Target audience

I must tell you about the stall I had at the Easter weekend market.  I have already told you about the success of the passionfruit but I also sold a moderate amount of soap which WAS, of course, the main reason for the stall.

Have I mentioned I am obsessed with soap YouTube videos?  I am guessing I have.  Well, if you watch more than a few thousand then you will, invariably, come across 50 or 500 that tell you how to start a soap-making business.  One of the tips they give is “know your market”.

I have always said my main customers are grandmothers, something I learned from a lady I met at one fair who sold fairy houses.  The idea of grandmothers appealed, that is, until the Easter markets when I changed my tune, big time.  My target market now is girls between the age of 6 and 12.  Most of the soaps I sold were to girls in this age group.  They have money and they are willing to spend it.

Any younger and the kids don’t have their own funds and mum’s are tight.  I don’t know how many times I heard, “Look mum, watermelon soap”, only to see a little girl, without her own purse, being dragged away by mum.

One little girl, who bought two bars,  left her very cute hamburger bun purse behind, still with a bit of dosh in it.  We later drove around town and to the tennis club looking for her, but it was in vain.

I sold all but two of my watermelon soaps (which have now sold. I posted them today).  All, except one, were sold to young girls with cute little purses.  I could not believe it. I think the secret weapon is pink.

The only adult who bought a watermelon soap was a man, my only male customer.  He walked up to the stall and, without hesitation, bought a watermelon soap and my last raspberry cheesecake soap. I am guessing he, too, knew his target audience.  Maus later saw him showing a little girl his purchases.

Another little girl bought my last Over the Rainbow soap.  I explained to her mum that I made it to commemorate the passing of the Same Sex Marriage legislation.  Mum just smiled and said, “She loves all things Rainbow“.

And my Chalk and Cheese soaps were gobbled up by more girls.

The adult women were much less predictable and there was not a man in sight – except for the aforementioned dad.  I sold one rose soap and one lavender and one of this and one of that.

With this new-found knowledge, I decided to embrace my target market with the soap in the top photo.  It is called  “With love …” .  Inside the soap is a hot pink melt & pour heart, covered in pastel pink and white swirled soap which, in turn, is wrapped in a pink ribbon and a glorious pink bow.  How pink is that?  I hope I have hit the mark.

Before I decided to go pink, I had already made these Shaun soaps.  They were still curing when I had the stall so I don’t know whether they would have been popular or not.  This soap will definitely be a once off.  I was only able to make one sheep a night!  Rolling all those little white balls to make the wool nearly sent me troppo.  At $5.00 for a bar of soap and about 5 hours work, it just ain’t worth it.  :).  I know this is just a hobby but …

Maus has not been very complimentary when it comes to the positioning of Shaun’s eyes.  She reckons they are all cross-eyed.  Boy, is she hard!  I was happy if that very sticky little black ball of soap landed anywhere on the white part of the eye.

I must tell you how I made the grass because I think it was ingenious.  I got soft soap (two shades of green and a little orange) and pushed it through a coarse sieve.  I then left it for a week or so to harden.  When hard, I knocked it off.  Voila! Grass!

A couple of months ago, before my pink lightbulb moment, whilst reading my IPad, I must have clicked on a link that took me to some pork dumplings.  The creative chef had made little pig faces on his dumplings.  I don’t know where I have been but I had never seen this before.  I just loved it.  I was hooked.  All I could see were little pig faces on my soaps.  Before you could say, “Rumpelstiltskin”, I was Googling “pig faces” and then … the whole wide world of decorated cupcakes was opened to me.  Animal cupcakes!!  Who ever knew??  If you can make animal faces out of icing, why not soap?  That started me on another endeavour.

My first creation was Chickpea.  I must say I love Chickpea, mainly because she was pretty easy to make.  BTW, the name “Chickpea” stems from a little joke with my mate, Colette.

 

 

 

My next creation was Daisy.  I got a false sense of security with Chickpea.  Daisy was decidedly harder to make.  Maus reckons Daisy’s ears are too big. Geez, always the critic!  I say Daisy will just have to get used to them!

 

 

My next creation was Prince Charming.  His eyes were the trickiest part but, overall, he wasn’t too hard.  He really does look like a prince with that gold mica and ruby crown. I would marry him.

 

 

 

Then came Rover.  I am guessing kids like traditional names.  Any other suggestions?  What can I say about Rover?  If he looks like a dog (and he does), he must be a dog.

