I saw a comment the other day on this post with my thoughts about selling products - which I deleted because I don't allow anonymous comments - where the person called me "conceited and grouchy". and said they wouldn't visit the blog again. If saying that I'm a good formulator who makes good and safe products means that I'm conceited, then I guess the shoe fits! Grouchy? Yeah, I'll cop to that, too. I do get grouchy when I see people who have been making products for all of five minutes selling because it's a simply a bad idea.
If you learned how to sew today, would you put up an Etsy page next weekend offering to custom make dresses? If you learned how to make a cake, would you open a bakery in a few weeks? If you fixed your toilet, would you buy a van to promote your plumbing business? No, you wouldn't, because you recognize that it takes time to learn the skills to create an awesome business.
I honestly don't understand why it's different for bath and body products. I've taught classes to people who have never made lotions, only to see them selling them a few weeks later. I'm flattered that you like the recipe I've created so much that you want to sell it, and I'm excited that you caught the lotion making bug, but it really does take time to learn all the things that go into making a good product. You don't know how the emulsion, the preservative, the fragrance, the packaging, and everything else will stand up over time. Making mistakes is part of this process, and learning what you need to know isn't an overnight thing.
Making bath & body products is an experiential thing. Read, make, read some more, make, read, research, make, make, make. You need that bulk experience in making the products to know what can go right and wrong. And it's so much fun! Why would you miss out on all that fun?
I've seen people say that people like me are trying to dissuade you from selling products because I'm scared of the competition. I don't sell things, so you're not competition. But let's say this was true, that I was worried about the competition, consider this - would I be handing out my recipes for free?
The answer is probably, because different hands create different products. Even if we both followed the recipe exactly, there'll always be something here or there that will create a slightly different product.
If someone is offering you business advice, don't brush it off with "you're jealous" or "haters gonna hate". Listen, because that person could be offering you some very good constructive criticism that your ego is preventing you from hearing. You may not want to hear it, but often those are the things we need to hear the most.
To be truthful, it has no impact on me if you choose to sell what you make. What I care about is someone claiming that the separating, mouldy lotion they made a few weeks ago is "Swift's recipe". My name is on the recipes on this blog and in the e-books because I stand behind them being good and safe recipes, but that's only if someone makes it responsibly, following good manufacturing processes. Please don't sully my name.
If all of this doesn't convince you that it isn't wise to sell products when you're just starting out in this wonderful hobby, then please consider this: If you put out a terrible product, your name will be mud before your business has even started. Someone might not come back to you and tell you your product sucked, but it will get around. They'll tell their friends, and you will lose business without knowing why. (And think about what might come up in a Google search for your business...)
At the very least, even if you ignore everything I suggest, think about the impact putting out a poorly made product will have on your brand. All the work you've put into your logo, your website with the gorgeous photography and lovely fonts, your social media sites, and everything else is pointless if your products aren't also awesome!
Thus endeth the rant...