Passive income for the crafty!

If you have a few hours to spare each week, then you have the opportunity to earn a little crafty extra income!

With eBay, Facebook, Etsy and other on-line shopping tools, all you need is an idea, and then the world becomes your next potential customer.

Six years ago, I was employed in a job I thought I would be doing until I retire. It was 70 hrs/week in financial compliance and I commuted regularly from Devon to London. I had no time at all to be creative but was bought a book for my birthday by a well-meaning friend,on making bath bombs. She thought the best way to slow me down, ironically, was to find me a hobby – like I had time for that! Mostly out of politeness, I thought I ought to find a quiet five minutes and have a flick through the pages. I was inspired, and within just a few weeks, I was total bath bomb-nutcase.

Pomme-dOr-Logo-final.jpgThrowing caution to the wind a couple of years ago, I took the plunge and started a small business called Pomme d’Or Gift Ideas making and selling fragranced products – room sprays, bath bombs and candles which I run this alongside my part-time (now desk-based) employed job.

 

I started off by going from craft fair to craft fair during the first year. Young though my enterprise still is, it has grown into a successful online business. I do particularly well with my signature tubs of bath bombs, always thinking of how I can add to the range.

Creating a stream of passive income is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes hard work, dedication and time to build your products from the ground up. To some degree, you have to be mildly obsessive with your crafting. However, it gives life to your creativity and entrepreneurial skills, allowing you to run your own business at your own pace, working around other commitments such as a part-time job, being a carer or looking after young children.

During my journey, I’ve had tremendous support from the 3Fs – Family, Friends and Followers. I’d now like to give something back to the community by sharing with you an idea which could start you off in setting up your own business with just a small amount of initial outlay.  Remember that it takes just one idea to get you off the ground – you can always build a range around it when you feel confident and ready.

Keeping to my own personal theme of creating bath bombs as gift ideas, I’d like to suggest you try making a bath bomb surprise!!  This is a little trinket or toy hidden inside the bath bomb, popping up in the bath water after the bath bomb has melted away. This would appeal those potential customers wishing to purchase a gift for someone, or for a treat for themselves. With some well-chosen packaging to compliment your end product, you have a starting point.

Main shot

This is what you’ll need to fill 2 x large (3 inch) round bath bomb moulds. Everything is available to purchase from The Soap Kitchen. Start small with your experiments and scale up only once you are happy with your results.

Ingredients:

Additional pic 1

Equipment:

  • Weighing scales
  • Large mixing bowl (glass or plastic)
  • Large plastic mixing spoon
  • Sieve
  • Plastic spray bottle (for water spritzing)
  • Plastic gloves (optional)
  • Face mask (optional)
  • 2 x Large round bath bomb moulds with securing clips

Instructions

  1. Fig 1 Sift your dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Fig 2 Add the fragrance oil and dye (you may find it easier to add whilst sifting to help distribute it well). Spritz with water, just enough to give you the texture of wet sand, mixing thoroughly.
  3. Fig 3 Start by filling one half of the mould; pack the mixture in well. When it’s around a third full, add the treasure.
  4. Fig 4 Continue to fill and let it pile up a little.
  5. Fig 5 Fill the second half of the mould. Again, pack it down well and then push and twist together until the mould surfaces meet.  Secure with grips.
  6. Fig 6 After a couple of hours, you may be able to remove one half of the mould. Undo the clips and twist it slightly.  One half should give, if it doesn’t, leave it longer.Once you’ve removed one half of the mould, use the edge to clear away debris and give you a neater finish on the bath bombjoin.  Leave to dry overnight before removing the other half of the mould.  They will need a full 24 hours to be completely dry.

Be adventurous – add extra colours, mica, glitter, petals or sugar flowers. Make yours stand out from the crowd. If you’re making a grown-up version, why not add some grated cocoa or shea butter for a luxurious feel, and Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts for a more therapeutic version.

Remember that in order to sell your products, you will need your recipe assessed, have product and public liability insurance as well as ensuring you follow current EU rules and regulations. The Soap Kitchen can help you check out their website www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk

Top tips:

  • Don’t hide from your mistakes, learn from them. What went wrong, why, what can you do to change what happened. Remember the WD40 story? WD stands for Water Dispersant; purportedly, the 40 stands for 40 attempts at getting it just right!
  • Be different, don’t copy others. There’s no praise for picking up someone else’s idea. Be inspired by them but use that inspiration to make your own unique creations.
  • Write everything down and don’t rely on your memory. When you’re ready to scale up, you want to remember how to create that Eureka moment when everything went right.
  • Keep up with the paperwork side and keep to the EU rules. It’s not for the feint-hearted when you first look at what you need to do, but approach it systematically and logically and it all starts to fall into place.
  • Work to your budget. Test your ideas first then test your market. Don’t fund a project with debt until you know it will work.
  • Above all else – HAVE FUN!

Good luck everyone.  I look forward to hearing about your success stories.

4 thoughts on “Passive income for the crafty!

  1. What are the UK laws in starting a soap and bath bomb business? Do I have to get all my recipes certified?

    1. Hi Risha, Thanks for your question, we have another article that will be of interest for you, it explains all the laws of selling soaps: http://www.soapmakingmagazine.co.uk/blog/index.php/2018/10/03/rules-regulations-legally-selling-products/

      We also have different articles regarding starting up small businesses, here is one about selling online: http://www.soapmakingmagazine.co.uk/blog/index.php/2017/07/24/ways-selling-cosmetic-products-online/

      Another one about rules: http://www.soapmakingmagazine.co.uk/blog/index.php/2017/06/12/products-comply-directives-regulations/

      Hope these are of use for you.

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