All I Ever Needed To Know Was Hidden In A Soap Nut!!

To the Most Amazing customers ever,

Well, that was quite the sale and I am completely sold out. I have a couple of people who have purchased bulk from me to either start a soap nut business or add soap nuts to their current offerings and I am excited to see and witness their excitement. Over the course of the 8 years I have helped to start a few different soap nut companies. It has been fun to watch them each grow in their own way some took off and were very successful, others lasted mere months. I was a born guidance counsellor, teaching and guiding is what fuels my soul and helping them was no exception.

Earth’s Berries actually was a full realisation of my entire life. Over the course of my life, I have been the one to introduce products to people long before most knew about them. That I think, comes from my thirst to find out what else is possible? This is a question I attempt to live in as much as possible and when I am not in this question I know that generally my life is likely not in the best direction and it is time for a change.

Absolutely everything about this business has been a gift, even the closing. But not only has it been a gift it has been the biggest learning experience in my life and I will never, not for a moment look back on these 8 years as anything but the most amazing ride. I met some of the most incredible people, learned the stories of so many and learned things I just never even knew were on the radar of learning.

This final little blog post on this Earth’s Berries site is for you…you the one who wonders if it is all worth it, the one who wonders should you take the chance, the one who may look at your life and think it is falling apart when really it is all just coming together. This is for you because I will guarantee you, you will only regret the chances and the opportunities you didn’t take. That still small voice of intuition is inside of you for a reason….listen!!

 

 

Sooooooo? What did I learn on this 8 year journey…. To mention it all would take years…8 to be exact 🙂

  1. Taking a trip to India to meet my supplier. As much as I had always wanted to travel to India for a spiritual journey. I knew I couldn’t start this company without meeting my supplier, it was a short trip but a trip long enough to get to know DK and his company and his mission.  I made the decision to go from my gut on a warm day in July. My husband was taking a week off for my birthday in mid August so in mid-July I said to him I think I need to go to India if I am going to start this business and find a suitable supplier. Oddly enough, he didn’t even blink an eye…after 10 years together he knew this was not out of the ordinary.  In 2 weeks I secured an emergency visa and while at the Indian embassy I met someone whose brother was a taxi driver in India, arrangements were made and his brother was willing to pick me up at the airport and drive me the 10 hours up the Himalayan mountains to get to meet DK. Scariest drive of my entire life!!! If things didn’t work out with him I had 2 meetings planned in Delhi on my way out of India.  They did work out and we continued to work together for the entire time of this company. If our paths ever cross again I would be more than honoured to do more business with him.
  2. How to register and incorporate a business….the hard way!!
  3. How to get a trademark….who would have thought that was a 2-year process!!
  4. How to apply and develop third-party testing against a huge brand
  5. How to build a website with an e-commerce platform

I ended up hiring professionals but my very first website was a templated website that I designed, I copy and pasted  HTML code and I set up a store front with Pay Pal buttons, excepted payment and shipped orders. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks!!

  1. Learned that most “approved by labels” mean absolutely nothing

Did you know that anyone can slap an “HE” label on any of their laundry products, it means nothing!!
USDA organic is sometimes useful but as soon as we in the western world want everything from developing countries to have “Organic and ECO- certification” the farmers have to pay more. A much better label to look for is “Fair Trade”. Soap nuts have been and will forever be organic, they don’t need a governing body to make it so. Simply a cash grab!!!

  1. How to import product, what port would be best, what is air shipping what is sea shipping
  2. How to broker my own product….it is easier than you think….learn!!
  3. Chemical sensitives do exist, not new to me, but what was new was how affected people going through cancer treatments are to smell and chemicals. Please be mindful

 I have saved most of my emails over the 8 years but the ones that are really dear to my heart were the ones from people going through cancer treatment, autoimmune diseases, allergies and chemical sensitives because those people this isn’t about laundry. This, these lovely little Earth’ s Berries were about life. They were honestly a game changer in the lives of many people I had the privilege of meeting or chatting to over the past 8 years.

