Honestly Simple Soaps, White River Junction, VT
She found out about the Vermont Small Business Development Center and heard that they were holding a seminar called How to Turn Your Hobby into a Business - which was exactly what she was looking to do! Heather attended the seminar and learned a lot about market research and analyzing costs of products, etc. from Steve Paddock. At the end of the class she got Deb Eibner's name as her area business advisor.
Heather got in touch with Deb and made an appointment. From the start, she said she "got the feeling that Deb was a going to be a great person to work with and would get the business well laid out by asking all of questions that Heather hadn't thought to ask herself yet."
Over the Summer Heather and Deb worked together on a business and marketing plan to help make the purpose of the business more clear. She advised Heather on getting some bookkeeping software and helped set up timelines for getting business processes set up. All the while Heather was making and selling products at the market in Quechee, VT as well as out of her home online. By the middle of the summer Honestly Simple Soaps had a selection of all natural signature scents and a whole line of skincare products available to choose from.
Honestly Simple Soaps has a product catalog that includes lotions, balms, handcrafted soaps, scent sprays and other skin care products. The product line emphasizes the importance they put in making products 100% naturally where they can and only scent with essential oils, never using dyes. Their specialty, though, is creating custom scented products for their customers. The extensive stock of essential and fragrance oils allows them to create custom items to their customers specific desires.
In the Fall Heather took a course in Randolph with the VtSBDC's website advisor Patrick Ripley on How to Get Your Business Online. The course discussed the cost of website and showed examples of websites at different price ranges. Heather found the course very helpful and in the end embarked on building the website herself with a goal of having in live before Black Friday. You can now purchase Heather's products and www.honestlysimplesoaps.com where you can read about all of the products, see pictures and customer feedback as well as learn how to get the products custom scented.
"I'm glad that Deb was who I was teamed up with. She has had
great ideas and suggestions that I believe somebody less interested in the type
of product I'm selling may not have had. Deb has pushed me when I've needed it
and offered great advice in every way from how the business needs to grow to
helping balance family, my other job and my start-up business. Thank you Deb,
for all of your help and encouragement and I'm so glad we have the VtSBDC, they
are an incredible resource for all Vermont businesses."