A rising tide raises all boats: how your purchases from Outlaw Soaps benefit many small businesses
Posted on January 12 2016
When you buy from Outlaw Soaps, you're actually doing more than supporting our small business, you're supporting many small businesses.
We are honored to have the opportunities to help other businesses and support other makers.
Our first manufacturing partner was Bar-Maids, a little outfit in Vancouver, Washington, owned by my friend and colleague, Kismet Andrews.
I met Kismet at the Soap Guild Conference a couple years ago, and we were instant friends. We had corresponded a little on Facebook through our business network, so we were already looking forward to meeting at the conference.
Kismet makes "eco-lucious" skin care. She uses her grandmother's recipe, taught lovingly before she passed on. I think you'll agree that our lotions, solid colognes, and lip balms are some of the highest quality, most unique, and effective lotions in the world.
Anne and I have never met in person, but we are truly bonded friends regardless. We have laughed and cried together, been very mad, celebrated huge successes and bemoaned failures.
Anne makes her candles in her New York home, which she shares with her two HELLA adorable kids, and very loving husband.
Though the sources of our scents are proprietary, we have changed the course of business for the vendors of many of our scents. When we started, we only ordered a few ounces at a time. Now, we routinely buy 25 lb drums!
Many people have commented on our unique and high quality packaging. I have been working with Guided Products pretty much since we opened our business, first ordering kraft business cards, and then, when they started offering custom packaging, switching our own packaging to boxes.
Not only are they a fantastic company, they're also near Seattle, my hometown.
If you aren't aware, we're just a two-person outfit here. I am not a graphic designer and we don't have money to hire one. In the olden days (read: 1999 and 2000), I worked at Microsoft. While there, I designed a CD sleeve for a demo DVD. That was the entirety of my packaging design experience.
Guided's team worked with our design to get a custom die that I think you'll agree is pretty much THE coolest box ever. Not only that, they're a gem to work with as well. Ron and I are friends, and how often do you get to actually be friends with a vendor?
(Oh wait... with us? All the time. Because we're friendly.)
When we ordered our first boxes from Guided, we ordered 500. Since then, we have ordered something like 6,000 more, and we're about to place an order for another 2,000 or so. Because more soap = more boxes!
Our Subscription Box Patches
OOHHHHHH I SO LOVE OUR NEW SCOUTLAWS OF AMERICA SUBSCRIPTION BOX PATCHES!!!
Our friend, code-named Fanny Titball, has a stellar little patch outfit called Tripping Balls. Are you tripping balls? You bet your ass you are! (if you're a subscriber to the Clean Getaway Subscription Box)
As you know, I think of our subscription boxes as little care packages. This year (and for the foreseeable future), we're training people how to become outlaws with our Scoutlaws of America merit badge program.
So when you sign up for the Clean Getaway Scoutlaws Subscription Box, you're signing Ms. Titball up for a steady income. Pretty sweet, right? RIGHT.
Subscription Box Pamphlet Writer
Oh yeah! We totally went pro this time... I decided it was worth it to hire a real writer for these, because I want them to really kick ass. Jason Epstein is the man for this job.
I originally met him because I was pitching a truly great men's site, Ask Men. YES, I am aware I'm not a man, but there happen to be a lot of good tips on there for either sex. Anyways, I pitched him a story and commented that I really like his style. He said if I liked it so much, I should hire him.
To which I said, "DUH." (in different words, but that's a summary)
I think you'll agree that the Scoutlaws Merit Badge Training Books are really the best.
Assorted other stuff...
Beyond all those regular gigs, we try to include cool custom stuff from independent makers in our subscription boxes whenever possible.
We Love Our Colleagues
As you can tell, we really love love love love love our vendors. It's a joy to do business with these excellent individuals, and we are very grateful we can be in a position to support them.
We've been in talks with Stacia of Handcrafted Honeybee to see about making some Outlaw-scented deodorant (an oft-requested product!), so we'll see how that goes this year!
What would you like to see in the Outlaw family?