At the beginning of the year I was talking to an old friend Judy Mullins who makes wildly popular, one of a kind Santas. For years she used to be on the Tour Des Arts and various local artisan boutiques and fairs (and was one of the founding members of the former Quoi De Neuf Artisan sale) but for the last few years she’s been selling her Santa’s almost exclusively at Lambert & co. right inside Château Frontenac in Quebec City. I asked her almost jokingly if she thought they might sell my products there and she said why not try, do a painting for the labels that might appeal to them focusing on Quebec City instead of the Townships and she’d put me in touch with the people who own the boutique and see what they say.
So over the next few months late at night I would painstakingly work on my painting of the Château itself under a night sky with a few of the other landmark buildings around it, and early March I sent it to Judy, she sent it to them and they seemed interested. During March break I took my 9 year old twins to visit the Castle and leave off samples of my products for the owner to try (we sneaked around and explored as much of the castle as we could get away with and had hot drinks in the basement Starbucks!) I couldn’t afford to stay overnight at Frontenac itself but we did stay in town (the indoor pool was all the twins cared about anyway) and we explored the old city and had a delicious supper near the castle at a place called Cafe du Paris/Omelette. The next day after a long morning swim we spent all afternoon at the Citadel where actors were giving an historical tour, and then we came home. A week later I heard from the owner that I was in!
It’s taken months of waiting and preparation but today my parents and I and the twins went to Quebec City for a day trip and dropped off the soap and the display! We managed to park right inside the castle itself and set up the display in the boutique, we had a really good lunch at the same restaurant, walked around the old city a bit and then left for home so my parents could get back to their dogs!!
What a great day!
I have some big changes to announce to the Savonnerie De L’Estrie website!
There’s a pretty good chance no one will even notice but my website is no longer an e-commerce website... It was SO not worth the money to keep (and I’m happy to say I’m getting reimbursed for a lot of it;-) There are a surprising number of people looking at the website, learning about the products and then going to the boutiques they’re in to buy them, skipping the whole tediously made-by-me PayPal payment system. Supposedly Quebecers are the people least likely to buy online in North America and now I believe it! You can still buy all my products online through my website though, but instead of doing it with PayPal you will now have to contact me directly on my Contact/Policies page. You just have to list what you want, I’ll confirm the amount and price with another email (and how long it will take to have some products ready before they ship, I don’t like keeping too much stockpiled because I want it to be fresh), and then you send me an interac e-transfer for the amount, and once I get that I ship out the order! Don’t worry, I’m sure it will be much easier than it sounds:-)
I’d be surprised if anyone ever even noticed it but my website was actually 2 different websites joined together with two different hosts. I transferred all the data from the e-commerce site into the Weebly one (this one) that I want to keep and then completely made over this website. It looks fresher and modern and cleaner and less cramped, (at least to me anyway), and I finally got around to adding all my French translations - I’m very happy with how it turned out and I hope you enjoy looking at it (and maybe ordering from it occasionally) too!
Happiness ... not in another place but this place,
not for another hour but this hour.
Wow I just realized it’s been a year since my last blog post! In my defence it’s been quite a year... I got divorced, I moved my way-too-much stuff, my business and most of my big garden to my wonderful boyfriend Steve’s large, almost empty unfinished house (which we now share with our combined 5 daughters!). I’ve been working at my local hardware store up to 5 days a week for over the last year but now that I should finally, starting very soon, be down to 3 days a week this will give me much more time to work on and slowly expand Savonnerie de L’Estrie and Farfelu, which I haven’t had enough time to give the attention they deserve this year but are both slowly growing in sales and recognition.
I’m also still involved in the Salon de L’Artisanat Sutton (mostly my contribution was to make the website https://salonartisanatsutton.weebly.com/ ) which is this weekend!! Formerly the Quoi de Neuf annual Artisan sale, this will be our second annual show under the new management and name. We hope to see you there, so much work and expectations go into these kinds of shows that we really hope as many people as possible come to help support their local creative artisans and artisanal food producers.
