Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NightBlooming Knight- Errant Solstice Quest- Frozen Hearts of the Winter Fairy

Enter our Winter Solstice Contest!

Because I'm going on vacation at the end of the year, this year's contest is only open until 5pm Central time on this Friday the 21st of December.

To make up for that, the stick you're looking for in my sold items was made in 2012, which should make your hunting a little easier!

.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸A knight-errant is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. "Errant," meaning wandering or roving, indicating how the knight-errant would typically wander the land in search of adventures. NightBlooming has a quest for those that would dare to take it. Though a challenge, the reward is great!

As NightBlooming's signature style is well known to our customers, we're offering up this sprig of mistletoe as a reward for the one who can unravel this riddle! The answer lies within one of my sold items, so the better you know NightBlooming’s work, the easier this may be. 

.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ (¸The Prize

High on a mountain a fierce, cold fairy reigned. Though she was strikingly beautiful, her heart was frozen and she had no compassion for the men that sought her hand. Each time, one would climb to the top of the peak, struggling for days against the cold and the wind, to kneel before her and ask her hand. And every time this moved her not at all and she summoned the goblins who speared the suitor and hurled them down the mountain.

Then came a young hunter, and when he knelt before her he was so struck by her beauty that he could not speak at all. The Winter Fairy paused, not summoning the goblins, for, after all, he had not asked for her hand in marriage. Days passed and as the young hunter still knelt silent on the floor, she began to enjoy his presence, his company. 

The goblins became wary, fearful that they would be cast out of this latest suitor succeeded. As they made to strike, the Winter Fairy tossed them back with a fearful icy storm, hurling them down the mountainside. Her suitor got to his feet, and when he took her hands the ice melted from her heart and she became his wife.

These sticks would have been fitting in her hair, a reminder that even the coldest of hearts can melt. 

Built upon a stainless steel stick, this pair begins with silver pewter and orbs or clear sparkling glass. Capped in silver filigree, the crown of this pair is twin white and foil glass hearts. 

The Frozen Hearts of the Winter Fairy Hair Sticks have an overall length of 6.25 inches and a usable length of 5 inches. 

The stainless steel sticks are hollow, making them very strong and very lightweight. They can be used in wet hair, oiled hair, and are perfect for thick hair that’s prone to breaking wood or plastic sticks.

.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ (¸Rules:

Use the clue to find the right listing, then look in the item description or photos to answer the question. The contest will run for a bit more than a week (closing at 5pm central Friday the 21st of December), and a winner will be randomly drawn from all those that submitted the right answer. (We're running this a short to get it in before the holidays!)

You are allowed only ONE GUESS (submitted by Etsy Convo) and cannot amend your answer, so make your submission count! The winner will have the sticks shipped to them for free++ anywhere in the world! 

Once the winner is announced they may check out with the sticks. Best of luck to you all! 

You can see all the sold items here:

.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ (¸The Quest

Your Hint:
Made in 2012, this hair stick was inspired by the legend of Spanish Moss:

A Spanish soldier fell in love at first sight with an Indian chief's favorite daughter. Though the
chieftain forbade the couple to see each other, the Spaniard was too lovestruck to stop meeting the maiden in secret. The father found them out and ordered his braves to tie the Spaniard high up in the top of an ancient oak tree.

The Spaniard had only to disavow his love to be freed, but he steadfastly refused. Guards were
posted to keep anyone -- the chief's daughter above all --from giving food or water to the
poor Spaniard. The Spaniard grew weaker and weaker, but he still would not renounce his
love for the girl.

Near the end, the Chief tried to persuade him once more to stay away from his daughter. The Spaniard answered that not only would he refuse to disavow his love, but that his love would continue to grow even after death. When at last the Spaniard died the chief kept the body tied up in the tree as a warning to any other would-be suitors.

Before long, the Indians began to notice that the Spaniard's beard continued to grow. The Indian maiden refused ever to take a husband -- unless the Spaniard's beard died and vanished from the tree. As the years went by, the beard only grew stronger and longer, covering trees far from the Indian maiden's village. Legend says that when the Spanish Moss is gone, the Spaniard's love will have finally died with it. 

