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.

Dear Anonymous Jessie

I recently had this comment anonymously left in my blog and I thought I would do this “Jessie” a favor and give a real reply. If ANY of you ever have questions about my products, please please please feel free to ask away! I stand by what I make. I have no reason to hide anything that I do.

I am so very sorry if I have given anyone the impression that I have mislead them.

On a personal note, I 110% respect the viewpoints of EVERYONE. I may not agree with them, I may not believe the same things you do, but I still respect the fact that they are YOUR choices and ideas. All I ask it that we all try to be polite and respectful. If you are going to slander a person or company, at least have the guts to not be an anon about it. I mean really, how strong are your convictions if you can’t even admit they are yours?

Anonymous said…

“complete open door policy”

Regarding that, I just received my first shipment from you in the past month and noticed a card that says you are “green” and environmentally friendly but then i went to follow you on twitter. To my surprise you eat meat, which even “grassfed” cows are still the worst thing you can do for the environment. You can’t be a environmentalist and a meat eater according to the UN. So I just found that a bit misleading. Maybe you are only referring to your products but it’s not clear.

However, I noticed most of your soaps contain palm oil, which is horrible for the environment and locals health as well. I know how great “labels” can be to make profits but in all honesty it’s not fair to mislead the consumer who may not be aware of the damage such ingredients cause.

Also as a fellow Etsy craft maker, it concerns me that you use trademark logos for your soaps which is not legal or fair. Not only to the companies that created that art but to other members who are trying to make an honest living.

Thanks for reading. Hope you consider these issues in the future.

-Jessie
October 22, 2011 1:02 PM

Dear Anon Jessie,

Yes, the open door policy is for real! You raised several points, so I’ll do my best to address them one by one.First – unless you’re a vegetarian who is eating only vegetables you’ve grown yourself on a solar-powered farm, with crops fertilized by the wastes from your own animals (and thus subject to bio-contamination), you’re carbon footprint is likely almost as large as any meat-eaters — and if you like your seasonal items like oranges or avocados year-round, it might even be bigger. Yes, I know meat is a resource intensive source of nutrition, but if you’re eating vegetables grown in the Big Agri US-style farming environment or even worse – US-style agricultural products grown abroad and shipped here, that’s pretty resource intensive as well — petroleum products play a huge role in everything from transportation and harvesting fuel to fertilizer and power for irrigation, and huge monoculture farms require more irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides. So the issue, from an environmentalist’s standpoint, about beef=bad, vegetables=good is not really so clear-cut as you put forward. From an ethical standpoint, I do believe animals should suffer as little harm as possible and there is a lot of room for improvement in this area. I would also point out though that while humans can survive on vegetables alone, we evolved to be omnivores, and while you may disagree with my choice to eat meat, I believe that doing so in moderation is responsible from a nutritional, ethical, and environmental standpoint.

Secondly – regarding palm oil. Yes, many palm oil harvesting operations have very bad direct and indirect consequences for the environment. However, in and of itself, palm oil is a great natural product that requires much less chemical- / energy-intensive processing than other types of oil, say soy for example. As a responsible environmentalist, you have to go beyond scanning headlines and do the detailed research necessary to understand the effects your choices have — not just at a single point, but through a product’s entire production, use, and disposal cycle. In this case, I purchase palm oil that is not only certified organic, but certified to have been responsibly and sustainably grown. I spend more money on these base ingredients and yet have to keep my prices competitive, so if profits were truly my driving force, I wouldn’t go through this charade. I’d just buy the cheap stuff and charge the same price as my competitors and I’d be earning more money immediately.

Which makes a great transition to be able to talk about something that I believe is at the core of my business: integrity. I didn’t start making soap because I wanted to make money, I started because my son needed something pure enough that his very sensitive skin wouldn’t over-react to it. And I continue to make soap because it’s something I have a passion for — from the ingredients I put into the soap, to the care and attention that goes into crafting my own molds and making my soap, to how I advertise and sell it — it all comes down to integrity. And I think, compared with many other crafters, that integrity can be seen in every single product I make. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been presented with a choice pitting integrity against profit — I ALWAYS choose integrity.

Lastly, I feel I must take exception to your phrasing “to other members who are trying to make an honest living” — I’m happy to explain my choices regarding the environmental impact of my products, after all I have links on every product page of my site which answer the questions you presented, and I still took the time to reply. But when you imply that *I* am making a dishonest living, I believe that crosses a line. However, I will tell you that you seem to be laboring under a seriously mistaken viewpoint regarding intellectual property, what exactly a trademark is, and what the concept of “fair use” provides for. None of the stuff I reference in my soap is really “trademarked” per se. People always get confused about this. There are intellectual property rights involved, but within the confines of the law, there is fair use and my products are always truthfully presented as the interpretations of a huge fan that in no way presents a threat to the rights of the owners of the intellectual property rights. I have been bullied into no longer selling some products by companies that have more time, money, and lawyers than I do, but I would not sell ANY product that was not honestly represented as what it really is and that I had the right to make.

Thank you for your comments and I hope you feel that I have given them the time and attention they deserved. My door remains open to you and anyone else who has questions and I wish you the best of luck making a living, honest or otherwise, as a crafter. I’ve been doing it for more than six years and have been blessed with opportunities, but I understand it can be a very difficult business for some who aren’t suited to its demands.

♥ Kylee

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Where’s My Salon Size?!

I am sad to “officially” announce that 16oz Salon Size bottles of Hemp Satin Shampoo and Crème Conditioner have been discontinued. *Sad face* Let me tell you why…

Our primary supplier for organic, raw materials has raised their prices. Rather than pass the monetary increase on to my customers, or purchase lower priced, questionable materials, the difference is made up by dropping the larger sized bottles. HOW does removing a product that sells so well help save money?? Let us do some math…

8 ounce bottles cost $8.99 while 16ounce was only $14.95…saving you $3.03 when the larger size is purchased. I can only make 32 ounces of product at a time. Only2 of the 16 ounce bottle or 4 of the 8 ounce. 16 ounce bottles actually cost me more time and product to make. Add to that, having to purchase the additional bottles in the larger size, with additional shipping charges and salon bottles required a separate sized shipping box, along with larger product labels…

So my options were to increase both sizes $4.00 OR drop the larger bottle. It felt fair to not increase prices but drop, yes, one of my best selling products in an effort to keep my prices steady for you.

I have gotten many many many emails and at Luxury Lane Soap there is a complete open door policy. You have a direct line to me all of the time, over multiple mediums and I am so happy so many of you contacted me with questions. Not a single one of you was demanding or rude and I am glad to be in such excellent company.

I hope that answers everyone’s questions. Email me if it didn’t and I am happy to post edits here.

Side note…My days have been starting around 5am and ending around 11pm. I have a serious sleepy right now so I apologize for the my lack of kylee pep in this post…

♥Kylee

*Edited to add questions received…

Will you be dropping hair care scents to save money?

Fragrance options will NOT be shrinking and if there are any changes it will be to expand the scents available to you. I make my items fresh so it is never a problem switching up fragrances. If you don’t see an old favorite, I am happy to make it for you. I have around 300 fragrances right now so no additional materials are required.

Will trial size bottles ever be available?

I have been promising this for months and I have finally found decently priced 1 ounce bottles! These will be limited edition until the bottles run out and then I will start looking for bottles again. Custom scents will not be offered at this size, sorry.

How about a solid shampoo?

Honestly, I have never made one that I personally liked. My hair is longer than mid-back length and it is dang near impossible for ME to use a solid. >.< I am happy to begin working on one again, in a limited run, if you promise to give me feedback. 😀

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Ring

In regards to my last blog post I randomly put up forever ago…I am working on a massive discount weekend. That is what I was talking about announcing. I use Bigcartel for LuxuryLaneSoap.com and they developed the most kick butt coupon code system and I will be doing testing for what types of codes you all want. However, I am behind on that promotion at the moment as we get our Fall/Winter Limited Edition products up on the site. HOW IS IT ALMOST OCTOBER?! Bah!!

Making tons of candles today and experimenting with super low pouring temps. My place smells like an insane mixture of pumpkin, cinnamon and cake…YUUUUM! I always tend to focus on food smells in Fall. Now you know.