From the website:
The "Salon De L'Artisanat De Sutton" is an annual artisan event consisting mainly of local artisans from the Sutton/Knowlton area but also including participants from the surrounding Eastern Townships. Formerly known since 1995 as The "Quoi de Neuf" Artisan Sale, in 2016 founders Debbie and Dodi Hornig, Anne Johnston, Judy Mullins, and Mary Ann Martin decided to retire from the organizationonal side of the event and passed that responsibility onto Lucie Fiset, Lise Bourque, Theresa Goyette, Kara Needham and Qita Reindler with the condition of using a new name, and so the "Salon De L'Artisanat De Sutton" was born!
The cozy boutique-style atmosphere of this event in a beautiful autumn country setting offers customers a chance to chat personally with the artisans and make custom orders for really personalized gifts or unique items for their own home. The artisans give so much of themselves, hours of personal creativity are reflected in the items that they sell. Showcasing a wide selection of arts and crafts for you to browse through, we will have some more new faces joining us this year, alongside your favourite artisans from previous years.
At "Salon De L'Artisanat De Sutton"you’ll find everything from pottery to rugs, toys to sculptures, soaps to furniture and everything in between. With over 30 artisans showing their products, whatever your taste or budget, you’ll find something you can’t resist!
Each year the artisans contribute examples of their crafts towards a raffle supporting the Brome Lake Food Bank. "Salon De L'Artisanat De Sutton" Artisan Show and Sale is truly a wonderful shopping experience. A place to get unique gifts, unusual items for home, customized pieces, one on one consultations with the artists, Christmas goodies, or just to experience the wondrous creativity in a beautiful country setting.
"If I give up who I am, I become who I might be."
For one weekend every year since 1995 the annual Expo Quoi de Neuf artisan sale has given the public the opportunity to shop for some of the best handcrafted creations of the eastern townships all in a beautiful autumn country setting. Approximately 40 accomplished artisans participate each year, but this year is going to be a little bit different...
The original founding committee of friends Judy Mullins, Debbie and Dodie Hornig, Anne Johnson and Mary Ann Martin decided to retire from their organizational duties, passing on the torch to friends Qita Reindler, Lucie Fiset, Lise Bourque, Theresa Goyette and myself Kara Needham. On the condition that we change the name, which we did to the 'Salon de l'artisanat de Sutton', our first, hopefully annual show, debuts tomorrow! With many returning favourites, and also many new, very creative artisans to choose from there is bound to be something for every taste, style and budget! We hope to see you there!!
It's here already, I can't believe it!! Once again I will be selling my Savonnerie de L'Estrie products at Townshipper's day, which is taking place again this year at the Brome Fair Grounds. There's lots of things to do and see and buy and eat, I look forward to seeing you there under grandstand booth #309, hope you can make it:-)
BROME, September 15, 2016 – On Saturday, September 17, more than 100 exhibitors and entertainers will descend on the Brome fairground for the 37th annual Townshippers’ Day festival; a family-friendly celebration of the English-speaking community of the historical Eastern Townships.
The bilingual festival provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about the region’s English-speaking community, their culture, heritage and vitality, while allowing both new and long-time Townshippers to get together and discover local treasures and resources.
This year, the one-day festival will feature 90 artisans and exhibitors, ten talented regional entertainers, a children’s play area with petting zoo and inflatable farm, activities and demonstrations, delicious food, historical bus tours with free visits to the Brome County Historical Society and so much more.
In addition to being one of the largest annual events for the region’s English-speaking community, Townshippers’ Day is proud to be a leader in hosting an environmentally-friendly and sustainable event. Vendors and visitors are encouraged to help organizers in making this a minimal waste festival by utilizing the sorting stations and using compostable or reusable dishware.
Organized by the Town of Brome Lake and Townshippers’ Association, a non-profit community organization, in collaboration with the municipalities Brome Village and West Bolton, the 2016 edition of Townshippers’ Day is made possible with the generous support of partners including Canadian Heritage, CBC, the Sherbrooke Record, CASS, CJMQ 88.9 FM (The Qube), Global Excel Management, Ville de Lac Brome, Stanstead Journal, Député de Brome-Missisquoi Pierre Paradis, Député de Saint-François Guy Hardy, Député de Sherbrooke Luc Fortin, Caisse Populaire de Brome-Missisquoi, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and the Corporation Municipale du Village de Brome.
