Why I will never have professional labels.
I have been told that my labels could be more professional. So, I reflected on this idea and asked myself a question, “What is professional?”
- Is professional what corporations do?
- Is professional hard cardboard or plastic labels?
- Should I copy what I see in the stores?
- Do I make a label that can be kept?
I have seen the upstairs neighbors leave their dog’s waste (yup, that’s right, dog poop) right outside my door. Not exactly on my doorstep, about 10 feet from my doorstep. After a year of this, one day I stopped her and asked if she’d pick up her dog crap. She was aghast. As if I’d asked her to give me her first born. She argued and gave me excuses. I replied, “its a matter of honor and respect for where we live.”
I decided to pick up the dog waste myself. As I bent over to pick it up with a plastic bag, she walked down stairs and said, “I’ll get that.”
I replied, “Why should I trust you now? You’ve had weeks to pick it up.”
Later that night I received a letter taped to my door that told a tall tale filled with excuses why they couldn’t pick up the dog waste, but the part that stood out was “you were unprofessional in how you spoke to my sister”.
So there is a way to professionally ask someone to pick of dog doo?
As someone who reflects on everything, I contemplated how to be a professional… What? Professional apartment dweller? A professional confronter of dog poop? A professional… Person who stands up for what is correct. Because, on all accounts in my book, leaving dog doo near someone’s doorstep is incorrect.
I realized I cannot reflect something in someone that isn’t there. I would not have had to confront the issue, had the events not occurred. This would not have happened if the dog waste wasn’t there in the first place. But let’s not put too fine a point on it, that would be unprofessional.
Back to having professional labels…
I have lost everything I own three times in my life. The first when I was just 17. All my childhood belongings, gone in an instant. I asked myself a few hard questions, when I couldn’t stop crying. What is important to me? What is important that I still have?
After more heartache and arguing the facts, this is what I came up with, “my creativity.” That cannot be taken, destroyed or purchased. I can recreate my art. I can create something new, I haven’t thought of yet. Can I buy creativity? The results of creativity can be purchased, but the act, the inspiration, the motivation is without a “buy” option.
I also learned that everything will disappear some day. Maybe in my lifetime, or maybe in a few lifetimes, but it will, eventually disappear. So, why would I hold on to things that are, at best, temporary?
My art has evolved, as I hope I have. I no longer make giclee prints in expensive frames thinking that is the value. I make soap. Soap that asks to be used. Soap that will disappear as someone enjoys it. Soap that supports healthy skin and, hopefully, creates a delight. A moment of joy. This, also, cannot be purchased. Joy.
So why would I want to make labels that last? First of all the initial costs are prohibitive for a small soapery. Why would I go to all that expense to make something that is meant to be thrown out?
My labels have changed and transformed as I have gotten clear on what I want Sorcery Soap to be. I have created every label. My soaps change and transform, new scents, new designs regularly. I can make any scent, any shape, any type of soap I want without dreading a new label or sweating the cost of old labels. I simple recreate the label and print it on paper.
Yup, each label is printed on a laser printer on copy paper. Not even professional paper, just regular paper. Because I don’t spend money on a designer, on expensive labels, on buying labels for scents I won’t use again, I can offer a Soap Cookie as a gift in every order. I can give surprises in each order. I can experiment and explore many design options.
So far, this has worked perfectly for me. This process also has helped me see clearly, just how each moment is important and all things, even time, is temporary. My creativity has lasted, and the fountain of inspiration is now a geiser. Who knew that my creativity would grow stronger the more things I let go?