Scrubs - A Learning Lesson
Now that we have feasted on those delightful Chocolate Oreo Tuffles, I thought we should make a scrub to match. I first made a test batch that didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to. It was an all oil scrub that just didn’t have the texture or consistency that I wanted. Kyle, one of our staff members volunteered to try in out. Well, let me just say we both learned something. Let me tell you all about this experience.
Kyle and I stood in the front office, chatting while locker doors slammed shut and a chorus of Goodbye’s and See you tomorrow’s echoed down the hall. We talked about our plans for the evening and upcoming weekend. Kyle said “Yea, I need to wash up before I go anywhere today.” He sniffed his shirt and frowned. After packing and shipping oils and fragrances all day, Kyle can’t wait to become a little less potent. “Hey, do you have any soap for me to test today?” “No, I haven’t been able to make any soap recently.” I said. “Darn.” I thought for a moment. “But I do have a scrub I made today if you want to test that.” “Okay, let me go grab my towel and I’ll clean up in the chemical shower.” “Okay.”
I made my way up the stair to the blog kitchen. I found a small bag into which I scoop the contents of my test beaker. This scrub contained Shea Butter, Shea Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Vanilla Bean Specks and Luffa. It was a charming brown color and very thick. I zipped up the small bag and made my way back down stairs. Just at that moment Kyle walked in, towel tossed non-chalantly over his shoulder. The door bell rang in the far back of the warehouse. I handed him the bag. Kyle took one look at the bag and his face twisted in disgust. He gingerly picked up the small zip lock bag between fore finger and thumb. “I have one complaint already. The color.” he said. I began to chuckle. “It is a work in progress.” “So, how do I use this?” he asked. “Use it on your arms and legs, anywhere that needs to be exfoliated.” “Ok.” He shook his head and went off to clean up.
I made my way back to the blog kitchen, picking up and putting away all of the items I had pulled out for the day. I finished my last e-mails for the day, chatted with Andee about the blog, laughed with Mitch about his tales of his dogs, and still Kyle was not finished. I was getting ready to head out when Kyle finally came out, his hair wet from the shower. “Your scrub has some problems. First, it gets everywhere. It is like sand on the beach. And I mean it gets EVERYWHERE! It took me forever to find it all and get the scrub off. I used it all over, even in my hair! It was awful.” I was laughing hysterically.
I had never though of having to give more details on how to use a scrub! As a woman, I had grown up watching my mother and sister use scrubs. I had used them in the high school locker room. I had just figured how and where you use a scrub was common sense. Heavy, large particle scrubs are used on the hands and feet. Medium scrubs are used on the arms, legs, and torso. Mild scrubs are used on the delicate skin of the face. To me this knowledge took as much thinking as breathing or walking.
For Kyle, it was a different story. He had never used a scrub before. He had never seen them used. To Kyle, if it was a product to use in the shower, it meant you could use it all over and be done with it. Kyle is definitely a one product type of guy. Poor Kyle. His first scrub experience was definitely not a pleasant one. He is such a good sport for testing out the things Andee and I make though.
We both learned something important. Kyle learned about scrubs, the varieties and their uses. Very useful information for when he get married. 😉 I feel that I learned something even more important. I learned about marketing. Who your product goes to depends on its success or failure. Your testers just might not be an accurate depiction of the market. Imagine how many products that would do well in the market fail, just because of the perspective of the testers! Also, just because your product comes with instructions, does NOT mean those directions will be followed. Kyle is STILL telling me I didn’t give very good instructions. Sigh. Will he ever forget this?
Keep in mind as you receive feedback from friends, family and testers, that their review of your products are skewed by their perspectives, preferences and experiences. Just because they don’t like a certain soap, lotion, lip balm, scrub, etc. doesn’t mean your customers won’t like it. You may find some of your best sellers are detested by some of your testers. 🙂 Good luck and happy toiletry making!