 

 

 

Then came Dumpling.  She doesn’t look much like those pork dumplings, but she is still very cute and the original inspiration.  Again, it was the ears that nearly “done me in.”

 

 

Finally, there is Roger Rabbit. He still needs his whiskers.  I have made some out of very thinly rolled black soap but I am waiting for them to get really, really hard before I try to attach them. I would have Buckley’s chance attaching them whilst the soap is even a teeny weeny bit soft.

I still have eight dome shaped soaps left so that means eight more faces.  I don’t know whether I will go more of the same or different.  I have my heart set on, at least, one unicorn.  Unicorns are everywhere at the moment.  After that, I think I will abandon my target market and make some adult soap.  If only their tastes were more predictable. 🙂

Sally Wise’s Plum Sauce

 

This year, through some miracle of miracles, the birds left some plums for us.  Whether it was conscious or whether they just missed them, I don’t know.  Of course, as happens with every variety of fruit and vegetable in the garden, they all ripened at once.  There was not a huge amount but certainly more than we would eat.  I put them in the cool room (along with the 1,000 passionfruit) until I could decide what to do with them. We are not big jam eaters so jam was not an option.  We do, however, eat a bit of sauce.  Plum sauce it would be then. Continue reading

Freekeh salad with marinated chicken & pomegranate dressing

Here is another recipe from my current favourite book, Palestine on a Plate, by Joudie Kalla.  I noticed the recipe a while ago and parked it.  Then, the other day, when I was thinking, “What’s for dinner?”, it sprang forth.

It is very simple but it does take about 30 minutes to cook the freekeh so allow yourself sufficient time.

I am a real fan of freekeh but we don’t eat it often enough.  As a consequence, there was a packet in the pantry getting precariously close to its use-by date.  Coincidently, we also had abundant pomegranates, mint, parsley and chives so the recipe was a perfect choice.  There was not much on the shopping list.

The recipe as published (and as set out below) is supposed to feed four.  I guess it just depends on how much chicken you like.  We usually eat one breast between two of us.  I used one large breast and made about a third of the marinade, ie, 1 teaspoon of dried mint, 1 teaspoon of za’atar, etc.  I roughly halved the salad ingredients.  What constitutes “a large bunch of parsley”, “a bunch of chives” and “a bunch of rocket” is anyone’s guess.  As it turned out, the quantities I chose were perfect for us.  The top photo, which was half of what I made, was just right for one.  Work out how much chicken and how much salad you think you will need and adjust the recipe accordingly.

If you like to eat grains (we all should) and haven’t tried freekeh, give it a go.  It is very nice.  I find it  similar to brown rice.  For those who don’t know, freekeh is roasted green wheat grain.

Ingredients:

  • 300g freekeh
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthways

Marinade:

  • 1 tbs* dried mint
  • 1 tbs* za’atar
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tbs* pomegranate molasses
  •  a drizzle of olive oil
  • salt & black pepper

Salad:

  • a large bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 spring onions, chopped
  • a bunch of fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • a bunch of rocket
  • 2 red chillies, chopped

Dressing:

  • 100ml apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbs* pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbs* caster sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 70ml olive oil
  • 1 tbs* dried mint
  • 1 tbs* za’atar
  • 1 tsp salt

*These are 15 mil tablespoons.

Continue reading

Tahini brownies

OMG, these brownies are rich!!!

You would think that the 500g of chocolate, 500g of butter and 12 eggs would have given me a hint as to the absolute decadence I was about to create.  But I didn’t really turn my mind to the ingredients.  I was attracted to the photo of the gooey chocolate swirled tahini and to the fact that the recipe was called tahini brownies.  “Tahini brownies are something different,” I thought.   I love tahini and was relishing the combo of tahini and chocolate.  As it turns out, there is so much chocolate in these guys, you can barely taste the tahini.  But, jeez, they are good.  Joudie Kalla, the author of Palestine on a Plate, says one piece is enough but, to be honest, a tiny square with coffee may be enough. They are that rich. Continue reading

Indigo Blues

I have to tell you about my first hot process soap.  I have been thinking about this soap for ages.  Finally, it is a reality.  You may be curious as to why I am so excited about plain blue soap … well, there is a reason.  Ages ago, I made Starry Starry Night which is, without doubt, my favourite soap I have ever made but, alas, it had an issue. Continue reading