Author Archives: Kylee

All New Natural Soy Candles – Win them before you can buy them!

Finally!! After daily inquires and fist pounding requests (okay…well, maybe it hasn’t been that dramatic…) but after much waiting, candles are BACK!

*crowd goes wild!*

Not only are Natural Soy Candles rolling their way back in, they have been massively overhauled. Firstly, I was able to find a fantastic and extremely reliable wax supplier in Denver, CO who has agreed to cut me some slack on shipping. This means I am able to put that saved money into nicer containers and labels, making these candles much more fashionable.

Plus, due to customer demand, I have been able to purchase larger amounts of high quality oils so that I can make a stronger scented candle without the need to hike up prices. Icing on the cake? Those saved card catalog cards you love so much? Instead of investing money into lids that end up in the trash, I am hand punching circles and using them to protect the top of the candles during transport.

Did you know, soy wax is completely natural & biodegradable with a very clean burn and produces no petro-carbon soot? While being non-toxic and environmentally friendly, it is made from renewable resources and the production of soy wax involves no habitat destruction. It does all that while helping American farmers create growth for the agricultural section of the economy. Plus, you get to enjoy your candle longer because soy wax burns slow, producing a candle that lasts almost 60% longer than paraffin. Bonus? Since soy is a vegetable wax,  it is super easy to clean off of surfaces, simply use soap & water. (This information is included on the back of the candles. Memorize it and impress your friends!)

 

CLOSED Excited?! Me too!!! YOU have a chance to win one before they even hit the website!! Luxury Lane Soap is giving away a full sized Natural Soy Candle to THREE lucky winners. Easy entry below. Good Luck! (Winner announced Tuesday, October 16th and candles debut online Monday, October 22th)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Backdoor.

No, not a sleazy bar. The backdoor of the house was a little shabby, so The Epic Tale of the Door Replacement is the first real home improvement post. This was supposed to be posted a few months ago, but since I’m still not finished with it it’s still relevant.

I actually needed a new door for the garage apartment so I can rent it out. I now have a kind of hierarchy for things like doors, appliances, fixtures, etc. When the apartment needs something, I steal it from the house and buy new to replace it.

The old backdoor on the house was a modern steel entry door that sealed up good, but had a few dents and needed paint. This made it an ideal candidate for the garage, but it put up a bit of a fight. It had been put in with these magic screws about 8″ long that broke off when you tried to remove them, and had about 50 nails pounded through the top of the jamb. When it came time to pull out the jamb, it took a little convincing with a 3lb sledge. My son was laughing at me the whole time as I tried not to reduce the thing to splinters, since I needed to reuse it…

Post carnage. Note my friend the hammer on the right.

Once I finally got it out, I discovered why I had water leaking into the basement every time it rained… the threshold had no silicone under it. The patio slopes towards the doorway (to be fixed in the future) so water ran under the threshold and right into the basement.  

Brick walls are wider than the average standard replacement steel entry jamb… Don’t know what I’m going to do about this yet.

I started cleaning up the floor and found an old metal threshold that was still in the floor. This one had just been installed over top of it. Nice.

At this point I had waaaay more time into this project than I had planned. Sunlight waning, I was feeling a little rushed on my archaeological dig. I got everything cleaned up, but ran into another problem. I had two nice channels on either side of the doorway that water could run through (and probably had been) that had to be filled first. I briefly considered just filling them with silicone when I sealed the threshold to the ground, but thought better of it. I don’t want to be repeating this exercise anytime soon.

These bricks were previously hidden by the extra wide aluminum threshold that was in place. I kind of like the look, so I’m going to let ’em shine.

I brushed out all the loose mortar on either side and mixed up some Rockite anchoring cement. I like it because you can make it a pourable self-leveling consistency and it sets up fast.  I made a few cardboard forms where needed and proceeded to fill my would be aqueducts.

As you can see, I had the halogen out by this point.

With everything on a level plane I put two generous beads of masonry silicone caulk across the bottom and set the new jamb in place after a quick test fit. On a wood frame house you would add shims where needed and put evenly spaced screws around the jamb. In this instance I was at the mercy of a few wood blocks stuck into the brick by an unknown means. They seemed solid enough, so I just went with it. By this time it was about 10pm and I didn’t feel like drilling holes for block anchors. My enthusiasm was wearing a bit thin.

Finished! …not really.

 

With everything squared and fastened, I attached the door to the jamb and sealed it up with expanding foam. Normally you would leave the door installed in the jamb for the whole process, but I had removed it for painting. Note: If you plan to spray both sides of a 36″x 80″ door you need MORE than a quart. A quart was only enough to fill the line on the sprayer so the pump was cavitating after only one coat. I had to dump water in the sprayer in order to use up the remaining paint in the line. As a result the paint is rather thin and chips easily, I’ll be redoing it at a later date. I went with a simple 6 panel door that matches some of the original interior doors nicely.