This hair stick lets you carry a bit of undying moss along with you.

The Question:
Praytell, what wood is the stick made from?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lord of the Rings all Week!

NightBlooming Celebrates The Hobbit with a LotR week!

Middle Earth is an amazing place, and it has drawn in generations of people who fell in love with the world, the languages, and the characters.  I'm no exception.

There are many, many pieces in my shop that have drawn inspiration from the writings of Tolkien.  Mystical forests, elves, monsters, magic, and a quest to rid the world of evil-- it's the fantasy world that all others will forever be compared to.

This week, leading up to the upcoming release of the first installment of The Hobbit, each listing will be Middle Earth themed.   Some are things I've made before and are bringing back, others are brand new creations.

And what else to lead off with than The One Ring?

Grace of the Ring Bearer Lord of the Rings Hair Stick- Gold

Check back!  New listings will go up every day, and you won't want to miss out!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Custom Oil Blends are Here!

Get the exact oils your hair craves!

Our Triple Moon Oil will always be our flagship oil blend, its unique properties striking a key balance between growth, protection, and soothing.  But we know that your hair often has special needs, and nobody knows what those are better than yo
u! NightBlooming is happy to offer you an immense selection of oils to choose from to create your own special blend.

Available in 1/2 oz or 4 oz sizes

The half-ounce size is perfect for testing out an oil blend without investing in a bunch of costly oils and essential oils.  Like a pre-washing oil with a castor base, but prefer a deep treatment based on something rich like avocado oil?  This smaller size is ideal for having more than one tactic in your hair-care arsenal.  Find a favorite?  Upgrade to the 4 ounce size!

No matter which size you choose, your oil will come in an amber glass bottle with a dropper.

How do you build your custom oil blend?

It's easy!  Choose 1-2 primary oils, 1-3 secondary oils, and 1-10 essential oils.  The image above shows how much of each type of oil each bottle will have.  So keep in mind the more oils you select for each type, the more dilute each will be.

Choose primary oils based on the main
effect or viscosity you want your blend to have.

1) Choose 1-2 base oils. Select from:
  • Avocado Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Coconut oil fractionated
  • EVOO (Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Sunflower Oil Organic Cold–Pressed Unrefined

2) Choose 1-3 secondary oils. Select from: 

  • Almond Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Borage Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Coconut oil fractionated
  • Emu oil
  • EVOO (Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic)
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Foraha Oil
  • Hazelnut Oil
  • Hemp seed Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Kukui Oil
  • Macadamia Oil
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Rose hip Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Shea Nut Oil
  • Sunflower Oil Organic Cold
  • Your Secondary Oils should bring in
    other features that can either enhance
    or balance your primary oils.
  • Wheat germ Oil

3) Choose 1-10 essential oils. Select from: 
  • Sea Buckthorn Oil
  • Bay Essential Oil
  • Birch Essential Oil
  • Cedarwood Essential Oil
  • Clove Essential Oil
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • Frankincense Essential Oil
  • German Chamomile Essential Oil
  • Grapefruit Essential Oil
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Lemon Essential Oil
  • Myrrh Essential Oil
  • Nettle Infused Oil
  • Nutmeg Essential Oil
  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Red Thyme Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Sage Essential Oil
  • Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Your essential oils will bring both
    unique properties as well as
    the scent of your blend.
  • Ylang–Ylang Essential Oil


Directions for Scalp:Use a dropper to draw thin lines of oil across the scalp, starting from the forehead, going back over the top of the head towards the nape of the neck. Use the pads of your fingers to massage the oil into the scalp and leave on at least an hour before showering.

Directions for Length:Lighter than most hair oils, this will help your hair to keep in moisture without weighing it down. To use, place three to five drops of oil in your palms and rub them together until warm. Then smooth your hands over your already combed hair. Your hair should not feel oily and greasy, only soft and shiny. For a deep treatment you can apply more oil to the length, then wear it under a shower cap or plastic wrap until showering. The heat from your head will help open the cuticle of the hair, allowing it to take in more of the nurturing oil.

This oil will keep unrefrigerated for 6-9 months, and for over a year if refrigerated when not in use.


