DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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30 June 2011

The shop is nearly ready

I've been busy this past week with knitting and sewing for my online shop I hope to open next week. It will never be overflowing, just be a few things I can do in my free time that I hope will earn us a little pin money. I've been told I could make a fair bit of money on my blog now but I'm not about to sacrifice my integrity for the sake of a few dollars. I see my little shop as something altogether different. I've often had people write to ask if they can buy something I've made and written about. This seems to be a fair way to earn a little bit of extra cash while giving others something I hope will add value to their lives. It's the same way I see my sponsors. I will only promote or support those people who share my values and who sell products I would use myself or for my family. Whenever you see a sponsor button on my blog, please be assured it will be for a small ethical business or a home business that I'm happy to support and buy from myself, and it has been the one in a hundred that made it to the blog.

The things I'm making for my shop are those things I would normally make for myself - dishcloths, aprons, scarves, soap, tea cosies, table runners and a few odds and ends. I am using good quality materials - all from my own stash, some are organic, and all of them are cotton, linen, wool and natural fibres. The soap is just rain water, lye and oil, nothing else. It is suitable for washing the whole family, including the babies, and your hair. I hope some of you like my meagre offerings. I understand that my taste won't suit everyone and my products might seem a bit old-fashioned but they will be made with love and care and to the best of my ability. 


It would help me quite a bit if I had some idea of how much soap I might sell. I've made three batches and that will be fine if that's all I need, but if there are a lot of people who wish to buy the soap, I'll get a few more batches done before Monday. If you're thinking of ordering soap, can you say that in the comments so I have a better idea of numbers. It won't count as an order, so don't worry about making a commitment, it will just give me a general idea of numbers. Thanks friends.


Recently I bought these two books with my Amazon points. They're the Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting and Guide to Crochet. Both are very good books and I'm happy to recommend them to you if you're a new knitter or, like me, a new crocheter. I am determined to learn to crochet because I want to make some jug covers for the shop and I would like to add lacy edges to my knitted tea cosies. One of the good features in the books is they have instructions on how to learn knitting and crochet for both right and left handers, or as they call them, southpaws. Both books go through basic stitches and how to hold needles and yarn, then go on to a wide variety of beginner and advanced beginner projects.


I'll be apron sewing and knitting today. Hanno is going to the Gold Coast again so I'll be alone and can get on with it. It's been raining these past couple of days so I'll cosy up with my craft work and see what happens. I love these diamond days. I hope you have a wonderful time of it too and if you're knitting or sewing, working at your job or in the home, enjoy yourself. 

70 comments:

  1. Rhonda, I loved seeing the pictures of what you're making. I'm a fan of knitted dishclothes, too, and have been knitting my own for years. I love the feel of them in my hands. Practical, homemade items are the best !

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  2. Hi Rhonda
    I have followed your blog for like 2-3 years and I love it. It helps me preserve my sanity and I love the photos! I´d like to purchase a soap and perhaps an apron....
    Love
    Kristin
    Iceland

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  3. I would dearly love some Made-by-Rhonda soap, but I can't imagine that you'll be shipping to the States! Wishing you the best of luck in your new shop!

    Barb_in_GA

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  4. Hello ladies!

    Barb, I'll post to wherever I get orders from. I've asked Hanno to work out some postal charges for me so that we can send it the most cost effective way. Overall though, you'll have to judge for yourself if it's value for money with the postage attached.

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  5. Rhonda,

    I look forward to buying something from your shop...I thought you were having a problem selling soap? I am now excited that I will be able tobuy some from You!!

    It is so hot here in Ky..you make me long for cooler weather:) I like to knit whether it is cold or hot...

