Happy Monday, dear reader. I hope you had a wonderful weekend filled with everything that makes you happy. Here at the farm, we’ve been “crackalackin’,” as one bib overall wearing wonder buns likes to say. I am so appreciative of the support you, our soap family, show us. Please know that when we say, “we appreciate you,” truer words are never spoken. Our appreciation runs deep, and our gratitude is even deeper.
Recently, we have had to make some tough choices. Please know that every decision we make serves a purpose and is not made lightly. Over the past several months, we have had many inquiries for farm pick-up. During the lockdown, we did farm pick-up for apparent reasons. As things have relaxed and we’ve returned to more normal activities, we’ve had to make some decisions. We have decided that we will no longer offer farm pick-up, and trust me, dear reader, it isn’t personal. It is a decision we have made with great care and consideration.
We’ve decided not to offer farm pick-up for several reasons. First and foremost, it hinders our production. When someone arrives at the soap studio, we must stop whatever we are doing and tend to that individual’s needs. We love seeing people, visiting, and catching up. However, when we are in the throes of making soap and moisturizer, timing, attentiveness, and focus are imperative. We have mere minutes to take soap from its trace stage to pour it into the molds. Often it is a rush and a carefully choreographed dance to get it just right. Even the most minor distraction can end with the loss of hundreds of dollars of products.
Now you may say, “Well, why don’t you have specific times for individuals to pick up at the farm? Offer times when you aren’t making soap and aren’t busy.” We have tried this, dear reader. We have offered limited hours in the evening. What we run into is people say they will come, but they get busy, distracted, or forget. They then show up at their convenience at all hours…thus interrupting our work day, family time, or set schedule, etc.
Secondly, we run into forgotten orders. Once an order is placed and processed, for security purposes, we do not have access to any account information. We have a very narrow window when we can cancel an order. This policy is not our doing; this is our website platform setup. If an order is so many days out, it cannot be refunded. We have orders that have been sitting in our soap studio for almost a year. Even with email reminders, there is no way to ensure someone will pick up an order. As a consumer myself, I hate to see wasted money. More unsettling for me is that someone lost out on money for my products. I never want to do anything that could be considered advantageous at my soap family’s expense.
Lastly, we don’t have the space to store pick-ups for any amount of time. Our mail person picks up our shipping orders which are stored on top of our freezer next to our door. We cannot designate that spot for any length of time because we need access to our freezer. We end up shuffling forgotten orders from one place to another. Shuffling things around, disrupting his routine, and adding extra steps to a process usually end up with one frustrated bib overall wearing fuzzy bottoms. His frustration may not affect your day’s outcome, but he is usually my only work colleague. Have you ever been around a bear with a sore ass? A sore-bottomed bear is a perfect comparison for said wonder buns. This scenario, dear reader, makes for an unpleasant day for me.
It is not personal, dear reader. It breaks down to safety, production, offering good customer service, and logistics. If I can’t give you my undivided attention, I don’t feel I am offering the best service. If my products are sub-par because I have made an error, that too is sub-par service. My company philosophy is to, first and foremost, offer the best customer service at all times. Along with that, is to provide the best, cleanest, most uncomplicated luxurious products I can create.
I get it; I don’t like paying for shipping, either. Currently, we are too small to offer free shipping on every order. We cannot absorb that cost and continue to be in business. With the rising inflation, we are working diligently to maintain our prices. I fear I may not be able to do this for much longer. However, that is a bridge I will cross when the time comes. We remain steadily focusing on product quality and uniqueness and treating our soap family with care and appreciation. We will continue to give you 150% with everything we do. I hope you can understand.
I have always imagined a retail space in our future…distant future. However, one bib overall wearing wonder buns is adamant he wants no part of a brick-and-mortar store. A brick-and-mortar store is a future battle yet to be determined. However, I digress. Currently, we don’t have room for retail space. Locally, we have our products available at Back to Nature, located on Warren Road in Indiana, and we are also at 119 Trading Post just outside Marion Center. Our soaps are also available at Lone Oak Farms, and our complete product line is available at Smicksburg Furniture. Those are four convenient local locations where you may sniff away in person, avoid shipping charges, and support small local businesses. It’s a win-win. Very soon, I hope my tech department, aka The Bibbed Wonder, can add our retail partnerships to our website for your in-person shopping convenience. I will be sure to keep you posted.
Stay safe, be smart on this cold November Monday, know it’s not personal, and keep washing your hands. It’s now that time of year when all kinds of creeping crud, three different virus strains of misery-inducing illness, and the schools, places of work, and public buildings become Petri dishes of disease and yuck. For the love of all that’s holy, wash your hands! Lecture over…insert wink.