Detailed Oil Descriptions

Almond Oil- This pale golden oil is extracted from almond kernels. Apart from vitamin E it also contains vitamin D and other nutritious components including essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium and rich, natural fats. This oil is easily absorbed and will not clog pores, making it ideal for the scalp and face as well as hair.

Avocado Oil- This deep golden oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado). It is used for lubrication and in cosmetics where it is valued for its regenerative and moisturizing properties. Rich in nutrients, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, this nutritional oil is excellent for enhancing hair health. It supplies vitamins A, B, D, and E to nourish both hair follicles and the scalp. Vitamin E also acts as a protective antioxidant. It has natural humectant properties, adding and locking in moisture. The monounsaturated fatty acids will give hair a glossy shine and silky texture. The amino acids will promote the growth of new hair cells.

Borage Oil- Borage is also sometimes known as starflower, and grows wildly in many parts of the world. The use of borage in various medications dates back at least to Roman times, during which several writers described the mysterious healing properties of borage leaves (steeped in wine, which may also have contributed to said ‘healing properties’.) Borage oil is extracted from the seeds of the borage plant, and its essential ingredient has been found to be gamma linolenic acid, commonly known as GLA, which is an essential fatty acids. One experiment found that skin creams which contained borage oil were markedly more effective in replenishing dry, damaged skin than those creams which contained no borage. These results have been taken as evidence that borage oil proves a replenishing effect on the skin and hair, and is able to restore moisture and elasticity where it had previously been lost.

Castor Oil- This very thick oil is extremely rich vitamin E and essential fatty acids that are important for healthy hair growth. It is an excellent emollient and humectant for skin and hair, helping with a dry and itchy scalp. It also has anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties- creating a healthy scalp enviroment.

Coconut oil fractionated- Coconut oil is excellent as a skin moisturizer and softener. A study shows that extra virgin coconut oil is effective and safe when used as a moisturizer, with absence of adverse reactions. A study found that coconut oil helped prevent protein loss from the wet combing of hair when used for fourteen hours as a conditioner before washing the hair.

Emu oil - This fast-absorbing oil hypoallergenic oil benefits people with dry skin or scalp conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Emu oil contains natural healing properties that can decrease the appearance of scars, stretch marks, burns, and even reverse the effects of hair loss. Two of the key natural properties found in emu oil are linolenic acid and oleic acid, both of which have healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

EVOO (Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil)- This golden-green oil is heavier than some of the others and has a long history of homeopathic uses. Known to strengthen hair, reduce dandruff when applied to the scalp and even aid nail and cuticle health.

Evening Primrose Oil– This oil comes from the pressed the seeds of the Evening Primrose plant, Oenothera biennis . The yellow flowers only open in the evening, hence their common name. Evening Primrose Seed Oil is a rich source of gamma linoleic acid, an Omega 6 fatty acid and nourishes the scalp, hair, and even your nails.

Foraha Oil- Contains a unique fatty acid, calophyllic acid, which has antibiotic properties and non steroidal agent the callophyllolide which is anti inflammatory. A good choice for dry skin/scalps, and helps restore smoothness and shine to damaged hair.

Hazelnut Oil- Considered valuable in giving facial and body massages. It has a high content of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid. Hazelnut oil has a very light, pleasing sweet aroma, which is also somewhat nutty. It is a highly unsaturated vegetable oil that boasts of its fine texture. Hazelnut oil provides numerous health benefits for which it is being increasingly preferred in the preparation of carrier oil blend. The best part about using this carrier oil is that, it does not leave an oily feel behind. The oil is also known to efficiently play the role of an astringent.

Hemp seed Oil- Hemp seed oil is made up of 80% essential fatty acid, the highest amount of any other plant. Hemp seed oil prevents moisture loss on a physiological level; it does just not merely "coat" the skin or hair as do other oils. Hemp so closely matches our own skins lipids it is able to penetrate inside our cells and lubricate the surface between. Not only does Hemp seed oil contribute greatly to the barrier function and appearance it also has other skin benefits such as offering relief to acne, minor abrasions, psoriasis and eczema. Hemp is also the only plant oil containing Vitamin D, which is necessary for Calcium absorption, especially useful to vegans. Using Hemp seed oil is a great way to achieve soft, smooth and hydrated skin.

