About Gayle

Gayle is a partner in Glynne's Soaps, Inc; a Social Media Enthusiast and Consultant with biz buzz social (www.bizbuzzsocial.com); a dalmatian rescuer; genealogist; a Cubs Fanatic; hopeful bagpiper; cyclist; paddler; and a curious seeker of life.

How To: Make A Great Experience for You and Your Dog on Public Outings

Most of our readers probably know we are dog people! We treat our dogs like family (maybe even better)! If you have ever encountered us in the real world, or in the virtual world (i.e. Facebook or twitter) you probably know that Marshall, one of our rescue Dalmatians, goes with us everywhere. He is the market mascot at several of the area farmers markets and heaven forbid that we ever go to an event without him….where’s Marshall is all we hear.

It seems obvious for me to say that Marshall is a dog that loves people and other dogs. Without an easy going temperament we could never take him to all the places we do. He relishes being petted by the smallest or the oldest. We are oft amazed at the number of elderly, dressed to the nines, obviously wealthy women who will sit on the ground and be wollered by Marshall. He’s just that kind of personality.

However, a couple of weeks ago we encountered a situation. An off leash dog was walking around a market. While it’s owner shopped at a nearby tent, this dog decided to challenge Marshall in our tent.Marshall Isn’t extremely territorial about the tent, but he does recognize it as his space. When an issue arose, the other owner responded with the typical “my dog is friendly response”.

An uncontrolled friendly dog can be just as much of a menace in public as an aggressive or fearful dog. 

Recently I discovered this great educational graphics by Lili Chin I think they do a great job of explaining animal behaviors to humans.

We keep a yellow ribbon tied to our other rescue, Wrigley’s leash. He is a fearful dog. He is a large dog. He can behave as an aggressive dog because of his fear.

If you are taking your dog in public, even if it’s just as walk around the neighborhood, be aware of not only your own dog and his/her issues or non-issues but also all the dogs around you and how they may interpret you and your dog or any issues they may have.

Alert and Aware

If you stay alert and aware while you and your canine companion enjoy your adventures, you both will come home happier and healthy.

Marshall can’t wait to see you at our next event!

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Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Day

Today is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. While no one here at Glynne’s Soaps is a mom (nor a pop), unless of course you count two cute Dalmatians as kids – and we do, we are a small business swimming upstream against the hard tide of big competitors.

Photo by marj k on Flickr

Make no mistake it is a hard tide!

Go to any grocery store or big box sell everything store and walk down the isle of soaps and you will see that hard tide of competition. There are the bad for your skin full of chemical stuff, then there is the national brand which clams to be an all natural (I’m not commenting on whether they are or not) but they are all there and lets face it, it is easy to just pick one up and put it in your cart.

But our swim against the hard tide doesn’t stop there. Recently a friend said to me, ‘why don’t you sell your soaps unwrapped like the other local soap makers?’ After taking time to close my mouth, and resist the slapping urge, I calmly (at least in my mind) explained yet again, the difference between melt and pour soaps and natural soaps, the difference between unnatural colors and dyes and natural color and the difference between fragrance (synthetic) oils and therapeutic grade essential oils. I also explained that our business plan is to create the best possible natural product (not necessarily the prettiest product – although I do think out products are pretty).

Here at Glynne’s Soaps we are celebrating National Mom and Pop Business Day by continuing to make the best possible products from the best possible ingredients.

Thank you for continuing to choose our products for you and your pets.

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All I want for Christmas is…..A Dog (Why Getting A Christmas Dog is a Mistake)

In 1978 when I was still an obnoxious teen – and let’s face it aren’t all teens just a little (or a lot) obnoxious – I decided that I wanted a dog. So that year, whenever my parents, or anyone else, asked what I wanted for Christmas, I answered ‘a DOG’! My mother was insistent….’NO DOG!’ But being me and being me as a teenager, I persisted and insisted.

Don't get a dog for Christmas

it's cute but don't do it

As an adult and looking back, I know my parents were right (not for the reasons they think they were….but right none-the less). Getting a dog for Christmas is a bad idea! Bad Bad….bad idea :) While I can not imagine my life without a dog or two (check out the pics of our pups – past and present) and I wish every dog had a home and every home could experience the joy I have from having a dog in my home, Christmas is not the time get a dog.

