The Big Spring Shop Update

Hello friends!

Deb here, and I have some exciting news over here at Birds of Valhalla™ for Spring 2022. Sorry this post will be lengthy but there is so much to tell you all! There are so many changes a foot that I will be making many blog post to keep up with. Some of these changes might be a bit shocking to our regular customers but I promise you there’s a purpose, and in the end I think people are going to be far happier with the results.

So let’s just open up with the bad news right away. The thing that I have not wanted to tell you. Because of huge staff changes that have happened over the last couple of months we are no longer able to keep up with custom orders simultaneously while producing over 250 consistent products. We just don’t have the staffing available or the space. Customs is one of our most popular features, but it’s also the most time-consuming and complicated. It has the biggest chance for creating issues as each custom is really unique and therefore, somewhat of an experiment. And occasionally experiments can go wrong. We’ve had leaky bottles in the mail. Repeat orders of custom loaves that look completely and smell completely different when people are really looking for consistency. Many customers don’t read the description and don’t understand customs. We’ve had people upset that it takes 4 to 5 weeks to get their custom loaf even though that is how long soap takes to cure before we can safely send and deliver it to you all. We’ve had confusion where people don’t get what they think they’re going to get. And it’s just too much complication in storing soap in a small space with no way to really label it clearly for weeks at a time. It holds up orders, sometimes for weeks and also holds up the orders behind it due to the complications. Some turn brown and people are unhappy. And the listing is a complete nightmare with over 300 scents, endless combinations and many times people want things that are simply not possible. The as the CEO, and the only person making these soap customs this means time away from all other tasks. The issues they cause also take tremendous time to resolve. The end result is that we are really running two businesses- a consistent product business with more variety than any other soapmaker we have seen PLUS a customs shop. It’s just not sustainable.

On the topic of customs real quick. I can’t help but talk about coconut allergies. I would say about 50% of the time when someone orders a custom it’s because they have a coconut allergy. So I’m happy to announce that we will be offering some coconut free soaps here in the near future on a consistent basis. They’ll only be a few types, but I’ll be sure to curate between or best sellers and most frequently requested.

Speaking of sustainability we will be reducing the amount of standard items in the shop. Why? Because as we move into using a professional fulfillment service to get you your packages in record time, we must simplify what we offer. We cannot continue to scale and ship from this location as boxes, packing materials and the whole shipping department has already taken over 800 square ft of studio space and outgrowing that, and  has also become a need for a full time staff. Jade, my husband, is doing this job now, but he is seeking to go back to his full time employment as a software engineer. We have hired shipping staff in the past, but sadly it has never worked out as the position is far more demanding then you might think. Part of the solution to keep things moving at the faster pace you all have become accustomed to know is dramatic simplification. The good news is that we will double down on what is the best we offer and this reduced and simplified "menu" if you will means it will be easier to shop, easier to ship, faster to get to you and free up more time for other, more interesting projects. Also, the fulfillment center is centrally located in the USA, which means those of you far from New York will get your packages even faster.

Now onto some of the good news… we have started collecting potion bottles because we are going to start an exciting new chapter here. We are going to instill a little more art, creativity, uniqueness and magic into the process of making our products and videos.

In addition, we’re planning on experimenting with jewelry making. You guys are loving the crystal pendants that we have. But we would like to take it a step further and make them more unique, especially since were known for gorgeous labradorite here. We would love to turn these beautiful pieces of Labradorite into STUNNING pendants and maybe even rings down the road. We have gathered almost all the ingredients already to experiment with wire wrapping, and even cooler- copper electroforming! 

When some time is freed up, the creativity will blossom and I hope all of you are as excited as I am to enter this new chapter of the business. We will become more unique than ever and hopefully, our business will grow as a result as well as improved shipping and simplification. If we can get a handle on this beast, imagine the things we could think up and make together! 
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This business grows so fast!

Catherine Clarke

I love seeing how far you’ve come so quickly

Quentin Graves

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