(4 min. read)
Hello Subscribers to our Ancient Alchemy Newsletter/Blog!
Firstly...I want to thank you all who have subscribed and/or stayed on with us. I know it's probably been confusing -- "What happened to you? Are you still in business?" I hear this a lot lately and want to address it. And thank you to those who reached out in concern.
YES! We are still in-business. Just going through some big changes. I was all set to roll out the NEW website, and NEW product line I've been working on just a couple of weeks ago, when literally the night before doing so, I began getting notices from my raw ingredient suppliers that prices were going up. And some of those prices are significant! Not the kind of pricing I can just absorb and still stay in business. Truth be told, prices were going up last year but I didn't have the heart to raise prices during a pandemic that affected us all so deeply. But things are turning around now, life is getting somewhat back to normal....but many events of last year aside from the pandemic are having a big impact on ingredient costs. Weather events, droughts, wildfires cutting through huge swaths of Brazilian rainforest, escalating fuel prices.....all hit our bottom line like so many others. So rather than roll out the new line, I feel forced to retract, go through every single ingredient's price and adjust accordingly, re-update the NEW website.
In the process of this, I began experimenting with my soap recipes to try to find ingredient changes I can make that might make the bottom line more affordable, but not sacrifice quality. This is what I have been working on into the wee hours. Some experiments were not up to my "quality bar", others are. But this is a very time-consuming process. I feel badly that my new product line is being delayed yet longer, but as the old saying goes "I will serve no wine before it's time."...well the same can be said of good soap! I can promise this....I will never sacrifice quality, even if it costs more.
But this is what is coming!.....
During the pandemic, I had some time to do what I often do...pursue research in the field of my craft. But also as it applies in The Bigger Picture! Again, another saying applies -- "When you know better, you do better." And I hope to always pursue knowing better, never stagnate. Specifically, I was studying the effects of synthetic ingredients, especially on our environment. And the science of it is, water treatment plants cannot completely make inert, synthetic ingredients like FRAGRANCE as they go on into our waterways. They have a significant effect on wildlife, plant-life, etc. And as many humans can attest, they have skin problems attributable to synthetic fragrance. I was one of those, I "get it".
The point is, I don't want to be a part of manufacturing using synthetics anymore. Human health and Earth are too important to me. I want whatever impact or legacy I leave here in my time to be one that supports the best people and Earth health possible. And I'm a firm believer that we all have a part in this via conscious consumption....what we choose to purchase and bring into our homes to use with those principles in-mind, and a consciousness for how our choices ultimately affect more than just ourselves.
Our new line will all be only naturally scented soaps. The bulk of our raw ingredients will also be organic. I'm pursuing becoming certified organic as a business, but it is a lengthy and intense process and I will keep you updated. Along with these changes, the soap will be more expensive. And I understand that it may exceed some budgets. This is still a very fragile time for many people financially, recovering from the pandemic, hits many took in the workplace, changes that have occurred and left many starting over again. I completely empathize and "see you".
To be completely upfront as I always hope to be, sometimes you reach points in life that feel like profound wake up calls! Where it's not just about running a business or hawking a product. For me, it's about standing for something(s). And I take what is happening to our planet, and to the health of all of us very seriously. I want to be part of change. And I hope to inspire all of you to want to be part of the changes that can reverse existing damage, and promote healthier living.
Most of our soaps previously were all naturally scented, with a smattering of fragrance-scented soaps. So we were already on the right track. But now I want to completely ditch synthetic fragrance. Many of our popular soaps that were fragrance scented are being re-tooled to an all natural scented version, or as close as possible, as well as all natural colorants from clays and botanicals. I am also limiting our menu of soaps. We previously offered 82 varieties of soap. Yes...82. Which is pretty insane from the manufacturing standpoint. Our new menu will be more in the range of 24-36 varieties. Many you'll still recognize! And of course, our packaging will be completely eco-friendly.
If you've read this far, thank you. I DO hope you come visit the NEW website when I announce it's opening, and I hope you'll consider conscious consumption in your own product choices and embrace and enjoy our new offerings! I'm pretty excited about them!!!
In the meantime, if you are interested, I am still selling off old product line via our White Elephant Soap Scraps by the lb.