Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 from beginning to end, or Gratitude, part II

This has been one long, crazy year!  I almost wouldn't believe everything that happened, but since I lived through it, I kind of have to believe it.  These are just some things I've felt this year....

       Awestruck                            Strong                                                       Grateful
Supported                              Lucky                                                                     Crazy
   Stress                                                            Fear
Proud                                                                      Creative                                     Alone
                                                  Falling down down down
Excited                                         Dreamy
                Independent                                                                         Needy
                                       Shaky                                              Obsessed

But today.. after taking a few days "off" (working was optional, but I couldn't help myself!), I'm feeling a surge of gratitude.. everything has settled, and before it gets all crazy again I'm letting thankfulness engulf me.

I'd like to say thank you to (in no particular order)...

Chris & Brenda at Front Street Coffeehouse... there's a reason why you guys have such loyal customers, and why none of us employees ever want to leave.. there has been so many days that I've gone into work in bad mood and work cheered me up.. not many people get to say that.. FSC is where I met my husband and most of my friends.. you've given me a meeting point, a beginning in Salem (it's also where I was when my first apartment back here fell upon me.. I knew that hanging out at FSC would find me a place to live!), a job when I needed it, and now where you've given Wunder Budder an outlet to start and grow.. I'm grateful not only for what you've done for Wunder Budder this year, but for all of those things and just for being who you are.

Not only to Chris and Brenda, but everyone that works at Front Street and everyone that goes there who had and has a part in Wunder Budder's growth.. everyone behind the counter who told people that Wunder Budder was awesome and that they should try it.. everyone who put the logo stickers on their phones, iPods, bikes, books.. Elise and Deirdre.. I joke that you guys keep me in business, but I'm not completely joking.. thank you for everything you've tried, everything you've given to other people, and for just being awesomely supportive..

And an additional thank you for the Front Street studio days.. to Chris and Brenda for letting me set up, and to everyone that did their Christmas shopping at my table!  December was the best month ever for Wunder Budder.. if I could keep it up, I might even be able to pay myself this coming year!

My husband who has been even more amazing this year.. picking up my slack everywhere he can and being supportive on every possible level.. I feel so amazingly lucky every day with you Mikey!

My family.. my awesome mom, brother, cousin, aunt, parents-in-law.. you've all helped me in different ways this year, and I'm grateful for every thing you've done.. all the help you've given me, the shows you've come to.. I don't want to list everything, just know that I love you, appreciate your support, and realize how lucky I am to have you as my family.

Midge at Green Clean for being so encouraging and doing things like bringing me hammers when I need them and spreading the Wunder Budder love through gifts to her clients.. I don't think you always know how awesome you are!

Jane.. you came over and washed dishes when I was freaking out.. dishes!  Along with everything else you've done this year, I'm so grateful for that dish day!

All of Wunder Budder's Facebook fans.. thank you for liking Wunder Budder, for wanting to keep up with what's going on, for your comments, for sharing.. You've grown to almost 1000 in this first year.. you're the best!

Everyone that purchased Wunder Budder this year, or had any part at all in our growth.. thank you, thank you, thank you.  You're helping me live my dream.

Wunder Budder is having a birthday/thank you sale on January 1st, with 20% off your entire online purchase no matter how big or how small.  I've also decided to offer free standard shipping (regular shipping restrictions apply) for this day because 20% off just didn't seem like thank you enough.  If you're running out of or have been been eyeing something, this is a good time to pick it up!

Use code Celebrate2010 at checkout
click FREE Standard Shipping 01/01/11

Talk to you next year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Big Confession...

I've written blogs over the past couple months, and then deleted them without posting.

I felt like I was complaining and I don't want to seem like I don't love Wunder Budder or that I'm not grateful for how everything has gone in this first year of business.

But then a friend reminded me that this blog was meant to be about my first year (and beyond...) in business, including the bad things.

So here's my big confession...

Starting a business is hard!

Like, really hard!

And, it's not that I didn't know it going in.. I just didn't know it, know it. 

I've discovered that it's really hard to stop working.  When I'm not making stuff, I'm researching, or improving the website, or experimenting, or ordering.. I'm the formulator, the accountant, the sales rep, the advertising and marketing team, the designer, the delivery person, the customer service, etc.. It can sometimes be overwhelming but, almost as bad, addictive!

