For years, I’ve been wanting to put together an essential oil blending resource for the community, but couldn’t manage to spend the time to create it myself. This past summer, I took a nosedive into crowdfunding (once again!), to make it a reality. In the last three months, I’ve worked nonstop on the massive project of essential oil doom.
To start it all, I worked with the Modern Soapmaking community to crowdfund and bring together the $6500 price tag for hiring a developer to create the essential oil blending calculator. This wasn’t my first crowdfunding rodeo, as I crowdfunded the launch of my second soap company, Gratitude Soapery (which is now in the hands of fabulous soapmakers in California!)
Crowdfunding is crazy. The amount of marketing necessary is 10x the normal marketing I handle, and it needed to be done in tandem with the normal tasks of running a business. For crowdfunding to be successful, you need to create perks for supporters that are enticing but are not too costly (expensive perks negate the funding process!)
Supporters could choose between my already published 50 Essential Oil Blends compilation, a new 50 EO Blends compilation, a Blending Kit, and sponsoring the calculator outright. Two hundred fabulous soapmakers got behind the essential oil blending calculator!
After wrapping up the digital perks, I set to work on creating the Blending Kits. I personally designed every element of the Blending Kits, including the labels that I’m head over heels for!
I had the labels printed by Short Run Labels, and they came in at $0.20 a piece when ordering 1400 labels , 14 designs, 100 labels each, (of which I’ll use about half to fulfill the perk, but it was more cost effective to do than order just what I need!).
As I’ve posted little sneak peeks of the Blending Kits on social media, I’ve received a few requests to make more. I have plenty of labels to give this another go, so I’ll be putting together a preorder for those in November/December, after all the calculator hooplah settles down!
Once the labels were designed and sent to the printer for the Blending Kits, I turned my eyes towards the promised “printed study materials, exercises, and directions” that was to be included in the Blending Kits. Originally, I intended to photocopy all my handouts from teaching on the subject. But that just looked so sparse and gross with the rest of the kits!
Instead, I went the crazy route and decided to self-publish my first book! I took the forty pages of content I had on hand from previously teaching on this topic, and rewrote and expanded the content into over 130 pages of essential oil goodness.
SMELLGOODS: How to Use & Blend Essential Oils in Handmade Soap & Skincare is available via Amazon and Amazon Kindle, and it’s my first foray into self-publishing. (Kayla Fioravanti of Selah Press has been a tremendously resource in this process!)
While going crazy over writing, editing, and designing my book, I have also been knee deep in the development of the essential oil blending calculator with the fabulous Bill Erickson. I chose Bill to develop this feature for Modern Soapmaking because he’s one of the best WordPress developers around. Working with him on this project has been an absolute joy!
Balancing accuracy and user perception and ease of use has been an exercise in patience, as we make difficult choices, like what essential oils to include, what constituent rates to use, and how to present all of that information in a user-friendly way.
The Modern Soapmaking Facebook group has been a tremendous resource for me as I ask for help in deciphering user perception and base knowledge,; I can’t thank them enough.
Right now, we’re in a phase of testing for the calculator, where the initial data entry task is at hand. With fifty essential oils, over sixty restricted constituents, eighteen different product usage rates, and over two hundred and fifty essential oil blends, the amount of information passing from my fingers to our databases is jaw-dropping. (I’ve never been so sick of typing in my life!)
We’re on path for an early November launch, and I can’t wait to share this with y’all. It’s been a labor of love, but I have the community to thank for making it a reality. So, with that, THANK YOU. Y’all make this community what it is, and I truly appreciate each and every one of you. Here’s to a bright smelling good future for us all!