    ~~Blessings to you,

    Renee

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  6. Good Morning! The first thing I thought of when you blogged about your shop was that I'd be buying some of your soap, and I'd buy some of your dishcloths too - even if it's just to have a sample by me so I know what they're supposed to turn out like when I knit them up myself.
    I think I'll be getting that crochet book you recomend - I've been teaching myself lately too, and the results have been hillarious! It's my tension that's all wrong. I'm wanting to learn it so I can do little crochet edges around baby things.
    I also meant to write and tell you how much I appreciated your knitting tips the other day - I've put them to use and my knitting is looking so good! Thank you!
    How do I go about submitting my little home business to you for consideration for your blogsite? And is it ok if it's just on a handmade website (not my own domain), like etsy or felt.co.nz. I've been making little embroidered woolen hats for toddlers and it's doing quite well - I just need more exposure.
    Have a lovely day.
    Rachel from NZ

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  7. You made me a little bit curious Rhonda. Just because my thoughts have gone there many, many times. Should I? Could I?

    I will follow you on this one too. Maybe you are the lest encouragement I need! ;o)

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  8. How wonderful Rhonda!!! :) I can't wait to see your shop! I am sure you will do absolutely wonderful with it!

    Kindly,
    Katy :)

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  9. hello miss rhonda, I have always wanted to make my own soap untl I read you had to wear protective glasses, gloves, you needed to have silence and no children or pets around, well that did it for me. I have admired how you make things look so simple, and i would like to buy some soap in the future, but i too live in the states and woonder how much the postage would be. hugs..Espy

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  10. Hi Rhonda,

    If you were offering the liquid soap, I'd definitely like to try that - I already make the hard soap from your recipe :)It's fantastic.

    An apron would also be on my list.

    Thanks
    Angela

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  11. I'm looking forward to perusing your shop goods when you're ready! Love handmade goods.

    I just this year learned to knit and did a number of dishcloths with cotton and that was fun. My next challenge was a ribbed tea cozy, which worked out nicely after my friend helped me figure out how to adjust the directions since it was written for continental style and I knit "American" or whatever it's called.

    One thing you might consider is a treat-of-the-month club or something where people can sign up for some kind of regular order - maybe alternate a dish cloth, jug cover, soap etc over a period of time - like farms do with CSA. It benefits everyone that way. You can work ahead and your customers can look forward to a treat each month or two.

    Becki in California

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  12. Best wishes with your shop, Rhonda. It's the dream of many if not most crafters to make a little money with the work of their hands.
    I remember back when I had an online shop of my own there was quite a commotion among soap makers when the Australian regulations regarding cosmetics changed. You may be already aware of this but I thought I'd include it just in case:
    http://www.australiansoapmaker.info/articles/austleg.htm I've no idea how strictly it is enforced several years on.

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  13. Hi Rhonda
    i would love to buy some of your soap and a couple of dish cloths.
    have a wonderful craft filled day.
    Lors

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  14. Angela, I'm not sure if I'm going to sell my pure liquid soap. It takes so long to make it I can usually only bear to make one batch, and we use that here, and for the babies. I'll rethink it after my next batch and see how I go.

    Rachel, email me your information. rhondahetzel@gmail.com

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  15. All the best for your shop Rhonda, I'm sure your goodies will walk out the door.
    Re postage to the USA..there is now an initial charge of $9 before your package is even weighed, they say it's a security fee to cover costs of checking parcels for bombs etc. All my grandchildren are in the States...4 of them...and it's far too costly now for me to send parcels...I'm always making them little things..so I just Paypal money now, no fun!...........Nanette

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  16. Well done Rhonda on getting your shop up and running. I'm sure it will be a success.

    For those having trouble working out how to crochet try looking at You Tube Videos. My grandmother taught me to crochet many years ago but of course life and my memory got in the way and I had forgotten what she showed me. You Tube was brilliant. I could replay the video as often as I needed until I worked out what I was doing. Now I'm so confident I have started crocheting myself a cardigan - after lots of practice on easier things...vbg.

    Best of luck to all of you trying these new skills.

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  17. Hi Rhonda, Yes please, I would be one of your first customers for your lovely soap and dishcloths. I'm loving the rain here in Brisbane too. Have a great day.

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  18. It sounds great, looking forward to looking around your little shop filled with home made things. One thing to be very careful of Rhonda is selling soap, make sure you have all the legalities covered as I believe there is a lot of red tape and expense involved before being able to sell even one bar. Also make sure you have public liability insurance in this day and age of suing, one would only need for a person to have a skin reaction and you could be in a lot of trouble.