When I start to feel overworked, I'll take a day off.. but then all that work needs to be made up.  If I take two days off.. disaster! 

So, usually I decide just to work through it until I'm so overworked, underslept and non-home-cooked-mealed out, I end up getting sick. Then I go into emergency mode and have to take days off at my "day job" so I can get work done and still try to heal.. then my paycheck decreases, more stress piles on and on and on until I start having doubts that I can make it and start to think everythingisfallingapart and I'mgoingtofail!


And then everything comes together again.

Luckily, I can look into mistakes and take something from them.. I'm really good at it.. no regrets because everything is a learning experience and learning is part of growing and growing is one of my favorite things about being alive. 

This January will be all about change.. behind the scenes... reorganizing my studio, business stuff and mind... working on wholesale and spreading (hey, spreading!) Wunder Budder further away from home... finding ways to work regular hours while still getting done what needs to get done... taking everything I've learned this year, and doing a bunch of stuff with it, all at once.  Fixing what's broken and getting ready to make a bunch of new mistakes.

I'm ok with that.


Wunder Budder
Natural skincare & aromatherapy,
handcrafted with love

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Recently I've been thinking about advertising and marketing.

I saw this amazing ad.. It was for Oreo cookies (can I talk about name brands freely?).. it was some sort of thing holding liquid.. a glass, a mug, a bowl.. filled with milk.  It looked like a giant swimming pool full of milk.  Two bendy straws were bent over the side, representing a ladder to climb up and jump in.  In the middle of the pool, an Orea cookie was floating, just a small edge submerged, in the milk pool.

I really wanted an Oreo cookie.

It was amazing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 2.

Is one blog every day too much?

I'm not sure I'd read a blog that posted every day.

Maybe I would.  I don't know.

Anyway, hi!

Today I worked at the coffeeshop, so I didn't get to spend much time in the studio.  I made it to the post office and to Target, and did some online work, but that's about it.  All day I was thinking about things I'd like to do in the studio.  And then all the things that I could get done if I could work there five days a week.  And how I'd even have the weekend off, every week.

It may not happen for a while, but I'm really looking forward to that day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

While the wax was melting...

Today was very frustrating.  I'm tired, head-achey, and still not back to normal from last weeks crappiness (personal, not Wunder Budder).  I've been at the studio for most of the day, getting really frustrated with pretty much everything I'm doing.  I've written and erased this blog three times (there was a lot of venting and complaining involved), but I'm now remembering why I started this in the first place.

I wanted to write about my first year in business.  The good, the bad, and the melty.  Today was all three.

I originally wanted to write it for anyone interested in the story of Wunder Budder, anyone who is also starting their own business and can maybe learn from my (many!) mistakes, anyone who just likes to read blogs, and for myself.  So far, I've enjoyed the randomness of my blogs, but just a minute ago decided that I'm going to get down to it.

I'm going to write something every day.  Or, at least try to.  Short, long, good, bad, praising the world or venting.

So, there it is.  Today you were spared my icky rantings because I feel like I got it all out, but in the future there will probably be some not 100% positive posts.

I hope you'll keep reading anyway....


Lisa at Wunder Budder
Don't forget to smile!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Left Hand, Right Hand!

A year or so ago, a friend was cleaning out her attic.  She found something left over from a previous dweller and she sent this something to me.

I opened the package and inside was a book.  An old orange hardcover book.  Orange happens to be my favorite color, and old books are some of my favorite things, so I was very excited to get this book.  But, it gets better...

The spine reads, "The Sociology of the Future".  What a great title!  But it gets better still...

I opened the book, and instead of loose flippable pages I found the pages glued together with a carefully carved hole in the middle.

This book was not only old, orange and had a great title.. it was a handmade secret hiding space!  I love this book.  I should probably mention here that I love secrets as much as I love old orange hardcover books!  It was a perfect present for me, and I'm still grateful that she picked me to send it to.

Flashforward to today...

My husband was sick, so I stayed home with him.  I had all this unplanned free time and wasn't quite sure how to fill it.  I can't quite remember how I got on this track, but I ended up sitting on my couch with the Dictionary of Symbols and a notebook on my lap.  I slowly went through all 500+ pages and wrote down symbols.. ancient symbols, symbols for alchemy and early chemistry.. then I started to organize them in ways I could use them.. oils and salts, waxes and alcohols.. I just didn't have enough, so I modified some and made up a few more to cover butters and essential oils and different herbs..

