Category: Shop Spotlight

Shop Spotlight: Cosmic Bath & Beauty

craftlaunchIf one person knows the secret to reaching full rise-and-shine potential, it’s Michelle Adams, owner of Cosmic Bath & Beauty, a shop that sells handmade, all-natural, all-wonderful cosmetics.

While rocking the roles of a wife and a mother of two, Michelle creates beautiful and “honest” products while keeping the prices reasonable. She lives for well-being and happiness, and prides herself in her business and her belief that everyone should have access to being healthy. Lucky for us, Michelle Adams wants to share her secret with the world.

What got you started? Where did you begin?

Like most people these days, our family was being more conscious of what we were eating and putting into our bodies, so naturally that eventually spilled over into being intentionally conscious of other products we were using every day.

In 2009 I began making soap for my family in our kitchen. When I learned that I had the power to create healthy alternatives to the chemical filled products we as a family had been using every day, I felt so empowered!

eyeshadow samples

What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

Always natural, the “honest” kind of natural!

Without harmful chemicals, Cosmic is always free of detergents, petro chemicals, FD&C color and dyes, antibacterial Triclosan and Triclocarban, EDTA, TEA, DEA, sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, talc, and bismuth. My customers “trust me” and they trust that the products are always made with my best of intentions and their health in mind.

Always love and good juju!

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People always giggle when they read love and good juju on the ingredients list but we absolutely never make a product without it. I don’t have any scientific findings that they can actually be passed through a physical handmade item, but I standby making every Cosmic item this way. I feel like it’s the only way. I honestly LOVE what I get to do every day! I feel so privileged and grateful that both people who know me and complete strangers, support and love what I do.

Always affordable!

We believe in natural beauty and that honest, natural cosmetics and body care goods should be accessible to anyone who believes they’re worth it. That being said, we take great pride in keeping our line affordable.

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

Just get started! Yeah, it’s a little scary putting yourself (and your goods) out there, but just do it. Your first sales will fuel and motivate you to move forward. You’ll never have the opportunity to connect with your AMAZING customers unless you make yourself a little place of your own online where they will have the opportunity to not only find you but support you and your work.

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What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

There are really two things I love most. The first is the ability to do all this and still be really available for my family. I am a mom first and a businesswoman second. I love that I can work this handmade business around my family’s ever changing schedule.

Connecting with my customers is a really strong second. Don’t get me wrong, sales are super exciting but getting that personal note or email from someone who really gets what I’m doing is pretty darn amazing! Connecting with women in this way, sharing stories and inspiring each other… I just love it! I’m so happy to call many customers my friends now.

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

As a maker, we wear many hats—designer, photographer, sales, marketing, and so on. CraftLaunch just makes it so simple, the setup takes no time at all. If you already have your Etsy shop you’re more than halfway to having a really beautiful, professional looking website.

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Cosmic Bath & Beauty: http://www.cosmicbathandbeauty.com/

Shop Spotlight: Dyeabolical Yarns

Fall is here and we all know what that means. It’s time to put away the shorts and exchange your favorite summer t-shirt for a cozy warm sweater. However, there’s no reason for the bright summer colors to stop. Rachel Kluesner, owner of Dyeabolical—a shop for quality yarns, spinning fibers, and soaps, is devoted to maintaining the beauty of color through her high-quality products.

From the comfort of her home in St. Louis, Rachel dyes her yarns herself, producing gorgeous blends of vibrant colors.  She focuses on finding the best possible way to make her products “pop,” and has overwhelming dedication to her passion for color creation.

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What do you hope people will receive from your products?

Joy. Color is so important and riotous color is just plain fun. Having a constantly changing yarn running through your fingers is a pleasure.

What inspires you?

I draw my inspiration for product names from pop culture, nature, art, and customer suggestions. The inspiration for my colors, though, come from color itself. I rarely set out to create a colorway inspired by an idea. Instead I look at my jars of dyes and let the potential combinations inspire me.

perfume

superhero yarn

soap of the month

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell?

Read. Read. Read. Write a little, too. Set aside a few hours a week to learn about SEO, taking pictures, blogging, doing business online, and connecting with fellow sellers. Learn as much as you can about your craft, and crafts related to it. Be able to talk intelligently about why you make the choices you make, both in your art and in your business.

Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?

I sell my products in several Missouri yarn shops (Knitorious, Ewe Knits, Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe), Sifu Designs in Chicago, and All About Ewe in Clark, NJ. Knitcrate.com – a mail order subscription service – offers my stock, too.

My products can also be found at Kakao Chocolates in Maplewood, MO, where I have a line of yarns inspired by local businesses.

fibers

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

I love that I can update my Etsy site and CraftLaunch updates automatically. I stay with Etsy because they have a large, dedicated group of customers who prefer to shop directly from Etsy.

I stay with CraftLaunch because I have a core group of customers who are not Etsy shoppers. This way I am hitting two demographics without the hassle of trying to keep inventory straight in 2 different online shops.

Dyeabolocal: http://www.dyeabolicalyarns.com/

Shop Spotlight: Etta’s Soaps

Fresh ginger and lime, bamboo lotus, seaside escape—soap artisan Belinda Skarka knows exactly what you want. Etta’s Soaps, Belinda’s bath and body store, is any girl’s haven when it comes to pampering and nourishment.

pomegranate scrib

A natural born crafter, Belinda only found a knack for creating soaps and balms later. Inspired by natural colors and smells, Belinda set out to find the perfect textures and scents to give her products that special magic. Named in honor of Belinda’s grandmother, Etta’s Soaps consists of high quality products and irresistible scents. The goal is simple and the reasoning admirable.  Etta’s Soaps is for anyone with a love of pampering and an appreciation of the complex yet simple behavior of the sense of smell.

What got you started? Where did you begin?

I worked with an esthetician for ten years in day spas throughout the country. I have always been creative. I love scrap-booking and making different crafts. However, making soaps never crossed my mind until I started going to farmers markets and seeing all the soaps and body care products. I did some research and found an intensive course on making soaps and after making my first soap, I was hooked.

herbal balm

The right name for my business was important to me. I started thinking about the people in my life and what meant the most to me. This is how I came up with Etta’s Soaps. Etta was my grandmother and she was an amazing woman. She taught me a lot and introduced me to business. This is my way of honoring her.

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

When customers use my products it is my hope that it makes them feel pampered and that they enjoy the wonderful scents and how good it cleans and makes their skin feel.

I always think about what my grandmother taught me. Provide a great product and give exceptional customer service. I work hard to get my orders out fast and I always try to add a little extra touch like a sample or something.

lip balm

What inspires you?

I really get inspired by color and nature and anything that makes me feel pampered. I find a lot of inspiration on the web, in magazines and by going to boutiques.
I love how scents can take you back to a special place or special memory. This is why I use quality fragrances and essential oils.
I also love learning, taking classes and going to trade shows. This way I’m always growing and learning.

What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

I always use high quality ingredients and work hard to create a great product.

bath bomb

Where do you hope your business will go?

My business is still evolving and I’m learning more every day.
My dream will come true when I open a quaint little Bath and Body Product Store in a busy downtown area where there are little shops and restaurants. I would also like to offer classes in skincare and making soaps.

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

Take good pictures and describe your product well. Have an easy to navigate website (CraftLaunch can help you with this) and always add a note to your orders thanking them for their business.

Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?

I also sell at local farmers markets and craft shows.

pure lavender soap

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

I love meeting new people and listening to their concerns and life stories. Before I go to a craft show or a farmers market to sell my products, I ask God to let me be a blessing to someone.
Starting this business has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me do things I wouldn’t normally do. I am also being a role model to my daughters. Show them when you want something —work hard through all the challenges and don’t give up.

What is your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

I was so happy that I found CraftLaunch. I’m not a computer tech and was really struggling trying to get a website together. You know the ones that say you can build your web site in and hour (LOL)? It didn’t work for me.

I think CraftLaunch was the easiest software I have ever worked with and allowed me to put together a website in no time. I have also been very impressed with their customer service. When I have a problem or question they address it promptly.

sugar scrub

What’s something we should have asked you but didn’t?

What has been my biggest challenge?

Trying to balance everything.

When starting a new business you wear many hats. The easiest part is creating your product, but my biggest challenge has been marketing and social media aspects of the business. I’m still working in these areas to improve.

Etta’s Soaps: http://www.ettassoaps.com/