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  19. Morning Rhonda,
    I am another one of your "friends"..who sits down with her brekkie and reads your blog each and every morning...such a warm and good way to start my day...You have sewn seeds in my mind on many a morning and i wish i could say a personal thank you to you for being able to do this as life in the last 12 months has been very harsh indeed for family and self...your blog has given me some normalcy so to speak..thank you so much...on the soap front i shall be purchasing some for myself and family..
    Truly looking forward to trying it out.
    God Bless.
    Belle from Mid North Coast

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  20. I would love to purchase your soap and give it a try also. Maybe a dish cloth or two.

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  21. Hi Rhonda
    I'm glad that you will be opening a shop I am very interested in soap, and a few aprons and dishcloths too. very excited for you have a great day. Trish xox ;)

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  22. Hi Rhonda
    I'm also a regular reader who reads your blog most days over breakfast. Congratulations on getting your shop up and running. I already make my own soap and knit dishcloths but I'm looking for somewhere to buy Heritage seedlings if you are interested in selling any. I live in Beerwah so can come by and pick them up.

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  23. Hi Rhonda...I come to visit you every day! I would love to buy some soap and a couple of your dishcloths. I am learning to crochet, but I think that it is hard and I have not even tried to learn knitting yet. Good luck with your shop. When will you be starting up? Carolyn, Florida, USA

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  24. Good morning Rhonda,i too will put my hand up for some of your soap,and maybe some dish clothes,i just love anything Home-made,and especially coming from you,would be so special,can't wait to see the goodies in your little Shop,lot's of love, Carol xx

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  25. Good stuff Rhonda dear -- three babies in one year. :)

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  26. Hi Rhonda. You are amazing. Congratulations on this venture. I sell natural soap in my shop, but I want to buy your soap! :-) So, yes, I will order about 4 soaps and a few dishcloths for home. If you need any tips about the joys of Aust Post & shipping orders, please don't hesitate to ask....
    Best wishes
    Tracey from Biome Eco Stores

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  27. I just want to wish you well with your shop. I think you will be amazed by the response to say the least.

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  28. Word of warning, once you begin to crochet, you won't want to stop. I love my crochet and currently making scarves to donate to our local cancer ward. Most of them are crochet as I love the finished feel of just a row of simple dc's, back and forth. Using a larger hook gives a luscious floppiness to the scarves for a very soft and feminine look and the smaller hook gives a tighter weave which I use for the more masculine scarves. I recently bargained myself a very old knitting and crochet patterns book which has some lovely simple lace patterns that I hope to be able to use in my scarves as well.
    All the very best for your little shop.

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  29. Good luck with the new shop! I know it will do well and what a rewarding way to spend your time!! I am sure you will enjoy selling your handmade items to people who will really appreciate them!

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  30. Soap for me too - get cracking Rhonda - it will be walking out the door ! Jacqueline

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  31. Hi Rhonda, I would definitely like to buy your soap! I have been thinking quite a lot on making my own but I would rather buy yours! Good luck with your shop. I am certain it will be very successful.

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  32. Rhonda,
    I am interested in the soaps, aprons, dish clothes. I am so excited for you! Hugs, Bobbi Jo

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  33. I never have enough clean aprons around, and if you've got the kind with bibs, I will definitely be ordering one! It would be so special to have one hand-made by a 'friend' on the other side of the world.
    As much as I would love some of your soap, I think the cost of shipping that weight to Canada, might be prohibitive.
    Looking forward to browsing your shop.

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  34. Looks like everyone is excited Rhonda! I too would love some soap :)

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  35. How very exciting to be opening your shop! All the items look lovely. I will put my hand up for a soap order too.

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  36. Hi Rhonda,

    I would love to buy some of your beautiful soap! I would like to buy one of everything, but I'm watching my spending. I am in California, so if you ship here I'm in! Maybe I'll get up the nerve to try making my own after using yours. I love the photos!

