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Making Hampers Makes Me Happy!

My gift baskets are never really fancy, but I still thoroughly enjoy doing them up to present them to my customers or their intended recipients. Here are some shots of my latest send-off for a customer who ordered the 12 Soaps For The Year package to be delivered all at one go:

As this was a long-term supply of soap, I decided to shrink wrap each bar to preserve their freshness. I know it isn’t exactly environmentally friendly πŸ™ but it would be even worse to let any bar of soap go funny over the next few months! There’s a kind of biodegradable shrink film called polyolefin that claims to completely break down and ‘disappear’ in just 3 years, but I haven’t been able to source that just yet.

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One Late Night’s Work

The finished gift packs of 4 soap bars each
The finished gift packs. Photo taken at 1:03am!

Wanna know what it took for me to prepare 20 of these cute little gift packs of 4 soap bars each? In a nutshell, as a mom of 2 toddlers around whom the world can be construed as an accident waiting to happen, I can only safely (and sanely) do work like this when they’re both asleep at night. :”> So here’s how I went about it.

When I first got a confirmation on Shazmin’s order (thank you SO much my dear, you helped make Kinder Soaps’ new year start with a bang!) for 20 custom-made gift packs, I made a shopping list of all the stuff I’d need for the project, namely:

  • 20 new flower pots
  • red netting
  • white netting
  • get new soap labels done at my neighbourhood printer (Lap Soon is an AWESOME digital print shop!)

I had to get to work pronto, as Shazmin’s daughter’s birthday party was on Sunday morning and she confirmed her order on Thursday. So my Friday was jam-packed with errands. It looked like this:

  • 8:30am Send Brandon to playschool
  • Do house chores and entertain Andrea at home
  • 10:30am Put Andrea to bed
  • 12:00pm Get dressed, wake Andrea, bustle her into the car to go fetch Brandon from playschool
  • 12:30pm Settle the kids at in-laws’ home for the afternoon
  • 1:00pm Head over to Lap Soon to print and trim labels
  • 2:00pm Zoom off to IKEA to buy pots and netting after lunch at the Curve
  • 4:00pm Zoom back home for a short break
  • 6:30pm Meet hubby and kids at in-laws’ for dinner
  • 9:30pm Come home and put the kids to bed
  • 10:30pm Start work on gift packs

First was the labeling, which I did at our dining table (it’s the only area that’s large enough to accommodate all my junk. Then once all the soap bars were neatly arranged in piles on the table I started filling in the pots with their contents:

Putting the soap bars into the gift packs
Family life and Kinder Soaps have to mix in this household

And once they were done I arranged them on the floor by the piano:

Pots of love
Soap garden?

Then came the final wrapping up in white netting to hold all the contents together. I’m very glad I can avoid having to resort to plastic shrink wrapping as most conventional gift packs are done up. Oh alright, it wasn’t really an option to begin with since I don’t have the means or know-how to get the equipment to do shrink wrapping in the first place! :p But yeah, I’m glad I can use netting instead–and to good effect as well:

Ugly mug of me wrapping the finished gift packs
This was the toughest bit for me, physically speaking.

Hubby took this photo of me at about 12:15am. This was by far the toughest part of the night, as I had to sit on the floor for about an hour to put the finishing touches to the gift packs. I was sitting on a low foot stool to help keep my back straight–but with my 4-month-old baby bump it was still a real challenge to stay comfortable in that position! But I really was happy at work, so that kept the cursing at bay. :p The floor work included cutting up the huge swathes of white netting to wrap the pots in, arranging them nicely on the floor, then finishing off the pots with little red ribbons to neaten the tops of each gift pack.

And that was my first experience doing a large gift pack order at such short notice! I had a tremendous amount of fun in the process, but to be honest after that experience, I am even more conscious about listening to my body’s rest signals especially now that I’m pregnant. :p On Saturday I was still on a high from completing the job, but come Sunday I zombied through most of my hours spent with the kids.

However, all things considered, a little madness like this is what makes life SO enjoyable! What do You do to keep you excited about your life?

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Our First Official Appearance At Jaya 33!

RM60 Mother's Day gift basket

What a fun weekend it was from the 7th till 10th of May, when I set up our first real flea market stall at Jaya 33! Thank you to everyone who took the time to browse through our selection of handmade soap, or stopped to chat. You are all lovely people.

Our top 3 best-selling soaps that weekend were the Goat’s Milk and Patchouli, Cocoa Butter and Just Lavender bars. We also had yet another lucky draw (this will be a regular feature in every flea market outing we do) and CHUA PAULINE was this week’s winner! Still waiting to hear from you, Pauline. πŸ˜‰

I wish I had the presence of mind to take photos of the stall and my newly-found friends with my camera though. Argh! But nevermind, I promise there’ll be lots more flea market appearances in the future, so watch this space for announcements. I’ve been absolutely up to my eyeballs with minding the children and all sorts of other things of late – my apologies for letting this blog fall silent for quite a while.

Kinder Soap's stall at Jaya 33
Kinder Soap's stall at Jaya 33

(Update: Ah, here’s one shot I managed to coax out of my phone)

Again, it was a pleasure to have met so many of you at the bazaar and I look forward to crossing paths with you once again. I am also humbled that many of you commended The Kinder Soap Company on our principles regarding keeping our ingredients free from artificial additives, and how we are striving to adopt environmentally-friendly practices in our business. Your continued support and belief in what we stand for is priceless. πŸ™‚

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Valentine’s Day Gifts – Last Minute Orders!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note that if you’re still shopping around for Valentine’s Day gifts, Chamomile Labs has something a little different for you and that someone special to enjoy together this year! (And don’t forget that it helps us move towards raising RM1,000 for World Vision’s Gifts of Hope project by this 20th March)

1. VALENTINE’S BASKET

RM100 (Save RM15)
3 x soaps of your choice
1 x 2oz Goats Milk Honey lotion
1 x 2oz Edible Massage Oil (contains Macavo oil, sweet orange oil and peppermint oil)
1 x Loofah

2. MINI VALENTINE’S BASKET

RM50 (Save RM10)
1 x Soap of your choice
1 x 1oz Goats Milk Honey Lotion
1 x 1oz Edible Massage Oil (contains Macavo oil, sweet orange oil and peppermint oil)

We’ll leave it to you to decide how you’ll be naughty or nice with these. πŸ˜‰

HOW TO ORDER

Just call Michelle at 012 213 7898 and we’ll get things going!

DELIVERY

We can arrange for a pickup point on Friday, if you’re within the Klang Valley. Otherwise delivery via a courier service would be the next best option.

Indicative Delivery Rates using PosLaju:
Within Malaysia: RM8.50
To Singapore: RM50.00

ANY QUESTIONS?

Call me at 012 213 7898, or drop me an e-mail at michelle@chamomilelabs.com.

Here’s wishing you a lovely Valentine’s Day.

With love,
Michelle