Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Fantastic Tea Tree

I have been contemplating writing a little about some of my products, today I want to talk about my Tea Tree & Lavender Products.

I always thought Tea Tree essential oil had a really strong medicinal scent. It does but the properties this essential oil brings is amazing. Tea Tree oil is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia.

The uses of this essential oil are so vast as Tea Tree Oil has antiseptic/bacterial properties its great for treatment of cuts, burns, insect bites and all types of wounds. For general skin care its fantastic! as it is a natural antiseptic so its great for spots, blackheads and acne. Also with anti-viral and anti-fungal properties it is an effective treatment for ringworm, thrush and athletes foot. Lastly Tea Tree is great for fighting against common infectious diseases such as colds, chicken pox etc.

I just knew I had to create a product line which contained Tea Tree Oil, so I began to research and create different products. Once I did this I gave out samples to friends and family. I began to use the products myself and noticed a huge improvement on my complexion as I have very greasy skin and prone to spots I noticed my skin began clearer and brighter. I received great feed back about the freshness and cleanness they felt after using the products, I knew I was on to something.

So I created two products initially, Tea Tree and Lavender Soap and Tea Tree & Lavender Foot Polish.

The soap is a best seller amongst my soap line as it not only a soap but also a subtle exfoliator. I combined cornmeal (maize) with the soap base and essential oils to create this lovely fresh and clean smelling soap. Its great when you feel really sweaty and mucky as it just cuts the grease and dirt right off your skin. Using it on your face has great results as it clears up acne and blemishes and you see a noticeable difference if used daily. The cornmeal lightly exfoliates the skin lightly scrubbing the dead skin from your body/face.

The Tea Tree & Lavender Foot Polish is absolutely amazing made from Sea Salt, Shea Butter, Almond oil, Vitamin E oil, Coconut oil and grounded pumice stone. It is so effective at getting the hard skin from your feet but also moisturises them with all those luxurious oils and butters. The grounded pumice stone acts as a further exfoliator and gently rubs off dead skin to reveal baby soft feet. Then of course the Tea Tree oil cleans the feet with all those great properties.

During pampering parties that I host its a given that after I have given a foot massage with the Tea Tree & Lavender Foot Polish the person will defiantly buy it! My customers always tell me how soft their feet feel!

I am currently working on new products that will incorporate Tea Tree Oil and will tell you about them very soon.

If you would like to try these properties please have a look at my website I am sure you will love these products as much I do!

Until next time.........

Natalie x



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bloody Browsers!

So, a month or so has passed and I have not updated this blog. Its been the summer holidays and what a summer Ive had! Milk River has been a regular fixture at Camden Lock's East Yard for the last 8 or so weeks.

Its been a very interesting few months but hard. The market is a vibrant and busy market that has so many great and quirky things on sale. I love Camden Lock for these very reasons. You can find bits that you would not find anywhere in London maybe the UK.

Each week many different traders come and offer their wares some returning the next week many not! Just like the traders and products the visitors are just as vibrant and different. Every week vast amount of tourists find themselves walking through the bustling market browsing. So heres the magic word...... Browsing! That's all that they seem to do! Browse! Its one of the most frustrating aspects of being a trader.

I am finding that the level of visitors that buy is relatively low. I know your probably thinking well maybe its your products? Maybe it is or maybe its not! But standing around for 9 hours straight and barely making your rent is slightly soul destroying! Well maybe that's a slight exaggeration but did you noticed I said "slightly".

Anyway, I have taken a hard cold look at what I am selling on my stall and then prices. I have amended my prices accordingly and seen a difference. I have added cosmetics such as nail varnish and lip gloss to appeal to more people. Although I love being in Camden Lock I'm beginning to wonder if Camden Lock is the right place to trade. I think due to the number of tourist coming through the market is probably not helping either.

Even though its slow right now I have to remind myself that I have only just started I need to give it a chance and keep evaluating my products, stall presentation, my sales pitch and many other things.

Milk River is my baby, I will keep on keeping on! No giving up!

Until Next Time..........................

Saturday, 21 July 2012

A Soap Dream Come True! Camden Lock

Finally, after months of dreaming of selling my products at Camden Lock Market I got a pitch today and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
This morning I grumpily woke up after being disturbed all night by a very inconsiderate neighbour of mine and got to Camden Lock by 8:45am, I was met by a group of other would be casual stall owners.

Everyone looked anxious like they were waiting to see a judge! Then after about 10 or so minutes a Irish guy came out and everyone including me drew closer. He loudly asked the crowd if anyone there made their own stuff to my dismay mostly EVERYONE put their hands up! My heart ever so slightly sunk as I wrongly presumed that not many fellow crafters would be there. 

But it was fine and I was showed to a pitch outside inside the square. After setting up I began to gaze around and noticed how many jewellery stalls were actually there, it seemed like it was more jewellery than anything else. Each one had amazingly different products and I had to force myself not to buy anything until I had at least made some money. In the end I traded a couple of bath souffles for a lovely necklace with Iffy who makes beautiful jewellery peices that are way too reasonable to be honest. 

