Friday, April 27, 2012

Chuffed and Muffed?

Over the past year, I have formulated very specific soaps after hours upon hours of research and testing.  My soaps have come a long way since I started and I am very proud of how far I have come.

It is always a shot in the arm (a GOOD thing) when our products that I create get raved about.  It's also amazing how hard I take a disparaging review or email from someone who hates my products.  Why do I take it so personally?   Because I work so hard to make them great and I am proud of my work, I guess.

A few months ago one of our soaps: Thai Sticky Rice Cocoa+ Shea Butter soap was scrutinized on a blog about how drying it was and the person who wrote it continued to say they didn't know what all the fuss was about it.  (Ouch...)  However, in the countless emails I receive regarding people's experiences with our products, I have only received incredible feedback regarding that soap.  Drying?  Just the opposite, according to all the other customers who brought it up.

So recently, we received an email from a disgruntled customer who bought Fat Boy Milk + Butter Bar.  Hated it.  That store-bought soap was better than that and what a waste of money it was. Then she left a 1 star review on our website.

Disappointed, more like a glycerine soap than a milk soap. Really wanted to like this soap but NOT! Did not leave with that smooth feeling I've always gotten from other milk soaps-after shgowering I can scratch legs & see marks(dry skin marks). I've felt better moisturizing qualities from Oily of Oly or some other top retail soaps. I cant really even say its very cleasing at least didnt feel so.I was not a fan will not repurchase; O I will say it last longer than alot of milk soaps I've purchased it stays firm when wet where most milk soaps will have a tendancy to dissolve more quickly than some soaps.

Look, I know not everyone will like everything I make.  I don't believe it's possible for everyone to like everything.  As Joe Jackson said once (and these are in extra loose quotes), "You can either go to the people and give the masses what they want, or offer your craft to the masses and wait for them to come."  I put this in quotes, but I am paraphrasing a memory of mine about something he said that has stuck.

People will come.  That's what I got from it.  All the stuff out there that scream "interesting" are unique, so as long as it's out there, people will seek it out.

 As I grow in this business, I have realized that I can't compromise my style and give the masses what they want.  Because guess what?  So will everyone else.  And what would make me stand out?  So this is one of the reasons we have discontinued the multiple elixirs we used to make.  It was staggering how disjointed it made me.

So now, I make what I know is good and it's what I love to do.  And if people like it, they will come, and if they don't, than they can go, but I will stay true to what I believe.  I believe in quality, not quantity.  I'd rather make Soap + Crush than offer one hundred things in one hundred scents.

Having come to this conclusion, and months later, I get a wonderful review from Julia at Cocobong Soaps blog.  She really likes Fat Boy and this lovely lady is hard to please, especially in the moisturizing department.

I think I'll take THAT review over the one on my website.  :)

 photo courtesy of Cocobong Soaps Blog



Marga said...

Forget the few and embrace the rest :0)

Sciarretta Farms said...

Sorry, that really bites. Probably someone is jealous. *Hugs* to you.

Jan said...

I know it really hurts when you get negative feedback, even if it’s the only one you’ve received. It can really make you rethink what you’re doing. But in the end, you need to stay true to yourself, try and forget minority and listen to the majority. Big hugs, I know the feeling.

Teresa Robeson said... feeling is "if you can't spell properly, I can't take your critique seriously". And, yes, definitely take the opinion from a real soap expert, Julia, more to heart than a random bad review. I really believe you're incapable of making a bad soap, Jo. :)

Sorry to hear about the crazy weeks you've had and the horrible health issues. I hope you're on the mend now! I look forward to the goodies from your Etsy shop.


Naki said...

I was so blessed by your honesty. Thank you for sharing. It's hard when you love what you do, and then someone doesn't share the same love or appreciation. Love your turn-lemons-into-lemondade attitude.

The Lazy Lacquerist said...

I have to agree totally with your post. I took a break almost 18 months or more ago and sort of reinvented myself. I decided then to do what makes me happy. If it makes others happy, yay... if not, well that's a real pity but we cannot please all the people all the time. Simple as. It's a philosophy I've tried to keep to and it's WAY less stressy than before. So, when someone says "lovely, but can you make it in a different scent and colour" I say "nope, sorry, I made this one because I adore this scent and I love these colours and that's what I really wanted to make" .

And I've been the VERY proud recipient (sp?) of your Sticky Thai Rice soap and I adored it, the scent .. whoaaa! You saw the video! And in use, divine. Massive bubbles moving to tons of creamy lather, NO drying effect at all and my skin is dry anyway. So, you know, some people will just never be happy. Some people are always the glass is half full. Some people are the types to say, ugh I hate the sun, it's too bright... or hmmmm lovely cake but I hate x, y or z about it. Sometimes some people are just never happy. And, you know, that's not too good for them is it? But LOTS of other people are more than happy ... and they're the ones we should focus on.

It's like You Tube ... lots of likers and I have one hater in Sweden who spends far too much of their life unliking my vids... gotta think "what a saddo" LOL.

Take the good, leave the bad... and have a beautiful day xxx

LongLeafSoaps said...

First...this person totally discredits themselves just by their inability to spell! They probably have never even heard of spellchecker! Sounds to me like this person is an unsuccessful soapier, or someone that expected your soap to cure cancer....either way they are an idiot! Allow yourself to be PO'd about it for a couple days, then move off of it. These types of people just inspire me to be more creative, and hope it does the same for you Joanna...

Anonymous said...

It's hard to hear criticism sometimes, but then again there are some people that you just can't please, ever. And it's not your responsibility to do that anyway. You just keep doing what you do so well.

BeckaBoo said...

I have to admit, I just placed my first order with you after reading Cocobing's review! I have looked at your website and Etsy store many times, but I am so picky and just wasn't sure and there are so many soaps I want to try from a lot of friends I've made...etc. Coco's review was like, the final push to ok, I *have* to try your soaps *now!* i am so looking forward to leaving some positive feedback for you! :)

Aiden said...

I have always found it strange in my own personal experience when I can get 100 compliments from people, but if I get one negative one, it is the negative one that I end up focusing on. The negative one bothers me and effects me more than the 100 positive lift me up. Why is that I wonder? Perhaps that negative review says more about that customer than it does your soap at all. Take it with a grain of salt because I know just from following your blog that you put all of you, your heart, your soul, your passion and your pride into your product. And that is what is reflected back into your product.