Now to cover the remaining exposed interior brick I’ll use 1×6 boards for trim, with the brickmould trim I had to remove in front of that. Haven’t gotten around to it yet, with the hole in the house filled I don’t have the same urgency… I’ll add pics of this when it’s done.

-Rory

 

 

 

 

The Fairhill Project…

Looking at it as a whole, it seems a little overwhelming. Take it one room at a time… and it’s still overwhelming. This blog will serve to document the process of restoring/remaking the house to suit us, and to share with those who take an interest.

Fairhill was built for prominent banker Fred E. Frisbee in 1917. Built in the Georgian Revival style, the house has a lux feel without being over the top. No marble or gold leaf. Very sensible, like a banker. I have an approximate oral history that I will try to confirm when I have time to research the abstract. It looks like the Frisbee’s had the house until 1929 or so, probably seemed a little excessive during the depression… I think it may have changed hands a few times after that before being converted into an apartment house in the 30’s or 40’s. The gazebo was torn down to make room for a six stall garage for the tenants, two apartments on each floor of the house. In addition, the carriage house was converted into a small home. Kind of a “mini-me” of the main house… There was also an apartment built on the top of the garage. With 8 apartments total, I’m betting this place paid for itself many times over. May be how it has been so well preserved through the years, considering how many people have lived here. It continued to have apartments until the late 90’s, and then served as a photography studio. The last owners started de-compartmentalizing the house, taking down walls that were added, removing a couple kitchens and repairing neglected wiring and plumbing. It’s come a long way to being restored to its former glory, but has a long way to go yet. We will no doubt be busy for a few years. Or decades.

The first rule of Fairhill is ONLY ONE ROOM AT A TIME. The second rule… Well I’ve already broken the rules by starting both of the kid’s rooms at the same time, but it’s the only fair way to go. We started with those rooms so they’d be done before the kids are ready to move out. We’ll keep posting pics and maybe some video later of the more interesting bits.

The ivy needs to be tamed, it’s already filled the rain gutters…

Product Spotlight: Mediterranean Salt Scrub – Intense Healing

Mediterranean Salt Scrub • Intense Healing

Mediterranean Salt Scrub • Intense Healing

This is not just a scrub. This is a serious moisture surge of intense healing for cracked feet, sore hands and dry, patchy skin. Fresh blended with certified pure essential oils to heal and calm.

What it is… A moisturizing blend of botanical infused avocado oil and nourishing sea salts. Ultra rich in minerals, these gentle exfoliating components help remove dead, flaky cells and revitalize your skin while citrus essential oils soothe.

Why Avocado Oil? An extremely good moisturizing skin nutrient, assisting in regeneration and rejuvenation. A natural emollient rich in vitamin E that nourishes and revives without clogging pores.

Why Mediterranean Sea Salt? Produced using the ancient method of solar evaporation and harvested from the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea, in a region that is free of pollution and has high evaporation rates. One of the purest salts in the world.

Mediterranean Salt Scrub • Intense Healing

Mediterranean Salt Scrub • Intense Healing

To Use: Massage onto dry skin and rinse well with warm water. Will cause tub “slippy-ness” so please use with caution. Do not use on broken skin or delicate facial tissue.

Absolutely Free of All:
• Parabens or Formaldahydes
• Sodium Sulfates (SLS) or Detergents
• Propylene or Butylene Glycols
• GMO or Triclosan or Alcohol
• Animal bi-products or testing

Approximately 6 oz / 170 g

YOU have a chance to win one! Luxury Lane Soap is giving away a full size Mediterranean Salt Scrub to two lucky winners. Easy entry below. Good Luck! Closed! Thank you to all who entered!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Celebrating the gift of handmade!

Run in! Run out!

As a mom and a small business owner, I understand as well as anyone how hard it is to choose between buying things that are good and buying things that are good for my wallet. While we all want to be able to support small, independent businesses, let’s face it…it is a lot cheaper to drop into a WalMart, grab a generic gift and walk out.

And it’s because of this understanding that I have struggled with pricing when it comes to Luxury Lane Soap since pretty much the very first bars of soap I sold. I want to be able to distribute my products with as small as profit margin as possible, but I do have bills to pay and my materials certainly don’t ever get less expensive. Now, I could go a different route, and reduce prices by lowering quality or selling huge wholesale bulk lots (a fat wholesale account would be nice!)…but that’s just not my way or who I am. And seriously, that would just rob me of the fun and satisfaction I get from doing this.

These past few weeks I have been approached multiple times by retailers looking to distribute Luxury Lane Soap. They all want the same thing…to buy my products at a 50% to 65% discount for resale. The awesome part of wholesale is that you get a chunk of money at once and more people get a chance to try one of my products. The un-awesome part? I still make everything, by hand, one at a time and the strain from large wholesale delays all of my customer’s orders…plus working at a 50% discount means I am working for free. Seriously. Free. (True story…when I produce custom work for large corporations, it’s not just free as in only covering the cost of my materials — since the cost of my labor isn’t included, I am essentially paying them for the work. Bogus.) This is all compounded by the fact that I have kept my prices low. If I was willing to charge more for individual orders, than that discount for wholesale orders wouldn’t eat away any profit. But you know what…no. I haven’t done it before and I won’t start now.

