I need to close the store for 2 weeks due to a family loss. I realize I have been slow on some orders but have been dealing with things that have put soap on the back burner as they say. I will be leaving on Monday to head to Statesville, North Carolina. I am closing the store until the 24th of April as I plan on being back by then but don’t want to make any promises. All orders placed on or before the 14th of April will ship prior to my leaving or I’ll send you an email.
Thanks as always for allowing me to do what I love (make soap) and take care of my family.
Normally our pine tar soaps and old-fashioned lye soaps are what I sell the most of online, but not this month (March 2013). There’s been a big run on our Pure Olive Oil Castile Handmade Soap! There’s nothing fancy about this little creamy colored soap that is made exclusively with certified organic olive oil. With a high superfat number (the percent of excess oil left in soap), this soap is great for winter dry skin and as skin adjusts from a change in temperatures as we move through spring. People tend to have allergies this time of year and sometimes you just need a break from scent.
Some of you have heard me rant on about the word castile and what it means. For me as a soapmaker, I like the old traditional definition of “castile” being at least 65% olive oil. With the cost of olive oil moving up, some companies use the word castile to mean any vegetable based soap. For MoSoap brand soaps, if you see the word CASTILE SOAP, then you are guaranteed that the handmade soap you are purchasing is well above the 65% pure olive oil. And since I purchase our olive oil for a sister store too, I buy certified organic olive oil. While I don’t list “organic” on the other soaps, if you see that olive oil is listed then it is made with certified organic olive oil. I crunched the numbers and it’s less expensive to purchase a drum than one type of oil for one soap, and organic for another.
Whether you like this pure olive oil soap because of the lack of nut oils, soy bean oil, or the absence of fragrance, I wanted to say “Thanks!” for supporting handmade.
What a difference a day makes.
I have tried to offer people the best options and choices I could find regarding shipping. UPS was offering a small business shipping special with rates 16% off, I signed us up and offered UPS as a shipping option last night. This morning after packing and printing the shipping labels, I called for a pickup. No problem I thought, everything was running smoothly until I went to add a few more packages to the pile for the driver. Seems from the time I talked to the pickup man on the phone to printing a ship label for the next order, my business discount disappeared and no one at UPS could figure out how to find my “negotiated rate” and apply it to the shopping cart. After receiving 2 emails with complains on our shipping prices overnight, put on hold and transferred all over the global it sounded like, and realizing I was being charged way more than I or any of you happy MoSoap customers wanted to be charged….I have decided to go only United States Postal Service. I won’t close my UPS account out as I want the packages I shipped yesterday to make it there and at the price I paid but after that unless you MUST have UPS, I will only be shipping by the postal service; parcel, regional rate, flat rate or Priority Mail.
I think it time to go have a cupcake and redo all the packing slips. So if you see a shipping notice come through that I canceled your shipment today, there will be a new one coming through. I have to repackage all of the orders, print new labels and eat another cupcake! : )
I hope everyone is enjoying 2013 so far! It’s been a wild ride at our new home in the Commerical Hotel with trying to rehab the building and make soap at the same time. In November we finally had indoor water and I could take a bath…nothing like being a soapmaker and not able to shower. And let me tell you, using a garden hose outside for 6 months made me appreciate a warm bath even more. As always, I appreciate everyone’s patience while I try to find my stride making soap. Going from 3000 sq ft to less than a workable 500 sq ft all while the business grew was a challenge.
Speaking of other challenges, the United States postal service had a rate increase Jan 27th. Please don’t write me hateful emails regarding how I am ripping you off with shipping prices. With that increase I decided to once again offer UPS ground as a shipping option. While most time US Priority Mail is still less than our UPS (United Parcel Service), many people prefer UPS. I did a test on the two carriers – ship 12.3 lbs to California from Missouri. UPS wants $21.94 and takes 4 days. USPS Priority Mail is $11.30 and takes 2 -3 days. Most people will choose “ground service” because they THINK it’s going to be less expensive.
When you order, you will see the option for either UPS Ground (default) and the next option is for USPS Priority then the option for Outside USA (that’s international pricing) and then Customer Pickup. If you can’t pick up your order here in Ironton, Missouri and you live in the USA, then please select either UPS or Priority Mail. If you live in Hawaii or Alaska, choose Priority Mail as UPS is not an option and will not show shipping. I will still charge you shipping, but it will be at USPS Priority Mail rates which are even less than parcel post most times. With Priority Mail, I pass the 10% online discount to you and since I process the labels online, delivery confirmation is free. With Parcel Post both of those savings are not in effect.
Witout fail, I will always check for the best rate for you!! While I think our soap is stellar, I don’t want you to pay more than you have to on shipping. If the store quote for shipping is more than the actual price, I will lower it for you. If I can find a less expensive way (like for a lipbalm only purchase) I will adjust shipping. I can’t seem to make the shipping feature on the website understand the difference in sizing like a bar of soap or a jar of salve, and each item needs a different box soI can save you money.
