How Important Is A Website To Your Small-Business?

Andrea Marah

One of the bigger decisions you make as a small-business owner is whether or not you need a website. Here are some points to consider:

  • websites extend the reach of your business beyond your local community
  • websites automate the buying process for customers
  • websites incur monthly costs that add up quickly
  • websites need to be set up properly for customer ease-of-use

In this video, I highlight some pros and cons of having a website for your home-based small-business that will help make your decision easier.

 

But Wait...There's More!

If your looking to get started without the hassle of building a website, consider using Etsy. Check out my post about pros and cons of Etsy for new business owners >>here<<.

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Is A Juried Or Non-Juried Market Best For Your Home Business?

Andrea Marah

As a brand new business owner, one of the hardest initial steps can be bringing awareness to your brand. Markets are the perfect way to expose people to your brand and really interact with your potential customer base. With that said, understanding the different types of markets and figuring out which one you need for your business is equally as important. Choosing the right type of market or show can help you save a lot of both work and money. So let's breakdown a few key differences. Feel free to keep reading or watch this quick video where I breakdown the major differences and give my own opinion on the best shows for new or experienced creators. 

What Is A Market?

The word "market" is defined by Google as a "gathering of people for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other commodities". So "market" is often a blanket term used for most events where vendors are present to sell or network at a booth or table. Vending events can be both private or public, indoor, outdoor or a combo of both. These can include street markets, craft fairs, flea markets, expos or shows, festivals, and the list goes on. 

Types Of Markets

There are several important terms thrown around in the market world so let's decipher those:

Trade Shows Versus Consumer Shows

A tradeshow is where businesses sell to other businesses at discounted wholesale prices. Simply put, manufacturers are networking with retailers who will then sell the product to consumers. These shows cost thousands of dollars to attend and attendees must be able to move hundreds to thousands of units at a time. This is not ideal for most home-businesses.

A consumer show is where products are sold directly to consumers at retail prices. These shows range from free to hundreds depending on several factors: exclusivity, length, expected turnout, location, et cetera.

Juried Versus Non-Juried Consumer Shows

The following chart details the major differences between a juried and non-juried market.

Non-Juried Shows Juried Shows

No application process. Lower fees and donations may be expected.

Must submit an application. Expect higher fees.
Vendor spaces are usually first come, first served. Vendors are vetted to ensure a variety of product types and balanced competition.
Smaller, usually local events. Larger heavily promoted events.
Local promotion if any. Heavily promoted to increase turnout.

 

Do Some Recon Before You Apply 

If possible, its also a great idea to attend a market as a guest first before you apply to vend. You can get a feel for the type of crowd the event attracts and you can decide if that is the right customer for your business. We don't always have that luxury, so put on your sleuth cap and check their social media and other platforms to see what kind of turnout they had. Check if they were featured by any local news stations. If you know someone who attended or vended, get their feedback. Once you get a feel for the event and your concerns are addressed. Go ahead and apply. Good luck!

For my complete breakdown, recommendations for beginners, and personal preferences, watch the video above.

 

But Wait...There's More!

Choosing the right show is just the beginning, check out this post about everything you need to be a vendor at your first event >>here<<.

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How To Protect Your Handmade Business In 2022

Andrea Marah

Your brand new business is your baby and you want to keep it safe. At any point in your entrepreneurial journey mishaps and situations arise both in and out of your control. From legalizing, setting up lists, and more, here are my top 10 ideas to do just that. Click the video to watch or keep reading!

Protecting Yourself And Your Business In 2022

#1 Insurance

Keep your business and yourself safe from a variety of unexpected and unfortunate circumstances.

#2 LLC or Corp

Choosing the right legal entity opens doors only accessible with established legal businesses.

#3 Trademark

Protect your business name and other names you wish to use in your business.

#4 Business Bank Account

Separate your business and personal finances for accurate accounting.

#5 Financial Professional

Having your quarterly and yearly tax return paperwork handled by a professional ensures your finances are in compliance with local, state, and federal requirements.

#6 Small-Business Legal Professionals

Outsource complicated legal tasks to professionals like a small-business lawyer.

#7 Avoid Loads and Debt

Debt is the quickest way to bankrupt your business—and yourself.

#8 Good Manufacturing Practices

Good manufacturing practices are consistent habits and routines you put in place to 

#9 Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Your business will benefit from a "proactive" versus "reactive" mindset when it comes to putting protections in place for both you and your new company. Too often, new owners learn its too late after events have transpired. During the downtime between sales, plan ahead and to put as many time-saving systems in place. This will alleviate playing catchup later.

