How Smiling Can Make You More Productive

Many women juggle the responsibilities of business owner, mom, wife, friend, daughter of aging parents and more. With furrowed brow and clenched jaw, we sit before the computer hoping for a few minutes of uninterrupted time to address our never-ending list of tasks.

The reality of your growing responsibilities can take its toll on you, and the stress can not only affect your health but decrease your productivity, and certainly the joy you get out of life.

Legislative Update - Debbie May to Testify

On Tuesday, March 27th at 10:15 a.m. the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives will conduct a hearing on cosmetics entitled, "Examining the Current State of Cosmetics."

I would like to inform you that I have been invited to testify at the hearing.

It is my honor to speak to the scope of the handmade industry, the quality products we produce, the contributions we make to local communities across this nation, and the legislative considerations required to preserve our fine industry.

To view the hearing at 10:15am via streaming live video on the committee website, click here.

For further information, you can contact me personally at

Sincerely Yours,

Debbie May


Buying a franchise is an option for those who don’t want to start their own business from scratch, or take over an existing business. This article addresses the important aspects of franchising that should be considered during the decision-making process. If you already own a business and you would like to franchise it to other people, that’s a separate topic not covered here.

Artisan Spotlight: Irish Twins Soap Co.

So many of the artisans we speak with are one man—er, woman—shows, but with the Irish Twins Soap Co., there’s strength in numbers.

Erin Nelson started the business with her sister Dawn Schwandt, and the company’s name honors their family heritage. For those not familiar, the term “Irish twins” refers to siblings born less than a year apart. Although close in age, they are separated by distance living on opposite sides of South Dakota. Still, they’ve found a way to build a successful business as a team.

Debbie May - Update from Washington DC

I am back from my trip to Washington DC and wanted to provide you with an update.

On this trip I was accompanied by Marla Bosworth and Allison Kontur, both very experienced in the handmade soap and cosmetic industry.  The three of us were very fortunate to have two full days of meetings that spanned four different governmental buildings.  I need to tell you the tone of these meetings was much more down to business and less educational.  We have learned there remains one introduced bill, two draft bills and one draft bill being conceptualized.
Instead of running through each of the bills and draft bills, I would like to highlight the different components of the bills, how they may impact our industry, and what I am supporting and strongly opposing.

Act Like a Kid: 3 Creativity Boosters

Creativity is the secret sauce to setting your business apart and keeping you motivated, moving forward and passionate for your career, as you balance work and motherhood. Unfortunately, the business of taking care of business usually commands top priority. Though your time is limited, one great advantage you have as a work at home mom is an office equipped with creativity masters: Your kids. Here are three ways you can boost your creativity and business, by acting more a kid. 

Craft Show Pricing Tips

This is the final part of a three-part series on how to determine pricing for your bath and body products. The first post discussed wholesale pricing, while the second post reviewed retail pricing. In this post, we’ll take a look at craft show pricing.

So to review the past posts, wholesale pricing is laying your pricing foundation. Determining correct wholesale pricing is essential when selling to stores. Retailers depend on wholesalers to know their margins and bottom line. Also, when retailing, remember it’s imperative to sell retail on your website and shows at twice your wholesale pricing. For example, if your soap is wholesaling for $3.00, then you are selling at $6.00 retail.