The Lane Lab

The official #TheLaneLab #LuxuryLaneSoap #SoapBus blog with notes from the hub of my corporate empire. Stay up to date with our continually evolving brands.

Weekly Recap – 7/8/12 to 7/14/12

7/15/12 Weekly Winnings (Winner announced next week!)

We are giving away 2 $50 gift certificates to LuxuryLaneSoap.com!

FLASH SALE
All Organic Artisan Soap is on clearance as we move our entire stock to make way for new scents, larger sizes and a variety of new formulas. (See Coming Soon)

Clearing stock as we make way for a package redesign. ♥ —> Organic Lip Butter ON SALE

7/14/2012 Saturday Night Cinema w/ The Lanes

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole


I will be starting a customer photo gallery later this month. Please feel free to send any pictures to Kylee@LuxuryLaneSoap.com with the information you would like me to include. ♥ Thank you!

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Weekly Winnings – CLOSED

Congratulations to our winners right here!

This week we are giving away 2 $50 gift certificates to LuxuryLaneSoap.com! By entering below, you have a chance to win said mega awesome prize!

It’s easy peasy, too. I hounded twitter to let me know which raffle/blog giveaway service they thought was the bee’s knees and Rafflecopter.com kept on coming up. Please let me know what YOU thought of the process in the comments below. If the crowd goes wild, I think we may start doing this every week…Awesome? Yes. ♥

Why? Well, why not? Honestly, I wanted to come up with a way to thank you for helping me shape this company. This is something I would like to to do every week for the rest of forever and this first campaign is a test to feel out crowd participation and interest.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. See you bright and early Monday morning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly Recap – 7/1/12 to 7/7/12

7/3/12 As temps sky rocketed last week, I covered how to avoid excessive heat and what to do if your products arrive heat damaged. Read: Heat Advisory

Photos From the Shop:

Perfume Label

New color block labels for the Organic Botanical Perfume. Woo!

Lip Balm Update

New design complete with matching caps! (old version top/new version bottom)

Beauty Oils

100% Natural, Biodegradable, Vegan and Hypoallergenic

Product Debuts: 

Pure Argan Oil  – Argan Oil is an incredibly rich source of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. It has astonishing healing, conditioning and anti-aging properties to keep your skin and hair nourished and revitalized and to keep you looking beautiful from head to toe.

Gift Certificates $5.00 to $100.00 – Perfect for that friend or family member who happens to be impossible to shop for. They get to choose exactly what they want. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Clearing Products:

Pure Clean Whipped Moisture

Ultra light, non greasy whipped body lotion.

Whipped Moisture is being discontinuedw/ a new formula and package design returning late Fall 2012.

All Organic Artisan Soap is on clearance as we move our entire stock to make way for new scents, larger sizes and a variety of new formulas.

Clearing stock as we make way for a package redesign. ♥ —> Organic Lip Butter ON SALE

7/7/2012 Saturday Night Cinema w/ The Lanes

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

I will be starting a customer photo gallery later this month. Please feel free to send any pictures to Kylee@LuxuryLaneSoap.com with the information you would like me to include. ♥ Thank you!

 

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Heat Advisory

It is hot out there. I grabbed this fancy map from Wunderground.com this morning to illustrate.

Severe Weather Map

Luxury Lane Soap is marked on the map by those spiffy white sunglasses Iowa is wearing.

Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.” The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

READ: Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety

Now that you have been educated on the fact that summer is hot, and right now is just ridiculous, I wanted to update you on some products that may be having issues with this heat…

Whipped Up Sugar Scrub • I have received a couple emails that sugar scrub has arrived ‘runny’ and leaking a little. This happens because the heat is warming up the cream base and melting/dissolving the sugar. To help with this I have double layered the liner seals and increased the sugar amount in the scrub.

Organic Glycerin Soap • Although I have not received any reports of heat damaged products, these would be the most susceptible to the high temperatures. Always let your soap cool before handling, or set it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Please do not leave packages or soap in your car as they will melt. 

Lotion, Cream & Butter • Since I use no chemical hardeners in any of my products, lotions, creams and butters are also susceptible to heat. Extreme temps may cause slight separation and “thinness”. I use natural butters like Shea, Cocoa and Kokum to thicken and harden products, and these butters have melting points of around 97-104º F. Simply return product to room temperature and stir.

