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This time of year is one of my favorites. Not because of freezing temps, slower sales due to road conditions and general winter blahness, or the lack of sunlight. It's my favorite time because I get to project events for the year.
I plot out my calendar with a vengeance. How many farmers markets to attend? How many dates do I need employees and where? And since I'm working to push into the Cities and create a customer base there, I'm busy plotting my moves. Handmade venues, farmers markets, or brick and mortar buildings...so many options! And of course, it's a month by month, weekend by weekend deliberation. My life will be revolving around Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (with an occasional Sunday thrown in there) events.
The easy part is filling out the piles of paperwork online, and a few apps with pen and paper, submitting my information repeatedly about how I create my soapy goodness. Mission statement should read, "I love my goats. I love my soaps. So will you. It's all handmade."
Once the dust has settled, and I've pinpointed my events, I settle into manufacturing. There's the small voice in the back of my head that is always whispering,"Do you have enough inventory to cover your commitments?" Rather than panic, I beat it down with batches and batches of soap. Take that, naughty voice.
Yep, the one woman show goes hard core and batches until she dreams soap scents and shapes. Last week alone I batched 22 batches, and the week before that 25. Solo. My neck and shoulders aren't impressed, but the inventory stats are. I hope to keep this pace up through April. I also batch up solid hand lotions and lip butters. My employees are on code red manufacturing mode; counting, pulling cured soaps, trimming, boxing, labeling...they know the drill. It's that time of year!
May is when the outdoor event season kicks off. If I don't have my inventory stacked by then, it's an uphill and stressful season. The goal is to have events chosen, products made, and good weather. I can manage the first two; the last is all up to Mother Nature. Fingers crossed she cooperates this year.
I just pulled up my calendar again and smiled to myself as I looked over upcoming weekends...
2017, prepare yourself. I'm on a hot bender to own you.