I really enjoyed talking to the traders who were beside me as they were interesting and really friendly. One of the traders Phil was great he lives such a interesting life and sells beautiful jewellery he buys from Thailand  
The customers were great too although alot were tourists that were just browsing or just were not interested. The food stalls had my stomuch grumbling like crazy with all the many different cuisines.

I had to really step out of my comfort zone and approach people and talk to them about my products, the properties and benefits they provide.  When I did this my sales did increase, I need to also demonstrate the product on people the next time. One of my aims today was to get people looking at the website and getting my brand out there. I gave out a load of flyer's and business cards and hope people do check out my site.

By the end of the day I'm tired but exhilarated as I have accomplished something I had said I wanted to do at the beginning of this journey, but this is where the  journey really begins for me. I will defiantly be returning to Camden Lock and hope to be successful in getting another pitch.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Website Up and Running!

Its been a long time since my last post but alot of progress has happened within that time. Firstly, I am finally Self Employed! Secondly, after many many hours of hard work has gone live! Yay!!!! and Thirdly, started doing festival/shows/fetes.Its been manic but well worth all the hard work.
  1. The initial fear of being my own boss is still very real, its worrying when I've not made many sales but something always comes up. The main thing is to keep records of everything and set up a good book keeping/filling system which I'm in the process of doing.
  2. Setting up the website was very hard. I found that writing the descriptions for each product was so time consuming but obviously well worth it. All the other bits and pieces like meta tags, shipping and 100 and one other things involved in building a site has been exhausting! At times I was calling the help line 2 or 3 times per night (its open 24 hours).
  3. At the very first event I had a stand at I met a photographer guy called Karlton Chambers, and all though I made no money at the event I was happy I went as I met Karlton. I asked him if he would be willing to take photos of my products and he agreed. He took some beautiful photos and I feel he made my site pop! He has been very encouraging and I thank him so much for his hard work and time.
I'm hoping to do Camden Lock this weekend, I have been told by a few people that Camden Lock is quite hard to sell at as there are a lot of tourists that just want to browse or don't really want to spend more than a few pounds.The weather has been so bad here in London so its a gamble but as I'm self employed I need to try any avenue to make some money!

I am also in the process of setting up pampering parties buts that's another post! lol

Till next time.........................


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Progress at Last...


Finally, I've made some progress in the murky business of setting up the site! Its not a great deal but at least I don't feel completely clueless today.

I received an email from the website providers about arranging a meeting with my 'onboard coach' he revealed he didn't have a slot for at least 2 weeks and I should get a move on to make an appointment for one of those dates as they go very quickly! Bloody Cheek!!!!!!
I paid an extraordinary amount extra for him to grace my presence for 60 minutes! anyway, I promptly replied saying the only reason I signed up to this 'Golden package' was to have an on board coach as I'm not that technical! he replied saying that I'M lucky he has an cancellation next Wednesday at 3pm!

So back to creating my products and hopefully Ill have a sample for each line to be photographed by my lovely friend in a few days time.

Talk Soon........


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Not much done


A few days have gone by and I've not completed much on my to do list apart from the easy and most enjoyable bit - creating the products! I try to write lists as it focuses my mind on all the stuff I need to do, remember and it keeps some type of order to this semi madness!

The one thing I've noticed about starting out on your own its very lonely, you work primarily on your own and it all comes down to you! Theres no office banter or jokes with your collegues but at the same time I don't have to answer to anyone and I can do my work at my own pace whether its 10am or 11pm! Nevertheless, I wouldn't change it as the positives out weigh the negatives.

I've really been struggling with setting up my website as I have just changed providers and I'm finding the way it is explained in the support pages are not very basic.

I'm feeling a little down as It feels like I've got a mountain to climb before I can launch it.

From setting up to writing descriptions of products and taking pics of the products it may not seem all that hard but its the small niggly things that hold up the other steps.

I think I'm just having a good old moan to be honest but I suppose this blog is a space for me vent my experiences good or bad.

I do hope I've not bored you and thank you for reading.........


Monday, 21 May 2012

Starting Out


My name is Natalie and I am in the process of starting a bath and body business. All my products are hand made from natural ingredients. I'm very new to blogging but I do enjoy writing and sharing my experiences.

Setting up a small business has been gruelling yet exciting! My emotions are continuously tossed from being frightened to excited but as they say feel the fear and do it anyway, and thats what I'm doing!

My initial reason for wanting to start this company was that I recently graduated from university (Well 4 yrs ago!) and I realised the area I was planning to work in was experiencing extreme government cuts and I simply didn't want to work with young people anymore! so I began to look for self employment opportunities, looking back I suppose I lost alot of my confidence due to being out off work for the last 4 years raising two boys who were both born in the same year! (yes, I know!)

Anyway, a good friend of mine who has about a million great business ideas started to make gift baskets with products brought from a supplier, I started with her but I felt I wanted to do something more and independent to her so I thought why not make the products by hand?

I began to research and research and then some more research! I looked at every site and took every opportunity to educate myself by taking small courses and the such, I then began to create the products that's when the fun began and I quickly went from making soaps to body butter to all sorts.

Its been such a great learning curve and I finally believe I've found something I love to do.

I have so much more to share regarding the highs and lows of starting a small business when you have no experience!

Until next time..........