From day one, and I have written about this numerous times, I decided to not become a production plant. While there is good money in selling high volume, low quality products, I feel there is better long-term money and satisfaction in quality and customer service.

So, this is what I have decided to do…

Instead of working to get my products on retail shelves this holiday season, the discount is going directly to my customers. Rather than invest in commercial distribution, I am investing in my own company.

The Millennium Falcon

Reduced to $3.99

Oh, Kylee. You get so cliche’…

No, really, hear me out.

All current products hovering around the $5 range have been reduced to $3.99 and new items are being crafted and created weekly. With this particular price point in mind, I set out to continue my line of superior quality products, and sell them at a lower price due to the ease of production, supply surplus and multitasking compatibility. Most items in the $3.99 Gift Collection include a custom gift tag made of recycled library catalog cards. (Coolest gift tag ever!)

It all came down to me asking myself why should I give my time to a retailer when I can give my time to YOU?! ♥

So, Luxury Lane Soap is challenging every indie business to design at least one low-priced, high-quality product to sell this year to make gift giving easier for everyone. Not only will it get you business, but at least for me, I’ve found I love the challenge of designing products with some constraints and still making them awesome!

Send me a link to your item and we will showcase it from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, the highest selling days of the year for almost every single company out there.

This isn’t about price points or profit margins though. For me, this is about showing how “handmade” or “hand-crafted” makes for stronger businesses, happier customers, and a little bit more awesome in the world. As I’ve always said (and it’s on the Luxury Lane Soap Company Philosophy page):

“Being a small, local community company affords me the ability to turn all of my profits back into Luxury Lane Soap for safe ingredients and practices. I have no stock holders to appease. My company is for my customers.

So whether you’re looking for a reasonable gift for someone you love this holiday season, or an indie business looking to stay true to your roots, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the gift that is handmade!

 

I love Scott and Dragon*Con. Our future marriage…

Montgomery Scott

It is confirmed that I will be going to Dragon Con in Atlanta , GA. Woo hoo! My very first time and I am beyond excited. After two years of traveling, conventions are something I am finally comfortable doing. Getting to see friends that I have been stalking talking with for years now and squeezing the ones I only get to see once a year or so…

Dressing up? Why yes, yes I am…

I have always wanted to go all out and really put something together that captured my passion and obsessive attention to detail for a character, but it is really hard and extremely frustrating trying to do something that has never been done before…because it has all been done before, right? Wrong.

Enter Scotty. My most absolute favorite Star Trek TOS charatcter of all time? Ever?

Yeah. Most favorite.

Plus it gives me the perfect oppurtuinuty to execute a steampunk style, in my own way. Now, don’t get me wrong, to each their own, but I freaking haaaaaaaaaaaaaate when cosplayers glue plastic replica cogs on brand new leather and smack on a pair of goggles.

I quickly threw something together for inspiration. We all need a starting point, right?

The beginnings of Steampunk Scotty crossplay. I'm going to make the sweetest welding mask EVER. #TOS #DragonCon

I have already changed a million things in the last couple of days…I need to be wearing pants. Scott has a very basic uniform so there is no reason to fix what is not broken. (No pun intended…) I want this is be a crossplay, not just a female engenieer. Scottish corset? Check. Flask? Not yet.

Decided to go “just saved the damn Enterprise again from a catastrophic warp core breach” dirty style…

One of the things I am most excited for is that everything I will be wearing will be 100% authentic. From oil cans to welding mask to leather, everything will be real (in a sense that nothing is being made from new materials covered in cogs for the fun of it…) Everything will have a purpose, everything will be real engineering equipment and a fair amount of it will be period correct. Imagine, if you will, that the Enterprise was a train, not a Starship. It takes an engineer back to his origins and it is exciting.

Look what Rory found for my costume! They even still have oil in them. O.O #SteampunkScotty

Are YOU going to Dragon*Con? Dressing up? Who wants to come over and help me finish building the insignia and sewing rank??

Weekly Recap – 7/29/12 to 8/04/12

All New and Updated Products! 

Organic Artisan Soap

Organic Artisan Soap

Organic Artisan Soap AND Giveaway • You have a chance to win one of four $25 Gift Certificates to LuxuryLaneSoap.com PLUS your choice of any available Artisan Organic Soap!

Mini Fragrance Sampler •  Now you can try any & every one of my custom fragrances!

Organic Artisan Soap • Travel Quarters Soggy soap no more with these smaller, travel friendly cuts!

Mini Fragrance Samplers

Mini Fragrance Samplers

 

Mega Shaving Soap  • In seven awesome scents!

Hemp Spooks Festive Soap SetIt’s never too early for Halloween…

Festive Fall Collection • It has begun! More designs added weekly.

Whipped Up Sugar Scrub • Now in giant double jars with new scents!

 

8/04/2012 Saturday Night Cinema w/ The Lanes

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