The 37th Townshippers’ Day takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Brome fairgrounds, 345 Stagecoach road. Parking $2. This festival is family friendly but not pet friendly, thank you for leaving your pets at home. For more on the festival, visitwww.TDay.ca or call Townshippers’ office in Brome Lake at 1-877-242-4421.
About Townshippers’ Association
Townshippers’ Association is a non-profit, non-partisan community organization that has been serving the English-speaking community of the historical Eastern Townships since 1979. For more on the Association and its activities, connect online at Townshippers.org or contact Townshippers’ in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen, 819-566-5717 (toll free: 1-866-566-5717) or in Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd. 450-242-4421 (toll free: 1-877-242-4421).
Le festival de la 37e Journée des Townshippers célèbre la communauté ce samediBROME, 15 septembre 2016 – Ce samedi qui vient, le 17 septembre, plus d’une centaine d’exposants et d’artistes interprètes envahiront les terrains de l’Exposition de Brome pour le festival de la 37e Journée des Townshippers, une célébration familiale et conviviale de la communauté d’expression anglaise des Cantons-de-l’Est historiques.
Le festival bilingue offre l’occasion au public d’en apprendre davantage sur la communauté d’expression anglaise de la région, sa culture, son patrimoine et sa vitalité, tout en permettant aux Townshippers, anciens et nouveaux, de se rassembler et de découvrir des ressources et des trésors locaux.
Cette année, le festival d’un jour présentera 90 artisans et exposants, dix talentueux artistes interprètes de la région, une zone de jeu pour les enfants avec un zoo pour enfants et une ferme gonflable, des activités et des démonstrations, de la bouffe délicieuse, des tours d’autobus patrimoniaux avec visites gratuites de la Société d’histoire du comté de Brome et bien d’autres choses encore.
En plus d’être l’un des événements annuels les plus importants pour la communauté d’expression anglaise de la région, la Journée des Townshippers agit comme chef de file pour ce qui est de la tenue d’un événement écoresponsable. Les fournisseurs de nourriture et les visiteurs sont invités à aider les organisateurs à faire du festival un événement générant le minimum d’ordures en ayant recours aux stations de tri et en utilisant de la vaisselle compostable ou réutilisable.
Organisée par la Ville de Lac-Brome et l’Association des Townshippers, un organisme communautaire à but non lucratif, en collaboration avec les municipalités du Village de Brome et de Bolton-Ouest, la Journée des Townshippers est rendue possible grâce au généreux soutien de Patrimoine canadien, CBC, le Sherbrooke Record, CASS, CJMQ 88,9 FM (The Qube), Gestion Global Excel, la Ville de Lac-Brome, le Stanstead Journal, le député de Brome-Missisquoi Pierre Paradis, le député de Saint-François Guy Hardy, le député de Sherbrooke Luc Fortin, Caisse Populaire de Brome-Missisquoi, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton et la Corporation municipale du Village de Brome.
La 37e Journée des Townshippers se déroulera de 9 h à 17 h, sur les terrains de l’Exposition de Brome, 345, chemin Stagecoach. Stationnement à 2 $. Ce festival accueille volontiers les familles, mais non les animaux domestiques. Merci de laisser vos animaux de compagnie à la maison. Pour plus d’information sur le festival, visiterwww.TDay.ca/fr ou appelez le bureau de l’Association des Townshippers à Lac-Brome au numéro 1-877-242-4421.
À propos de l’Association des Townshippers
L’Association des Townshippers est un organisme communautaire sans but lucratif et non partisan au service de la communauté d’expression anglaise des Cantons-de-l’Est historiques depuis 1979. Pour plus de renseignements concernant l’Association et ses activités, joignez-nous sur internet à Townshippers.org ou communiquez avec l’Association des Townshippers à Sherbrooke au 100 – 257, rue Queen, 819 566-5717 (sans frais : 1-866-566-5717) ou à Lac-Brome au 3-584, chemin Knowlton, 450 242-4421 (sans frais : 1-877-242-4421).
New Soap Wrappings!