Jojoba Oil- Jojoba Oil is found to be an ideal moisturizer and conditioner which is derived from a natural plant. Jojoba oil is produced from a desert plant called Simmondsia Chinensis whose oil is highly regarded as an effective conditioner, moisturizer, cleanser and softener for the skin and hair. This deep golden oil is considered to be the closest to the sebum naturally produced by the body, making it a customer favorite.

Kukui Oil- The people of Hawaii would anoint their infants with Kukui Nut Oil, protecting them from the ravages of the salt, the sun, the wind, and other elements. Not coincidentally the word "Kukui" means "Enlightenment" in Hawaiian. This oil is quick-absorbing, luxuriant and versatile for both skin and hair.

Macadamia Oil- Macadamia oil, derived from macadamia nuts, is a slightly nutty-tasting oil is a light amber color and is liquid at room temperature. It is composed of 60% oleic acid, 9% palmitoleic acid, 1-3% Linoleic acid and 1-2% Linolenic acid. Some varieties contain roughly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidants are well-known elements that protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Macadamia oil carries tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are derivatives of Vitamin E, selenium, and phytosterols such as sitosterol. The oil also contains phytonutrients such as flavonoids, phytic acids, saponins and phtoestrogens.

Pumpkin Seed Oil- Pumpkin seeds contain fatty oils with linoleic acid and oleic acid, both known to prevent cancer-causing cell production. They are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C. In addition, the seeds contain beneficial nutrients like zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. Perhaps most important to those suffering from hair loss, the seeds contain cucurbitin, a unique amino that may be responsible for pumpkin seeds' effects on hair growth. There is conjecture that when consumed internally pumpkin seed oil it is a DHT blocker and can aid in treating baldness or hair loss, though no clinical study has been done.

Rose hip Oil- is extracted from the seeds contained in the intensely red berry-like fruits -or hips- of a wild rose-bush that grows in the cool, lush mountain rainy valleys of the southern Andes, in Chile. It is a superb hydrator with a high absorbing level, penetrating dry skin and hair almost instantly to restore a much needed moisture balance frequently lost by climatic and environmental conditions such as dryness and air toxicity.

Sesame Oil- Sesame seed oil originates from the Sesamum indicum plant. The plant's seeds are pressed to obtain the pale yellow oil, which contains fatty acids that can work to protect your skin. These fatty acids -- which include linoleic, palmitic, oleic and stearic acids -- act as emollients, meaning they help moisturize the skin and hair to keep it smooth and soft.

Shea Nut Oil- A beautiful oil with a deep golden color which is made by cold-pressing the nut seed of the Shea (Karite) Tree. Shea oil is a byproduct of Shea butter production where the pressing of the seeds produces a fractionated oil. This oil leaves a smooth and healthy feel to the skin and hair buy helping rough and upraised cells smooth back into place. It offers benefits for numerous skin problems including dermatitis, eczema, burns, cutaneous dryness and other irritations. Highly recommended as a protective agent against harsh weather conditions where a mild barrier against the elements is desired.

Sunflower Oil Organic Cold–Pressed Unrefined– An oil wealthy in Oleic acids with high amounts of Vitamins A, D, and E, also has beneficial amounts of lecithin, and unsaturated fatty acids. Deeply nourishing and conditioning for the skin and hair it is a natural emollient (meaning it corrects scaling and dryness), by helping upraised skin and hair cells lay flat, helping to increase shine and keep in moisture. Cold-pressed oil, also called cold-drawn, or virgin, oil, is purer than oil expressed with the aid of heat and retains more of its natural benefits.

Wheat germ Oil- Dark in color with a robust aroma reminiscent of grain, wheat germ oil is removed during the processing of whole wheat grains to white flour. Wheat germ is the nutrient-rich center of the wheat seed, and it is highly concentrated in vitamins E, A and D.


Detailed Essential Oil Descriptions:

Bay Essential Oil– Bay is a scalp stimulant and antiseptic astringent and was very popular with the Romans, who thought Bay was a symbol of wisdom, peace and protection. The Latin Laudis means “to praise,” which is why the victors at the Olympic games were presented with a Laurel (Bay) Wreath. The priestesses at Delphi sat over the burning fumes to increase their prophetic visions.

