Au Naturel
Keeping 
it Simple

 
This is a place where you can follow my journey of creating my own company and getting a goat.  
I post every few weeks, so keep watching!
The End is Near

May 7, 2015

This website and blog is due tomorrow, I am not sure that I am ready to end this project. I am so happy with all the progress that I have accomplished. I love everything that I have learned business wise. All the great business owners that took time out of their day to mentor me and give me the tips and tricks of owning your own business. I am so thankful for all the people in my life that supported me in this journey of self discovery.
I am so proud of myself for what I have accomplished, my culminating event of actually owning my own business seemed like such a daunting task at the beginning, but I DID IT!

Sales on the Rise

May 2, 2015

I've made quite a bit of sales! enough to have reached and exceeded my goal of 200 dollars. I am researching today what it takes to donate to the National Eating Disorder Foundation. I am excited to give them my running total of 221. The main reason sales have skyrocketed is because of talking to everyone I see about my company and giving them my business card. I believe that people are more willing to buy my product when they see the person who makes it.

Business Plan

April 30, 2015

I met with my uncle today to discuss my business plan. This is going to be my 5-year plan, and the whole point of my senior project. I want this senior project to be mainly focused on the business aspect of it, not really the product aspect or selling things. I know that marketing is a big part of business, but I am more interested in my business plan than anything else.
The meeting today went over the steps of having a successful business, very informative, but it was a lot of information for me to absorb at once. So I am planning on meeting with him May 9 to get everything in writing and in a professional manner.

Editing The Website

April 24, 2015

I added the final logo to my website and I love the way it looks. I put my logo on a word document so I could size it according to the size of the mason jar lid. I printed out a bunch of the logos and cut them out and glued them on on the mason jar lids. I also took some time to look at examples of business cards, I want the most simple business cards that look sophisticated and reflect the look of my logo itself. I have a first draft of my card done, but I'm thinking of changing it into a black background instead of white one to give it more of a chalkboard effect.

Making the Products

April 16, 2015

This week I have been spending my time making all of my products! Fudge, ricotta, milk bath and lotion have all been made, not in bulk yet though. I have only made a few sales just to family and friends, but my aunt works with a bunch of people that are very interested in goats milk products. I am hoping to make at least 200 before I donate to the National Eating Disorder Foundation.
All of my products have a final recipe, I am planning on printing out the recipes on little recipe cards and giving them out to anyone who wants them. What I respect in a business is when they have nothing to hide, ingredient wise.

Final Draft

April 9, 2015

Continually emailing with Sandrine, it has finally came to the point where I am happy with the way the logo looks. Sandrine did such an amazing job bringing my idea to life. She followed everything I said to the T and she exceeded my expectations. It has that level of sophistication that I was looking for, and I believe that through this experience of deciding this logo, I learned a lot what I want when I own my business later in life.

Logo Progress

April 4, 2015

I have been talking back and forth with Sandrine to work on my logo. The first draft of the logo I was not completely pleased with. So I told my aunt a.k.a my mentor the changes that I wanted to use darker colors, like dark grays, only because the background of my website is so colorful I don't want the logo clashing with it. The first draft of the logo looked childish the way the colors and the patterns, I want a very sophisticated look. The font was the worst part. I didn't like the original bubble letters, I wanted more 3D chalk looking letters.  

Social Media

March 30, 2015

Social media is incredible, the power it yields to get your business out there is better than any other marketing technique. This whole journey for me has been to learn the way of owning my own business, and so far I have learned that you need to use the internet to get the word out there and the only way to own your own business is to experience trial and tribulations of it.

The Power of Facebook

March 20,

Within hours of making a Facebook page for Au Naturel and sharing my website URL on my Facebook page, 122 people viewed my website. Now that it has been nine days since adding my social media aspect I have a total of 303 people that have seen my website, and I have a bunch of people messaging me ordering my product.

Getting Things Done

March 18, 2015
Talked with my uncle about my website and he offered to help me create a business plan! He says that when the time gets closer to presenting my project we will get together and work it all out.My aunt has kept in touch with a lady at her office that is helping me transfer the sketches of my logo into the computer. I will get an email when she is done with it. Once I have my logo I can start packaging my product. I feel as though once I have packaging dealt with I will have a clearer mind to tackling the pricing.
I ordered twenty 6 oz. clear containers for packaging my lotion at US Plastics, and I ordered 20 white dome lids desperately. I decided to do the while dome lids because I thought the logo would look best on a clean white slate. I only ordered twenty because that would be a good starting amount. 