I just recently got around to updating my website with my new soap wrappers, which I had already switched to last October! I know, I know I should have done it sooner but it's such a tedious job I always find a way of easily putting it off until next month, and now 5 months have suddenly slipped by!!. I switched from the fabric I've been wrapping my soap in since I started selling it, to cute, colourful, very reasonably priced little paper bags I stumbled upon online (if I hadn't seen them I probably wouldn't have switched but I did so it's done!) The fabric was getting to be a lot of work... I had to find the fabric (repurposed, at the weekly Knowlton church sale where the money goes to the local food back) and decide what to use, usually old sheets, pillowcases and outdated valances that I didn't think would be a shame to cut up, wash them all again, occasionally iron them, cut them into strips, then the right sized rectangles for my soaps, and then keep track of organizing and finding place for it all in my house! And then I would wonder what people were doing with it after they used the soap... Would they use it for crafts? Sachets? Most probably throw it out... Or not use the soap at all because the wrapping was too pretty and then not need to buy any more!!
With the paper bags I just have to slip the soap in and stick the labels on! Since they are just pure paper with no wax or plastic in them they should be completely compostable or recyclable. Also, the new labels I am now using are much bigger and nicely printed (moo business cards) to show more detail, more contact information, and are much more like what I envisioned when I first started my business. This is such a tourist-y are that I wanted to show off some of our local landmarks and scenery rather than just a boring logo, and of course I had a lot of fun doing all of the paintings!
Happy Leap Day!
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
-- Elbert Hubbard
Too be honest 2016 has not started off very great for me with my 20 year marriage coming to a sudden end and my becoming a full time single parent for the winter season... It has been a struggle to come up with something to write about on this blog and with a very lenient (on myself) one blog a month rule I feel like I should be able to come up with something on the last day of the month...But I haven't.... But I do want to say that as I'm getting through this transition period I now find I have so much more to look forward to in life, whereas just a month ago at the end of 2015 I wouldn't let myself think about the future more than a week in advance, the endless possibilities awaiting me now for a happier life are almost overwhelming sometimes....
Savonnerie de L'Estrie had an impressive Christmas season so thank you to all of my wonderful, loyal customers who support me and appreciate what my business is all about!! I am coming up with at least two new products this year (an all natural and very effective creamy deodorant, and a soothing stick eye balm), and replenishing stocks that have gotten quite low in the boutiques that I sell in, and with increasing responsibility at Farfelu and the 'Quoi de neuf" artisan sale I am managing to keep myself quite busy.
So once again Happy New Year, I'm sure my next blog post will be much cheerier to read!
"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned in order to have the life that is waiting for us."
Merry Christmas to all of my loyal customers and all of the people who took the time out of their day just to look at this website, it really is greatly appreciated!!
Christmas is coming way too fast, I barely have any of my own Christmas shopping done (not a good idea with 3 sweet kids and high expectations of Santa Clause....), but now that the Knowlton Midnight Madness Sale and the Sutton Winter Market are both over for this year I have more time to concentrate on other things, like sugar cookies:-)
There is still a bit of time left to order products off of this website for Christmas, I offer $7 flat rate shipping and free shipping over $65, both of which include 2 day expedited shipping. All transactions are safely made through PayPal and there a Comodo Secure Lock on this website for added security.
Please stay safe over this holiday season and enjoy the time you have with family and friends!!
Best wishes for 2016!
"Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values."
-Thomas S. Monson
"The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in it's value."
-Charles Dudley Warner
Starting this Saturday Studio Georgeville, one of the galleries/boutiques where I sell my products, is beginning their Christmas Show and Sale which lasts every weekend until the end of January. This week I brought in more inventory, including my soaps in their new packaging - very colourful little paper bags and much, much nicer, larger labels. Of course I forgot to take photos of my display while I was there(!) but above are a few photos of one soap in the new red wrapper, and the new logo painting I did of the iconic Georgeville schoolhouse/church scene which I hope people buy, if not for the high quality natural soap then for the little keepsake that it is of Georgeville for themselves or as gifts for family and friends!
Below is the information from Studio Georgeville's newsletter, which you can sign up for at StudioGeorgeville.com
Le Studio Georgeville présente/Studio Georgeville presents
Exposition et Vente de Noël /Christmas Show and Sale
Du samedi 7 novembre 2015 au dimanche 31 janvier 2016
Saturday, November 7th, 2015, to Sunday, January 31st, 2016
Vernissage et vente aux enchères par écrit :
samedi 7 novembre 2015, de 15 h à 17 h / Vernissage and silent auction: Saturday, November 7th, 2015, 3 to 5 p.m.