As always, if you have experienced any problems at all with your products, please do not hesitate to contact me any time.

So, what do YOU do to keep cool when it is simply miserable out? We don’t have air conditioning on our living floors and it has been sitting around 93º F with 50-60% humidity, in the house, all day and night. Booooo!! However, the work floor has to be climate controlled since all of the raw materials are stored up there and that is where production takes place. This means I stay at work as long as humanly possible. The kids have been up there with me, quietly coloring, or they get sent back down to the heat…

I would love to hear how you deal with the hot summer sun! Any ideas on what to do with the kids or what to cook that does not require the damn stove/oven?

Stay safe out there. ♥

Yours, Kylee Lane

 

Weekly Recap – 6/24/12 to 6/30/12

As companies are starting to charge higher shipping costs, we are taking a 5% pay cut and NOT increasing shipping rates. Yeah. I kinda like you. Read: Business Math and Why I am Awesome.

6/25/2012 Luxury Lane Soap Press

Loose Powder: Luxury Lane Soap Shave Soaps Review. (Thank you SO much for the honest review as I have had a lot of customers ask for this!!)

Baby Dropper

Adorable new droppers!

Product Debuts: 

Organic Botanical Perfume now come with the cutest little dropper ever for easier dispensing. 100% Pure, Natural Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Natural Botanicals and Certified Pure Essential Oils.

Clearing Products:

Cherry Blossom • Organic Artisan Soap

Cherry Blossom • Organic Artisan Soap

All Organic Artisan Soap is on clearance as we move our entire stock to make way for new scents, larger sizes and a variety of new formulas.

Clearing stock as we make way for a package redesign. ♥ —> Organic Lip Butter ON SALE

6/30/2012 ENDED: Code ‘DENVER’ gets you 15% off all orders.

6/30/2012 Saturday Night Cinema w/ The Lanes

We had to skip our movie night as we were in Albert Lea to celebrate Rory’s grandparent 60th wedding anniversary. (Congratulations again you two!) However, we have been sneaking in episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series and watched the last episode last night. Boo.

You can watch free, full episodes on CBS.com! Woo!

I will be starting a customer photo gallery later this month. Please feel free to send any pictures to Kylee@LuxuryLaneSoap.com with the information you would like me to include. ♥ Thank you!

 

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Business Math and Why I am Awesome.

usps-logo

Pretty sure they said shipping costs would only go up ONCE.

If you had not noticed, starting on Jan. 22, 2012, the United States Postal Service had increased it’s rates. “The overall price change for all Shipping Services is 4.6 percent, with Priority Mail prices increasing an average 3.1 percent and Express Mail prices increasing an average 3.4 percent… First-Class Package Service (formerly known as First-Class Mail commercial parcels and now a Shipping Services product) will see an overall price increase of 3.7 percent.” –Usps.com

Luxury Lane Soap uses the United States Postal Service exclusively for shipping products around the globe. I choose to use this service because, honestly, I really like it. Living in a small town, there are few jobs available and keeping my business local, keeps jobs local and in turn, this community grows. It is as simple as that.

Yes. Free, eco friendly, shipping supplies.

So, about those shipping increases. Luxury Lane Soap has committed itself to NOT raising shipping prices. (I never have, and never will, profit off of shipping.) We have been testing what this costs us over the last few months, while sales are on the slower end, and we have found that there is a $.05 to $2.00 loss per item. To make up this difference we have switched to using free shipping materials supplied via the United States Postal Service plus taking a personal 5% pay cut beginning in July, 2012.

Wait. What?

Yes. Firstly, I don’t feel like manually going through my entire inventory and bumping up product and shipping prices. Secondly, I simply do not agree with the “profit increase” practice. 

See, when it costs me more to ship to you, I increase my sales volume to make up for the loss. Very simple math. Increase in sales = Increase in profit = Steady costs for customers. However, typical business training has us funneling lower quality/cost products into inventory as filling. (A good comparison: Adding pink slime to real meat to bulk it up and increase profit.) I refuse to purchase lower quality supplies for a lower quality version of my product, so I have to sell more to increase profit. Which leads into my supply cost…

While I may be super awesome and see increasing sales as a way to keep business steady, the majority of my supply companies have raised their shipping prices, which means it is costing me more to produce. That is where my 5 percent pay-cut comes in.

