April 19, 2011
I thought that I would give you a quick update to let you know what’s going on with the soap making. To make a long story short, Charlie and I are making a very cautious rolling start. What does that mean?
- We’re (I’m) still trying to find an ethical coconut oil supplier. I’ve been unable to find a supplier that is certified both organic and Fair Trade. Right now, I’m following-up on leads from the Fair Trade Federation. I’m trying to find a supplier that has declared an intention to become certified and that operates by Fair Trade principles. I’m also looking for a supplier who is operating using organic methods. I realize that organic certification is expensive, and those living in economically challenged communities may not have the funding for organic certification. If Frustrated Farmgirl is profitable enough, I would love to be able to help suppliers become certified organic.
- I know that some of you are ready to buy. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to start selling soap until I find a great coconut oil supplier. I decided not to go with the coconut oil supplier that I was looking at before. All I can say is that I kept getting a catch in my gut- do you know what I mean? That feeling that something just isn’t right. It felt like they were using the label “Fair Trade” without the heart of the movement. As a foundation of Frustrated Farmgirl, I’m trying to do something about poverty. If a supplier doesn’t pass my gut check (along with my list of questions) that they’re trying to do something about poverty, too, then I can’t use them.
- Once I find a coconut oil supplier, I’m ready to order more olive oil and shea butter. Charlie and I have decided to pay a higher price for the olive oil in the short-term in order to be able to order smaller quantities. This will help us minimize our risk by decreasing our immediate out-of-pocket expenses and by decreasing the amount of space that our supplies will occupy in our garage.
- I also need to order larger molds and stock up on other supplies (a new hand mixer, more organic essential oils, parchment, etc.).
- As part of our discerning, learning and data collection process, Charlie and I will be attending the Fair Trade Federation Annual Conference in Milwaukee May 6-8. We’re looking forward to a great time of learning with each other.
That’s it for now. I’ll keep you posted.