Met My Goat

March 14, 2015

I woke up at six o'clock on a Saturday so I could go and milk a goat. That uncle I told you about a little while ago has worked his magic, he found me a dairy goat, and today I get to meet her. This has been a long journey so far, one with many obstacles, not finding a goat being the largest one, but obstacles no more. I am ecstatic, and nervous. Will this goat even like me? I am also a little rusty on my milking abilities. The last time I milked something was probably back when I as a youngin (about five). I will be talking lots of pictures and even videos so I can post them on my website. 

The Stuggle

March 2, 2015

I have been texting back and forth a lot with my aunt about this whole pricing and shipping issue. The website that I am using does not have a shopping cart, but it can be added for a cost. I want to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy my product. My aunt suggests Paypal as the best option for processing transactions. But everything is at a cost, and I need to take these costs into consideration when I work out my product pricing and future expansion plans. She also set up an email for the company so I will be able to contact customers, which is so great because I feel as though this is getting really real now.

Business Plan

February 29, 2015

I want to plan ahead to show that I am seriously considering the whole business aspect of this. I talked with my uncle, the business owner, and he offered to help me layout my business plan. So when the time comes, after I figure out all of this pricing stuff out, I will get together with him and get that done. Now its time to stress about how I am going to get the product to the customer. Will I use direct shipping? How much will this cost me? Am I going to use Paypal to charge my customers? These are all on my to do list.

Learning

February 24, 2015

The biggest part of owning a business is the marketing aspect of it. If I want to sell my product I am going to need customers, but I can only get customers if I put my company name out there. Today I made a Facebook page for my company and I shared the URL for me website, telling people that this is my senior project and I am looking for some customers to start out. 

Checking off the List

February 10, 2015

The next big item on my list is pricing! This is a place where I have absolutely no experience. I don't know how to find the balance of what to ask for so I am not losing money when I am making my products. I also have to bring into account my donation to the National Eating Disorder Foundation. So this part will be the most challenging.
I have also been having some troubles with my logo, I made one in a word document, but all the pieces to the logo were separate and didn't carry over to my website as one. I told my mentor about this and she said she would ask around where she works to see if someone could transfer my sketched logo onto the computer. Low and behold she found someone! So this logo issue will soon not be an issue. 

Scheduling Time

February 5, 2015 

Its time to get back into business. The next big question is: What am I going to be selling my product in? Well, I know that I want to sell the milk bath in a mason jar because I like the way that looks and it is quite practical. I was thinking of doing the lotion in a mason jar too but that might be too much of a hassle to get to lotion on the bottom of the jar when you are almost done with the product. Also mason jars are expensive, so I need to keep my use of them at a minimum. I found a website called US Plastics that sells all sorts of containers. I made my first container purchase and bought ten clear 6oz. containers and ten white lids. I chose to do the white lids because I will be putting my logo on the top, so I want it to look clean.

Day of Rest

January 30, 2015

At the beginning of this project I thought that I put way too much on my hands. I mean, how am I supposed to make my own company on a time crunch? But with my diligence and ability to keep ontop of things, my dream to own my own company is closer than I thought. This week, I needed a little break from all this chaos. Even when I tried to take a break though I dreamed about my website, so I just had to go on and do some more work on it. I love the way it is looking!

Progress

January 23, 2015

Spent all day with my aunt working on my website. She taught me coding and how to fix the fine print of my website. I switched the font around and messed with the formatting. I added pictures as well to each of my pages to add some pizzaz. Now I am finally done with my Home page. I feel really good about the progress with this website.

Au Naturel

January 17, 2015

My indecisiveness has hit its max! I changed the name of my company from Chevre to Au Naturel. I will be keeping the tagline of "Keeping it Simple" and my color pallet. Changing the company name makes it so I have to totally scratch my already made logo. My website it looking very well put together. The colors I ended up using where: white, shades of grey, dark purple, and olive green. These colors go very well with the distressed wood background.

Dr Doolittle

January 10, 2015

I have this uncle that has the ability to get any animal under the sun, so I call him Dr Doolittle. I was talking to him about my inability to find a goat at a reasonable price. His reaction to my problem was "No problem! I will find you a goat!" Well there we go, the plan is back on to getting a goat. 

Lathering Up!

January 1, 2015

Lotion day! After researching for days trying to find a recipe that would work, every recipe has chemicals and additives which is exactly what I didn't want to add. So I gave into my own creative abilities and threw some things in a pot. I whipped out the cast iron pan and threw: vegetable glycerin, avocado oil, coconut oil, passion fruit scented shea butter, cocoa butter, and some coffee (just for fun). After they all melted I put the pot in the freezer and waited for it to harden. After the oils hardened I took out my hand mixer and whipped up the oils until it had almost a fluffy consistency. It was perfect!