Forget about the crowds and stress of Christmas shopping, going from store to store to find just the right gifts. Studio Georgeville will be offering a wide choice of small-format paintings and photographs, ceramics, jewelry, decorative objects and vintage items. And if you’re unsure what to choose, you can always buy a gift certificate.
An antique, hand-embroidered quilt, donated by Nancy and Paul Amos, will be sold through a silent auction that starts during the vernissage and will end on Sunday, December 13th, 2015.
Oubliez la cohue et le stress des courses dans les magasins pour faire vos emplettes de Noël. Un grand choix de petits formats en peinture et photographie, des céramiques, bijoux, objets décoratifs, et objets anciens seront présentés au Studio Georgeville. Et si vous n’êtes pas certain de votre choix, vous pourrez aussi acheter un chèque cadeau à offrir.
Une courtepointe ancienne brodée à la main, offerte par Nancy et Paul Amos sera vendue aux enchères. L’encan silencieux débutera durant le vernissage et se terminera le dimanche 13 décembre 2015.
Exposition d’œuvres de / Works by Louise Abbott, Duff Armour, Mahmoud Baghaeian, Kent Benson, Sophie Boivin, Pamela Cartwright, Wagna Celidon, Robert Chauvette, Marianne Chevalier, Virginia Cope, Claude Couture antiquités, Susane Daviau, Willa Drummond, Françoise Fournier, Melissa Gardner, Méli, Claire Gélinas, Caryn L. Hetherstone, Anthony Hobbs, Danielle Hudon, Niels Jensen, Linda Keymer, Lisanne Lachance, Suzanne Lachapelle, Caroline Lefebvre, Marlington Designs, John Marshall, Agnes Mckenna Power, Sara Mills, Julie Mineau, Christophe Moreau, Munmuntadas, John Murphy, Martin Myers, Joanna Nash, Kara Needham, Natanya Nerenberg, Louise Perrault, Alexe Raymond, Carla Straessle, Jean-Simon Trottier, Vanessa Yanow.
Hope you get a chance to visit the very quaint little village of Georgeville this holiday season!
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
- Mark Twain
‘Quoi De Neuf?’ showcases a wide selection of arts and crafts for you to browse through, in a beautiful country setting. Come enjoy the autumn leaves and do some shopping at the same time.
We will have some more new faces joining us this year, alongside your favourite artisans from previous years
At ‘Quoi De Neuf?’ you’ll find everything from pottery to rugs, toys to sculptures, and everything in between. With 32 artisans showing their products, whatever your taste or budget, you’ll find something you can’t resist.
For more information please consult the website: www.expoquoideneuf.com
This weekend marks the fourth year in a row that I have participated in the Quoi de Neuf (What's New?) sale.
I was also in it once before in 1997 when it was at the beautiful Lakeview Auberge in Knowlton - which must have been one of its first shows since it's now in its 21st year! Back then I didn't sell soap, I sold my wooden doorknobs and small paintings on wood, and I was so nervous at that first show I felt sick all week end! I was so relieved when it was over I swore I'd never do it again! But I've matured a little bit over the years and now I'm usually set up in half an hour and really look forward to seeing my customers and the other participants (my old high school friend Qita Reindler also does the show - check her out at http://www.studioqita.ca/), and my sister in law and sidekick Shelley Paige is helping me out on Saturday - people come just to see her smiling face! This year I have lots of small free samples (I know how hard it is to commit to buying new skincare products so I'm offering them to whoever wants to try one), and stunning new soap labels (thanks to moo.com!) on my also new paper (instead of fabric) soap packaging. I am also introducing a new scent "Earth Mother" - a healthy blend of lavender, patchouli and pink grapefruit, I love it so much I can't stop washing my hands! It will be available in limited quantities at the sale as a soap, body butter and lotion bar before I start introducing it at all the boutiques I'm in.
I really hope to see you there this saturday or sunday :-)
"You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you."
Kara Needham is the founder and creator of Savonnerie de L'Estrie, a small manufacturer of handcrafted, all-natural and affordable artisan skincare in unique folk-art packaging.