I am so excited about the changes here at The Eclectic Soul (or TES, as we call her around our house)! I’ve spent the last several weeks thinking about what works for TES and what doesn’t. About what I enjoy and what I don’t. And, most importantly, how to bring it all together to create forward motion for both me, on a personal level, and the small, handcrafted business I am trying to grow.
First of all, I’m going to be a lot more present with TES, both on social media and here on the website. I know I’ve said that before, but I have a detailed plan laid out for what that looks like and how I’ll accomplish it. And, I’ve made a plan that suits my personality and communication style.
One of those ways is through video. I’m really excited about this! I’m starting a YouTube channel for The Eclectic Soul. It won’t be a DIY or tutorial channel, but rather it will be a peek into my process. I’ve had a few customers tell me that while they don’t have any interest in learning to make soap for themselves, they are curious about the process. I think it will be a fun way to help those customers who are curious to get to know TES on a deeper level – and maybe a bit entertaining for everyone else.
If you’re disappointed that it won’t be a tutorial channel, don’t be! That’s another one of the changes. I’m going to start teaching soapmaking classes. In fact, the first one will be later this month at the Redlands Art Association. To support my teaching activities, I’m starting a second YouTube channel -- Soap's On! -- centered around soapmaking. Actually, I’m developing an entire website to support not just my teaching activities, but soapmaking education in general.
I debated with myself long and hard about having two separate channels, because it’s twice as much work for me. I also talked with a few customers about it. They all agreed that they aren't particularly interested in learning to make soap. Trying to combine soapmaking education with general customer outreach would be confusing, and it would detract from the image that TES works hard to present.
All of this leads to the final big change: I’m changing the way I run the online store here at The Eclectic Soul. Between traveling around Southern California to teach, blogging and creating videos, and creating the products I need to stock the in-person events I love doing so much, I find that I don’t pay as much attention to the shop as I should. I thought about closing it altogether, but I have several customers who aren’t local – the online shop is the easiest way for them to access TES's goodies.
Here’s what I've decided to do instead: I’m going to keep the store closed most of the time. I’ll open it for a week each month. During that one week, I can more fully commit to being present and responsive to whatever needs you have around purchasing. I can answer questions via email and Facebook Messenger, and I can more easily prepare and ship your products in a timely fashion.
I know this may be a bit inconvenient at first, but I think you’ll quickly see that it’s truly a win-win decision. The shop is currently closed and will reopen in February for a week, although I’m not yet certain what day it will open. Don’t worry, I’ll send out an email and announce the opening date on social media, and of course, here on the blog.
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Thanks so much to all TES's loyal customers, who make it possible for me to share my skills and talents in a meaningful way. I love meeting you at in-person events, and I look forward to getting to know you better through TES's budding online community. Here’s to 2018 being an amazing year for all of us!