 

Why is a Christmas dog a mistake?

No pet should be a surprise. Having a dog changes the household…..FOR YEARS! Dogs (any pet really) are a big commitment. Someone (an adult) must take responsibility for their daily needs—feeding, exercise, health care, grooming. Sure, it’s a great way to teach a kid responsibility but even that requires adult supervision and daily oversight. Let’s be serious, if the adults in the house aren’t willing to commit to feed, exercise, and groom the dog then they shouldn’t get a dog!

Christmas is a dangerous time for pets. From the possibility of escape (visiting family and friends aren’t always careful to watch out for your dog) to the tinsel and icicles on the tree (they’re no fun to help on their journey through the intestinal track) to the rich foods (dogs are crafty about helping themselves) to the poisonous decorations (beware of your dog and poinsettias); Christmas is a hazardous and watchful time even for a well trained dog and an experienced owner.

Finding the right dog is important. Hustle and Bustle – it’s the term we all use to describe the activities around the holidays (yes, I said holidays and not Christmas because start at Thanksgiving and roll through New Years it’s all hustle and bustle). If you’re life is anything like most of our lives, we barely have time to find the perfect scarf for an aunt or tchotchke for your sister much less find the next member of your family! Dogs are a long term commitment, as I stated earlier, and finding THE one that fits with your life and your family takes time.

Dogs aren’t one size fits all. Each breed is different. Each individual dog is different. Don’t rush your selection! Take your time and choose wisely, you’ll be glad you did. Here’s a neat app that might help you get started in your search – Dogfinder Matchup. And trust me, your kids, spouse or other household member will be just as thrilled with the new dog no matter what day or month they arrive.

Lastly, when you are ready to add a canine member to your family please consider adopting from your local shelter or through a reputable rescue group (believe me there is one for any breed you’re interested in). These rescue groups know the animals. They know their breed. And they can and will help you make the best choice for you and your household.

The decision should be thought about, talked about, negotiated and have every family member’s agreement  A new dog, not necessarily a puppy, either, should be the result of a process, not an impulse. And remember this is a long term commitment (7-20 years) – BE SURE before you get that dog.

Now back to my story …. I wish I could tell you how I used my over abundance of charm, and persuasive powers to convince my parents I needed a dog…but that just isn’t the case.

However, even though my parents did not relent and get me a dog for Christmas….the real Santa provided! And a week before Christmas a beautiful Spitz arrived at my house. She was pure white and well trained and although we were sure she belonged to someone, and although my parents (and I begrudgingly) exhausted every possible means to find her owners, she quickly became my own personal Christmas miracle.

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Cyber Monday

It’s cyber Monday! That special day each year when we gather together to buy stuff from the internet. (Usually from big box stores).

As you probably know – if you know anything about us at all – we’re not a big box store….heck we’re not even a little box store. We’re just two kids getting by on dreams and spare change :)

However, we’re plugging along…making soaps and such…petting the dogs and having fun!

So for cyber-Monday we’re continuing our Thanksgiving special….33% off everything – That’s 1/3 off the price for us non-mathy people!

Just use the code ‘gobblegobble’ at check out on our website and see 1/3 of the total disappear – like magic but more useful!

And remember shopping is safe with us because we use paypal or google checkout (either of which is VERY secure) and we don’t have access to ANY payment information :)

Happy Shopping!

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Election Day Special

Here at Glynne’s Soaps we are big believers in exercising our right to vote! Neither Jenn nor I have ever missed a General Election or even an off year election and neither of us can remember not happily participating in  all primaries.

This year we hope you are exercising your right to vote!

Not too many generations ago our forefathers (and mothers) sacrificed and died for the ability to vote.

Since you can’t show us your “I Voted’ Sticker….we’re using the honor system :)

For today only  Use coupon code “I Voted’ and receive FREE SHIPPING on our website www.glynnesoaps.com

 

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We Survived Our First Four Years

Yesterday the Glynne’s Soaps crew celebrated our fourth anniversary. We shared our feelings in our latest newsletter, but I wanted to share them again here.