It is interesting being your own boss. You want your company to thrive. The more you bring in monetarily, the more you can put back into your company, creating a growing cycle of greatness. However, as an employee, if the boss is bringing in more, should you not receive more? So what do you do? Pay into your growing company or pay yourself?

I have the space to grow, now is the time to use it. When you purchase from Luxury Lane Soap this is where your money goes:

Math

No. I hate it.

%50 stays in the company to cover supply costs, turning back into product growth and travel for conventions. %50 is paid to me, personally, every other week. Of that 50% ‘take home’, 20% goes to paying off my credit cards, 10% goes into my DeLorean Lust Fund (which yes, I am currently asking for your help.) and the remaining %70 pays my bills and buys my groceries.

I do not believe in the “standard” ways of running a business. I do seek growth, but I refuse to allow my company to become a manufacturing plant. When I say, “Every single product is crafted by hand with no industrialized production methods to insure the highest quality possible.” I fucking mean it. I do not seek to become a suit behind a desk, I like getting my hands “dirty” way too much. (and clothes and walls and everything…)

While my methods cause constant debate within my small business circle, it simply comes down to the fact that this feels right. Simplicity at it’s best. I like what I do, so I keep doing it. If it sucks, I don’t do it. And yes, I am fully aware that increasing my sales while keeping my percent high makes more sense mathematically.

With July around the corner and with the need to increase sales that means, while you get steady prices, you have to deal with heavier promotions. Woo! Commercials! Twitter handle @LuxuryLaneSoap AND @KyleeLane will both be churning product tweets and updates everyday, along with Luxury Lane Soap on facebook. While my personal account invites off topic conversation, the business account is used just for keeping you updated with company exclusive information.

I want to thank ALL of you for your orders and for sharing Luxury Lane Soap over the last few years. I haven’t said it in a while, but I am able to do what I love because of YOU. Really. Thank you. If you ever have any question or suggestions on how you would like to see Luxury Lane Soap evolve, I am always happy to hear them.

Stay safe this weekend and behave, mostly.

Weekly Recap – 6/17/12 to 6/23/12

A new feature here on KyleeLane.com because I want a reason to compose more lists.

The last week was a busy one indeed…

6/14/2012 to 6/18/2012 – The First Annual Denver Comic Convention

Luxury Lane Soap had donated 50 special edition Brain Jars which were distributed to special guests, including Aaron Douglas of Battlestar Galactica Amazing? Yes.

Aaron Douglas of Battlestar Galactica

Aaron Douglas of Battlestar Galactica totally tweeted my soap. *Nerd Squee*

I also happened to record a hilarious video of Mr. Douglas telling us how Robin Williams got George Lucas to watch BSG. (I am so sorry for recording in vertical. >.< I was in the second row and some guys head kept forcing my camera out of focus…)

I was able to spend a sweet amount of time with friends I am only lucky enough to catch once or twice a year during convention season. Sadly, I lack any decent photos. Boo. I am already excited to go back next year. ♥

6/19/2012 Fixed the discount code glitch! Code ‘DENVER’ gets you 15% off all orders, all week. #DenverComicCon -This has actaully been extended until the end of June. WooHoo!

6/20/2012 Product Updates:

All Organic Artisan Soap is on clearance as we move our entire stock to make way for new scents, larger sizes and a variety of new formulas.

Clearing stock as we make way for a package redesign. ♥ —> Organic Lip Butter ON SALE

Vintage Twist Up Shaving Soap is back on the virtual shelves, as we have found a much more reliable and wonderful supplier for our twist up tubes.

6/22/2012 Product Debuts:

Officially the coolest soap to ever exist. Ever. • Honest Abe

Honest Abe

Emancipate your inner clean.

Brand spanking new! —> Beach Daises Organic Hemp Soap

Beach Daises

All New Beach Daises

6/23/2012 Saturday Night Cinema w/ The Lanes

The Witches

That about covers it. This week I will be focusing primarily on production. Crossing my fingers for a little extra time to desgin a few more floral soaps.

What would YOU like to see in the coming weeks ahead?

 

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