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Coming Clean with ‘The Babe Shop’

Coming Clean with ‘The Babe Shop’Maria and Bryan Williamson are the creators of The Babe Shop, a fun and flirty online bath and body shop. They offer unique fragrances in many of their triple scented candles and soaps.

Date started?

The website was opened some time before this, but this is when it found its focus and came together 11/2010

What is your product or service?

We are a bath and body shop. We create wonderfully triple scented palm candles and we are currently adding some soy candles. We also create soaps, cream lotions, massage candles and bath bombs. We are continuing to build our product base and plan to also carry bath salts, sugar scrubs, lip balms, handmade jewelry and possibly even purses and make up type bags, all handmade.

We do not allow SLS in any of our products, nor do we use petroleum, Parabens, propylene Glycol or mineral oil. Our products are 98% natural. Some colors and the Fragrance oils are the only un-natural things added to some of our products. We do not do any animal testing and try to only support other companies that feel the same.

Why did you start your company?

I have to give my husband credit for the name, he is my creative genius, but I am an information addict I guess. I am always learning about something. Most things I learn others probably don’t want to know, such as what’s actually in our food and how it’s raised. But when I learned about the chemicals that were being used in bath and body products and their possible harmful effects I didn’t want my family using them, so I set about searching the stores to find some “clean” products. I had no luck, the ones I did find were so expensive for such a small amount that they were not practical, others claimed to only carry clean products but I still found Propylene Glycol and SLS in them. So I decided to make them myself. I started with soap to this day we still do not use store bought soap. It was so good to us that we decided to sell it. That’s when we realized this is what The Babe Shop was all about. Our shop was born. I have continued to work on perfecting our products without using these potentially hazardous ingredients all the while making them look and smell superb!

How was it financed?

We have financed the business on a shoestring budget from our day jobs. Right now everything the business makes goes right back into it for supplies for new and existing products.

What free online or offline tools do you use?

Coming Clean with ‘The Babe Shop’We had set up shop on Etsy, Artfire, Zibbets, big cartel anywhere we could start a store with no upfront cost to us. However these markets are so saturated that in the 6 months we were there we only made 3 sales in that time. We already had the website and I had turned it into a blog to give recipes for bath and body and create some informative articles. I found something called WP Ecommerce and they had a free shopping cart. So we gave it a shot and it worked pretty well. We went ahead and opted to upgrade for $40.00 to their gold cart so we could make the site look more professional. So far other than having to learn some CSS coding on my own we have been pretty happy with it.

We also used the free $100.00 that Google ad words sends you, but we didn’t see much from that.

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or? Provide exact URL of each YouTube watch video URL?

Right now we have a Facebook site. I am still trying to learn how to use it for marketing. I plan to sign up for Twitter as well. I hear it may be better geared towards marketing.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Babe-Shop/258712974296

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

2 Just me and my husband right now.

What is the best advice you never got?

Haro actually, I had always wondered how these other companies got into articles and magazines and so on. They just say they were found. Now I know the secret.

What almost killed your business in the start?

The budget, it’s hard to get the supplies you need to do this sort of business on a shoestring budget.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Let my husband in the kitchen with me. He is my scent genius. I can give him a number of scents to play with that people have requested and he will create a scent that will keep them hooked. Scents such as Cucalyptus a unique blend of cucumber and eucalyptus and All That Glitters is wonderful blend of spicy patchouli, floral and citrus scents.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

Oh my, I have crafters ADD lol I’m like oh pretty color! And there I go off to do another project. I have had to learn to focus on one project at a time and Bryan still has to set me back on track sometimes. I have also had to learn some basic css coding so I can work on the website. The biggest thing I have to learn is marketing. When you have a marketing budget of $0 it’s a huge challenge to get your name out there.

Are you currently in the black or red?

Coming Clean with ‘The Babe Shop’We are still running a bit in the red but not as much as when we first began. The Babe Shop is now able to purchase its own supplies most of the time, but we still have to pay for the monthly website fees.

What type of marketing or advertising do you do?

Right now I advertise in our HOA forum, my cubits.org forum, we do a little Facebook, I hang business cards and leave them with other businesses that will allow it. I am still learning the advertising role.

What would make your business more “Successful”?

Marketing, Marketing, Marketing, I know we make awesome products and the customers we do get love them. We just need more of them.

Would you want to be acquired by a bigger company, run it yourself or sell in a couple of years?

We prefer to run the business ourselves. That’s part of the allure of your own business, not having to report to others. We could possibly be convinced to sell it down the line though.

 

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3 Responses to “Coming Clean with ‘The Babe Shop’”

  1. Linda Cartwright says:

    Great article, and I can personally say these products are wonderful. They smell wonderful, but they are not overpowering! Love the soaps, and lotions. They leave your skin so soft! And you need to try the candles too! Makes your whole house smell so good!

  2. Nancy Polanski says:

    I’m so pleased to see The Babe Shop get some attenetion. I’ve tried other handmade soaps, but the one I keep returning to is Maria’a “All That Glitters.” I love the scent, and the way my face and hands feel after washing with it. Smooth as silk. The scent is Heavenly!

    Cucalyptus is another favorite scent, and I love it in her candles. The room smells so fresh and clean when I’m burning them. The candles don’t burn down nearly as fast as other candles I’ve purchased, and the scent lingers after the candle is extinguished.

    I’m so pleased that Maria has added cream lotions in my two favorite scents, All That Glitters and Cucalyptus. They too leave my hands feeling smooth, without greasiness. I’m hooked on The Babe Shop!

  3. Diane McKinley says:

    The soaps are wonderful! I love the face soap which smells good and doesn’t leave my skin dry. I finally got my husband to use the shaving soap… he loves it! I don’t have any hair to shave, but used the shaving soap as a body wash –gentle to the skin and had a very soft fragrance. I greatly appreciate that Maria uses natural products.

    And the candles! You don’t even have to burn them to have the room smelling fresh and clean.

    I have enjoyed every product purchased for “The Babe Shop”. You are the bomb, Maria!

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