontinued. *Sadface* Let me tell you why...

Our primary supplier for organic, raw materials has raised their prices. Rather than pass the monetary increase on to my customers, or purchase lower priced, questionable materials, the difference is made up by dropping the larger sized bottles. HOW does removing a product that sells so well help save money?? Let us do some math...

8 ounce bottles cost $8.99 while 16 ounce was only $14.95...saving you $3.03 when the larger size is purchased. I can only make 32 ounces of product at a time. Only 2 of the 16 ounce bottle or 4 of the 8 ounce. 16 ounce bottles actually cost me more time and product to make. Add to that, having to purchase the additional bottles in the larger size, with additional shipping charges and salon bottles required a separate sized shipping box, along with larger product labels...

So my options were to increase BOTH sizes $4.00 OR drop the larger bottle. It felt fair to not increase prices but drop, yes, one of my best selling products in an effort to keep my prices steady for you.

I have gotten many many many emails and at Luxury Lane Soap there is a complete open door policy. You have a direct line to me all of the time, over multiple mediums and I am so happy so many of you contacted me with questions. Not a single one of you was demanding or rude and I am glad to be in such excellent company.

I hope that answers everyone’s questions. Email me if it didn’t and I am happy to post edits here.

Side note...My days have been starting around 5am and ending around 11pm. I have a serious sleepy right now so I apologize for the my lack of kylee pep in this post...

*Edited to add questions received...

Will you be dropping hair care scents to save money?
Fragrance options will NOT be shrinking and if there are any changes it will be to expand the scents available to you. I make my items fresh so it is never a problem switching up fragrances. If you don't see an old favorite, I am happy to make it for you. I have around 300 fragrances right now so no additional materials are required.

Will trial size bottles ever be available?
I have been promising this for months and I have finally found decently priced 1 ounce bottles! These will be limited edition until the bottles run out and then I will start looking for bottles again. Custom scents will not be offered at this size, sorry. 

How about a solid shampoo?
Honestly, I have never made one that I personally liked. My hair is longer than mid back length and it is dang near impossible for ME to use a solid. >.< I am happy to begin working on one again, in a limited run, if you promise to give me feedback. :D