I blended up a new language of symbols and began to rewrite formulas for Wunder Budder, creating my own personal book of Wunder Budder secret code!

As I was writing in my scribbly falling apart notebook, I started thinking about what this secret code would become.. an amazing book full of symbols that only I would understand, dried flower bits and other pieces that fit into the future history of Wunder Budder.

I needed a book with blank pages.  I needed an old orange hardcover book like the one my friend had sent me, but I needed it to be full of blank pages just waiting to filled with the secret codes of Wunder Budder...

I remembered a small handmade book I used to have and searched our apartment, but I had no luck.  Our apartment is full of other really cool things, but the little book was nowhere to be found.

I came back to my seat on the couch, picked up my computer and took my chances searching Etsy.. I was hoping for a handmade book.. maybe one of handmade recycled fiber pages.. maybe one with a tree on the front.. maybe one with a spiral binding.. I didn't know.. I really wanted the twin of my old orange hardcover book, but one with pages I could write on.

That's when I saw Left Hand, Right Hand!  That's the acual title.. with an excalmation point.  It not only says Left Hand, Right Hand, it's excited about saying it!  If you haven't noticed already, I also love exclamation points!

Left Hand, Right Hand! is an old orange hardcover book, with an amazing title.  Just about the same size as my book with the secret hole.. its twin!  Only inside this new book are pages.. blank pages carefully put together and inserted into an old orange hardcover with an amazing title.

I bought it without a second thought.  When the creator sent me an email soon after, expressing her curiousity of what I would use her amazing book for, I was happy to tell her this story... a shortened version.. and then I just had to tell it again to all of you.

Thanks to my sick husband (he'll be fine by the way), my insomnia, and the creative mind of the Etsy seller, I will soon begin to scribe Wunder Budder formulas, in secret code, inside of an old orange hardcover book.

Left Hand, Right Hand!  I couldn't ask for a better name.

Today was a good day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I'm sitting here enjoying the rain outside, waiting for my husband to get ready to head to the studio with me and help me label and wrap all the awesome Wunder Budder stuff I will be making today.  And, I'm feeling grateful.  Deep down, just wholeheartedly thankful for everyone who helped me get to this point, and everyone who continues to give me their support.  I really love you guys, and I wanted to let everyone know how much you've done.  Maybe you didn't know, maybe you already did, I'm not sure.  Some of these things are part of my story, which I have yet to continue, but I just wanted to get this out.  Like, now, when I'm really feeling it.  I wasn't going to name names, but I just have to for some of you...

In no particular order.. my love and gratitude goes out to:

Midge from Green Clean who is a total inspiration to me.  She started and continues to run a successful home cleaning business using environmentally friendly products, and she did it all on her own.  When I was thinking about quitting school to do Wunder Budder full time, she was the only person who told me straight out to go for it.  Do what feels right.  And don't get me wrong.. I appreciate all the stay-in-school pep talks I got from many people, but my heart just wasn't in it anymore.  Midge encouraged me to follow my heart, and just take the risk.. figure it out later.  I felt like I was stuck in someone else's life, and her words helped me get back into myself.

My husband, who not only was ok with me using some of our savings as an initial investment for Wunder Budder, but when I told him I wanted to rent a studio, he said "go for it" without a thought.  Even when I explained the risks to him, he just wanted me to do it.  He's been amazingly supportive and I couldn't ask for a better husband and best friend to help me through this.

