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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    36,321

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    Four Star Saddle Soap!
    Click here before you buy.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2013
    Location
    AZ
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    548

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bensmom View Post
    I have been struggling with this question for a while, and finally thought I should consult the collective COTH hive-mind!

    I've been making my handcrafted saddle soap in my kitchen for one (actually over the years, probably several, but one for a long time) ULR. I made some for fun years ago and gave it to her very proficient groom as a gift, and to my surprise, when I ran into them the next year, the first question was "hey, can I get some more soap?!"

    So, for the last almost 10 years, I've been hearing "you should market this stuff. Seriously." and I just never have. I've done it for fun, and enjoyed it. As near as I can tell, my soap has been to the WEG, the Pan Ams, and I think, to Hong Kong and London. Everyone who has used it has loved it and wanted more.

    So, I'm sitting on the edge of considering marketing it, but I have NO idea where to start -- I can't even come up with a name for it!

    It isn't advertising if I am not ready to sell it yet, is it? At this point, all I've got is that it is a conditioning soap for daily use, and I use different combinations of essential oils -- right now in my kitchen is one batch of Ginger/Citrus and one of Rosemary/Mint.

    I've toyed with using something to do with the farm name -- Higher Standards Farm. Or something to do with Ben, or Buzz, who were my two beloved event horses.

    I'm totally lost. I hate to stick something on temporarily and put some at my local tack shop and have it be popular and then change the name, or maybe that wouldn't matter?

    I hate to go all out and buy a lot of gear and invest in a total marketing plan only to find out it won't sell and have a garage full of it and be in the hole financially.

    Thoughts, or ideas? Help?! Is the market so crowded you guys wouldn't even buy a product different from what you are using now?

    It wouldn't be a product that I'd have for sale only to eventers, but that is where the market that is already familiar with it is, and that is where I feel most at home.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or ideas or suggestions!

    Libby
    How about "Kitchen Batch Saddle Soap"? That lets people/buyers know that it is a custom or boutique type product and has that feel of the ole' homestead, with grannie stirring up a pot.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,344

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    FWIW, Tattersall soap is named after a horse. His owner/creator of the soap made it at home, too (so I've been told).

    I'd give it a try. I could put it out in the laundry room at the barn and tell everybody to give it a try! You can have a whole barn full of beta tests. Will send a PM.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2010
    Location
    VA--> Washington (state)
    Posts
    360

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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahKing View Post
    I like Higher Standards Saddle Soap. Crisp, clean, professional ... just be sure to explain why you call it "Higher Standards" so you don't come off as snobby or anything. And don't forget Etsy.com!
    I second the Higher Standards Saddle Soap and the vote for etsy. And then, like others mentioned, have different scents named after your (or other) horses.

    You could do a blurb about how the soap has been held to the "High[est] Standards" of equestrian competitions. Wonder if eventing nation would do a promo for you....
    And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2010
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    460

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    To help you with marketing, try approaching a nearby university/college that has a business program. I went to business school and we used real companies as case studies or projects for several courses, including Marketing. You'll get free, thoughtful advice and they'll get the opportunity to use your company to get experience. You can likely get feedback from the instructor too (after the project is completed).
    I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2004
    Location
    South Park
    Posts
    3,372

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    I like Four Star. I was thinking along the lines of Superior Saddle Soap or something that denotes quality. And then individual "flavors" named after your horses.
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    13,344

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    No surprise, but you're PMs are full. I tried to answer your note back to me. Had an idea for marketing!



  8. #28
    Bensmom is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
    Original Poster
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    4,707

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    I have now cleaned out PMs! This is fun -- I don't know that I've ever been so popular!
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    752

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    I for one have used it and that's the FIRST thing I asked Bensmom for when I went to Tally earlier this month. The 2nd was her husband's wonderful stew.
    And I also got a complete surprise when I also received 2 jars of Miss B's in a Jam....if you haven't tried that, then you are certainly missing out.

    But the saddle soap, it's GREAT!



