Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Soaps I would love to receive as a gift!

I have wonderful customer, Kay, who lives in the UK. She is not only a customer, but a special friend. We were recently chatting by phone, and she mentioned that as a soap maker, she aspired to make and sell quality soaps like those pictured at Gianna Rose Atelier.

These soaps have been featured in a number of major magazines and I can see why. Their packaging is incredible and they certainly spare no expense in displaying their lovely products. If you find yourself looking for unique gifts for that "hard-to-buy-for" person this holiday season, this is a place to start. Yes, they may be a bit pricey, but look at the presentation!

Their triple-milled soaps and hallmark scents are certainly a step above ordinary soaps. And best of all, most every product this company offers is made in the USA (sorry Kay, I know you live in the UK).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A near hit.... Tornado devastates our Fenton town

My hometown was hit by a Level 2 Tornado on Friday, August 24. As you can imagine, it's had devastating effects, not just on our community, but on how we will be doing business during the recovery period. Crews are working to restore lost power and cable, but it's a slow go.

Thankfully, no lifes were lost and only a few minor injuries have been reported. The damage is great and it will take some time before the community is able to function at full capacity.

You will need to bear with us as we work to process orders in a timely manner. PLEASE, do not burden us with questions like, "when will my order ship or, "what is my tracking number". Tracking numbers will be emailed as soon as UPS picks up the order.

We have both cable and electric power as of Sunday, but this could change as crews work to restore power to other hard hit areas of the city. Our entire staff is sooooo thankful that we did not take a direct hit (though the home of one of our co-workers did). Our facility was in the direct line of the storm. In fact, just 1/8 mile down from us there was devastating damage. We were fortunate, but the effects of the damage around us is still leaving its impact.

Photos by Art Parnell. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Is it OK to fire a customer?

I answer with an emphatic YES!! It does not matter what type of business you’re in, there are those rare occasions when no matter what you do, how you respond, and the solutions offered, a customer just can’t be appeased. I determined many years ago that life is too short and precious to be spending time trying to fix those things out of my control. I can’t fix customers who are angry by nature and I refuse to become engaged in their tongue lashing fits. Thankfully, in all my years of business, firing a customer is rare but sometimes absolutely necessary.

So what’s my point? Well, you have probably guessed I’ve recently fired a customer. From a business owner’s perspective I wanted to point out a few things to keep in mind when presenting a complaint to a company.

1) When you have an issue, email or call. State the problem EXPECTING a solution. Most companies are very willing to work toward a resolution as long as they’re not put on the defense. Sending emails with angry undertones that are accusatory, or stating “I will never order from you again!” are probably not the best way to get a company or individual to work with you.

2) Don’t immediately assume that the problem or issue is the fault of the company or a result of inferior product. Is it possible that you did not use the product as directed or for its recommended purpose? Example cited:

A customer emails that a mold cracked and bowed on first use. Since the mold was received in good order, there should be some level of responsibility on the part of the customer. Plastic molds don’t just crack and bow for no reason. Was the soap poured at too high of a temperature? Was excessive forced used to release a mold? Was the soap completely set-up before trying to remove from mold? Obviously the company supplying the product can’t be held accountable for improper use.

Another example: A customer contacts a company with accusations that the soap colors ordered are defective. Their once pink soaps are now turning orange and the entire batch of soap is ruined. The customer wants full compensation for the ruined batch. Further investigation reveals this customer used food grade colorants in the soap base. The company specifically indicates on their web site that food grade colors are not colorfast in soap base and should be used in shower gels and lotions only. The customer made a uninformed choice even though the information was clearly posted. At what point should the customer assume responsibility?

3) Be flexible when trying to negotiate compensation. If it’s truly a defective product then state your case and what you believe is fair compensation. If you’ve received the wrong item, politely ask for a “prepaid call tag” so the product can be returned for the correct item. Certainly, it would serve no purpose for a company to intentionally ship incorrect or damaged product. It costs a company added expense every time they have to reship or replace items from a previous order. Remember, companies are operated by humans. Like it or not, they are subject to human error.

The next time you have an issue with a company, whether it’s a damage claim, a wrong item, or something missing, keep it in perspective. Blowing up, lashing out, and placing blame will surely not put you in the good graces of the person who is empowered to “fix” the problem and could get you fired!

NOTE: To the supplier who inherits this recently fired customer, I say GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

1st in Best Soap Competition

Bass Mold from Mold Market
My good friend PJ from recently attended the ISOCAN (Illinois Soap & Candle gathering) and won 1st place in the best soap competition. We have pictured PJ's winning soap. Of course, the gang here at GoPlanetEarth are grinning from ear to ear because this soap was made using one of our Mold Market molds. It's done in multiple colored soap pours which is PJ's specialty.

Way to go girlfriend!

Sidebar: GoPlanetEarth carries the complete line of Mold Market molds.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Converting Grams to Ounces, Vice Versa

I've had a number of customers asking for help in converting fragrance and/or essential oils from grams to ounces. I've posted a handy chart to help you make these conversions. It's pretty straight forward, but for those of you who struggle with basic math, keep the following in mind. Approximately 28 grams equals one ounce. If your recipe calls for 14 grams of FO/EO, you would add 1/2 ounce of fragrance.

Converting Grams to Ounces:

If you can't find the number you want in the chart, multiply your grams by 0.0353 to convert grams to ounces.

Converting Ounces to Grams:

If you can't find the number you want in the chart, multiply your ounces by 28.35 to convert ounces to grams.

Here is the link for the conversion table.

Posted courtesy of Your complete source for soap making supplies and soap molds.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I'm taking a brief respite

To those customers who have emailed asking if everything is OK, I answer with a wholehearted YES! Some of you have grown concerned that I may have dropped off the face of the planet because I haven't been posting to the Blog. Not true! I'm just taking a much needed respite to regroup, enjoy the remainder of our short Michigan summers, and to prepare for the fast approaching holiday season.

I have several upcoming speaking engagements which require special attention and am also working on some "how-to" videos. Oh, and did I mention spending time with my ailing Dad who has bone cancer. So you can see, the Yadda Yadda soap making blog has been temporarily side-stepped to enable me to attend to more pressing business.

Honestly, I was quite surprised to find that a good number of you read the blog on a regular basis. Thanks! If I can ever find a moment to catch a breath, I hope to post soon. I have some great projects in the works and want to get them posted pre-holiday season.

Till then, Happy Soaping!