This is so exciting!
My DD, 17, and I are in the very beginning stages of starting a home business, making and selling organic soaps. We would like to sell at an awesome local year-round craft market, online, and in local shops. I have had a home business before (making baby clothes), and know a bit about how to do it in the general sense, although I was never online, so that whole aspect is new to me. This project is really hers - I look at it as a logical extension of our homeschooling - home Business College? If it takes off, it is her career. She has really great taste, business sense, and is highly organized - I think she might just excel!
We are at the stage of perfecting our recipes and production methods, and doing market research, both locally and online. We need to start on the proverbial shoestring, but have a little bit each month to invest. We hope to be up and running full swing by next (2013) Christmas season.
I am asking here for advice. Where to start? Online might be a smaller investment in inventory than a booth at a craft market - how much would we need to get started? How do you determine? Do we need a real website, or is Etsy and Craftster (and are there others?) enough to begin? Do we need a good quality camera to get good pictures, or will my cheap phone do? We have checked out several library books, but would welcome resource suggestions (soapmaking related, and craft/business related). Is there any legal issue to using purchased soap molds for producing a product for resale? As a seamstress, I designed my own patterns, so never got into issues of copyrights - I don't know if anything similar would apply. What are we missing?
I also welcome support and encouragement - this feels a little like jumping off a cliff!