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Is this a full time Job for you??


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I have been soaping and candle making for 3 years. I have a full time day job (to help support my soaping and Candle making Habit) but am starting to get sooo busy with orders. Just wondering how many of you decided to do this full time and when did you decide to take the leap from your "Normal Day time Job" to full time soaping? I am so scared to leave the security of a steady paycheck - Just wondering how the rest of you feel or felt?

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I'm strictly a hobbyist right now, but considering trying to make it a full-time job at some point. I'd love to hear from others how they got started, what kind of environment they work in (actual brick-and-mortar store, online only, craft shows, distribution through local merchants, etc.), what things to consider when starting a business, how long it took to become profitable, anything people would like to share.

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Full-time here. I love being my own boss.:yay:

Do what you think you will enjoy the most. We only live once. If it is a MUST to have the steady paycheck, just think HARD. Having your own business doesn't guarantee sells.:wink2: But like me, we can live off my dh's income if we needed too, so thats what I looked at when I took that leap.

Good Luck!!!

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It's a full time business for me time wise, but we're living off DH's income so we can re-invest everything back in and grow.

But I'm kept very busy. Between making products, filling orders, marketing, website maintenance (both our sites are completely redone, and now active! :yay:), paperwork, taxes, bookkeeping, etc. Yes, it's full time. Some days more than full time! But I love it! If we were to try living off of it right now? It'd be scary. Trying to live solely off a business like this, it's hard. The volumes you'd have to be making and selling is astronomical. I calculated it out once, and was floored.

To bring in $40,000 profit (this is money going just to you), you'd need to bring in $100,000 in gross retail sales minimum. I'm going by retail prices only, as wholesale is completely different, since it's a much smaller profit margin. You should have a 50% profit margin on your retail sales, but I'm going with 40% because we all know things come up that dig into that profit margin! :D

So, 100K in gross sales per year. Let's say your bars are $5 each. You need to sell 20K bars of soap. 385 bars per week, 77 bars per day (not including weekends). Just to maintain production of what sells (this is very simply to replace the amount that sells), you would need to make 20 lbs of soap a day.

Is it possible? Definitely. Are you anywhere close to being there? That's only a question you can answer.

Other factors that come into play when you get to this kind of volume...

Storage space. Assuming this is CP soap, they should cure for 3-6 weeks before being sold. We'll split the difference, and have them sit for 4 weeks. You'll have to have storage room for, at the very least, 400 lbs of curing soap.

I also calculated out how much oils and butters I'd go through every month. As well as lye, water. I'd have to have room to store all of that. I figured at least a month's worth at a time, most likely more. We're talking several drums of Olive Oil, pallets of Shea & Coconut.

So massive amounts of storage space. Probably several employees.

I'm not trying to scare you out of trying to make a full out go for this. I've just always believed knowing and planning what you're going to be getting into is very very wise. Otherwise you end up burning out long before you reach your goal, in most cases.

Most people, if they don't have a spouse's income to fall back on, tend to scale back their full time jobs slowly. Go to 32 hours, then 20, and so on.

Other tips, any place you can outsource, figure out if it will be worth the time you save. If it does, then do it. I wish you luck! It's possible, but you have to REALLY want it, and you should go into it with your eyes WIDE open!

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Well said Lindsay! I still have my job and in no way able to do quit any time soon!

I have spent lots of time trying to calculate exactly what it would take to support myself selling-- and its a LOT!!

My goal is to do this full time some day but I know it takes time and I am just learning how much you really want to want to do this. It takes a lot of sacrifice, money, and time.

I am just beginning to see why people go broke or burn out before they can make their dream of running a successful business come true.

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And to think you didnt even factor in the cost of the supplies...that would mean you would have to sell even more than that....I havent started selling my soaps yet, still playing and testing, but plan on in the future to supplement my income. I already have my own business, and candles and soaps are my fun time now. I dont own a living room anymore. With cutting tables and sewing tables and ironing boards and office supplies, my desk file cabinets etc.... And I have a seperate room to dye my fabric in.... Be prepared for storage! And yes, my kitchen has been taken over by turk n surfs, FO's, candle and soap molds, dyes, containers etc.... Eventually I would like to own my own shop, where I can do production of everything I like....then I would get my house back....but when you have friends and family visit, most understand! Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

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I do this full time also. And then some. I am working just about all day and most evenings. My husband and my daugther help with the business. It is so labor intensive. We have managed to pick up some volume, which has helped tremendously. But about evey dime and then some go back in to growing the business. My husband and I are both retired from careers. But honestly, I think I work harder now then ever. Someone asks me how is business, I always say, well, from x amount of dollars an hour, I went to about a negative ten dollars an hour:)

But I love it, and so does my husband and daughter. My daughter is going to nursing school too, so isn't actually full time. (Although she ends up working at least a forty hour week).

