This blog post is a section from the book I am writing about how I started SweetSoaps 12 years ago and all the of the crazy things that have happened to me.
Remember what I said about over night successes and how that is not the best thing that can happen? I want to tell you about my experience with this very topic. In 2003 monogramming started popping up on everything, so I created Gold Monogram Soap http://www.sweetsoaps.com/store.html . I then made samples and sent them to The Horchow Catalog. A few weeks later, I got a phone call from Neiman Marcus. I was a bit baffled because I did not send soap to Nieman Marcus, well it turns out Horchow is Neiman Marcus. (who knew?) They were interested in my product (for both catalogs) and wanted to see it packaged as a gift set. I was in shock, scared out of my mind but I then quickly had some sample boxes made and shipped. It was approved quickly and my first shipment was shipping for The Nieman Marucs 2003 Christmas Catalog! My first order pre catalog mailing was for 75 pieces. This was manageable and I was so excited to be a part of such a historic luxury catalog. First week of October the Holiday Catalog went out, I got a call the first week from the buyers. We have a purchase order for you turn on your fax, so I did. I stood waiting with anticipation, folks the moment we’ve all been waiting for- Ellen’s validation. 750 sets (x6 = 4600 bars of handmade soap by me) , HOLY SOAP Batman! I then got a congratulatory email from their head buyer, that is a moment and a half. After I was able to breathe, I totally freaked out crying. The moment was surreal and overwhelming, fear grabbed a hold of me and I wanted to run far away. I wanted to escape to an unknown island where they would never find me. I called my sister Heather and she was very excited for me. My response was more like I can’t do this what was I thinking? She talked me down off of the entrepreneurial cliff. I went to bed, woke up rested and laid out a plan. I asked them to please divide the PO into 2 PO’s so that I could better manage my work flow. They agreed and we made beautiful soap together for quite some time. There are always workable solutions to problems that arise. You just need to be quick on your feet, feel the fear and harness it to move you forward. One of the big lessons I walked away with from this was not to let fear and doubt lock you up. There will be more fear based moments that you can imagine, having a mentor would be great help. Over the years, my sense of humor got me through some very rough times. If you don’t have one, hurry up and get one because it just might save you from extinction. Doing business with Neiman Marcus was a dream come true, and confirmation that anything is possible!
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