"WE WANT LIQUID SOAP!" the multitudes cry out!
Since we have a democratic product development process (as much as we can, given that we're also running a business), we hear many requests for certain products. But none has been so persistent and consistent as for shower gel / body wash / liquid soap.
So we've decided to try an experiment here at Outlaw Soaps: Crowdfunding product development.
If you want to cut to the chase and pre-purchase a bottle of body wash, make your selection:
You may recall that last year, we made a trial run of Blazing Saddles Shower Gel. It sold out quickly, and we learned that people really do want body wash (shower gel? I don't really know the difference, and Google Trends says more people call it "body wash"). But it was late Summer, and we had to start our frantic production of Christmas products, so the body wash went on a shelf, with the promise that we'd try again at the very first opportunity.
Well, amigo, that opportunity has arrived.
You see, the creation of a new product requires a very significant upfront investment (to the tune of $3,000, if we're really going into full-on production, which we hope to with this). That cost covers:
- the equipment to make said body wash (in this case, that's pretty minimal - just a thing to help us fill the bottles)
- the ingredients (in this case, a base), and since these are new ingredients, we have to do some trial and error on them to make sure we get it right
- the design of the labels (including a professional designer now, since I can't do that myself anymore)
- the printing of the labels in reasonable quantities
- the packaging, including several samples of each potential bottle
- the labor to put all that together and manage the production of it, which also includes the opportunity cost of not making other products that might sell out while we're in product development mode
- (eventually) trademarks for the product
Other companies have departments for this stuff, but since it's just the three of us, and we're incredibly tiny, we don't really have a lot of extra resources for this.
To make matters more complicated, small quantities of ingredients and packaging cost more than large quantities (on a per-unit basis), so in order to drive down costs to the point where it makes sense for you to buy it, we have to buy quite a lot.
Our initial calculations had body wash at a stunning $22/bottle for 8 oz. Which, of course, may be worth it, but it's still a lot.
So we need your help to cover these start-up costs and get the per-unit cost down.
We were hoping for a small business loan to come through, but it hasn't yet, and so here we are, with tumbleweeds in our pockets, and a big dream. So we decided to try something new: crowdfunding an individual product.
Each variant needs $500 to cover part of the above costs, so pre-purchase whichever you want, at a discounted rate of $11:
This won't cover the entire cost of product development, but it'll give us enough to:
- establish that people really want it
- fund the design and purchase the first round of labels, which is kind of a big deal
If there's interest in other scents, we'll build those over time. But for now, those are it.
As always, thank you for being on this journey with us. It is really exciting, and never dull. Seriously.