Checking Off My List

December 29, 2014

It is a ricotta type of day. It has finally been made. I reconstituted the powdered goats milk that I got at the beginning of this journey and used that as my goat milk. I then put the goat milk in a pot with the juice of half of a lemon and allowed it to simmer for a while. It simmered until I began to see a separation from the whey and the cheese. Before the simmering milk was ready I prepared a bowl that had ontop of it a strainer fitted with cheesecloth. When the milk was ready I poured it into the cheesecloth and strainer. After about an hour all of the whey separated and I made ricotta. I sprinkled it with some salt and served!

What Shall I Make Next?

December 22, 2014

I really want to make goat butter, but to make it I would have to have goat cream. I only have goat milk, so, further research is necessary for making or just buying goat cream. 
I did some research on making ricotta and it looks extremely doable! So I am going to do this! I need white distilled vinegar for ricotta, but I could do lemon juice instead so I will opt for that. I am trying to be as cost effective as possible because I am working on a beginner's budget.

Shopping Trip

December 11, 2014

Went to Michael's today to browse some container ideas. I walked by the soap making section and a glycerin soap base caught my eye. I want to make goats milk soap, but I dont want to put too much on my plate for this senior project. I've been saving my yogurt containers to make the soap in just in case I change my mind and end up making the soap. I like to cover all of my bases.
Also, I am about fifty percent done with my website, all I really nee to do is the home page and to add pictures throughout.

Recipe Success!

December 3, 2014

I got feedback from the people who I gave my milk bath testers to. One said that she felt incredibly moisturized and it made shaving a dream, the other went on and on about the lovely aroma it filled the bathroom with. Based off of these reviews I can successfully say that I created something pretty good here. I wrote down the recipe and put it under lock and key. 
Along with the celebration of this wonderful event I have been working on the About Us and Testimonials page of my website. I wanted a testimonial page so I ould be able to add the customers reviews.

The Website

November 30, 2014 

The day I have long been dreaming of has finally arrived! I am going to my aunts house (a.k.a my mentor) to start my website. She emailed me all the info so I will be able to work on it anytime I want. Today I picked out a template, and after hours of staring at this template I finally picked a background, distressed wood like I predicted. Now the dilemma will be choosing a color... 

Brain Storming

November 22, 2014

Thinking a lot of the colors and layout of my website, but so far I haven't started it. I know that I want distressed wood as the background and I would like to have really simple colors, like pastels, to go with my tag line of "Keeping it Simple"
I found another website that sells goats milk, so if something happens to the place where I found my powdered goats milk I have another backup plan. The upside is that this new place is A LOT cheaper, woohoo!

Getting Oily

November 10, 2014

I bought a lot of oils today, so much so that I was getting some weird looks from the cashier. I bought: coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado oil, and passion fruit scented shea butter all in giant tubs at Whole Foods. 
I have been using Pinterest a lot to search for recipe ideas, I really want to make ice cream and fudge but experimenting with recipes is taking a lot longer than expected 

Manipulating Recipes

October 30, 2014

For the past week I have been doing nothing but web surfing, trying to find recipes that I can use for reference, but after a while I gave up on that idea and just made up the recipe as I went. The milk bath came out looking great! I will be packing them in mason jars.  I made it with ground oats and cinnamon, and it smells marvelous. 
I went on a cheese tour today at the Achadinha Cheese Company and got a lot of input about cheese making.

What Will I Sell?

October 25, 2014

So, I want to make a bunch of things. Three different categories of products: we got the sweet, the savory and the skin care. My sweet products will be ice cream and fudge, and my savory products will be goats milk ricotta. Then the fun part will be the skin care products like lotion and milk bath. 
The powdered milk that I ordered arrived today! I'm planning on making the milk bath first.

The Challenge of the Title

October 20, 2014

I started working on my logo! I want everything to be vintage looking, so my logo is a flash to the past but I love the simplicity of it.
I decided upon a company name and a tagline. It will be called Chevre (this means goat in french) and the tagline will be "Keeping it Simple". I am probably the most indecisive person, ever, and I will just put it out here right now that I will be changing the name and tagline.

The Begining

October 12, 2014

This is the day that my journey of creating my own company begins, and I thought I would be fulfilling my lifelong goal of owning a goat a swell, but plans change. After weeks of online searching, and asking around, I have come to the conclusion that I am just not going to be able to afford a four hundred dollar female lactating goat. This realization was not a happy one, but gladly I have a backup plan. I made my first online order for my company, buying a forty dollar box of powdered goat milk. I thought this would be a great first purchase as powered milk has a much longer shelf life then fresh milk.