Hey, remember when I used to do a weekly Instagram Q&A called "Founder Friday" and it always got weirdly crazy when my honest responses rubbed people the wrong way for reasons I'm probably going to need a therapist to help me understand?
Haha, good times.
Well, this is nothing like that. I'm just borrowing the term, because it's a good one, to apply to this new/old-school blogging format where I'm going to fill you in on my week, because I have lost all patience with sharing it in real time over Instagram stories.
I don't know... if you are an elder millennial like myself who remembers the glory days of bloggers being honest on the internet before everything was a hashtag #ad I thought you might enjoy?
Half enjoying the business slow down that happens yearly during these back-to-school weeks and half terrified that I won’t be able to make rent in 10 days. Where does everyone go in the middle of August? Do you not still do your skincare? Wear makeup? Deodorant? How is it that no one needs to buy anything? Every year around this time I feel like I’m all alone out there, or rather, in here, at work with nothing to do, trying to talk myself out of making yet another perfume that no one seems to want to buy. Normally these slow downs aren’t quite so scary, but my financial cushion is pretty much deflated after a super slow summer, (hope you enjoyed those vaxed vacations haha!) so I’m just crossing my fingers I make it through. In the past I might have offered a discount or had a sale to get you to buy something, but, nah. I’m not working at a discounted rate anymore so I guess I’ll just go down in a blaze of glory! Another little strategy I keep up my sleeves this time of year is to release my fall scents early, but, I’m really not in the mood yet, despite this week’s transitional weather. Not to mention the fact that I’ve had cardigan and amber spice available in my shop for the past two Saturdays I’ve been open and no one has come in to buy them!
On the bright side, I’ve had plenty of quiet mornings to contemplate the big changes coming to my business over the next few weeks - have you heard about this? Dear lord, please tell me you have. If not, you REALLY need to read my emails or you’re going to be so confused come September!
Well, if you’ve followed me for any amount of time you probably know that I’m someone who welcomes change whole-heartedly, and I’m so looking forward to this new season in my life and business. As I prepare to make the transition from retailer back to brand, I want to pull the focus back to the core of what I do best, so I’m going through my entire collection, trying to get comfy with the thought of not carrying every accessory that I like in my store just because I can. Of course, some things still make sense to carry alongside my products - beauty tools, brushes, and health items like menstrual cups and condoms - while some of the accessories that I carry are just things that I like and that made sense for me to sell because I was always using them and people were asking about them, back before I realized that I don't actually want to broadcast every moment of my personal life on Instagram. (This is my way of telling you that if there’s a home + gift type accessory you’ve been wanting, I recommend ordering it now because I’m not sure I’ll be carrying it in my shop after it sells out… hint hint.) Currently trying to remind myself that I can still buy things for me, even if I don’t carry them in my store. I mean, you know, once you start buying my products again and I actually have money to spend. Haha!
Speaking of not wanting to broadcast every moment of my personal life on Instagram, I am once again contemplating how I want to use that blasted tool, if at all.
If I thought that broadcasting every moment of my personal life on my stories would make you want to buy something, I might try it again. However, engagement is way down, presumably because I have no interest in dancing around in a reel for you (I do actually like to dance, but not like a monkey with little cymbals trying to earn quarters for papa Zuckerberg,) so, what’s the point? I spent a few hours yesterday planning out all of the posts for my feed over the next week - and I’m learning that the problem isn’t that I don’t have anything to share - it’s that I have so much to share that this medium (picture/caption, scroll scroll, blah blah) is wholly insufficient.
My brand is so multifaceted and there’s so much to say about my products and why I make them and what they do and how to use them that I would have to post 5 times a day to get my point across. I’ve tried to post like that in my stories in the past, but when I do that, a good portion of my work day ends up disappearing down an Instagram hole, all for people to only halfway look at and barely pay attention to as they scroll through during, well, whatever it is you’re actually supposed to be doing when you look through my feed. There’s no way I can keep up with bigger brands who employ social media departments that know how to dominate the algorithm, so I'm wondering, why bother? It’s just not feeling like a very efficient use of my time anymore, you now?