I just want to reiterate, we couldn’t have reached this milestone without the love and support of so many people!

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!

GLYNNE’S SOAPS TURNED FOUR YESTERDAY!

We now understand why most businesses fail within five years….getting to year four is really hard! There is no doubt the word quit has been used more this past year than it has in probably either of our lives. But we made it!

Being able to say we’ve successfully survived four years makes the long hours and putting every extra penny back into the business to help it grow worth it.

We’re already looking forward to celebrating year five!

Jenn has lots of ideas for new products. We are evaluating how to capture more of a market share online. In other words, we’re still working :)

Where We’ve Been

As often happens with birthdays or anniversaries, we are spending some time today looking back at where we’ve been.  At our first festival we had 3 different varieties of soaps, all of them for dogs.  Now we carry almost 30 different types of soaps, along with lotions, sprays, bath soaks, candles and other skin care items.  Our products can be found if over 20 stores in 4 states.  We ship products all over the United Statesand even overseas.

Through it all, we have remained true to our mission and passion – we want to provide people with the best natural skin care using no artificial ingredients or fragrances.  There is so much out there that is bad for you, your family and your pets.  We provide safe alternatives to many of the dangerous chemicals that can be found in commercial products.

We are very proud of the fact that we have not compromised on our ingredients even though it would be less expensive and often easier.  However, we will always remain committed to providing you with the safest products available for you and your family.

It feels great to be four!

And we’d like to share that feeling with you.

So we’re giving you the chance to get four bars for $14.44! (Regularly $24.00) Just go to our website, pick your four bars (you can get more but only 4 at the super low price) and enter coupon code 1444 at check out. This offer ends October 28th so do not delay. The offer is good for any bar soaps (dog or human).

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We had a Rain Out in National Farmer’s Market Week (but you get Free Shipping)

This week is National Farmers Market week. We attend a lot of Farmers markets.  We enjoyed attending Farmers Markets before we started Glynne’s Soaps, it was fun to walk around and see all the different items. We also enjoyed finding that special item we wanted to take home and of course we enjoyed the fresh local veggies we could enjoy each week.

Marshall at the Farmers Market

After three years of getting up early and schleping our goods to market 2-3 times a week from May to December we have a different perspective on Farmers Markets. We have a huge respect for all the people each week who work hard to bring their goods to market – on time fresh and local. But there is more, it’s the people who spend their time to coordinate the effort (these things just don’t magically happen). There are people who make sure the little details are attended to and that all the vendors are arranged and cared for. Then there are the customers, the people who come each week. They stop to say hello, even on weeks they may not need your product. They are truly the reason we get out of bed some weeks – the thought of their friendly encouragement.

Because of the recent surge in buying local in-season produce, Farmer’s Markets have experienced growth of 10% in 2012 after a 15% growth in 2011 and Glynne’s Soaps is proud to be a part of two local markets – The Carolina Beach Farmers Market and The Poplar Grove Farmers Market.

We had planned this post to go today and coincide with today’s farmers market at Poplar Grove, but unfortunately, for the second week in a row we suffered a rain out at this market. There still are a few diehard vendors that are at today’s market, but water and soap mix great for using, but not so much for selling :)

We have great hope that God will provide a dry Wednesday some day soon (not that we don’t appreciate the rain) and we’ll be back at the farmers market at Poplar Grove. However, our website is always open  and for today only we’re offering FREE SHIPPING – just use coupon code ‘RainOut’ so hop on over to www.glynnesoaps.com and we’ll ship your order to you.

Go enjoy a farmers market this week! You’ll be glad you did and so will the vendors.

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Help us Qualify for a $250,000 Grant

Last week I received the most incredible call. Our friend Jan Tabor (no relation) called to ask a favor. Jan and her husband Louis own the local Firehouse Subs restaurants (one very near our house). I love their roast beef sub and well, we share a last name and therefore, we’ve gotten to know them. Jan knows I do a lot with Social Media and she called to ask a favor.