Local customers: I have been getting a huge amount of requests for mail order brochures and we finally have them complete and printed! There currently are three of them:

  • Best Sellers! Luxury Body Care
  • Fall/Winter Home Fragrance
  • Holiday 2011

We are doing free delivery within Sheldon and Primghar, IA right now to get a feel for how this is going to work. If demand is as high as we are anticipating, we will be looking into buying a store front come summer 2012. Yay!!

I think that is about it for today…

I actually jumped on the blog to talk about how my phone phobia is making work extremely difficult…but business updates came out instead. Go figure.

LOVES!
-Kylee

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What do you want?

“Create a WANT list by adding any item from anywhere on the web and have your friends and family contribute to it!” -The WANT List

Yesterday I was contacted by Greg Links (Vice President of Sales for shareabill.com) and I was introduced to the WANT button…You can check it out in detail over HERE.

After reading every possible thing I could find AND asking Mr. Links a few very blunt questions about what this is really all about, I have got to say, I am impressed. I am very cynical when it comes to anything involving a company pushing a product or service…so it is rare I am genuinely impressed.

I had issues coding the button into my site, I was helped right away. I asked questions and I got good answers. To the point and without a bunch of self fluff. Helpful and honest. +10 for Greg Links.

Anyway. Now this button is integrated into LuxuryLaneSoap.com and I want to know what YOU think. Social shopping and networking and media and marketing…it seems like there is a “button” for everything. Do product pages look to bloated? Do you think a want button is even useful? I do see great potential for this program when it comes to wedding/baby/holiday/birthday wish lists…

You can visit any product page on my website and you will see the “Want” button directly under the “Add To Cart” button. You can also see the “want” button in action over on Sharperimage.com.

So I call on you, my friends and customers overflowing with awesome…what do you think?

Summer is Here!

Summer is usually when cute and clever take over Luxury Lane Soap, as apposed to the ever ruling intricate and exclusive. Why? Well, with my kids out of school for the summer, I get a lot of pressure from these two to make “FUN!” kid friendly soaps for tub time. This works in my favor as they will hang out in the bath for literally HOURS “testing” soap for me. It is SO hot right now in the Midwest that the bathtub has just become the swimming pool…Oh to be young again…

Also, we have switched formulas over here and now ALL Of our Gentle Glycerin Soaps are organic!
Previous ingredients:
Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerin, Aloe Vera, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, Sorbitan Oleate, Soybean Protein, Certified Pure Essential Oils, Non-Phthalate Fragrance & Color.

New Ingredients:
Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Glycerin (vegetable origin), Purified Water, Sorbitol (from berries, moisturizer), Sorbitan Oleate (botanically sourced emulsifier), Soybean Protein, Certified Pure Essential Oils and Non-Phthalate Fragrance.

With ingredients like Olive and Safflower oil cut out and the organic ingredients bumped up, the result is a completely pure and gentle soap. I can not bring myself to just through away my already printed labels (I don’t have that many, just a few) so you many receive a soap with the previous ingredients. I have linked all of the products to the new ingredients on the site, so know, you are getting the organic formulas. Do not hesitate to shoot me an email if any of that doesn’t make sense. ♥

So, on to the bribe! Win a Summer Prize Pack from LuxuryLaneSoap.com which includes our new Caffeinated Night Owl AND a Bubble Bear, plus many more surprises!

All you need to do is visit LuxuryLaneSoap.com and post your favorite ice cream flavor as a comment on the Luxury Lane Soap FB fan page.

That’s it! Really! 😀 While you you are over there, feel free to give Luxury Lane Soap a quick “like” and I will be your best friend forever, but it is not required to win.

Terms & Conditions: Giveaway open to USA residents only. Prize(s) must be claimed within 10 days. Fun starts today: Wednesday June 8th 2011 and ends Monday June 13th. Winner randomly selected (as always) by random.org

Giveaway Time! (aka…Sorry I have been gone for so long…)

Giveaway is closed. Congratulations to our winners ♥

As we get ready to move into our new studio and now that the kids are finally out of school, the Come Clean blog has been seriously neglected. Really, the only way to apologize for this is to do a giveaway. That and I am SERIOUSLY thankful for all of the support you have given me while I run around trying to get things in order for all of the big changes ahead.