Hence this new, old-school, blog/newsletter format I’m trying out. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with it weekly, but when I can, I’d like to have a way to share that makes more sense for me and my brand. This is slow, thoughtful, quiet stuff. It’s not something you can communicate in a 30 second video clip, although I do think there is potential to share some things that way and hopefully I can hire an assistant to create content for me someday (actually, I will probably need a whole team, but I will take what I can get!) For now I’m just a weirdo who prefers long format sharing I guess...
Also, I’ll say it again, I don’t feel good when I scroll through social media. It makes me feel bad, for reasons I don’t even understand and can’t quite put into words yet. (Is it just draining? The time I feel like I’m wasting? I don’t even know!) I just know that I don’t want to do it and I don’t want to be the reason that anyone else feels badly. I want to feel good about what I share with the world, which is why I make all of the things that I do and go through the trouble of struggling with the small business life.
So, all of that being said - here are a few things I wanted to share with you from this week but didn’t yet (fully) because I didn’t want to be on my phone for no good reason. (PS, if you’re reading this thinking I’m an old sourpuss, I guarantee you that a ton of small business owners are feeling this way right now. I’m just the only one who’s saying it because IDGAF anymore!) Seriously though, the landscape has changed pretty dramatically over the past 6 years, and I'm left feeling totally unsure of how to market this business when I don't want to play Facebook's game anymore. I feel like the best answer is that I need to separate myself from social media and just look at it as a professional marketing tool, so, that's my plan, but where do I put everything else? Well, here, apparently!
So here are some things from my world this week…
Makeup tips and tricks:
I’ve stuck to a pretty minimal makeup routine with my new mother of pearl and pink tourmaline highlight balms all summer, but I recently rediscovered the warm smoky eye using my bronze eye tint and it’s been a while since I shared that with you, so I thought I’d mention it and share a link to a tutorial since it’s a pretty look for transitioning into fall…
Listen, one aspect of my personal life that I did share on instagram recently that you might have seen, was how my gynecologist totally gave me a taste of my own medicine about washing the vaginal area with soap. (By that I mean, you know how I’m ALWAYS telling you not to wash your face with soap because it destroys the good bacteria that keeps everything in balance? Yeah. Apparently the same rules apply down there!) She said I didn’t need a fancy wash either. Just water! So in the spirit of taking an expert's advice the way I wish my customers would take mine, I just finished week one of no soap downstairs. I’m just rising with water. And you know what, it’s totally fine! I do, however, “tone” with rose hydrosol after my shower. And, I did break down one day and “wash” using my hair conditioner (discontinued but here’s the source) because I felt like I needed a little something extra and I knew it wouldn’t mess with my pH… I guess on some level I knew that soap wasn’t the best choice but I didn’t want to buy a fancy wash, so I really just needed permission from a doctor to try a new, minimalistic approach. Sharing this little tidbit in case you’re wondering how it’s going. Totally fine!
Perfumes I wore:
After spending a few weeks itching my way through perfecting my new perfume, Sundays, (turns, out I’m allergic to tulip tree absolute which is pretty devastating news because I love the way it smells!) I’ve enjoyed taking a week to not work on anything new and instead just revisit a rainy day favorite and play with some fragrance layering using my Notes by SGC scents, which, by the way… are so good. Well done, me. Have you tried them yet? Cream may be the longest lasting scent I’ve ever made, FYI.
Product wise, just Sundays, and Zest over at Notes by SGC. Just those two little things I worked extremely hard on over the summer OH, and I did find a stash of 1 oz perfume bottles so I listed them online for you to fill with your favorite scent!
I’m curious if anyone has tried the autumn serum recipe and if you have any feedback about how easy the recipe was to follow or how it turned out… do you think my book idea is worth writing? Email and let me know your thoughts! (Yes, you can email me as long as I don't have to give you skincare advice or hold your hand through every single purchase. LOL!)
And that's all I've got to share in this moment, friends. Thanks for staying up to date with me here, and I'll touch base again soon!
- Stefanie -