So today someone decided to review our soap........
Except it wasn't really a review and nor were it truthful, in fact one could argue it was a hit piece. You see, there are these other soap makers in the community, nay, in fact in their own eyes, they are the "SOAP MAKERS". That is to say, they believe that since they make soap, no one else anywhere near their market has the right to make soap, in fact, it might be punishible by death for you or I to even consider making soap if our marketing territory overlaps even the tiniest bit.
Market farmers likely know the type, the insanely jealous folks that will do anything to protect what they rightly believe is theirs even if it means running others into the ground so long as the end goal of being a monopoly is accomplished.
That is the situation that I have recently found myself in here in Washington County, made all the more troublesome by the hard work and time I've put into promoting the new farmers market that I and they are a part of which includes promoting their product even as they continue to deride me and my products, once with the husband even taking to facebook to proclaim that I should throw myself head first into a wood chipper and once refering to my inability to perform a certain task for market due to a family member being critically ill as a "Lame Ass Excuse".
You see though, none of that suprises me, I have somewhat trained myself over the years to expect the worst of people, particularly those who you have tried your hardest to help over the years with gifts of seeds, labor, animals, exct.
What does suprise me though is when those same people want to deride me and my product they choose not to do it themselves, instead relying on a good friend of theirs to do the job for them such is the case with this "review".
I put "reveiw" in quotation marks as I'm not entirely sure you can call something a review if it is prefaced with the words: "NO. Its not about soap and never has been." But then perhaps that's my own critical thinking seeping into this blog post.
I accept full responsibility for this piece of bad publicity though and for good reason. You see the reviewer (who I'm sure will also review the competitors product with glowing admiration within the next 24 hours) was at our most recent winter market this past Saturday (wouldn't you know it, hanging with the competetors and even helping move product) and despite my better judgment (I should have known after the last round of drama ended and after she berated one of my customers and her review on my facebook page which I readily admit to deleting and further banning her. You can talk about me all you want, not my customers!) I sold her a bar of our soap which she procedes to dissect in her review.
Some of her observations I won't argue with such as packaging; yeah it's not for everybody and it's not meant to be, it's meant to be simple. The catchphrase; this was actually something my grandfather used to say, I have nothing to defend myself with here other than go fuck yourself, it's obviously not something you'll ever get and nor do I have time or energy to waste my breath arguing with you about it.
. One thing I agree with; yes, the ingredients label should be on the outside of the soap package, but for lack of time and space the night before market it ended up on the inside label, thanks for the tip though I'll make sure that happens in the future. ;)
Now, onto the things I disagree with or take issue with.
The soap not being cured in the center. Yes, the soap was well cured, over six weeks time. Honey is one of our main ingredients and in cold process soaps it takes some time to evaporate since it is unsaponified, as well the soap sat overnight in my truck where it likely did pick up some moisture (as the soap on the wrapper clearly shows).
The soap containing ingredients not listed on the label. That is a bold faced lie, there was no "corn" in this soap (though there is in Grit Getter), what there is is dried lavendar and honey. Everything that's in the soap is on the label and given how often I clean the equipment the chances of cross contamination are zero.
Regarding skin issues. Every persons skin is different and every person has a different set of aggrevators which may effect their skin in a negative way. IF there was something in the soap that aggrevated your skin you should know before using the soap (since I know you read the ingredients label) if there is anything which may effect you negatively. Since the soap was properly cured and since the lye is not longer caustic after saponification and since I have the math setting in front of me and know as a matter of fact that the soap is 3% superfated (complete with three different folks reviewing the math) I know that it's not due to chemicals. As stated above, I agree with you, the ingredient label should be on the outside of the soap and in the future it very well will be.
The fact that I don't generally accept checks and or credit cards. You can ask any customer of Bishop's Homegrown or Face Of The Earth Seed, we have almost completely relied on the well concealed cash or money order method over the past seven years for any number of our products and short an ocassional slow to ship complaint during busy times we've never had a complaint and nor has anyone ever claimed they never got their product, ask around, do a google search, were not fly by night, we've been around for quite a long time now. We did use Paypal for a short period of time but gave it up after reading a myriad of horror stories about treatment of their customers. When it comes right down to it we rely on our reputation in the community and at large which speaks for itself (at least when someone is not out running it into the ground to help out their friends and gain revenge for me telling you how I felt about the situation.)
About and unbiased review: hint; they never start with the phrase: "NO. Its not about soap and never has been." and nor do they close with a quantifier like: "Due to the nature of the beast I know I will be called out in regards to posting this review and will be called biased, and hateful. It was not my intent. I paid cash to purchase the item in question and did an honest review of the product as a whole. I did not take into account who made it other than in regards to the end paragraph regarding the buyer being protected from bad product or negligent sellers. Simply put buyer beware."
About the smell; the only smell you'll get from our soap is that of the natural products in our soap. As mentioned before we don't use fragrant oils or synthetic oils as our goal is to use what is available on the farm, this does not lend to a strong fragrance which is something that we have chosen to do purposely.. Lard is out main base and depending on the forumla and what the soap is trying to accomplish yes sometimes it doesn't have a huge lather, other forumlas we use do. Different strokes for different folks. Nothing against those who use stronger oils to fragrance their soap but we are catering to a group who aren't after that and who want only a slight smell imparted by ingredients grown on the farm. Theres plenty of room for everybody to make soap regardless of your thoughts. If you had an issue with smelling bad after using the soap you should likely consult a doctor as it's likely clinical in nature and needs attention.
Because if they did it would be plain to see that theres more than a little bit of history between the producer and the consumer.
In closing, yes you did buy the soap, and your intentions are now painfully clear for all the world to see. Yes, you got shitty customer service because we all know your a deceitful little troll with absolutely no respect for others (ask your peers at the other market, I'm sure they would be glad to let you know) and you've caused me just as many problems as your omipotent soap making gutter trash friends (even prior to the review). So, if you think Kim or I are going to kiss your fat fucking ass to make four dollars (and destroy our reputation) dream on.
For those reading this post, I appoligize for my attrocious grammar and spelling but I couldn't set back and allow somone to damage my reputation (even for a new product which is really only a small percentage of what we do) by running myself and my product into the ground while attempting to decieve her readers into believing that it's honestly only about doing a review (convinent too that here she just started doing reviews and the first product she comes to is soap with mine conviniently being first and her friends surely coming soon! It's the details you'll notice!)
For customers interested in our soap, please feel free to call 812-967-2073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for those concerned about our reputation a simple google search for bishops homegrown, face of the earth seed or hip-gnosis seed development should provide a list of nearly everything we've done over the years and just how reliable we really are. A look at alanbishop.proboards.com and a simple inquiry post about us should assuage any further reputation damage.