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2006
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    1,306

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    Be careful of a name that is TOO generic. I struggle a little with the company name "Custom Saddlery" sometimes, because people want to know who makes these custom saddles, "Custom Saddlery" I answer .... etc So, NO to the idea of simply Custom Saddle Soap. You'd also run into confusion with people wanting to know if this was Custom's saddle soap !

    What is special about your saddle soap ? How do you it is good for leather ? Is it better, long-term, than Effax, or Akene ?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2005
    Location
    Cambridge Springs, PA
    Posts
    3,122

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    I like the idea of one brand name with different scents named after your horses, or other horses. I like 4 Star Soap better than Higher Standards, only because it's shorter, snappier... easier to say, etc.


    PJ would like you to name one after him. Here he is modeling his new custom beaded browband for one local entrepreneur. It has totally made his ego inflate and now he thinks instead of being a Smurf-Packer-Extraordinaire he wants to be an Equine Spokesmodel.
    www.hogbackhillfarm.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
    Bensmom is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    May. 2, 2001
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    Tallahassee, FL
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    Gee, Cody, thanks! <blushing> Though I can't take any credit for the camp stew -- I wish he could come up with a way to mass produce *that*! But, that does run afoul of the "cottage industry" laws and rules. (Thanks to whoever made the suggestion to check that out, by the way -- since my friend, the aforementioned "Miss B's In a Jam" makes jam and jellies for sale, we have researched it thoroughly, and since the soap isn't for human or pet consumption, we are ok making it at home )

    Kate -- It does a good job for daily use. The ULR's groom that I mentioned early on has used it for right at 10 years, and tack has held up beautifully. My local trainer is a saddle fitter and was an Albion rep through Performance and she had been pleased with it. I also have another fitter/rep who has just started trying it and was really pleased with how it rehabilitated a neglected used saddle she was trying to get sold for someone.

    I have used Effax in the past and liked it ok, have not used Akene. I don't know if mine is *better* but I do know that folks that have had access to whatever they would want to use, have chosen to use my stuff.

    I read a product description the other day where it was claimed that the leather cleaner/conditioner was so good that it would restore your leather to its formerly pristine status, do the dishes, do your taxes and make you a healthy, happy person.

    Mine *isn't* that -- it is just a concoction that is easy to use on a daily basis, smells good and has been pretty thoroughly tested. It is just good stuff.

    And maybe my labels should say "you know you want to help me get a new dressage saddle for my mare."

    Thank you guys for all the help!! This is absolutely priceless input!

    Libby
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 1999
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    11,209

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    How exciting for you! Lots of great name suggestions. I like the suggestion of pairing a horse with a "flavor." It leaves you lots of opportunities.

    I don't know if you can be awarded a patent unless you are using proprietary ingredients and/or processes, but I do know that it is a very cumbersome process. If you're just making soap, using standard soap-making methods and ingredients, I'd skip the process entirely and focus on identifying the name, then filing an intent-to-use trademark application with USPTO. Trademarks involve packaging, so you'll need to give that some thought as well.

    I might read some case studies on Burt's Bees and Mrs. Field's Cookies - 2 very famous "out of the kitchen into the masses" cases, and see where there might be some synergies. Crowd sourcing is a great way to begin, particularly in a niche industry.

    By the way, I read your email late last night and guess what I later dreamed? That I was the sole groom at the Olympics for the 4 horses ... none of whom I'd met until we arrived at stabling!
    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2009
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    4,183

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    Boutique offerings exclusive with direct marketing on Internet..You can also buy tent space at some smaller recognized events and offer free samples with a prepaid mailer for feed back...have a professional do your website with PayPal payments buy a domain name and set up LLC almost all can be done yourself....packaging and branding also very easy to accomplish yourself...Get emdorsement from the ULR payment is saddle soap.OH we COTHERS need PM s so we can buy and be your test site ers.....So many home based products doing as well or better than store brands right now...OH and as to name.....Grass Roots

    I did find several small sample sized saddle soaps at Dover with different scents like lavender and rosemary liked them all and another made from goats milk?



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,467

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    L--Once you come up with a few possibilities, call or email and I'd be happy to help with trademark issues. In exchange for a sample of course.

