Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lip Balms & Solid Perfumes

Today I will be using our creamy, all natural base to make Lip Balms AND Solid Perfumes that are just plain awesome!!! Just follow the instructions below using the recommended supplies.

You will need:
Lip Balm & Lotion Bar Base
Lip Balm Tubes, Pots or Tins

Flavor Oil
Fragrance Oil
Mica which is optional

Scoop out your desired amount (a standard lip balm tube like I've used holds .15 WEIGHT ounces each) into a glass pyrex measuring cup. I find the 1 Cup size perfect for making balms as it is easy to handle.

Melt the base in the microwave on the low setting, stirring often until it liquefies completely. 

Add your flavor oil or fragrance oil if you are making a solid perfume and stir well (With our flavors and fragrances, I would typically use 6% or 1 weight oz of flavor or fragrance per lb of base. Average use is 3-6% or 1/2 to 1oz per pound, sweetener is optional with non-sweetened flavor oils or essential oils (our Kiss Kwenchers flavor oils are pre-sweetened). 

At this time, you can also add lip safe mica to the liquid base if you'd like to add a little color! Color really makes them stand out in the crowd!

Pour into lip balm tubes, tins or pots, leaving about 1/4" if using tubes and allow to harden. 
Re-heat any remaining base once they have settled and re-pour to finish them off.

These great little perfumes and lip balms cost very little to make but can make you a bundle of profit! Lip Balms range in the $3-$4.00 price range in most locations. 

You can make a variety of products with this base easily including:

* Menthol "Vapor Rub" Stick – use eucalyptus & camphor or peppermint, tea tree oil, etc.
*Under Eye Moisture Stick (best unscented for use near eyes).
*Lip balms (use our Kiss Kwenchers™ pre-sweetened flavor oils, or edible EO's)
*Lotion bars (use lotion/skin safe fragrance oils only).
*Solid perfume sticks – great for purse size & travel!
*Elbow grease – excellent on rough dry elbows, knees and heels!
*Foot balm – funky feet, foot fetish,
*Cuticle conditioning balm for fingernails & toenails - sell in sticks, tins or jars.
*Body butter – try whipping it!
*Massage bar – use massage bar soap mold and relaxing EO’s!
*Shimmer stick – add mica powder and/or cosmetic glitter for a sparkly perfume stick!
*Make up remover stick - use unscented in eye area.
*Suntan butter bar - use a tropical scent like Pina Colada or Honey Coco Mango! *Pampered Paws Doggy & Kitty Paw Balm – for rough or cracked animal paws! 

*Market it as either a Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Soy lotion, vitamin E bar, etc.
*Use with EO’s for an all natural product.

Don't forget to label your products ingredients per FDA guidelines.

Tip: Place Lip balms near your cash register if you own a retail store or on the table in the front nearest where you package the customers items at a show. Lip balm is a small item that fits easily in a basket and works excellent as an impulse item! Bet you sell a lot of them using this method!

Happy Cosmetics Making!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance; It seems to be the last thing people think about when they plan to start selling their products. Weather your plan to sell one or one million, it's really the first thing they should have. Since I've been asked about this subject several times in the past weeks alone, I thought with the upcoming season of high sales and craft shows it was the best time to blog about it and give people some help in finding a policy that fits their needs. In our litigious society, people sue readily so it's best to be covered!

What is product liability insurance you ask? Product liability insurance protects the business from claims related to the manufacture or sale of products, food, medicines or other goods to the public. It covers the manufacturer's or seller's liability for losses or injuries to a buyer, user or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of the product, and, in some instances, a defective design or a failure to warn. In a nutshell, it will protect you, the manufacturer of the products in the case of a lawsuit up to the dollar amount you are insured for. 

I have found that area by area and state by state coverage's will vary as will companies that sell policies.  I have been in the same shoes as you are now and I know how frustrating it can be.  We were dropped 2 months into our first renewal.  It seems that as we got bigger, fewer companies want to deal with the liability although my premiums keep making them more and more money.  I have yet to have a claim in all my years. 

Although I cannot help you find an agent or a company in your local area, I can help you find new coverage.  If you or any other person who is finding themselves in need of coverage, follow this you will find insurance.

  • Open the local Yellow Pages and look under "Insurance".  I know this seems very obvious, trust me sometimes it is the LAST place people seem to look. You can also try an internet search engine and search for Commercial Business Insurance in your area. 
  • The size of your area will dictate what is shown in the Yellow Pages. If you live in a smaller area, this may be a single page where as in a larger metro area it is likely to be broken down by insurance type. If you live in a larger area, be sure to look for "Commercial" or "Business" Insurance. Most agencies do not cover commercial needs as they are highly specialized so looking at companies that primarily insure Home and Auto are not what you want.
  • Look for "Insurance Brokers". These are smaller independent agencies that deal more with specialty policies and unlike State Farm, and Prudential, etc., they deal with a variety of carriers and can generally handle just about anything that needs to be covered.

  • Ask for the proper coverage. You need General Liability as well as Product Liability.  So many candle makers out there only have General but no Product, and that is not going to cover you in the case of a faulty product claim.

  • Generally it's best for crafters to insure for $1-5 Million in coverage. $1 Million is acceptable in some areas, $1 million is not enough in others. Look at the areas that you will be selling in.

  • Finally, get as many quotes as you can.  We found that policies can be exactly the same in coverage but can cost you in some cases 100% more than the next company. It really pays to shop around for this kind of coverage! 
There are two Crafters Guilds that I know of for sure offer low cost insurance:
Indie Beauty Network
Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild

Good luck in your quest to find insurance. If you know of other guilds or groups that offer insurance at a special rate to their members, please let me know at and I will get them listed along with the above.
Happy Candle & Soap Making!