big ideas from a little garden

tales and stories of how we make the most of our garden and our terraced house.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Lotions, potions, salves and unguents.

Well, hello blog readers. It's be a while (again) but here I am posing about happier times, here at the tinyholding.
Things have changed a bit here. We are now the proud founders of  Merionwen, Naturally Nourishing. My very own skincare, bath and body business.
I'm still adding courses and qualifications to my chosen career to give it oomph and clout. not to mention the fact that I seem to be an education addict. I wonder ifthere is such a thing? I do love learning.
I have now secured, over the last four years. A HND in phytotherapy, a higher diploma in massage therapy, a higher diploma in aromatherapy, diplomas in advanced anatomy & physyology,  hot stone massage, and cosmetology (natural skincare).
Next stop, a HND in Clinical nutrition, followed by a year to complete a BSc in phytotherapy, then *drum roll* an MSc in phytotherapy. this could keep me busy for a wee while.
All the same while I wait for term to start for the HND (and for student funding to come through) I have my eye on one or two other courses. Advanced reflexology, holistic beauty therapy, biochemistry and botany among them. I do wonder if I will ever be happy with my education and sit back and think "that's enough, I know enough now" I seriously doubt it though. My Ma always did call me "the eternal student". Frankly, I quite like that title, along with "Queen of Bubbles" as a friend had labelled me :)
All this goes hand in hand one way or another. I sort of have a two pronged business. There is the skincare products which the website primary deals with, but there are also the therapies. I want to add more and more to them and one day I would like to have premises. For now I am happy being mobile and taking my therapists paws to the client.
The kitchen often looks like a cosmetics lab has exploded in there but it always smells good. I've not yet made anything that smells bad but there is always time. I have found that scent is subjective, for example, one body butter I have made has ginger in it. It's a nice small but not my favourite. However, this seems to sell much more than the more traditional rose scent. People simply love it. It does have a rather exotic scent.
The whole business started off as a bit of a dream and in true style DD made me put my money where my mouth is. Lets us not forget the conversation several years ago that set the whole ball rolling.

Me, "I would love to gain a real qualification in herbalism"
DD, "well, do it then!"
Me, "Oh, I don't know?!?!"
DD, "Why not"
Me, "......"
And thus I did so!

This time,
Me, "I really could do with something I can do from home to make a difference to the income!"
DD, "such as?"
Me, "Haha, well, I would love to make my own skincare stuff"
DD, "Well, do it then...Crowdfund the start up"
Me, "....."

You see the pattern? He is very good at getting to the heart of the matter in a few short sentences. He leaves no room for self doubt and has been my biggest support to date. Seconded by my Mum!

So, industry is where we are at here at the tinyholding. We are making our income by being self supporting. DD's software business is still the main bread winner but the world is our oyster with Merionwen.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Industry at the Tinyholding.

I'm shocked to see that the last Tinyholding post was last September.
Well, just to play catch up, Happy Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to Teenbeast. 
One of the reasons I have been so distracted has been the birth of my long awaited new enterprise, Merionwen. I have expanded my repertoire over the last few months with a course in advanced aromatherapy, receiving a distinction, thank you very much! And taking in a course in holistic cosmetology.
It has long been a desire of mine to form my own skincare range. A plethora of sweetly scented salves and unguents to sooth, moisturise and buff the body beautiful. So I have taken a leap of faith and gone for it.
Initially we will be looking to fund the outlay with a crowd funding pitch of modest proportions. Stamped for trade scales don't come cheep! Nor might I add, do Safety Assessments. The red tape is flying and I am sure one day I will choke  on the stuff, but once the initial hurdle is leapt over I will be running for home.
There will be a range of goodies for sale that will then be categorised into a few sections, to tantalise the senses and stir the customers with longing (I hope).
So far, I am loosely formulating around three sub headings. There will be a "vintage" line, that will embrace all things lavender and lace inspired. Taking in country roses and floral jasmine. Secondly, there will be a country cottage range. This will encompass all things country cottagey, from cakes and bakes inspired goodies to cottage gardens. Then finally (so far), there will be the musks and spices of exoticism, flavours of ylang ylang and black pepper, for those with a richer more eastern taste.
DD has provided me with a very hand note book to keep by  my bed, where ideas can be scribbled down as they pop into my head in the darker hours. My burgeoning obsession is doing nothing for the insomnia! But, at least I am laying in bed in a half sleep, steeped in dreams of luscious potions and evocative scents.
So far in there I have scribbled down ideas for a fours seasons limited range and seasonal exclusives. I'm loving the idea of flakes of food grade gold being interspersed with exotic spices over the Christmas period.
However, it's proving to be a lot of work that is keeping me away from the potions lab (the kitchen). The website is in progress and the logo is being worked on. Branding is forming and  product placement is being studied. This is beside all the acronyms floating around in my poor addled mind.  USPs, TM, SA CP/HP and SEO to name but a few.
Talking of USPs one of the things I am planning to make a forerunner of my business is a totally natural and organic claim. Of course this will add to the paper work I shall have to acquire, but I feel it is worth it. I would never want to go into something that did not completely reflect my ethics.
So, readers, watch this space to see how things progress and please be open to sampling my wares.