Monday, April 12, 2010

Scented Times at Iron Dog

Another incense update:

I talked with Rob about the whole incense thing. I wanted to know if it would drive him crazy. He said he wouldn't mind. He didn't give me the instant go-for-it attitude I was hoping for, but just because you hope for something doesn't mean you expect it.
Another thing that will hopefully ease him into it is the fact that he's working now. So, on my short days and days off, I can play with my stinkies while he's at work and not worry about annoying him.

I must admit I'm having a very tiny reservation of my own. One of the things that makes me laugh about Etsy is how often people complain about low sales. Well, my jewelry shop doesn't get many sales at all. But for the most part, that's fine with me. I don't have time for that many sales! I've got a life and a full time job that come first.
So call me optimistic, but I do worry that the incense might sell TOO well and I'll get bogged down with packaging orders. I don't think it'll be enough to drive me crazy. And then there's also the nature of the beast that will make it easier. Incense is relatively easy to make. Kind of a set-it-and-forget-it thing while it soaks and dries.

Which brings me to another question I need to address:
Do I offer only Made-To-Order incense where I do not begin making the incense until the order is received, or do I make a little bit of everything and wait for it to sell?
Made-To-Order obviously is ideal to ensure the freshest possible product. This might be the way I go until I get established. At first, I don't know what scents people will like or when it will be ordered. So I can just start taking it as it comes.
But then if I get lots of orders, and/or if I see a favorite developing, I can try having more pre-made, knowing it will sell soon enough.

I placed a $100 order of fragrance oils yesterday. I'm very excited. Lots of interesting scents that I can't wait to try out. Some are going to be mysteries to me, as far as how good the FO is and how well it translates to incense. But others I know (based on reviews and personal experience) will make good incense.

This order comes on the revelation I had about the best way to soak the incense. I read on a forum that some people use empty water bottles. They store the FO in the bottle, and when it comes time to soak incense, they just shove the unscented sticks in the bottle, close 'er up and lay it on it's side to soak. Just needs a rotation here and there to make sure all sticks get equal attention.
Well, I couldn't figure out what sort of water bottle they were using. But then I found my own. These bottles are tall, skinny, with straight sides and a flat bottom. No nooks and crannies to trap the FO and keep it away from the sticks. And they're slender enough not to take up too much room. I can stand them up in a box when I'm not soaking incense and they'll be out of the way.
The only adjustment I'll have to make is to cut about an inch off the non-burning end of the sticks so they'll fit in the bottle. Not a big deal, there's still plenty of stick left to handle and it will make packaging them for shipping easier.

Gotta run!

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