I have FIVE super sweet Soapstache soaps scented Olden Times Lemonade all wrapped and ready for new homes. Be the very first to have that glorious mustache feeling, without paying for it.

All you need to do is visit LuxuryLaneSoap.com and pick out your favorite TWO products and post your choices as a comment on the Luxury Lane Soap FB fan page.

That’s it! Really! 😀 Do feel free to give Luxury Lane Soap a quick “like” as I am still pretty new over there, but it is not required to win.

I am clearing out a couple of designs to make way for a plethora of awesome and I want to be sure your favorites are locked in tight.

And…you want to watch this RIGHT NOW….Yes, it is very possible I made a mustache soap simply to be able to reference my most favorite episode of The Tick for the rest of my life.

Terms & Conditions: Giveaway open to USA residents only. Prize(s) must be claimed within 10 days. Fun starts today: Wednesday June 1st 2011 and ends Friday June 3rd. Winner randomly selected (as always) by random.org

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First Quarter Recap…i.e…Longest Post Ever…

Our first quarter is almost up and there has been a lot going on over here. ♥

New Site Design
A few weeks back I thought I would code a quick string of HTML, for I don’t even remember what, and exploded my entire site. LuxuryLaneSoap.com was down for ten solid hours while I sat and pretended to learn CSS…After much reading and cussing, I was able to revamp and redesign LuxuryLaneSoap.com to its current version. If you haven’t seen it yet, give it a quick look and do let me know if you catch any mistakes here and there. All cart systems, security and links check out…so basically I am asking if I made any major spelling errors…

New Products
First of the year sales are always pretty low. With the Holidays just getting over and taxes being…well the hell that they are…luxury soap products do not tend to be high on purchase lists. However, this opens up a little breathing room to create new products resulting in a record breaking quarter for product development! Unicorn Carousel Soap, ThunderSoap, Alliance Ration Bar, Vintage Shaving Soap, Pure Clean Whipped Moisture, Dreamsicle Delight, Lip Lovin’ Butter Balm

New Newsletter
Finally! Keep up to date with all that is new at LuxuryLaneSoap.com and get sneak peeks at what is cooking in the Lane Laboratory. You can also look forward to mini tutorials from our very resourceful, yet lacking tweeter, @Rory_Lane. You can subscribe right HERE.

New Location
Luxury Lane Soap will be moving this summer! After almost half a year of searching for the right location, a new home has been found! With space to breath and room to stretch, you can look forward to a huge boom in development and production in our second half of 2011. I am currently mulling the idea of having an epic summer slumber party to thank all of you for your continued support and constant encouragement. Ideas? Shoot me an email!

What’s Coming Up?
Our second quarter is going to be an interesting one… Trying to shift locations while keeping up sales is going to be intense. I mentioned earlier that I will be bumping up the marketing on twitter, facebook and tumblr to help make up the sales I may lose not being online full time. This does NOT equate SPAM. It means I am shifting to more open involvement, sharing pictures of what I am making and how it is made. If I can’t sit at the computer and tweet with you all, then I am bringing you all to work with me.

More Variety
I have received a few emails stating that while the Vintage Push Up Shave Soap formula is wonderful/amazing/superb, the packaging tends to be a bit frustrating for everyday use and large area shaving. I agree it its harder to use for an entire leg, though it does work wonderfully for under arms and customers have also mentioned the size and shape is perfect for beard touch ups and travel. So, I will not be discontinuing this product for all of you who have fallen madly in love and for those looking for something larger, expect to see an additional version early second quarter.

Product Rename
Ultra Rich Organic Soap has been changed to Vegan Organics. Why? A few reasons. Firstly, it is shorter. With the new website layout, long product titles look sloppy. Secondly, you would not believe the amount of emails I receive daily asking if my soap is vegan. Yes. Yes it is. It always has been and it always will be. Do I use organic ingredients? Same answer. Yes. What about sustainable vegan organic ingredients? *nods* Yup. Sure do. “Vegan” and “Organic” and “Natural” are all heavily used buzz words nowadays and honestly, I appreciate customers who research where their products are coming from. Many companies are attaching these words to chemical crap and Luxury Lane Soap means to redefine what you expect from a high quality, natural soap.

One Last Thing…Really.
Thank you. ♥

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