Kimberly Wilson, a very lovely lady, interviewed me for a podcast on her blog Tranquility du Jour. We talk about tea, historical fiction, and of course, perfume. It was a new experience for me and a lot of fun. I was insanely nervous because I actually was 30 minutes late for the podcast because I can't read apparently and messed up East Coast vs. West Coast time and then I was afraid the baby would wake up and yada yada yada here you go. Even if you don't want to listen, there are some links to books I recommended to her so definitely check those out. I apologize profusely for the horrible, horrible vocal fry. I lived in Los Angeles for the majority of my life ok? I know I do it, but I can't stop. It is my great shame.
Yup. Because it's perfume. I just like to get in as many Shakespeare references as possible on a given day. It makes me feel important and classy. But I bring this up because I'm interested in changing the ol' shop name. I hate sweet tea you guys. It's really gross. I'm that person that sends my iced tea back if they put sugar in it. And I don't even feel bad about it. When I was starting out I was trying to incorporate things I liked (tea) and also come up with a super feminine name because OBVIOUSLY perfume is ONLY worn by super feminine girls. Except I'm not overly flowery myself. So now I have this super girly name meanwhile many of my customers are goths or dudes who enjoy tobacco cologne. That's not to say that all the flowery ladies that come to me aren't important, they totally are, but I've got to be more inclusive, ya know? But here lies the rub (that's two Shakespeare points in this post) a lot of people I've asked really like the name Sweet Tea Apothecary. If people like it who am I to change it?? THIS IS SO HARD!
Here are the ideas I've been ok with that some friends have thrown out there:
Lace & Pearl Apothecary (with men's labels being L&P Apothecary to tone down the femme)
High Tea Apothecary (to keep tea and the historical aspect)
or we could just stick with the old reliable and not change the name. WHAT DO I DO GUYS?!? I'm trying to decide by the end of this week because I have big things in the works for the new year and want to get in with a graphic designer before hand so that I can get some better branding, ideally by mid January.
Second reason for this post. I have had so many people come to my shop wanting to buy gifts for other people but they have no idea what scent they might like. This was especially apparent at the craft show I just participated in. So! not to worry, I have a solution! I am now offering two gift card options that each come with a free sample pack. There's a $35 option and a $50. Those two price ranges cover the cost of all items in my shop plus shipping! If your giftee (real word?) wants to go over those amounts, I would just send them an invoice for the difference. EASY! I'll add links to those probably tomorrow, I'm having internet and computer problems (I'm at a coffee shop right now).
Last important bit of news. I'M ALL BETTER! No more sickness. It's done. If you bought from me in the last month and a half or so and experienced long ship times...it was because I was seriously sick out of my mind and couldn't bring myself to leave the house let alone go to the post office on a regular basis. I should have probably shared that in my convos but I hate being whiny and making excuses to customers. I promise though that in the future I'll be more up front about such things. But now we can rejoice that I'm better and my energy levels have returned to their pre-sickness manic levels.
So yeah, health, gift card options, and possibly a new shop name. All of such stuff as dreams are made on, yo. (3 Shakespeare points).
Last week was a pretty good week for me - I found out that one of the articles I've written will be re-published on a bigger website with more traffic than lowly me could ever hope to acquire on my own, and I was notified that my shop was given a positive review by a respected perfumista (out this Fall). If this was Tumblr, this would be the part where I include a gif of Michael Scott dancing or something. Feeling validated and confident, I sang my own praises from mountaintops (my apartment, to my husband, Facebook friends, and cats). And then my husband said, "That sounds like a big bump in traffic that's coming your way in the next two months. Do you have enough inventory? Are you prepared?"
Me: [Long pause] You're right. A perfume storm is a'brewing (yes I really do speak like that).
So I ran to the other side of the room and busted out all the perfume ingredients and set to work. For two days, I counted drops on six different perfumes. Realizing that I had run out of two ingredients, I rented a Zipcar and made my way to the supply store here in Seattle where I proceeded to buy at least $70 worth of oil that wasn't on the list. When I got home, I realized that I had not done a proper inventory of my most used essential oils. Mid-pour, the painful truth presented itself. I was 80 drops short of Tahitian Vanilla!
I wanted to kick myself. I can understand if I run out of Morrocan Rose or Saffron if I'm not paying attention, but vanilla?! WTF, me? Vanilla is one of the most basic, universally loved ingredients in fragrances. Some snooty people say that an affinity for vanilla is the mark of an undeveloped palette. To which I say, if people like vanilla then what the hell does it matter?
But yeah, planning. Excel sheets. File Folders. I need all of these things.