Etsy Shop Name: SoapWerks

What you sell: Natural soap, body care products, and soy wax candles. I have put together two adoption fundraising programs with my products. My two girls sell bracelets, soap, and lip gloss as a fundraiser for their friend, Yuan Yuan, who lives in an orphanage in China.

Tell us about your featured item: My “Soon to be Famous” Healing Salve isn’t my most colorful item, but it is a really wonderful product that has helped many people with their skin problems. It is made from olive oil, calendula, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and Vitamin E. Pretty basic ingredients that combine to heal rashes, insect bites, poison ivy, diaper rash, cuts, blemishes, and cracked cuticles. My customers keep buying it for themselves and their friends and family. A 2 oz. jar costs $7.00.

How do you decide on the price of your products?

I consider the cost of my ingredients and packaging, the amount of time I put into making it, and add on profit. It should break down pretty much 1/3 supplies, 1/3 labor, 1/3 profit. Then, I check out the market to see if my product is competitive with other sellers of similar products. If the price isn’t competitive, then I need to look at reducing the cost of supplies, working more efficiently, or reworking the packaging.

How do you market your Etsy shop?

I just got really serious about marketing my Etsy shop in 2008. I list/renew items 3 times per day. I added a tag line to my e-mail signature. I am in the process of starting up a blog. I have a brick & mortar shop too, so I keep in touch with my existing customer base by sending out a monthly newsletter that is filled with good information about essential oils, recipes, features and artists from my shop, and a creativity activity. I try to make the newsletter informative, not just sales. I also send out special cards at holidays, thanking my customers for their support. I use Constant Contact ( for the newsletter and cards.

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