Birch Essential Oil– Birch oil is another herb that is believed to help promote hair growth. This herb is often recommended to people who may be experiencing hair thinning, as it is also known to slow down hair loss.

Cedarwood Essential Oil– Excellent for both hair and skin care. It balances oily skin, soothes and helps to heal skin rashes, reduces oil in hair and skin. Famed cedars of Biblical times (Lebanon cedar) provided one of the world’s earliest perfumes. Other ancient cultures used cedarwood for sarcophagi and palace and temple building material.

Clove Essential Oil- This warm and spicy oil aids in circulation and is recommended for skin care, especially to acne patients.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil- One of the oldest native medicines used in Australia. It is known now for its use in inhalants and vapor rubs, but is also soothing to an irritated scalp. 

Frankincense Essential Oil- Frankincense Oil is extracted from gum or resin of Frankincense or Olibanum tree. Apart from being used as a cosmetic and as a fragrance, it has numerous other benefits including being an antiseptic and disinfectant. It is also a cicatrisant, helping reduce scars and easing tight skin. 

German Chamomile Essential Oil– Promotes hair growth, scalp soother and hair conditioner. This most soothing of herbs was used in ancient Egyptian medicine as an emblem of the omnipotence of Ra through its power to restore wholeness to the Self.

Grapefruit Essential Oil- Like the fruit itself, the essential oil of Grapefruit is rich in anti oxidants. Primarily, in Vitamin-C. It's antimicrobial properties are great for scalps that like an astringent environment. Helps reduce oil production. 

Lavender Essential Oil– Enhances hair growth by stimulating the scalp. The name “lavender” is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning, “to wash” and was known as one of the seven polyvalents (effective against many toxins). Greeks and Romans perfumed their bathwater with lavender, burned lavender incense to appease their wrathful gods, and believed the scent of lavender to be soothing to untamed lions and tigers.

Lemon Essential Oil- This refreshing oil is an antifungal and antibacterial. It also promotes circulation of the scalp. 

Myrrh Essential Oil- The essential oil of Myrrh is extracted from the resin of Myrrh. Myrrh, in scientific nomenclature system, is called Commiphora Myrrha and is a native to Egypt. While the resin was in use in incenses and perfumes in ancient Egypt, the oil obtained from it was used for healings wounds in ancient Greece. Myrrh is an antimicrobial and astringent oil. It also helps promote circulation and soothes skin diseases such as eczema, ringworm, itches etc. 

Nettle-Infused Oil– Fixed or essential oils are not obtained from this plant but extracts are produced, although not by distillation. The plant, organically grown, is macerated in virgin olive oil to produce nettle oil which contains the lipid soluble constituents. Used for treating eczema and other conditions causing itching of the skin and is natural deep cleanser useful for oily skin and hair. Nettle is also said to promote hair growth.

Nutmeg Essential Oil- has a sweet, warm, spicy scent similar to the spice commonly used in cooking. Comforting and soothing, nutmeg helps boost energy. It also supports nervous and endocrine systems and prostaglandin balance.

Red Thyme Essential Oil– Helps control an oily scalp and stimulates the scalp, promoting hair growth. So important was the herb’s aroma that its name was culled from the Greek thymon, meaning, “to fumigate.” Indeed Roman soldiers bathed in thyme before entering a battle, and in the Middle Ages sprigs of thyme were woven into the scarves of knights departing for the Crusades. Most present-day research has centered on thyme’s ability as an antibacterial and anti-infectious agent, even when diffused in the air.

Rosemary Essential Oil– An antimicrobial/antiseptic scalp stimulant and soother; to the ancient Greeks and Romans the plant was sacred, symbolic of loyalty, death, and remembrance, as well as scholarly learning. At weddings and important occasions, wherever solemn vows were made, garlands and headdresses of rosemary were worn, as an emblem of trust and constancy.