#10 Set Prices For A Profit

Its a business…you HAVE to make money.

 

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Soap Is...What!?

Andrea Marah

What if I told you that when you use a bar of soap, you are technically washing with a block of salt? Well, sort of...mostly...kind of. Did you know that on a chemical level bar soap actually IS a bar of salt. When fat and sodium hydroxide lye are combined in the process called saponification, a salt is created. The resulting soap is a combination of salts formed from the reaction of a specific fat and the lye. 

Here are a few examples:

sodium tallowate tallow (animal fat) + lye
sodium cocoate coconut oil + lye
sodium palmate palm oil + lye
sodium palm kernelate palm kernel oil + lye
sodium olivate olive oil + lye


When the newly formed soap is now combined with your bath water and oils on your skin it emulsifies them to better be washed from your body.

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How To Be A Vendor In 2022

Andrea Marah

I know its only January, but market season will be upon us in just a few months. Preparing for a market takes a lot of advanced planning and in order to avoid stress closer to your event date, it is a good idea to start now. 

In this video, I explain several important tips to make your market planning as smooth as possible. Here are the topics covered.

  • Finding A Event or Market
  • Prepping For The Event
  • What To Do During The Market
  • What To Do After The Market
  • How I Am Prepping My Business For Market Season

There are chapters highlighted in the video so feel free to watch the parts you need or watch the whole thing to get a complete picture.

Good luck on your 2023 market planning!

Finding A Event or Market

The first hurdle is to find where to sell your amazing soaps and cosmetics. It is important to do all the legwork to make sure your experience will be a successful one and you have an idea of what you are getting into in terms of product production. Schedule enough time between each one so you can recover and restock.

Prepping For The Event

Now you've found you event or events. Its time to get your products, equipment, and supplies in order. make sure you find out from the coordinator what is supplied for you. Pack all the essentials and some emergency supplies--you never what may come up! To be honest, this can be the most stressful part of the market experience.

What To Do During The Market

So you've finally made it. What now? What should you be doing? What will customers need from me? This is more than just a selling opportunity. You are a brand ambassador bringing awareness to your amazing brand. Represent yourself well.

What To Do After The Market

Whew! How was it? Time to reflect and follow-up. This is critical to help make your next experience even better. 

How I Am Prepping My Business For Market Season

Am I taking my own advice in planning for my market adventures this year? Let's see...

 

But Wait...There's More!

Check out my Market Diary >>here<< as I reflect on my experiences selling face-to-face.

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Acne Got You Down?

Andrea Marah

Acne is a common ailment among both teens and adults. Why does it happen? What can you do to get rid of those pesky breakouts? Keep reading.

Identify Your Reason

Acne is an irritation and inflammation in the skin. There are a variety of reasons to get those painful and irritated bumps that can include:

  • Hormonal changes (usually the primary cause).
  • Too much junk food or an imbalanced diet.
  • Stress.
  • Dirty washcloth or sheets.
  • Clogged or impacted pores.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Not using products for their skin type.

So how can you stop or at least alleviate the impact of acne? Take notice to what is going on in your life during bad breakouts. Be aware that most breakouts are caused more often by internal factors than external factors. Once you know what your body is reacting to, then you can make changes for the better.

 

Take Action

Cleanse or Detox Your System

Flush your system by drinking more water, cutting out greasy foods and eat a more balanced diet, and get moving. Try a cleanse to flush out any toxins causing inflammation in the body.

Stress Less

Take walks, pray, sing, or practice deep breathing. While being stress-free is not likely, you can definitely stress less. Be sure to get a good night’s rest most nights. 

Use Products For Your Skin Type

Switch to a skincare system that is right for your skin type. Using the wrong products can create or further agitate an already tough situation. Sometimes your breakout can be caused by a reaction to an ingredient in your current skincare products such as harsh detergents.


If you have oily and blemish-prone skin, add these products to your daily routine.

 

“CBK” Face & Body Soap made with tea tree essential oil and our own blend of clay and activated charcoal to pull out impurities and detox as you cleanse.
Rosewater geranium soap
“Rosewater Geranium” Face & Body Soap uses luxurious rose water and rose clay to gently cleanse sensitive skin.
Facial oil
Our fast-absorbing Balancing Facial Oil nourishes and restores your skin’s natural pH without clogging pores.

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