And what I have found out is that there is always something else to do. But I wake up every morning ready to charge in to the day. Except maybe during holiday season, and then I am wondering why I do this.

But mostly it is very challenging, hard work, enthusiasm, long hours, pride, apprehension when things don't work out as I had hoped, and an endless ability to be flexible, to bounce back when something doesn't work out.

My new career has taken me to some intersesting areas. I have become very involved in an economic development group, as well as a tourism group. At 55 I feel like I am just starting out, learning tons of stuff every day. I have met some fascinating people from all walks of life. I look at this as a new chapter in my life.

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After three years of perfecting products, two years of summer market and Christmas shows and still working 40 hrs. a week at the 'guaranteed paycheck' my day job ends May 18th. I will start with a seasonal store in our historic district. It is only open in the summer because the cabins/houses are not heated... I will decide on what I will do from there. Not sure if we want to have a year round shop or just work our butts off in the summer and think about all of the hard work while lying on the beach in Maui for a couple of weeks...;)

I have to say that hubby has a great career and if I were to take the leap without being able to pay for health insurance for the family, retirement, etc. I wouldn't even consider it.

My advise, do not jump in too quickly. Do a business plan and project where you want to be in the next 3-5 years. It takes a lot of sweat and tears to get to the point of full-time. The last two summers with market, I was working 40 hours a week and soaping/marketing for about 20 hours. Lots and lots of late nights...I refuse to soap before bedtime for the kids so midnight was an hour that I am accustom a little too much to. It also takes some discipline to have your sales no longer 'fun money' but extra money saved so when you have a lean month you are not having sleepless nights.

Best of luck to you.

Jennifer

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i have 2 full time jobs my farmers market every week year round and my day job. i am a very greedy woman and if it was not for my shopping habit i would be able to live off my market profits. my husband has a great job for us to live very well but to me there is no such thing as enough money. so i will continue not to get any sleep from filling orders and getting ready for market every week . reading my post i just realized how crazy i am:laugh2: .

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Full time and I would never consider making just one product. Which is why I've spent four years researching, developing and testing. Last year I started selling and hadn't offically advertised. I had given a few gifts out and word of mouth had me scrambling around to fill christmas orders but I did very well considering I don't have anyone helping with any part of the developing and production end of my business. I've had to turn away orders in order to stay focused. I absouletly love this and feel I was born to do it!. I enjoy the developing/creative part more than the rest and my goal is to one day be free to do only that.

Give me a lab, some scrubs, a computer and a few chemicals, oils, beads, findings and wax and leave me alone and let me create!:yay:

The waters been tested enough and I'm ready to swim...um just need to find help at this point:D

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I will start full time this fall and quit my other job. Well actually I can call it full time now also as my "real" job is very flexible, (I work from a home office) and to think of it, even now most of my time goes to my candle/B&B business... I really feel stressed sometimes with so many orders to fill etc. so I have been looking forward to doing it "full time" soon, but now I realise that in fact I need to hire someone to help out as the time can't get much "fuller":rolleyes2

Well I do have plans to involve my mother in law in some labeling business...:wink2: She does not know it yet...

Eva

www.joik.ee

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I just opened my doors this past weekend in my new shop. I have been making soaps and candles for about 6 years now and selling them at the hospital where I work as an RN. I have the luxury....or the curse....of keeping my weekend job at the hospital and working in the shop during the week. My 18 year daughter is helping me and will run it on Saturdays. I have been pleasantly surprised at the sales thus far as I have not advertised. Funny thing....I just finished grad school as Family Nurse Practitioner...and what do I do???? start a candle business!! I have no husband to help me but a dear friend has helped me with some of the expenses such as signage. Life is good and I get to do the three things I enjoy the most....spending time with my daughter, making my products and nursing. I encourage anyone to follow and dream and do what you love! If my business fails.....it fails but I cannot say I didn't try.

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