I started this business on my own, and for all intents and purposes run it single handedly. Mr Fairypants however seems to get pressganged into helping more and more. He says I need to pay him, but I reckon it's more of a voluntary role... for now at least!
When I started making cosmetics I didn't have that many orders. It's a small business, and people either didn't know it existed, or didn't trust some random brand they found on the internet.
A few great blog posts later (and a whole load of word-of-mouth recommendations) the cosmetic sales were starting to grow, as were the number of products on offer. So currently I still make everything myself, but this is going to have to change, I'm looking into using a UK manufacturer to help me with my more popular products.
For each of my lines I keep 3-10 units in stock of each shade/flavour/fragrance. Some things like the nail varnish and perfume I can make singly, so I might regularly top those lines up as and when.
For my hot-fill products (this is where I make a batch of hot liquid, and it cools into a solid) like the lip balm and lip paint, things have to be done a little differently. I have to make these in batches, the smallest batch size I can make is 10 of each shade. This means that I keep an eye on my stock levels, and when I'm down to perhaps 2 of Banoffee Pie Lipbalm, I know I need to make a fresh batch.
So if you're a normal customer, or if you're ordering wholesale but only small order quantities, I can usually just pluck your item from my stash, pack it up and send it to you. This is why my turnaround time is usually very quick - if you order by about 7pm, it'll be sent first class the next day. If you're placing larger wholesale orders (or for some reason a single customer wants 4 of something I only have 3 left of) I will make up a larger batch to order.
This can sometimes delay your order if I have to shoehorn in a making session, but it also means I'm not sitting on loads of stock. And, you know you're getting the freshest batch possible. All of my products do have 'sell by' dates on them, because there are no preservatives. Luckily though, these fall in with current regular guidelines on how long you should keep your make up. I'll talk more about that another time!
If you ever have to wait for a order though, I'll let you know why!
Our most popular product is our Nail Varnish, and we've just secured a relationship with a small factory here in the UK who have agreed to make our nail varnishes for us! We're starting just with the one shade range - our speckly pastels. But as time goes on and we're sure that it's the right thing to do, we'll invest more money in manufacturing.
|Our first order arrived from the factory!|
For bigger businesses it might not be such a big deal, but we almost need to 'save up' our money, a bit like if you wanted to buy a new sofa. Some people can buy it outright, some people need to save. Until we hit the big time, we're savers. And that's fine with us - but it won't be long until EVERYONE knows about Fairypants, and we have no choice but to work more with factories. Surely?! #crossesfingers