They had entered a contest by Chase and LivingSocial to fuel entrepreneurs and small businesses. There is three million dollars in grant money available to twelve businesses. Each of the twelve businesses chosen will receive a $250,000 grant. To qualify for the grant, each business MUST get 250 people to vote for their business. Jan wanted to know if I would help them reach 250 votes.

Of course, I was happy to chat up my favorite sandwich and some extremely nice people! Then Jan said, you may want to apply for your business. Jenn and I talked about it, and even though the deadline was less than 10 days away, we decided to go for it and see if we could get 250 people to vote for us in nine days.

So here we are on day seven and we have gotten 174 votes!

That’s only 76 votes away from our goal. I’m not sure we really have a chance of winning the whole thing, but as my dad used to say, “someone is going to win, may as well be me.’ (As an aside my dad entered every Readers Digest and Publishers Clearinghouse giveaway, and never won a thing).

We would really appreciate your vote! (and one for our friends at Firehouse, too – if you don’t mind). Here’s how:

1- Go to www.missionsmallbusiness.com

 

2 – Sign in with Facebook

3 – Search for Glynne’s Soaps

4 – Vote

Repeat steps 3 and 4 for “Firehouse Subs”.

Thank you!

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National Flip Flop Day

Sometimes it seems there is a National Day of Celebration for any possible thing or event. Today is no different! Aside from it being Jenn’s mom’s birthday and the annual celebration of Jenn’s migration to North Carolina from California; today is National Flip Flop Day!

Yep, it a day to kick off your shoes and socks and air out your feet!

If you’re like most of us, your feet may have acquired a few calluses and rough patches during the day of being trapped in clunky shoes. Never fear, Glynne’s Soaps has the answer – Flip Flop Balm – Yes, this lotion is made specifically for your feet!

We make two scents of Flip Flop Balm

Peppermint and Lavender – perfect for those of us who suffer from foot pain, as peppermint is a great natural pain reliever.

Dreamsicle – great for helping to mend the damaging effects of oxidation from the summer sun (and I think it smells like baby powder – which I like).

Either scent is available with pumice. The pumice is great if you are looking for the exfoliation of dry skin or rough and unsightly calluses and smooth rough patches.

To find out more visit the National Flip Flop Day website.

Now go get your flip flops on!

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Feedback from a Customer

It’s been a while since we posted a blog. We find that it is hard during the busy summer months to get blog posts posted. We have lots of ideas and plenty of good intentions but limited time to sit and put those together into words and blog posts.

Today we suffered a rain out at Poplar Grove’s Farmers Market due to TS Beryl and so I thought I’d take a minute to share a fun and exciting note we received from a customer.

Hello. My name is Dre’a, and I am from Richmond, Virginia. I was in Wilmington in mid-April to attend my cousin’s wedding. On our last day there, we decided to go downtown, and found a place called the Front Street Brewery. Upon reading their menu, I had discovered they carried beer-flavored lip balms. And one of the flavors, the raspberry wheat, is coincidentally the beer that I had drank that day for lunch. So I decided to buy it. When I bought it, I really just did it for novelty purposes. You know, basically so I could tell people “I have beer-flavored lip gloss.” But after trying it, I realized that this stuff IS AMAZING!! I have been on the hunt for the past several months to find a lip balm that would replace one of my very expensive, hard-to-find ones. And my goodness, I certainly found it with y’all! It leaves my lips feeling uber-soft. And if I want a glossy texture I can just apply more. Less glossy?? I apply less. The flavor is AMAZING, and I love the cool sensation it leaves on my lips. Now, I got to tell you, I’ve written celebrities before, and I’ve written restaurants regarding their service, but I’ve never written a company about any product, none the less lip balm! Keep it up, guys. And I can’t wait to pick up some more!

Raspberry Wheat Lip Balm

This wonderful note from Dre’a has inspired us to work more on marketing our lip balms. We have always pushed our soaps and dog products and it seems that the time has come for Lip Balms to take front and center.

So, look for more of Glynne’s Lip Balms in a store near you!

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