Happy Anniversary, GEEKSOAP!
Technically, the very first bar of GEEKSOAP (Batman) was created in May 2009 for my best friend’s birthday when I was living in Calgary. However, I didn’t get back into making soap and adding it to my Etsy store for purchase until the end of 2009, after I’d moved back to the states and gotten settled in.
Back then, the few varieties of GEEKSOAP bars I made were small and made from expensive, yet not the best quality, soap base. I had a lot to learn. I did my homework, looked into better quality bases, and took tips and advice given to me by the amazing @KyleeLane, who is a magical soapmaker and has become a very dear friend. I was blown away by Kylee’s generosity along the way and am thankful for all of her support and advice, because she helped to make me a better soapmaker. When I set out with GEEKSOAP, my goal was to create one-of-a-kind soaps that you couldn’t find anywhere else before me, and I succeeded with each bar I made. Today I continue to strive to make original soapy creations!
I’ve learned A LOT, and today am proud to make soaps that not only look a million times better, but they’re made from better materials than I used back in the beginning when I first started out, too. All bars are vegan friendly and hypo-allergenic and my custom molded bars (game cartridges, D20s on a Rope, Donkey Kong barrels, etc.) are not only 100% original, but they’re made from 100% all natural ingredients these days also. I’ve changed the way I make, color, and even wrap my soaps to provide a better overall product for my customers, who are the most important part of my business. Even my handmade labels have evolved along with my skills to better showcase the designs and ingredients inside. SO MUCH HAS CHANGED! Those of you who were with me in the very beginning on Etsy know where I started and how much GEEKSOAP has transformed. Thank you for supporting me.
Back in the end of 2009 when I was selling on Etsy, I was selling my soap alongside my textile handmade goods like crochet Cthulhu hats. My Etsy had always been a bit of a hodge-podge of handmade goods, and has seen a large variety of products over the past 5 years… from purses and pouches that I sewed, to knit products, patterns, and crochet goodies. Then soap. Sales were slow at first, but after several big features of my D20 Soap on a Rope design (including a nod & linkage from the official Wizards of the Coast site!) which made my Etsy explode in early 2010 to the point that I couldn’t keep up because they kept selling out faster than I could relist, I realized that my soap really needed to be separate from my random fibre goods. I needed a new place to sell so that I could really focus and develop all of the geeky soap ideas I had in one place, with a name that made sense. I had been referring to the soap on Etsy as “GEEKSOAP”, so on February 23, 2010 I registered geeksoap.net and began promoting it as its own brand via BigCartel. The rest is history.
Technically GEEKSOAP has been around longer than a year, but I consider today to be its anniversary since I didn’t separate GEEKSOAP from my fibre crafts and recognize it as its own brand in its own store until then, one year ago today. In celebration of this milestone and ALL of the amazing changes that have taken place over the past year to make GEEKSOAP better and better (and still striving to improve all the time!) I want to offer a special promotion code for the week – CELEBRATE used at checkout over on geeksoap.net will take 30% off your entire order!
I can’t thank my customers and supporters enough for EVERYTHING this past year. Lots of love, advice, suggestions, AND constructive feedback has helped me do things better and make better things. I admit I’ve made mistakes (especially when I was first starting out) and I’m not perfect or even close to it, but because of your support I’ve been able to learn from mistakes and create a better product over the past year. We had an astronomically successful holiday sales season with so much positive feedback that I look forward to continuing successes!
While GEEKSOAP has gotten much bigger than I ever dreamed of over the past year, you’ll notice that I’ve declined wholesale and retail opportunities along the way. Why, you ask? Why would I not want to become even bigger? Back during Gen Con I had so many ridiculously amazing wholesale opportunities come up and I wanted to take them all, but I was realistic: I am just one person with a full time teaching job and starting a family was on the horizon, and I was afraid to take on large scale orders in addition to my booming online sales. Afraid? Let me explain. Most of my soaps are made one-at-a-time, and I wanted to ensure that I never spread myself out too thin. The success was so huge this past year that I was worried if I said yes to all of the opportunities that fell into my lap, I’d lose sight of what was important: my customers. My online shop customers come first always. I know with a full time job and a baby on the way that this one girl cannot handle large scale retail orders and I refuse to stress myself out about that. Life’s too short! While it may seem “sad”, I have always been 100% okay with that and accepted that fact way early on, because I am also afraid that if I spread myself out too thin that I’d not be able to keep up the same level of quality for my customers. I don’t do GEEKSOAP to make gobs of money. Sure it’s nice, but I do GEEKSOAP as a labor of love without relying on it as a source of income. Why? Because I enjoy handcrafting something that expresses my geeky interests and makes people happy. That makes ME happy. I’d rather shut down completely than allow GEEKSOAP to become too commercial or let my quality slip because I have to rush to keep afloat. I won’t allow it to get out of control. I learned the importance of saying “no” even when I wanted to take on some of the amazing wholesale opportunities I’ve been offered because I don’t want GEEKSOAP to lose its small, independent handmade business identity… and I know me, if I said “yes” to everything I’ve been offered, I’d not be physically able to give the attention to detail that every bar deserves as well as keep up with online sales. I’m sorry if you’ve queried me about selling my soap in your stores and I’ve turned you down; I want you to understand where I’m coming from to know why. :)
As if that wasn’t sappy enough for you, I also wanted to express my most sincere gratitude to ALL of you for your love and support the past few weeks. A lot of you know my husband spent a week in the hospital, and the unknown and then waiting for answers was hard! You guys were there for us when it was scary, and you were still there to celebrate with us when they figured out what was wrong. You’ve still been there for us as he’s been recovering, and we can’t thank you enough. Really. This week has been magical; Lucas is finally on the mend AND we found out our geekling on the way is a BOY! The outpouring of love and congratulations we received was jaw dropping. Not that this pregnant geek needs more reason to be emotional, but just know that your support has been so appreciated. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Sorry for all of the sappiness, but I truly look back to this past year and the growth and the support I’ve experienced, and I’m overwhelmed with love and appreciation for you all. I have a hard time fathoming your awesomeness. I’ve met so many of you via Twitter and Facebook and in person at conventions like Gen Con and Dragon Con, too; I’ve even made some of the most amazing friends because of it, who I hold very dear to my heart. I am so thankful! Thanks for making GEEKSOAP’s anniversary (and everything else going on in my life these days!) something to celebrate. #happy
Don’t forget: use CELEBRATE all week long at geeksoap.net for 30% off your entire order! <3