    Stephenie

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  37. Hi Rhonda, I haven't commented for a while ;) But I'm definitely interested in buying some of your soap and other bits n pieces!

    Good luck
    Roz

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  38. Count me as a SOAP! :) I am SO excited to see what you will have in your shop. The thought of using a soap or dishcloth you've made is such a neat one.....a tangible thing connecting two parts of the world... What a lovely connection to hold a cloth or wash with a soap and know that it was made with your hands.
    Someone we admire and learn from....it's a beautiful thing....and I think you will be surprised at how much business you will actually do. :)

    Blessings, Alex

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  39. Hi Rhonda!

    I, too, sell soap, but it is goat's milk soap. From experience, I have learned to make soap like crazy during my down times because it is feast or famine! A friend of mine made me a drying rack from salvaged wood. If you'd like a picture of it, so you can nudge Hanno to build you one, I will email it to you. This has helped me with my soap making and given me room to make a lot at one time and have a place to dry it until it sells.

    All the best with your venture! I finally have The Mister ready to consider solar panels for our barn! Hooray! Thanks thanks thanks!

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  40. Hi Rhonda~ I am loving that beautiful rose shaped soap.
    I'm also thinking I could use 5 or 6 of those for Christmas gifts. Can I place my order now?
    XOXO
    ~Carolyne

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  41. Wishing you all the very best with your shop Rhonda. I Love what your all about. Love the blog. Wonderful to see how much LOVE you have for your family, warms my heart. I would love to buy some soap,a crocheted granny squares scarf ? And one of your beautiful table runners.Can't wait to see your new shop.
    Kind Regards,
    Jodie XxXxX

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  42. Rhonda, as soon as I read the words that you were going to open a little shop, I hoped you'd offer your beautiful soaps. I'll be ordering those for sure. I've been out here reading your blog for very long time and love it. I am happiest when I'm puttering around at my home too and proud to have good homemaker skills.

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  43. I'm so happy you are opening your shop Rhonda. I will be buying for friend's/family birthday presents. I'm sure the shop will be very well indeed. I will give Jamie a kiss for you this afternoon :) Xxo

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  44. Hi rhonda, can only choose anonymous from the list of identities because i dont have the others. Anyway dont know if you remember be but i have emailed you a few times aboht soap making. Still have not been able to try it and if you will ship internationally ill buy some of your soap. And dish cloth and maybe an apron, depents in postage too.
    Love reading you blog too, i visit you site everyday.
    -pipa

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  45. I am so happy to see that you are about to open the shop. I would definitely order soap (and other things) if I would not live on the other side of the world. What might get me tempted anyway would be a beautiful apron. And if I would order, of course I would order more than one thing.
    Sorry, not very helpful for your soap making plans. :)

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  46. The best way to start crocheting, get yourself a hook and some wool, practice making a continues chain, do this until you are comfortable, then when you start to learn patterns you will have the dexsterity to do the stitches

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  47. I'm so glad you're going ahead with selling soap in your shop, I remember seeing a post a while back saying you were having second thoughts about that. Price permitting, I would most definitely love to purchase one of your soaps.

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  48. Hi Rhonda,

    I will definately be buying some soap to try it out before I commit to buying everything to make my own.Also a teacosy.

    Cheers
    Mel :)

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  49. I am so looking forward to your shop. Admittedly I knit and crochet plenty of wash cloths for family and friends so I won't be buying those. But I am interested in buying your soap to try since I am having trouble finding a homemade soap that doesn't cause me some reaction right now. You have been a constant source of information and inspiration over the years.

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  50. Hi Rhonda

    Yes, please! I would love to purchase some of your home-made soap :-)

    from Anna
    (UK)

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  51. Goodness Rhonda, judging from all the above posts, you will soon be building a soap factory!

    Your online shop is a great idea. I hope it goes well and that you enjoy making all the things that you hope to sell.