Sage Essential Oil– A scalp soother and astringent, the herb is of ancient repute, valued as a culinary and medicinal plant – called herba sacra, ‘sacred herb’, by the Romans

Sea Buckthorn Oil– So rich in vitamins and nutrients that it has been even speculated that the plant must have been cultivated by some ancient plant-breeder. A useful, highly prized, and specific oil typically used to treat damaged skin, ulcerations, scar tissue, wrinkles, eczema, burns, etc. Cold extracted from whole Sea Buckthorn berries, it is a moisturizing and anti-inflammatory, scalp soother. This oil is exceptionally rich in essential fatty acids, carotenes, tocopherols, and phytosterols.

Tea Tree Essential Oil– A long-reputed herb for its ability to sooth irritated skin, this oil reduces the itching of an irritated scalp. The aboriginal peoples of Australia soaked the pungent leaves in hot water and used them in all manner of medicinal treatment.

Ylang–Ylang Essential Oil– The extract of lilies, this oil is a scalp soother and follicle stimulator. Indonesians spread the luxuriant flowers on the marriage bed of the newly weeded couples. Ylang means “flowers of flowers,” sometimes called “the perfume tree.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Inventory & Multistock

Inventory... more specifically why I never had any!

Previously when I made sticks to list for the upcoming week, I’d do 7 sticks/pairs and then some smaller pin/barrette items to go along with them. I’d only do one stick of each type. Now I still make 7 items (usually one to list per day of the week, along with smaller extras), but now I’ll make multiples of some of the sticks.

The biggest time sink of making the sticks really isn’t in the making, it’s in the design, the gathering of the components, and then laying everything out. I have a few items that come up every now and again, designs I really like and often have the components on hand for, but I’d only make one at a time. I was repeating the longest, most time-consuming part of the work every month or five when I’d remake that particular design. Added to that, as soon as that stick sold, I was very low on inventory again!

You guys know that my low inventory has long been a concern of mine. I hate the idea of someone coming to the store and just not seeing anything, or thinking it isn’t very active because of the ninja-like Add-To-Cart abilities of some of my customers. 

Enter Multistock

As a test, I started making multiples of several things. This let me put more things together at once, but also let there still be something in stock. It seemed to be a success, so I’ve ran with it. Not everything is a multi-listing, though, there’s still lots of solo listings for ninja-ing.

You can tell when a listing has a multiple quantity in stock by this little number over by the add to cart button:

Once you add the item to the cart, you’ll be able to select how many of that item you want:

So, for those of you that prefer pairs, you’ll probably find some “solo-listed pairs” over in the Solo Hair Sticks Section of the store. They’re not listed in the Pairs section because I didn’t want to cause confusion as to how many sticks you got for what price.

This doesn’t just apply for sticks! You can add multiple quantities of anything that has it in stock. This is also idea for things like our herbal hair colors and conditioners. Each is listed at 100g, but if you need 500g for you hair, you can simply select that at checkout rather than asking for a special listing.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions! Ask away and comment below!

Lots of new things on the way!

Long Time, No Update

I guess the first question is, well why not? There’s a few reasons, but the main one was probably that I was making a few adjustments and wanted to try them out and see how they worked before posting here and making them official.

So what’s happened since the last time I posted? Lots!

  • Inventory/ Multistock– more items now have a multiple quantity select, which helps keep inventory up.
  • Custom Oil Blends– While Triple Moon Oil is awesome, sometimes you want something a little different, with another scent, or with a base you know works for you. NightBlooming now offers custom-blended oils just for you in both a half-ounce sample size with dropper, or in a full 4 oz size, also with dropper. Choose from 7 base oils, 20 secondary oils, and 18 essential oils. Look for more oils and essential oils to be added in the future!
  • New Herbal Color/Conditioning Products– Devas (blonde/colorless) and Rusalki (strawberry blonde), have been joined by Fire Genasi (copper), and Kitsune FoxFire (red). There’s also a Ruby Red color in development!
  • Full-Size Herbal Rinses in New Packaging Sizes– Our herbal hair rinses now come loose-leaf and in greater quantity for the same price. Check out our Sunlight Meadow rinse for light hair, and our Forest Glade rinse for dark hair!
  • All Three Panacea Salves Now Offered Year-Round!– With having a bit more of an inventory padding, I’m better able to keep up on salve production! Traditional Salve, Winter Salve, and Summer Salve are now around no matter what the season.
  • Spring Sample Sachet Updated– The sachet now comes with all three kinds of salve, a sample of either the Forest Glade Dark Hair Rinse or the Sunlit Meadow Rinse, Triple Moon Oil sample with dropper, and a sample of Miruvor Long Hair Tea. 

