Grand Soapening and the new store!

Danielle Vincent

Posted on March 31 2016


Some big news happened since the beginning of this month and I haven't said ANYTHING about it here on the blog.

our soap store getting ready for our grand opening in the sierra foothills

This is actually quite insane, but the reason is because we have been working our tails off and haven't been able to sufficiently focus on the store, the grand soapening, or even maintaining regular hours.

It may surprise you to know that opening a retail store hasn't ever been a big dream of ours.

My second job was working in a gift store in Seattle (after my gig as a pizza phone girl), so I am no stranger to the retail world. I think I worked there for about 2 years, and then for The Disney Store for about 2 years after that.

I also worked in a terrible-and-declining clothing store for about 4 months, so I know what it looks like when a store is on the verge of going out of business.

During that time, I learned that retail hours are long, and the only thing that matters is statistically how many feet walk through your door. It didn't matter how high our sales quotas were, if we literally had no feet walking in the door, we couldn't sell anyone anything.

And then, we moved to a small town and got ourselves a retail space.

Truthfully, the retail space was kind of a funny bonus.

We were walking through what would become the production facility, and then we entered this cute little stylish room with great double doors - the absolutely PERFECT retail space.

our cute little store in Colfax, California

Except that Colfax has almost zero foot traffic at all.

It didn't used to be like this... Colfax used to have many little antique places and coffee shops. People used to come off the freeway and check out the town.

But now, there are empty storefronts and several hair salons. There are two real estate offices. There's a convenience store.

And yes, there are two antique stores and one of the hair salons sells gifts (our soaps among them!), but the antique stores struggle from lack of foot traffic -- there just aren't enough feet going into doors to make a retail business work here.

Which is cool. It's ok, really.

When we were looking around here, the locals warned us up and down about starting a retail business. They said any retail business was probably doomed because of the lack-of-feet-in-doors problem.

But we're lucky.

We have this fancy website (hey! you're reading it so it must be fancy!) and these awesome wholesale customers, so we aren't so dependent on the brick-and-mortar.

Which is DAMN GOOD, because since we have been open, I think we've made about $100 (aside from our opening night, when we pretty much broke even on party supplies, music, and sales).

And here's where you're a f**king hero.

You know those little mom-and-pop businesses in tiny little towns that you just want to support because the town needs the money? We're those people. But you don't have to come out to ColfaA RATTLESNAKE MUGx to put money into the Colfax economy -- an economy that was really brutalized in the recession. You can do it by buying whiskey soap from the comfort of your own living room!

Eventually, we hope to have enough money to open the shop on a more regular basis, get some cool other stuff besides our own products (like the awesome snake mug on the right), and become a real destination for people on their summer road trips.

If you're in the Colfax area, please do visit us!

We are SO EXCITED to have people here, to give you a tour of the shop, and to show you the town we love so well.

But our hours are ridiculously erratic (to people's consternation), so please drop us a line to make sure we'll be open when you come by.

We look forward to seeing you, either in person or virtually!

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