General News, MsBarb, Starting your own cosmetic business, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

Learning Curves: buying new stuff

By now, you have seen this….

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And you know my time here in China is limited! And because I know where I am going and what I’ll be doing, I can begin planning my future inventory. And because I too can pretend to be clever? I know I won’t be a whackadoo and buy every little new oil and ingredient that I coo over. I also know that it will actually be cheaper to buy 2g of that fancy anti-aging powder to start rather than the 10g bag in the long run.

Marie over at HumbleBee&Me wrote a brilliant article about throwing things away and I do agree with her on most everything she wrote. But that article doesn’t really help those of us starting over quite literally and not figuratively from scratch. None of the products I have made here (like the almost 500 bars of soap) can go with me to Europe. None of the ingredients I bought here in China can be used to sell products in Europe. It means, when I move, anything I bring with me must be for my personal use. I’m looking at you AVC! And my sea buckthorn oils. And my moringa oils.

Everything else, must be bought.

That means, all the soaping ingredients I want to soap with must be bought. All the stuff to make lip products, must be bought. All the stuff to make anything I want to sell, has to be bought. And not just bought from the EU, but from a reputable supplier that will supply me with things such as the MSDS reports, Certificates (of batch) Analysis, Sensitizer reports… and, I have to have a very accurate and official inventory tracking system set in place. How neat is that!

In a way, I am very happy about this! With starting from scratch it means I get a chance to do everything right the very first time setting up my stock/store room and setting up an inventory supply. Oh yeah. Inventory. A proper and established inventory!

It also means, that since I’ve gone through the, “Hey! This is a new hobby! I must try everything!!!!”, “oh a shiny” phase (and survived!), I’m not going to be tempted by seeing 1kg of coffee butter go on a 75% sale and need to buy it. It’s actually been kind of funny, I’m buying some stuff already for The Move and it’s funny to look at my shopping carts. It’s no longer, “oh look! I bought 10mL of this essential oil, but I bought 100mL of this essential oil. I need to buy both bottles in 100mL just in case I like them and so they look better in my essential oil box!” It’s now, “Well, I am not sure if I like this essential oil in this blend, so I’ll get 10mL of each, but I know I’ll be using this essential oil a fair bit in various products to sell and for personal use, so I’ll get it in 30mL. If I use it quickly, then next time I will get the 100mL. After all, it will be cheaper to buy another bottle later when I use this up rather than toss it out because it expired!”.

For the fact that everything in my house must go, it’s actually been neat to clear out things! The hardest part is what am I going to do with 450mL of Apricot Oil (and all the other oils back there, and packaging, and shelves, and and and and and and and and and and) that still has eight months left on it’s shelf life? And if you say make soap, what will I do with those bars of soap?


General News

Learning Curves: The Move 1

At some point in the next few years, both Sonia and I would like to leave China and open a Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin physical shop. Where exactly that would be, is not yet 100% decided. So one day soon, Sonia and family, and I will be opening our own little shop in another country. How friggen exciting is that!

But until then, it means lots and lots and lots of learning.

We have so many things to think about and things that have to be done before we even decide what is what and where this shop will be. One of the biggest things to think about are the rules. Europe has the EU Cosmetic Rules and Regulations, America has the FDA and Canada has Health Canada. Each of them are very different in terms of what is needed to make and sell skincare items. It seems as if North America puts more onus on the seller to follow FDA and Health Canada rules.

Whereas the EU has so many rules and inspections and assessments you have to pay to have done before you even begin to sell your product to anyone. So this means you have your ingredient lists all ready to be submitted to a chemist/toxicologist/lab to be studied and given the green light. Anything sold to be used on the body has to go through this assessment. This means, even something as simple as a three ingredient lip chap! And then register with this governing body and that one.


And then the different rules of labeling, the manufacturing process, the storage of ingredients… all these have different types of rules to follow.

What does this mean for Happy Skin? Why are we posting about rules of the EU and FDA and Health Canada you might ask? Well, we want to start off with good habits. We want to make sure we follow the highest international standard so we get into the habit of doing everything right the first time and not needing to re-learn how to do something and un-learn a bad habit.