  1. Naivety works really well sometimes.

Not knowing that most people work with an agent when they head off to The Shopping Channel to pitch their products was actually what helped to get me a spot on the show. I was so incredibly naïve about the business that I just walked in and pitched

  1. The Shopping Channel or other big contracts are not always what the seem to be, nor are they always good for business. Always make sure that your business is able to walk before someone thinks it can run.
  2. I can pack a box like I’m playing Tetris
  3. The inside of an import-export warehouse. Words simply can’t explain. I remember leaving the building looking at my sister and saying. I never in a million years ever expected to be in there. But I was, and it was so much joy filled fun!!
  4. There are some absolutely amazing business mentors in this area, don’t ever let knowledge be an excuse not to do something. People love to share their knowledge, listen and learn even one small nugget of information can save you mountains of time.
  5. I could work as a bookkeeper, I took bookkeeping courses and with the help of my sister I was able to do my own books.
  6. I could work as a social media consultant for small business, trust me I have taken more online and in person social media courses than I ever felt I needed. I didn’t always do everything, but I sure as hell know how.
  7. How to create systems so that someone can come in and buy the business, yep, I did it. I created systems for shipping, product development, suppliers. I had built an email list of thousands of people. But,  in the end it ended up being my baby and I couldn’t watch it move on to someone else.
I know that sounds sentimental and financially irresponsible, but that is me.

Two Key Life Lessons

1. People change people
2. There are more people on this planet that are here to support you than you will ever truly realise….

.  Even if your idea is to sell an obscure berry from India.

 

From the bottom of my heart, I live in awe and incredible gratitude for the journey of this business and so many deserve a big thank you.

Customers

First of all, I have said it so many times, I had the most amazing customers. I heard the stories of people, so many heartfelt conversations over the years that I will cherish forever. After the announcement of the closing, so many of those customers took time out of their day to email me or call me, I was completely overwhelmed by their continued support. Even with website issues over the years, times that I messed up, they were always so forgiving and patient. I never expected that customers of a laundry detergent would truly change my life and my perspective.

Web Developer Extroidanaire

Then there is the greatest web developer in the entire world. Over the course of the last 3 years of us working together, she was as much a part of this business as I was. I could not have survived had she not come into my life when she did. Thank you Nikki and Blackmoosemedia

Friends and Family…You are my rock!!

To my husband, my sisters and some very special friends who supported me always without question and usually for free. From packing boxes to financial aid, my support system was unbelievable.

For my daughter who was up at 5 am for market mornings and doing free labour willingly every time I needed her.

To the guy who started this whole journey with me, my beloved son. Who at 21 decided that he wanted to get on the train of his mom’s crazy idea. Boy am I glad he did. Not many parents can say that they got to travel around Ontario going to market after market with their 21-year-old son. It was a defining moment in our relationship and I think that everyone should find a way to spend that much time with their adult children before they head off into their own lives with families and children. Now that we only see each other a couple of times a year I am thankful for all of that time travelling in a car.

And the biggest thank you is to my loving source who guided me to this adventure and I know is heading me off to another.
Until I fully realise what that is you will be able to find my musings about life starting May 5th at Karen’s Soap Box

In love, light and laughter
Karen

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” -Hunter S. Thompson

 

                

Where can you buy soap nuts now?

Many people have asked where they can buy soap nuts now. There is a host of companies that sell soap nuts, however, what I have heard over the years is that people like what I stand for and my mission-based business. Therefore, I will lead you to those people I think are similar to my core ethics. Just an FYI SOAP NUTS DO NOT NEED TO BE SANITISED, and any company that claims this your tells you so is lying for your business. Do your very best to make sure they are not from China.

In Canada two of my past Earth’s Berries Consultants have decided to start up their own business, they both are amazing Mompreneurs who have family farm businesses.

Wash Berries
Jason & Ashley Fehr
705-544-5447
wash.berries@hotmail.com

Ashley also has an incredible craft business as well.
 https://www.facebook.com/fehrlycraftycreations/

Ever After Acres
Lisa Stevens
www.everafteracres.net
www.facebook.com/everafteracres
info@everafteracres.net
506-5762748

In the US
I think your best bet is a company called www.Naturoli.com

What about those Dryer Balls?
I searched high and low for the best dryer balls and I found them with Nurtured Sew Naturally
Contact Carley for retail or wholesale needs.

What about the Earth’s Berries website?
The website will be up and operational for the next year and you can reach me by email at info@earthsberries.com for any questions or inquiries.