Saturday, March 17, 2012

Soapylove has grown! The transformation of a warehouse space.

"The Shop" - finally finished!
As Soapylove celebrated 6 years of business last month, I started the process of transforming an empty 980 sq' warehouse into the new Soapylove headquarters.  Moving the business out of my house was both thrilling and terrifying!

Producing soaps in my kitchen.  Cramped and difficult!

Until now I have been lucky to work from home.  I've had a few amazing helpers working on soaps and administrative work from their homes.  But things are changing - my key helper is moving across the country, and the Soapylove orders are getting larger.  My dining room was looking like a warehouse, and transforming my kitchen from a soapmaking space into a real kitchen every day was getting really old.  Not to mention the growth of my business was being stifled by my space limitations.

The raw space.  I love my roll up door!
So the search began for a perfect workshop.  It took several months and I wound up in a town that is super close to my neighborhood and very affordable.  It's turning out to be a dream location with every store I need super close by, no traffic, a beautiful commute, and a river I can walk along on breaks.

Renovating an empty warehouse was both super fun and really stressful.  I was working on producing another pallet of soaps for my biggest account while shopping for furniture and appliances, ordering tile, painting, building a kitchen, and still taking care of my kids (with A LOT of help from my amazing husband).  I can't tell you how many tears were shed over the last 6 weeks.  It was rough!

My husband painting kitchen cabinets
This past week was the first work week at "the shop."  Making soaps there is so much more efficient than at home, with everything organized and in a logical place.  I have enough space to grow, have employees, and even host classes.  I will eventually start selling soap supplies like soap base and the whole Soapylove supply line. I am super happy the hard part is over!  There is still a lot of decorating and cleaning up to do, but it's now a functional space, so that's the most important thing.

The work areas, clockwise from top left: The kitchen, the packaging area, the office, and the shipping area.
Are you in the San Diego area?  Then come to my Shop Warming Party!  It's on Saturday, April 7, from 1-4pm.  For more details head over to my Facebook fanpage here.  I would love to show you around!


Lip Balm Havoc said...

Outstanding Debbie! Everything is awesome. Have fun!

Rachel said...

Totally awesome, Debbie! You deserve it! Hope to visit one day. :)

helene said...

Thank you for sharing..much success..loved reading about the growth of your business..

Cindy Robison said...

How wonderful for you! Congratulations on this big step. I hope that it is very profitable and successful.

Donna Maria @ Indie Business said...

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you. I think this will be a super game changer for Soapylove and the people who love your products -- like moi!

Kelsey Poofy Cheeks said...

Congrats!! How exciting!

Armi said...

Congratulations! Hope you success in your new endeavor! Love the way you decorated your shop - reminds me of one of your soaps. :)

Lori at The Nova Studio said...

I'm so excited for you :) I hope you'll take photos of your party so that those of us who can't make it can celebrate with you!

SoapSudsations said...

Love the new space, it's gorgeous! All the best in your new work abode.

T.A. Helton said...

YEA!!! Doing the "Happy Soap Dance" for you! What an awesome milestone for you and your business.

Anne-Marie said...

It looks wonderful - you did an amazing job.

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