Welcome to our first Feature Friday on Creation|Collaboration! Each Friday, we'll profile a woman run business by interviewing the founder and finding more out about them, their business, their life and loves!
So, for our first Feature Friday, we've chatted to Celine Blacow, owner of Soaperstar. Soaperstar is based in Dublin, Ireland and design & produce handcrafted luxury goatsmilk & glycerine soaps and handmade Sheer Luxury Body Butter.
I love making my ideas into soap - that is, thinking something through and then actually having it reproduced in soap, just exactly as you imagined it. That is a great great feeling. I adore using colour - you'll see that in my whole range. I recently invested in a shipment of POP micas from the US - these are natural colourants but very very bright (a little goes a long way!) and they are such fun, happy colours. I can't help but use them in everything lately!
I really love dealing with customers too - I want them to adore the products, to know that there is real passion behind what I sell. I trial new products for a long time before releasing them because I'm an utter perfectionist at heart (Virgo trait!) and I want them to love this soap or body butter just as much as I do! I am also crazy about excellent customer service - notice I say excellent, I don't believe in only having "good customer service", I want it to be excellent. There's a marketing saying that you shouldn't meet the customers expectations, you should exceed them and I totally believe that. So, if you order from me, I will do my level best that your order will go out that same day or the following day and in the first post where humanely possible. I always email upon receipt of an order to say that it's been packaged up and ready to go and I email to say that it's been sent too. I personally hate waiting and wondering if they ever got your order at all - I refuse to do that to my customers. They'll know every step of the way where their goods are - I want them to go to a good home!
I'd also love to win the lottery so I could stay home and do this full-time!!!
Hmmmmm 5 tips ... ok:
No.1: When you come to launch day, realise that you'll be worried and a bit panicky and know that that's ok! I remember my launch day, I was sick to my stomach and everyone else seemed not to worry at all so I thought I was crazy or something! It is perfectly normal to worry and fret and, personally, I think it's a good thing because it proves you are in love with this project already.
No.3: As an addition to No. 2, don't expect social media to work if you don't put work into it - it will take time to build a fan base so give it time. Nobody knows who you are starting out and there are likely to be many competitors - ask yourself why should someone buy from me? What can I do to make them fall in love with my products and my company? Find the answers and give it to them - but realise it will take time and work on your part, don't underestimate that. Two Tweets and a Facebook update once a month isn't going to cut it!
No.5: Take some time out for yourself - I work full-time, have a household to run and work on Soaperstar full-time too. When I'm not designing, I'm making or cutting or labelling or taking photos or updating the site or packing orders or planning new ranges or on Twitter or Facebook and working with people to promote the company. There are only 24 hours in any one day and you will be exhausted so make sure to plan some time for yourself and your family. You need a break just as much as anyone else does! Exhausting yourself will not help the business or you and will reduce your passion and love for what you do - so make sure to take breaks and have fun with it!!!
http://www.soaperstar.com/ or catch up with me at http://www.facebook.com/soaperstar or http://www.twitter.com/soaperstar - or you can follow my blog by reader or by email at http://www.soaperstar.blogspot.com./
Creation|Collaboration would love to take this opportunity to congratulate Celine for winning the April Mr Site Website of the Month as announced in their April newsletter - you can read the Soaperstar feature article here.
We'd really want to say a huge thanks to Celine for talking with us today and we really hope you have enjoyed our first Feature Friday. Don't forget to check out Celine's fabulous soaps and body butters - we just adore them!
Next week, we'll be featuring Alison Tinlin of Plans and Presents - make sure to check back then!