I looked up, and more than a week went by!
I officially missed 10 days of the countdown to Christmas, and now here we are LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY from Christmas, fulfilling the last of the orders as they trickle in. Russ just took a load of about 20 packages to the post office before they close at 2pm.
Crafty Madness at Renegade Craft Fair
Just last week, we did our second Christmas Renegade Craft Fair in LA and it was fantastic! We actually didn't sell out of everything like we did last year, which was both great and a bummer. I mean, yeah, it's good that we made enough stock to have enough stock. But there's something kind of awesome about selling out completely and rifling around for the last bar of whatever-it-was.
And then God decided to give us a free shower.
To many people, this might be delightful. To us, well, it's still delightful since we're in a historic drought... but we sell soap. Soap doesn't like the rain.
We packed up everything in the booth very quickly, since it started pouring rain at exactly 5pm on Sunday. It was all sorts of chaotic and we even broke the windshield wiper while we were loading the car (better than breaking the windshield, right?)... and then on the way to the Grapevine, the I-5 was closed due to a mudslide, which we narrowly missed by less than a half hour.
Talk about a close call!
So we made our slow way up Lake Hughes canyon -- my old stomping grounds and one of my favorite places -- and finally made it back to I-5 to spend a surprisingly restful night in Motel 6. It just goes to show, if you're tired enough, anywhere is a good bed.
When we woke up, it was snowing. And not just snowing, it was a full-on ice storm!
But we made it home anyways, and got right to work filling orders (Christmas waits for no one!).
In the middle of all this... We've signed a lease on a new place.
As if Christmas itself wasn't enough excitement, remember that cool town called Colfax that I wrote about a few posts ago? Well, Pene got back from her cruise and we drove up to sign the leases on both the new shop and the cottage on her property!
So... We're officially Colfaxians! Come warm our shop with us for our Grand Soapening (and 4th anniversary in business) on March 12, 2016.
(The new home of Outlaw Soaps is that long building with the train next to it.)
What's going to happen with the new space?
This is all a really great question and one that we're still kind of feeling out. At the very least, we're delighted that Russ gets a space all his own to do production, which will enable us to make more products (and a bigger variety of products... so Matthew, yes, we will get to the shower gel!).
And it also means that I will have a real office with files and everything. Like an adult.
All our orders will be filled out of our new space and I am planning to still do our primary business on the website. Yes, Colfax is the jewel of the 80, but we always intended for our business to be mostly online and wholesale, not retail.
So for now, we're planning on having the store be more of a reproduction of a freight room and a place to visit, rather than an actual retail store. Of course, we'll probably sell Outlaw Soaps and other Outlaw products, but our interest in the space is more curatorial and less sales-y.
Colfax is also a great location because it's a convenient stop on the way to and from The Burning Mans, where many of our friends pass through. We look forward to welcoming our friends in our new spot too.
And as if that wasn't enough, we're also preparing to ship 1,000 units of Archaeology Soap to ThinkGeek
The past month has also been a huge production month for us, as we pour 1,000 bars of 3"x3"x3" (that's huge) four-layered soap with two dinosaurs embedded inside. The concept is that as people wash their hands, two dinosaurs will be uncovered! To add to the experience, we put pumice in the bottom layer and bentonite clay in the second layer so the "ground" will wear away differently (like it does in nature!).
No, it's not incredibly accurate. There are no ash layers and the dinosaurs are just plastic dinosaurs, not bones. But they're fun and awesome and I think they'll be a huge hit.
Also, since they're so massive, they'll last forever and ever. Russ was skeptical about the size, but I think they're AWESOME.
They're going to be packaged in cube boxes with stickers:
(yes, it does say "Outlaw Soaps, LLC, COLFAX, ca")
This was our first foray into toy production (since it contains toys, it counts as a toy from a regulation perspective), so it included a few extra hurdles to climb over. Since we're a microscopically small business and not a toy manufacturer, we were exempt from many of the safety laws, but we did have to file for those exemptions. We also had to commit to not making more than 7,500 and no more than $1,000,000 per year (hahahahaha! if only...).
My mom is coming to stay with us next week (you may remember her as Employee of the Month last year). Russ made me promise that I wouldn't just have us all work the entire time, so we're probably going to be taking a couple days off around Christmas.
I'm sure lucky to have such amazing people around me and on my team during this crazy time.
In summary... thank you for being our customer, our friend, our family, our... whatever you are reading this.
From our family to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas.