Blog #1 | Introduction

Hi Everyone -

First of all, just let me say thank you. If you’re reading this, it means you’ve visited my website. And for any small business, generating any kind of internet traffic is a really meaningful thing. So thank you for checking out what I have to offer around here.

As a business owner that’s “new on the scene”, I think the hardest thing for me to do is effectively communicate my passion and purpose for being here. I understand that being an artisan soap maker means I am one of many. I also understand that a certain amount of skepticism of me - on your part - probably comes with this territory. And that skepticism is genuine, sincere, and completely justified. Who am I to try and sell you products? Especially considering the great offering that’s already out there. (Trust me, I love those products too!)

As enthusiasts, hobbyists, and as informed consumers, we have deeply held beliefs about what makes a good product and what makes a reputable brand. I haven’t earned anything from you.

I just want to say that I get it (in the most humble sense of that phrase). I get that your respect and your business is earned, not given. I get that your confidence in me and my brand doesn’t come overnight. But I want you to know I’m here to work at it. I didn’t put a bunch of money and time into this venture to make it only halfway-decent. I’m here to make the best business and best products that I am capable of making. And I hope you give me the opportunity to hold me to that.

So with that being said, let me share with you my official values for West of Olympia, and hopefully with them, you can come to understand a little about my philosophy.

  • We are gimmick-free: I don’t mean that I won’t ever make fun, novelty-scented soap. I mean that you will never see a bait-and-switch-y sales promotion from me. Your inbox will not be inundated with meaningless emails from me. I just want to offer you great products for a price we’re both ok with and I want you to enjoy them. I hope it’s a simple thing.
  • Our brand will have integrity: Everything from the performance of the product to the user experience of the website is an important, customer-facing interaction that reflects on the brand. “Brand identity” is an elusive thing, but some terms I hope you come to associate with this brand are “new”, “consistent”, “quality”, and “full of integrity”.
  • We are viciously customer-focused: a core tenet of lean management is defining value from the customer’s perspective. That is a focus of this business. Understand where value is to the customer and increase the quality and quantity of work spent in those places.
  • We use common sense: There were a lot of other things I considered putting here, but they all really fell into this category. If there’s an issue with an order, I’m not going to cite some hardly-applicable policy as a way to skirt the responsibility. I think many businesses have lost customer focus here, and fallen into the corporate mentality of “well you signed the fine print”. No matter what comes up in the course of business - customer order, supplier concern, new formulation - I’m going to make sure reasonable, rational judgment is at the forefront of every decision. I think just being down-to-earth can solve a lot.

Hopefully this gives you a flavor of what I’m about. If you’re willing to take a risk and purchase a product from this unknown, unproven company, I couldn’t be more grateful and I can’t wait to build a relationship with you. Seriously - it’s humbling when you see that people are willing to pay real money for something of yours.

If you’re not ready to buy anything, that’s cool too. Thanks a bunch for stopping in and reading.

If you have any questions at all, please send me an email at



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