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Archive for the ‘A Little of That’ Category

Sep
10
2008

Well…it is Wednesday already!

This week is getting away from me!  I sat in front of the weather channel for a day or so and that put a damper on getting something constructive done.  This morning I have a dental appointment so Benjamin will just have to bring a bit of his school work with him.  I have this filling that still feels odd at times so I want to let the dentist look at it one more time to be sure it isnt going to fall out or anything.

I have a couple of aprons cut out I would like to stitch up if I get back in time.  AND I have to come up with something good for supper.  Nothing sounds outstanding at the moment.  I think I get out of the habit of planning menus while Husband is home.  He always plans our menus and executes most of them.  I am spoiled in that area.

Can I talk to you about hats?  Yeah hats.  I am not a hat person. Not that I dont like them – I LOVE hats. I just think they look ridiculous on me.  I have several berets I will whip out from time to time -but not often. And maybe it is because I am not used to seeing myself with one on.  But I sooo wish they would make a real comeback.  I have a cocoa colored trench coat on order.  The more I look at the pictures of it the more I think I might send it back.  I need something for that transition to winter.  I have my lovely LOVELY walking cape but it will not be cool enough for a while –  it as it is wool.  And it rains so much in the fall here, I need something. Anywho, I fell in love with this hat last night surfing for something else.

There are no prices listed on the website which leads me to believe I won’t be getting it.  But I inquired just the same.  I wish I knew what style this was called so I could google it.  Maybe I could find a pattern for it and whip myself up one to see just how ridiculous it does look.  And of course how adorable would this be with my red walking cape…well on someone else’s head maybe but I LOVE it.

So if any of you know what these styles are enlighten me!

Best wishes to those in the path of Ike.  I hope you are all safe and sound!

Sep
08
2008

Meet My Friend Suz of Oregon Trail Soapers Supply!

I have been working to get this interview and introduction up for months now! But I think it was worth the wait! AND if you leave me a comment,  I will draw a name and at the end of the week and you will get a great surprise in your mailbox!!!

When I first began ordering soap supplies online for my former business Dahlem’s Soapworks, Suz was one of the first companies I ordered from and man does she set a high standard for all other suppliers!  Fast, friendly, accurate service!! Many have inquired about my former “life as a professional soapmaker”…some out of curiosity, some wanting to get into it themselves.  Let me just say, either way, if you are going to make soap, quality ingredients are a must…and Suz is the the go-to gal for that!!! You can click on the graphic to visit her shoppe! And be sure and drop her a line and tell her I sent you!

Could you introduce yourself to the readers of NotQuiteJuneCleaver?

My name is Susan Kennedy, aka; Suz, I’m married to a farmer and a great guy,
Rick, have two children, a boy, Rock and a girl Sandra, 5 grandchildren and
love them all to pieces. We live in *the boonies* and I wouldn’t trade it
for anything, I love it here. We have a small farm as well, chickens, etc.
The deer and their fawns visit all the time, and we have a lot of natures
creatures here, it’s fun to look out the window and see them.

What does your business do?

The business is located on our property which is why we purchased our home
as it has a built in shop.  The builder was going to repair heavy equipment
so since he decided to sell instead, we inherited a big roomy shop.  We
provide raw materials and packaging and some fun, decorative soap related
items as well to people who wish to soap or make any cosmetic product.  We
also provide help and advice when we can

I think  we would all like to know is how and when you started your
business.

I started as a soap maker back in November 1988 and materials were so hard
to come by that I began researching.  At that time, one had to purchase in
enormous quantities so we stayed in the soapmaking business for years until
my husbands accident in 1994.  Due to numerous surgeries, we could not
continue the business until 1998 so when we opened back up, the amazing
amount of raw materials available were a dream come true so the supply side
began and soaping took somewhat of a back seat except the hundreds of
testers, but I still love to soap, probably always will.  It’s very
satisfying.

What is the most difficult aspect of running this type of business?

Bookwork!!  That’s easy..*lol*, and another thing is when people have
developed incorrect habits or ideas about soapmaking, I feel a duty to do my
best to get them back on the right track and specifically the safety aspect
of it all.

What is your favorite part of your job?

When I hear success stories, I LOVE it.  I have been blessed to be part of
several including Bella Lucce, I adore her and I’m so proud of her.  And
many others who have made a name for themselves, knowing I was even a small
part is so wonderful.

Was there anyone that inspired you to follow your dreams?

My husband suggested soapmaking as he knew a person who did it already and
that began the quest for books, materials, etc., and we spent countless
hours studying and trying to perfect the art so yes, it was my other half
who is my inspiration.

Where would you like to see your business go?  Any thing you can share
with us about future plans for your business?

That one is difficult.  I love the size it is, I also know you have to stay
new and fresh to keep peoples interest so I will continue to try to find new
and interesting products.  For instance, we just found an amazingly bright,
true red that does not migrate.  So things like that, an awesome fragrance,
a new beautiful packaging item.  The small conquests add up to the bigger
ones.

In your opinion,  has the Internet affected opportunities for  crafters
who wish to start their own businesses?

Absolutely.  It has created both good and bad.  My feeling is that a person
should study, study and study more before offering a product to the public.
Some soapers do exactly that and my hat is off to them.  Others make a batch
or two, a friend does a website for them and they are in business.  It makes
me a bit concerned but hopefully they were fast learners.

If you had a chance to do it all over again (in business) is there
anything you would do differently?

Yes, I would have been better at bookkeeping in the beginning and revamped
my Business plan a lot sooner than I did.  A business plan is not forever, not
etched in stone, It’s fluid and needs to be gone over from time to time as goals are met or
not met and one needs To take stock of what needs to be changed.  I didn’t do that often enough.

Do you have any other great passions or hobbies.

Quilting is my love, as well as pretty much any type sewing.  I love machine
embroidery and believe you can’t have too many pillows, quilts and cushy
items around your home.  I want my home to reflect that comfortable
welcoming feeling. I have knit for years and still have probably 40-50
sweaters that I have kept for years.  My other love is Oil Painting, it’s definitely a
toss up between those two.  Any camping, fishing, outdoor activity renews my
spirit.  I guess it’s the farm girl in me.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced while seeing your company  to
where it is today?  How did you overcome or handle this challenge?

It’s likely what I have already said and that is not redoing my business
plan often enough.

Do you have any words of wisdom for women looking to opening their own
business?

I tended to take too many thing personally and in business, you have to have
a thick skin.  Do the very best you can and realize you can only please
people some of the time.  So provide the best possible customer service you
can and quality in your products and you should do well.  Not everyone likes
everything and it’s not personal, it’s just fact. The other thing would be
study, and study a lot, never quit.  See what other successful businesses
are doing and try to analyze their success.  It’s interesting to me to see
the myriad of personalities in these different businesses.

Aug
26
2008

It's that time of year…

are you prepared?  If you live anywhere along the Gulf coast you have horrid memories of at least one hurricane maybe more.  Probably more.  Well we have another hurricane brewing and headed for the Gulf of Mexico.  Looks like Gustav will make it to the warm gulf waters sometime Sunday.

This can’t mean anything good for anyone.  Am I prepared?  No, of course not.  But I am getting started right away.  Batteries, bottled water, gathering my buckets to pull water in case of electricity loss, gas cans filled (both petrol and butane), both vehicles full at all times, a few extra canned goods, maybe a box of powdered milk (I think mine is out of date).  It will keep me busy a few days so I dont miss Husband too too bad for the first few days of his absence.  Of course I will be keeping a keen eye.  It seems nothing like this happens when Husband is home.  🙁