Thursday, February 7, 2008

February Art Walk

A better crowd than last month. Quite a few questions tossed at me about the benefits of handmade soap, quite a few "ooohs and ahhs" over both the Artisan Bars and the Limited Edition Glycerin soaps,and quite a few folks who didn't buy anything this time walked off with information sheets.

My favorite comment of evening came from a young lady who very happily walked off with a bar of the Honey and Oats and a bar of Lavender soap towards the end of the night. "I came round the corner to get alcohol [we set up in the 'bar half' of Cafe 331] and I end up buying soap first! *HUGE GRIN* I'm so excited!"

These two are actually from January's Art Walk:

With the addition of the glycerin soaps and extra documentation this month; I had to move to a slightly different layout. Also, I wanted to keep the matching Body Butters and Artisan Bars together. Since my current packaging, documentation, and pricing information was all black and white I decided to drop the green background and just go with the dark tablecloths used at the cafe. I thought it looked very striking and will probably stick with this going forward.

Now for a few close ups (still having trouble with the focus on close up shots, and the set up pictures, above, show the actual shades better for the pinks on the love birds and the candy hearts.) Oh yeah, the background is my work table which got quite a few soap dribbles on it last weekend...

Rich Dark Chocolate Hearts:

English Rose "Candy" Hearts

English Rose Love Birds (The pink in the picture is pretty accurate on my monitor. The Candy Hearts were the exact same shade.)

The Cupid Hearts were a bit more complex...mostly as a result of having made just a smidgen to much soap from the ones above and because I wanted to see how the scents blended (beautifully, that is.) The hearts are English Rose, the arrow is Rich Dark Chocolate, and the base is Jasmine Dreams. I really wish the opalescent of the base showed in the picture. The red in the opal picks up the pink of the hearts quite well.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Disasters happen....Kudos on Customer Service

I'm very rarely one to throw a fit because something came in damaged during shipping because...well.. $#@% happens. The fit usually comes when I report the issue and it takes forever to either receive a response, a replacement, or a credit.

This time there is no hint of a fit.

I've bragged on Bramble Berry many times in the past. Their FOs are phenomenal (I swear, I'm a BB FO junkie!), the order turn around time is fantastic (except when I do something stupid like placing an order when they are doing year end inventory... my own fault since I remember reading about it over on AM's blog) and the prices are definitely in a good range.

I need to brag on them again. This time, focusing on a very recent experience.

[Excerpt from my email to them last night]

My package was waiting on my doorstep when I got home this evening. It smelled luscious which, when still boxed, taped up, and a few feet away on my front porch, is never a good sign...


Basically, the cap of one of my new FO's and the FO sample they sent me were slightly loose (which could have happened during shipping). Not enough for the entire bottle of the Sea Moss to drip out (I'm guess-timating I lost about 1/4 bottle) but enough of the sample to only leave a few drops of the very luscious Wasabi FO. Huge mess of "melted" packing peanuts and a very sticky and soaked corner of a new soap beveler. (The rest of the order came through in tip top shape)

Less than a full business day later I have an email thanking me for my feedback, notice that replacement for the Sea Moss and the beveler as well as a new Wasabi sample will be in the mail today, and advice (asked for) on how to cut the scent (A few undiluted drops spilled is enough to scent the living room) and do a proper clean up of the spilled FO's.

Along with the fantastic turn around time on the response and the product replacement promise, I obviously did not receive a standard form letter. It was personable and friendly while still addressing my concerns. (With many companies I've dealt with, getting a response in less than three business days is a miracle...and then it's usually a very generic response. Organic Creations also has a very quick response time with personal response, so that comment doesn't apply there...)

All in all, pretty damn fantastic in a cyber world where I've seen vendors forget that there is a real person who is being impacted by what they may consider a minor "oops, *shrug* shit happens" incident.

Come to think of it, pretty damn fantastic for any company.

If I weren't already a fan because of the products, this would have won me over completely. AM knows how to hire the right folks and her team deserves some major kudos.