Greetings my wonderful handmade soap loving friends!
On Thursday of last week, Shanda was told I needed to attend the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Like, I really needed to attend. Alas, Colin had purchased VIP tickets to the Crown Valley Brew Fest and we had made plans to meet up with another brewery about buying their equipment. Colin will always come first, and working on our newest business is a priority for me right now so I had to declined going to the banquet. I was very surprised to find out that Arcadia Valley Soap Company had been given the honor of Business of the Year for 2018! I did not see this coming for several reasons. It was a shocker.
Owning a brick and mortar shop in a small rural town is tough, I won't glitter coat it! One of my mentors in business was Bert LaPlante with her shop, Bert's Corner. How she managed to keep her doors open during some incredibly hard economic times on Ironton's Main Street for 13 years is amazing. She will forever be an example to me. People complain now how bad it is but when we moved here in 2012, it wasn't good at all! Bert always made it look effortless while still crunching the bottom line. I feel the upward momentum for growth of our small town being increased by individuals who are willing to believe in the value of personal service versus online mega sites or big box store bargains.
While I have been selling soap online since 2001, I did not start Arcadia Valley Soap until 2012 when we moved to Ironton. I first began selling the newly designed soaps out of the little building connected to our house and in November of 2014 we opened a better soap shop. People were not won over and if I sold $35 a week being open 5 days a week in the middle of July, I was delighted. If it was not for my long standing Botanical Earth and MoSoap online customers, the physical shop would not have paid the bills in the first year. It has taken time to grow the storefront. I think some people have the illusion it's easy and that customers rush in, and they don't. You have to constantly evolve, look at new marketing options and be patient in your vision. I truly believe attitudes have changed as to what small business can do for our Valley. More and more people are bringing their talents to our community whether through commerce or education, and I think it is a very exciting time to live in our area of SE Missouri. The POTENTIAL is certainly here for growth and increased quality of living for a new generation.
While I am greatly appreciative of the recognition, I know it's because of all of you that I have the business I have! I am a firm believer of sharing my success so let's have a SALE for all of you that make Arcadia Valley Soap Company a success! From today 1/29/2019 to Saturday Feb. 2nd, we will be offering 15% off everything online and in the shop Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Simply use the coupon code of WooHoo15 on the website, or stop in the shop and say "WooHoo" for your discount. If you have read through my yammering about an award, you ought to receive a reward!
Thank you to all those at the Arcadia Valley Chamber of Commerce that voted for Arcadia Valley Soap Company to be Business of the Year, and thanks to all of you amazing people that believe in independent small business and the power it has to effect positive change. All of you are actually the definition of AWESOME to me - truly awe INSPIRING in your kindness and support : )