When I first started Simple Apothecary, it was because I had been making products that I needed. Most of my handcrafted remedies were created simply because I couldn't find what I needed elsewhere.
Now the company has grown enough that I have customer requests coming in for remedies THEY'VE been searching for. While it may not seem relatively difficult to create a new natural product, you may be surprised. There is a LOT of trial and error in the process.
Sometimes I'm able to start with a product I already make and then just alter it, such as with Ease Away. But with something like the eczema cream I'm about to release, it's a much longer process.
To say I spend time researching before starting is an understatement! I literally spend hours scouring my books as well as my trusted resources. While I'm not a certified herbalist, I have taken a number of self-guided courses. This has given me a lot of knowledge, but I want to be sure I'm making the right choices on things like herbs or the carrier oils.
I have copious amounts of organized notes, lists, and websites that are all utilized at various times. Having been on this journey for a number of years, I've gained a tremendous amount of knowledge. Keeping it all organized has been vital so that I can go back easily and find that tidbit of knowledge I'm looking for.
Next up is a rough-draft of a recipe, so to speak. I start with a very small amount of ingredients as more often than not, the first experiment doesn't work very well.
Beginning with literal pencil and paper, I use my reference notes to create a basic recipe that I want to start with. There are certain aspects that come with experience to make it easier however, such as knowing how much beeswax to oil I need to make the right consistency, or how much essential oils I can use while still keeping it safe for kids.
Trial and Error
From there I get out my raw ingredients and begin making the recipe. Sometimes I follow what I've written to a T and see how it turns out. Other times I adjust it as I'm making it because I can tell right away it's not working how I expeceted.
Another aspect of the trial and error process is the method itself. It can vary how long something needs to cool down before incorporating, or how much I need to cool an item before whipping it. It can also vary on what tools I need to use to make the finished product feel right.
The Rough Stuff cream I've created for ultra-dry and flaky skin has colloidal oatmeal in it, an ingredient I've never used professionally. Turns out I have to filter it several times in order to get a smooth texture! That wasn't something I had anticipated prior to making the cream.
When I'm finally satisfied with what I've made, I ask customers to try out the product for free and give me honest feedback. This is a CRITICAL step!! If it's not working how it was intended, I stop the process right there. I'm not willing to make money off of a product that doesn't work. It has to do the job it was intended for to make into the Simple Apothecary lineup of trusted handcrafted remedies.
Once I've had approval from my testers, the product begins to be sold in person. I start with in-person sales because I'm able to chat with people about it BEFORE they buy it. Once it's on my website, I lose that personal interaction.
If I get good feedback and consistent sales from the new product, then it's FINALLY ready for a permanent place and the professional labeling you see on my old faves!
This Process Depends on Customers Like YOU!
Is there a product you would like to see me make? Do you have feedback on a product you already use? Would you like to be a tester for new products? PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I depend on customer feedback to determine what new remedies I produce. I'm always excited to hear back from you!