February happened and Spring is almost here.
It’s February 28th, and I’m getting this post in just under the wire. I promised myself I would keep up with the blog this year, and here I am busting this out at the last minute - it reminds me of my homework in high school - I guess some things never change!
But seriously, here in Charleston, South Carolina, we’re so blessed to have warm weather so early in the year. This week we had a much needed beautiful burst of sunshine that has been absolutely heavenly, and I’ve noticed yellow jessamine, the state flower of South Carolina, is beginning to bloom along the country backroads.
February kept us very busy!
We had our biggest and most successful Faire trade show ever!
We shipped so many wholesale orders and with the new systems we have in place, it went off without a hitch. Our production team kept us fully stocked and our fulfillment team fulfilled those orders easy peasy.
It’s amazing how smooth things go when you have good systems (and even better people) in place! If you're a retailer and interested in learning more about wholesaling with us, click here!
We launched our brand new body butter labels designed by the awesome designers at Fuzzco. They took the original design they created for us back in 2015 and and gave it a nice update. We decided a refresh was in order because over the years, our packaging while still nautical has taken a turn for the super punchy and colorful, and the body butters just didn’t stand out on the shelf like our other products did.
The side label didn’t wrap all the way around the jar, which was always a little weird, and there was no focal point on the jar when the body butters were stacked on a shelf. This was important to us to update not only for our own brick-and-mortar retail stores, but for our retailers as well.
Merchandising the body butters had always been a struggle, but with packaging that doesn’t stand out or has a label strangely placed, it’s a constant chore to make it look aesthetically pleasing.
Another challenge is the photography - it didn’t stand out online or look fantastic in boxes - which is important to us not only for our own gift boxes but also for the gift box companies that support our brand such as Boxfox and Unbox Me.
Our new label has resolved these challenges entirely! It's now easy to spot what the product is right away. The scent is clear and the packaging is inline with our other products making the entire scent lines feel cohesive. It's easy to photograph and no longer feels disconnected!
For Valentine’s Day this year, we created two new gift boxes that turned out to be quite popular - Love You Yachts and Whale You Be My Valentine? which I cannot link to anymore since they're no longer available on our website!
We found some fun red gift boxes that doubled as shipping boxes - which means we can pass that savings on to the customer. The big white gift boxes we use are extremely pricey, and then they have to be shipped inside another box.
After we received a beautiful gift box from our friends at Latika, we realized we could send a beautiful gift box that doubled as a shipping box and it was still super lovely without the extra cost, packaging, and shipping expense. I wasn’t so convinced before this!
To celebrate Valentine's Day in store, we decorated with cute hearts we cut out of cardboard boxes and wrapped them with yarn. This inspiration struck after my sweet daughter crocheted a heart pillow and gave it to me.
I asked her if she could make a bunch more for a store window display, and she determined it would take her about a year to make as many as we need so expect to see those in the windows next Valentine’s Day!
We were excited to learn Charleston Magazine featured our handmade Magnolia Bar Soap in their Valentine's Day gift guide February 2023 issue. It's always exciting to see our products in printed publications - that is one thing I'm certain in this business will never, ever get old! We are grateful for the inclusion from this super popular local publication and to have the support of our local community!
We made it through SEWE, and President’s Day Weekend! In Charleston, SEWE (Southeastern Wildlife Expo) marks the unofficial - or maybe official - kickoff to travel and tourism season here in Charleston and throughout the Lowcountry. We see so many more people in town, and life seems to return to the city. People are getting outside and it’s an all around happier vibe!
Now we’re gearing up for Spring and the rest of the year. We have had two planning meetings this year (yay us!) and have outlined our goals for 2023 and in to 2024. We set goals as a company and individually, and talked through what we want to work on, improve, and let go. Not every idea can come to fruition, but planning out how we want the year to go helps us end up where we want to be.
This Spring we’re giving a new identity to a line of products we think are way underserved in their current form. After this relaunch they will be a shining star and get the love the deserve! I know that’s vague - but I don’t want to give it away, and you don’t have long to wait because it’s happening towards the beginning of spring!
We’re working through candle redesign, and we’re thrilled with the outcome so far. We found a new source for custom glass candle jars and had a full container (as in shipping container) delivered about a week ago. We quickly learned that when ordering custom jars, the quantities are quite high, and committing to a full shipping container made us a little wary, but we decided to go for it!
We had to rent a forklift since our warehouse does not have a loading dock, which is always fun times.
Thank goodness my husband has serious forklift skills from his youth days spent working long hours at the jet ski docks on Long Beach Island, NJ. They really come in handy when we’re unloading a semi-truck full of glass jars with low overhead doors, in addition to navigating a poorly placed HVAC system that was built totally in the way of any ceiling space we otherwise would have had to work with.
As of last week, candle packaging has all been finalized, and we’re now at the point where we need to make some paper selections, and iron out final cost to determine pricing - and you know we will do our best to keep this candle beautiful AND as affordable as possible. We’re really excited about this uplifting refresh and feel strongly that y’all will love it as much as we do!
We have started the research and development process on a new product we have slated for release towards Q4. Testing is going well! We are trying out a variety of different recipes to determine what works the best and can’t wait to have that checked off so we can move on to packaging design and get this out to y’all!
As for the upcoming month, March 1 marks the birthday of our Broad Street Store! We opened the doors March 1 four years ago in this beautiful, historic building at the corner of Broad and Church. It’s been a dream spot and I’m grateful we were destined to be stewards of this historic space. We will be celebrating online and instore with some promotions so stay tuned on social for those!
March 4 we are delighted to be hosting Margerite & Motte at our King Street store. Founded by Laura Reed after serving six years in the US Navy, she creates beautifully delicate oyster shell jewelry from shells she finds on The Battery in downtown Charleston. You can learn more about Laura, her jewelry, and her company here. Stay tuned on social to hear exact times!
Lastly, we are so excited to share with you we have been nominated for Charleston City Paper’s Best Of Charleston’s Best Gift Store for the second year in a row! We say all the time our entire retail team is absolutely awesome and we're so lucky to have them! There are a lot of pretty shops with pretty things in Charleston, but we know our team makes all the difference!
Voting is open until March 7, and we would be so honored to have your vote! If you have a moment, we would love to have your vote! Click here to vote for Old Whaling Co!
Thanks y'all! Talk soon! We would love to hear from you in the comments!