Time flies as they say when you are having fun, and I think sometimes when you just become busy! First off I would like to thank everyone that has stuck by us during our move. For those that follow our site HotelIronton , you’ve seen some of the construction and changes we have made over the last few months. As of today, we still have no inside working water or drains, no bathrooms and only one outlet per room. What that means is, I am appreciating my soapmaking grandmother and great grandmothers so much more. There’s something about washing outside that brings out the pioneer woman in me. Previously in my Winfield shop, I had a beautiful 1500 sq foot, air-conditioned, organized cabinet workspace with all the appliances I could ever ask for. Now things are a bit different but I am actually increasing the batch volume and within a few more weeks, will be opening the retail brick and mortar shop right next door called A Little Shop on Main which will house a seasonal selection of soaps I make. So other than learning about the effects of long-term 100+ degree temperatures on brick and watching a pallet of lard begin to melt, things are going well here in Ironton.
One change that some people haven’t realized is MoSoap is the brand name I use, and the business that pays the taxes was MoHerbs. I actually had someone do a background check on me to try to report me for not having a sales tax license but then again I also had a customer in law enforcement purchase my soap and do a background check on me with a fingerprint found on my soap! That was a bit creepy but he thought I might be some “hippy or something” with a company name like MoHerbs- great. Having passed FAA medicals for years and still able to, am bonded and insured I take most things in stride. I always figured the name MoHerbs was based on my family name of Morrison and that we were in Missouri (MO) and I grew flowers and herbs, taught classes ect but I understand that people form opinions without knowing the facts all the time. Because of that, and the fact I love our new location here in the beautiful Arcadia Valley with parks and history all around me, I made a decision to change the business name to Arcadia Valley Soap instead of MoHerbs. MoSoap is the same as always and always will be. But don’t be surprised if you see the reference to Arcadia Valley Soap on brochures and such. I have always worked under several brand names (another one is Botanical Earth) and just make a lot of soap for a lot of very different people.
I hope this answers some of the questions recently. As always ask away with questions or comments, follow us on the blog here or on MoSoap’s Facebook page.
Try to keep cool this summer!
Hello MoSoap customers and well wishers! It’s Debra and my family has finally allowed me close to a computer after kidnapping me and taking me to a doctor. Seems painting the outside of our “new” old building at 12′oo at night in 40 degrees weather can make one ill, I have found out and now I have pneumonia. I thought we could have plumbing and a kitchen within a month of moving in, but learned I was overly optimistic with working on a 106 year old building and dealing with contractors. Every week I was told, “sure we will be there…” and no one showed. No drain, no running water…that makes it a difficult process in cleaning soap pots, molds and lye buckets. So needless to say, I have given up on trying to fill orders, make new soap or paint any longer. My husband and aunt do not want the store open until I am completely healthy again….I guess I can’t complain about them for caring.
So my aunt Virginia has been kind enough to contact everyone and will be answering the phones for a while if you do call. I don’t know what I would do without her and am grateful she lives close by to our new house. Again I will try to post more on the move and stocking up soap. Everyone has been so kind with well wishes on our move and what to see the progress I have made with the building. If you want to keep up with the drama of my new” house” and trying to set up the soapshop, you can find it on Facebook at Commercial Hotel of Ironton .
Again my apologizes to everyone who waited since February for me to ship in April and now canceling the orders but I just can’t make enough new soap fast enough.
It’s been a funny week about talking about myself and MoSoap. A wonderful customer, Christian Ford who writes for a food / drink blog on preservation of small-scale arts HogSalt.com , he really likes my pine tar soap and wrote a great article about MoSoap and that caused other people to contact me regarding what I do. It’s just strange talking about what and how I do things….seems trendy and silly but as my niece said “important” to some. I love my family!!
If you have ever tried to call the shop, there’s always something wrong with our phone lines. I like the think my guardian Angel keeps me from sales calls but ….well, either I am repainting the shop and haven’t put the phone cords back in, the friend, neighbor or family member covering for me while I am gone can’t stand to answer the phone all day, our neighbor plows the road and cuts the phone line or I just don’t hear it while my Milwaukee Drill mixer is grinding away…..did I mention I love my Milwaukee Drill ?? It beats a wissy stick blender any day and is still made in the USA! Anyway, not to ramble on but I decided to add a new feature to the online store, http://store.mosoap.com and it’s online chat. I feel so modern and trendy….
When you come to the site now, on the upper left hand corner just above the listing of categories, you’ll see a button with a generic face smiling that says whether I am “online” or not. Now as Mr, Ford’s article will tell you, I am particular to night soap making so you will probably see it “online” in the wee hours of the night. But I figure if I can answer one question for someone while I am working, that’s one less person having to write out an email and wait for me to reply. I hope it helps, and please feel free to stop by just to say “Hey” as sometimes when I am waiting for the lye to cool there’s not much else to do but surf the web….well there’s always plenty to do but I would prefer to chat with someone interesting like you!