New Product Samples

Body lotion and beeswax products

This week has been all about finishing products I started last week for my sample testing event on Sunday. I set up a test group I call the “Harvesters” about a month ago – mostly with friends, but I opened it up to anyone living in the ACT.

My hope was not only that this group would give me important feedback prior to going to market with my ideas, but they would also act as future ambassadors for the new products as they had input into them coming alive.

The first six samples I’ll give them to try are our new body lotion with 6 different potential scents and 3 different consistency. Ideally, I would have tweaked the products at least once myself before getting feedback from third-parties, but I just received them on Friday from my soap maker, and so we didn’t have time to make any adjustments.



Of the six, there are three scents that I definitely like, but think the consistency of all of them needed some work.

I’ve also created some samples of a hand butter salve and lip balm for them to try that I made myself using Canberra beeswax. It sounds easy enough, but I made 14 different samples, and still am not completely happy with the texture. It feels like I’m baking a cake and just tweaking the recipe constantly to find that perfect fit.

Hand salve and lip balm test samples
Hand salve and lip balm test samples

It will be interesting to see what my test group says about these samples. I won’t tell them which ones I like as I don’t want to skew the results. Still, I am quietly cheering on my favourites.

Hotel Amenity Pilot is a Go

It’s a go for our non-plastic hotel amenity pilot! While I won’t make a dime from this 1 month pilot (and will likely lose some money), it’s worth it to test the solutions that we are considering right now.

There are so many little things to consider such as how easy it is to dent our aluminium tins. About half of the tins from one sample pack that came in via Amazon.com.au showed up with dents or scratches.

I’m also considering the labelling requirements. I want to print right on the packaging from the start, but it costs a lot more to do this with small volumes. However, using a compostable paper labels isn’t possible because it’s not waterproof – a “no no” in bathrooms where they might discard unused tins only because the wet label makes it look used.

Right now, I think I’m going to have to order two lots of tins. Some that are blank, and then I buy plastic labels to hand place on them. And others that have the printing on them from the start. This will allow us to test the printing capabilities during the pilot itself.

The buzz of winning work

It’s strange that when I used to win multi-million dollar contracts back in my IT days, it never gave me a buzz like it gave other sales people. I was more proud of the proposals I turned in that solved a customer’s problems, and therefore it didn’t mater it we won or lost to me even though I would only be rewarded if we won.

For this hotel amenity pilot, I’m excited even though it will likely cost me more than I make to do this. It’s the fact that a hotel is willing to take a chance on my crazy idea that can really reduce the amount of single-use plastic in hotels locally and nationally if I move fast enough. It’s the potential impact down the road that is giving me a buzz. How awesome would it be to literally change the hotel industry’s practices to benefit the environment!