That’s way too much for just one entry, so we’ll break it out across several upcoming blog posts. Stay tuned! 

20% off Through Black Friday!

And if you made it this far, here’s a special discount code for tuning back in. Spread it around with the link back to this blog post. Enter NBBLOG20 to take 20% off your next order. Offer expires after Black Friday (Nov 23rd), so take advantage of it while you can!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Charts, Changes and Customs!

I know you guys love them. So let's take a look at the last two years of sales.  How much and of what?

Here's 2011. We shipped out 1,791 items in 1,216 individual orders, which shakes out to be about 5 orders a day, every day, weekends and holidays included.  You lovlies keep me very, very busy (especially once you remember that this isn't my full-time job. I already have one of those, so this is on top of that, a garden, the cats, and a marriage!)

One thing I thought was interesting (and somewhat saddening, was that herbal products, lumping together salves, oils, and herbal blends) was almost 75% of my sales.

Let's look at the year before with a total of 945 orders.  Herbal products totaled about 65%, I listed almost twice as many solo and pairs of sticks, and custom orders were double the percentage of my orders than they were in 2011.

That's where we are.  So where do we want to be?  I'd like to strike a better balance of herbal products to hair toys. I think a 50/50 ratio would be ideal.

The next questions, then, are where are we going and how are we going to get there?

We've already started to implement a few changes for 2012.  These include:
  • USPS Delivery Confirmation for all domestic orders
  • Custom Order Revamp
USPS Deliver Confirmation
All domestic orders are now going to have a tracking number.  This is a good thing for you, since now when you get a shipping notice you'll have a number to reference, and good for me because I think I was taken for a ride or two with people who claimed to have lost orders and really didn't. At the moment I haven't raised shipping prices to include this benefit, and unless postage prices go up, I don't think I'll have to.

Custom Order Revamp
My custom order wait is my biggest failing in 2011.  At its worst it was 4 MONTHS.  Which is unacceptable.  What I would try to do is make enough things to list in the store so I'd have one per day.  Then I'd also try to do custom orders above and beyond that.  The rationale being that I need to have some hairsticks in stock, because who's going to come back to a store that doesn't have anything ever in stock?

But life happens.  Often I'd get through the stock items and I'd simply run out of time to do more than one custom.  Or I'd set time aside for it and something would crop up.

So in 2012 we're going to try something new.  You may have already noticed that there's been a lot more custom orders in the store lately, that's me bailing out my list.  In about three weeks I've cut it down to half its former size. Since what I've been trying seems to be panning out, I felt ready to announce what we're doing to everyone.  Here's the general game plan:
  • Phase 1 Digging Out- I'll continue to work on hammering away on the Custom Order List until it's manageable again.  I'd like to have no more than 10 people waiting on the list at any given time.  During this time you'll probably see 4-5 custom orders go up on Saturday night/the wee hours of Sunday morning.  You'll also see another 4-5 normal listings of sticks listed during that week.  There will be fewer pins and other smaller accessories listed during this time.  The hope is that this phase will last another 2-3 weeks.
  • Phase 2 Achieving Balance I usually receive about 2-3 requests for custom items per week. At this phase I'd be looking to list 2-3 custom items, 5-6 listings of sticks, and then 5-6 listings of smaller hair accessories (pins, combs, etc.)
  • Phase 3 Expanding (Maybe)- In the very unlikely even that this method works efficiently enough that I find there's room to do more than Phase 2 (or I find a time machine somewhere or finally work up the guts to quit my real job and do this full time) there could be room for things like: Making true customer-designed custom orders again, offering both Summer and Winter salve year-round, or something else that's just completely impossible at the moment.


We're making these changes for you!  To make you happy!  To keep you coming back!   Please please let me know what you think of these changes and suggest others.