    Best wishes
    Dartford Warbler, England

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  52. Hi Rhonda,

    I too would like to buy some soap, but since I'm from the Netherlands I think I'd rather opt for an apron or some dishcloths because of the shipping costs.
    But langsam leben, I know you're from the Netherlands too. And a while ago there was someone called 'B' who lives here too. Maybe we could share an order and split the shipping costs?

    Laura

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  53. I too am interested in purchasing some of your soap. :-) Good luck with your store. I have no doubt you'll find it very popular. Not everyone has the time and ability to make their own and homemade is definitely rising in popularity as people recognise the lack of value and quality in factory made items.

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  54. Good luck with your shop Rhonda - am sure it will be a big success ! I'd be interested in some soap & maybe a loofah if you have any to sell ?
    Jeni :)

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  55. Dearest Rhonda,

    Me too would love to buy some soap from you if you'd ship it to Europe....and I wish I could buy one your breads!!!!When I see a picture of your home made bread on your blog I almost can smell it!!

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  56. I would be interested in buying your soap, and the dishcloths. My mother uses dishcloths like these and, since I am not a knitter, I'd like to purchase a few for her from quality yarn.

    Thanks. I look forward to checking out your new shop!

    jules

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  57. Hi Rhonda,

    I've been lurking for quite a while (and my comments haven't been posting properly when I do comment - it keeps asking me to create a blog when I sign in with my Google account). I would love to purchase some of your liquid soap (although I read your comment that the answer is a definite maybe) and an apron. I'm currently on the hunt for a sewing machine because I don't think I can handle hand stitching an apron. Mending is one thing but an apron is a huge project.

    All the best with your store! Will you be selling copies of your book as well? Or will they be sold only through the publisher on Amazon and in stores?

    Mandi

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  58. Good luck with your shop. With all this talk about aprons I've been reading about, I admit I have the itch to make some for Christmas. And Christmas always feel like it is just around the corner when it's home-made because it takes so long to prepare for. I'd better get started.

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  59. Hello Rhonda

    I would like to buy some of your lovely soap, that's if you can send it to the U.K. :)

    Best wishes
    Bernie

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  60. okay, I know I need to go eat dinner...your soap have my mouth watering. they look like white chocolate covered candy! Look forward to seeing your shop, Rhonda!

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  61. I just wanted to say congratulations and good on you for taking a stab at a home business.

    I made a crochet project recently which I posted on my blog, and I have to say, it's much easier than knitting.

    I prefer crochet to knitting for this reason. But I'm still no expert. I'm sure whatever you make for your shop though, will be made to last. :)

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  62. I cant wait to see what is in your shop....Hope you and Hanno have a great weekend. We haven't started using our soap yet, but soon I hope, its getting harder every day. I know cos every day I go into the laundry and pick it up, smell it and give it a little fondle :)

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  63. Oh Rhonda, That sounds like a fantastic idea, I would order some soap as I have little kids around and I just cant get my head around juggling the ingredients with the toddler between my feet :). I would also order some knitted dishcloths, as, try as I might, I cannot knit to save myself and have become the butt of all of my friends jokes, at least I am able to entertain them all :) Good luck on your venture, Kerry (Adelaide, SA)

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  64. I am definitely committing to buying one or two aprons and to try the soap out for sure! I get paid next week and I've worked bloody hard so I deserve a little handmade treat!

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  65. I would imagine your shop will sell out within a few hours Rhonda! Everything you're planning to sell looks lovely and I can't wait to see your shop up and running. All the best! xxx

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  66. Hi Rhonda,

    Sorry I am late in replying -I'd love to purchasesome of your unscented, natural soap as I have sensitive skin and have been aunable to find any soapmakers here in adelaide.

    Lis xx

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  67. I've been looking forward to your shop opening for some time now! Would love to see something along the lines of beaded milk-jug covers too, for covering our starters and cultures and the like. I've kept my eyes open in the antiques and thrift shops but have yet to find the real deal. Modified doilies will have to do for now. :)

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  68. Sorry I just saw this post. I would be interested in purchasing your liquid soap and possibly an apron. Thanks!

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  69. Hi, Im in Bundaberg and would love to purchase some soap. Cant wait :)

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