    I have never understood women with shoe/handbag obsessions...until last night, as I was cleaning and conditioning some of my tack and thought, "Aha! The normal non-horseperson has to buy shoes and handbags to interact with lovely leather!" I may be off-base, but at least I can identify with the "acquire nice leather" urge....


    5 members found this post helpful.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    13,105

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    I would certainly try some. I'm always on the look out for the next great cleaning product....and seem to go through a lot. (so if you want another tester )

    But online and easy to order would be high on my list. Most cleaning products I tend to buy on impulse......it is in the tack store, smells good etc. Or a friend recommends it. I just picked up some really nice jasmine smelling conditioning soap at Dover because it smelled nice and my friend said it was good. Most marketing is really word of mouth....and in the horse world, that word can travel far and fast! Facebook as well as a web site may be all the marketing you need for a while!

    Good luck. I like a global name like Higher Standards Custom Leather Soap...and then you can use the "cute" names for each "flavor". Good luck!!!
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  17. #37
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    19,089

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    I think BFNE has the business name. Higher Standards (Farm?) Custom Leather Care. Then the product names could be as cute as you wanted. Ben's 4* Lavender Saddle Soap, etc. With a picture of Ben's face on the label. Is the stuff liquid or cream?

    Of course, you'd need to set up an LLC so you can be financially irresponsible without it affecting your "real" life. (Can you tell I'm not fond of the LLC concept? )

    I also thought about etsy, but don't think it's quite the right fit for saddle soap, no matter how homemade. They don't even have a sports category, much less a horse one.

    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    I would certainly try some. I'm always on the look out for the next great cleaning product....and seem to go through a lot. (so if you want another tester )

    But online and easy to order would be high on my list. Most cleaning products I tend to buy on impulse......it is in the tack store, smells good etc. Or a friend recommends it. I just picked up some really nice jasmine smelling conditioning soap at Dover because it smelled nice and my friend said it was good. Most marketing is really word of mouth....and in the horse world, that word can travel far and fast! Facebook as well as a web site may be all the marketing you need for a while!

    Good luck. I like a global name like Higher Standards Custom Leather Soap...and then you can use the "cute" names for each "flavor". Good luck!!!
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2011
    Location
    ENC
    Posts
    423

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    I liked the idea of Higher Standards for your business name and was going to also suggest naming the different scents after your horses A more "home grown" name draw in those who love buying all of the homemade goods (like myself); even Home Grown Saddle Soap! If something looks like a small, homemade business, I'm going to buy it, like everything in Fresh Market. I'm PMing you as well, including my paypal address in case you want to invoice me
    Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
    Facebook me!

    I have Higher Standards ...do you?



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2001
    Posts
    5,211

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    Funny - I was thinking "Buzz Standard" rather than Higher Standards, if only because it's a little more catchy/memorable (plus easier to grab the URL for). Though given how infrequently I actually clean my tack, not sure I am competent for a vote (but yummy smelling citrus-ginger saddle soap might actually inspire me to de-grime the flat bridle...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #40
    Bensmom is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    May. 2, 2001
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    Tallahassee, FL
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    You guys are great! This has been so much fun! Grasshopper -- I'll take you up on that! That is an area of the law I know NOTHING about, as law school was a LONG time ago!

    And you guys would really order online? Even if shipping cost nearly as much as the product itself? That is one of my concerns -- what size to make it in. In order to ship one 16 oz and one 8 oz last week to Jacksonville, shipping was $6. But, I guess that isn't as much as it seemed -- not if I really think about what I have thought about charging.

    I am leaning toward Etsy, simply because their storefront set up is easy to get going with -- it is already set up for you to be able to take paypal for instance. And it may be something my friend that makes the jams/jellies and I do together.

    There is a merchant that I've done business with for several years now that I actually found at a crafts fair type environment. She makes products at home from her bees and I've gone back to her for Christmas gifts over and over again. She has switched from her own website to selling through Etsy because it is easier for her to maintain herself.

    Thank you to COTH -- maybe we have our own business incubator going here?!

    Libby
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap



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