Would LOVE to start marketing my homemade products....not sure how - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 07-08-2011, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey mamas,

 

For the past four years, I have been making my own shampoo and most of my own hair products. Whenever people would ask me what I used on my hair, I always told them "Oh, well I use blah, blah, blah but it's a concoction that I make." And the response is always the same, "Wow...do you sell it?" I have made a few blends for friends, but I have never sold anything that I make. Everything that I make uses products that are found in your kitchen and whole food stores.

 

DH has always told me that I should start selling them because right now there is a huge market of natural hair products. But honestly, I have no idea of where to start.....   Questions that keep plaging my mind are 1) how will I distinguish my products from the thousands of other products that are out there?    2) Would someone really pay for a product and wait for it to get shipped?    3) How could I carve out my niche in the HUGE natural bath and body industry??

 

What are some things that you mamas look for when choosing a hair product/soap for your children or yourself?

 

I would LOVE to start making and selling various hair products, soaps and lotions for women and children but not sure how?


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#2 of 6 Old 07-08-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing you were thinking of, but something that popped into my head was what a friends of mine does. She's an artist and has her work printed on cards and sells them at farmer's markets as well as craft fairs, etc. I didn't even realize you could sell non food items at farmers markets, but at that one it can be anything handmade. She makes several hundreds of dollars a day doing that. So maybe try your hand at the local market to get the feel of it.

 

BTW I am in the processes of opening my online store which I am aiming to launch in around a month. I am interested in selling these types of products, so maybe we can work out a wholesale or drop shipping deal.   Perhaps contact other small stores that might be interested in the products you make until you slowly build a clientele. If you are willing drop ship, it might make it easier to get in the door since it is no risk to the sellers.

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#3 of 6 Old 07-11-2011, 06:25 AM
 
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Maybe start with Etsy? And spread the word through friends/family as well...

When I'm looking for a product (we make our own for the most part so it's not often really), I'm looking for something that's chemical-free, dye-free, and doesn't contain SLS or parabens etc. -- depends on the product obviously. I like when I can easily recognize all the ingredients. I like the ingredients to be clearly & precisely labelled so there is no ambiguity over exactly what was used. Also, I really do like an attractive product, nice packaging, etc. I can make an ugly product at home myself. lol.gif Price is a critical factor for me but I don't know that others would say the same.

If you try Etsy, you could maybe create some sample sizes and sell them at cost or a bit below cost (or free in exchange for feedback), that way people can try them without spending much & you can build interest in your products.

ETA: Sorry, I guess I am assuming this is a fun thing to make a few extra bucks, but reading the pp's response, maybe you are trying to start a whole business? In which case my advice may be useless to you lol...

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#4 of 6 Old 08-12-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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I see a lot of people do well at fairs and farmer's markets. Yes people also will buy online and pay decent prices, but what really sells these kind of things is seeing and smelling it. That and word of mouth, ask your friends and any customers you get to spread the word. Make sure your stuff has a good shelf life, good packaging, and you have a nice distinguishable label, an icon and/or name people can remember.

 

What exactly is special about your hair products? What ingredients, scents, and properties can you boast of? What bad stuff do you leave out that others have? Advertise these things, and most of all put it in front of the customer either at events, your website (paying for ads/search placement), maybe host sales parties or something.

 

I'm starting up too, soaps and lotions mostly. My personal deal is I hate artificial fragrance, it gives me headaches and smells wrong to me, and even handmade natural product lines usually use them. Mine don't and let me tell you I have to get pretty creative if I want to offer variety at a decent price. Also it's hard to find good all natural stuff that's affordable price, that's why I started making my own years ago.

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#5 of 6 Old 08-12-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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I own a store and have some things on consignment. I suggest you buy very small bottles or some other kind of attractive packaging for your products and put a sticker label on them and drop off a sample and an idea of what you'd like to charge. Some stores may buy things outright from you, some may put your stuff on consignment.


I love it when people put things in reusable containers. I buy all my essential oils from one place just because I like their blue glass bottles. Are you wanting to sell these to the people who plan to use them, or are you wanting to sell them to people who are buying a gift for their hippy sister that is anti consumerist and doesnt want anything from a big box store? The packaging and price will vary a lot depending on how you answer that question. You can sell stuff in cheaper containers at farmers markets and craft fairs than you can if you sell it to a retail store. When you are marketing directly to the customer, you have to charge a reasonable rate for the product, but when you are marketing your item as a gift, you can charge more because people dont want to buy cheap gifts.

I am drawn to the following things in the packaging of a product (because in my head it means "sustainable" or "natural" somehow)

raffia
jute
glass bottles or mason jars
brown paper bag looking labeling
pacifist, caslon, poor richard and longview fonts (if you start looking around, youll notice almost everything at local health food stores is in one of these 4 fonts.)
ribbon
wire
fabric
cork
cardstock paper, fabric glued to cardstock paper, tied on with string for a tag
handwritten price tags
I also love old medicine looking things

This is a great source for containers. http://www.freundcontainer.com/category.asp_Q_p_E_||22_A_c_E_23_A_Narrow+Mouth+Glass+Bottles

Depending on the actractiveness of your product (does it need to be shaken, is it a weird color, is it pretty or kinda weird looking? is it thin or thick?) would determine what kind of bottle Id pick and what kind of lid.


My ideal situation for buying homemade liquids (laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, dish soap) would be a glass bottle, with a tag hanging off the neck that listed the ingredients but not a sticker label because I dont want it to get all peely in the shower. A cork would be nice, but that would make transporting more dangerous.



I dont care if its homemade or not, I will rarely buy anything that is packaged with too much packaging or in plastic. I flinch when I buy persimmon pudding at the local fair because they shrink wrap it.

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#6 of 6 Old 08-13-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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I'd be afraid to use glass bottled products in the shower, myself. I'm always dropping the plastic ones. If the label had to be removed to use it, the bottle would need to be very different for each product...still would be hard to learn which was which.

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