Friends like Elisa, who supported Wunder Budder through the slow times, before I was making it full time.. When I only had a new batch out a couple times a year and sold out quickly.. she took many opportunities to remind me that she "needed" (!) Wunder Budder and it pushed me to make more.  Maggie, who just keeps buying stuff, for herself and to give to others.. she's been my biggest customer so far (and one of the most delightful I must say.. delightful really did have to be said)!  Timm who told people "Wunder Budder saved my life" on more than one occasion.. Ok, Wunder Budder didn't really save anyone's life, but those words just make me smile!  He tells everyone how much he loves it, and he always has a Firecracker (a Cinnatimm, as I once heard it called) or a Black in his pocket.  Jane, a stranger at the time, who tried out some Wunder Budder and then made a point to let me know that she loved it, and who then came back for more.  All my friends and family who have been helpful in spreading the word..  All who bought Wunder Budder at first just because it was mine, just because they wanted to support what I was doing (and people like Courtney and Meredith who essentially bought doubles of everything), and then kept buying stuff because they were not only being super supportive, but they also liked it!  Heidi for continuously asking me for more stuff, spreading the word through giving Wunder Budder as presents, and for the amazing words she gave me the other night.  Oh, and Hal!  I can't forget Hal, who I think has one of everything, and soon will have the bottle of Sunshine he paid for in advance (it's waiting for you in my lab-OR-a-tory).  Kristy for being so excited about Wunder Budder from the beginning... like, the very beginning, years back.  Thank you guys, it means a lot to me.  Really.  More than I can fully explain in one shortish blog.

Front Street Coffeehouse for... just so much.  Chris and Brenda, with all their experience, for first gently trying to talk me down from my spur of the moment studio rental idea, but then turning around and being awesomely supportive once I told them I did it.  For the advice, the help with the sink, for the counters and more.. the counter space at Front Street, and the continued support.. you guys are great!  Chris who continues to get on my ass for getting Wunder Budder into more stores (sometimes I need it!).  Maggie, Deirdre and the rest of the girls for telling people that Wunder Budder is great and helping spread the word both in person and online, and for offering your help in various things.  I love all you guys!

My mom, who once she got over the initial shock of me kinda sorta dropping out of school and spending a bunch of money she knew I really don't have on "starting" a business, has been endlessly supportive.  Every girl (with few exceptions) wants her mom's love and support, and I feel so lucky to have one that gives them to me.

Roost for approaching me to talk about them carrying Wunder Budder at their shop in Salem.  They took the scary out of my first wholesale sale, and I'm grateful for it.

I feel like I'm forgetting a lot.. So many of you helped in ways you probably didn't even realize.. all the fans on the Wunder Budder FaceBook fan page.. all of you that are interactive, talk and share the page.. all of you who sit back but are still there as fans.. everyone who reads this blog, checks the website.. Everyone who has ever bought Wunder Budder and helped me keep it going. 

Ok, so maybe this wasn't shortish.. I even feel like I could go on, but I'd be repeating myself.  Just, thanks guys.  Thanks for the support, thanks for the love, and thanks for helping me to believe that I can make this whole thing real.  Wunder Budder is still very young and I still have a lot of work to do to get where it will be self-sufficient (and then hopefully grow to support me), but you guys make it easier.

Lisa at Wunder Budder

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not-Open Studio Days

Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I decided to postpone Open Studio Days from April 7th until June 9th.  I immediately felt relaxed, and slept for eight hours for the first time in weeks.

When I originally made the date for Open Studio Days, I picked four months from when I had the idea.  I thought it would be plenty of time, but it just wasn't.  I was starting to feel too much stress and barely any excitement.  It should be the other way around.  Really excited and a little stressed.  As an eternal procrastinator, I've learned to work well under pressure, but I just wasn't feeling right about the April date.

I'm bootstrapping it at Wunder Budder (and for the most part out of season for yard sales!), so it's taking me a while to set up the studio.  I'm still working on getting it just right for production, so I need more time before opening it to the public.  Plus, I'm working on some new items and really want to get them ready as soon as possible, and would much rather spend my time making stuff than trying to rush to finish the studio.

Basically, I should have been excited about Open Studio Days, but I haven't been for a while.  I've been faking it for weeks, and I don't like faking it.  I feel much better now that I've decided to postpone it, and also feel like it will be more fun for people coming in if I have more time to concentrate on planning it.  I'll have more to offer and I just think it will be a better experience for everyone.

So, that's it.  Open Studio Days will begin on June 9th.

Lisa at Wunder Budder
Don't forget to smile!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Story, Part I

I'm now officially a blogger! 

This is kind of a test.  I've never done this before!  So, here goes...

My business was reborn on 01/01/10.  I just liked those numbers.

I've been making salves since 2000, and Wunder Budder became an official business in late 2002.  Since that time, my life has led me in different directions, and I never put a full time effort into my business.  But, every time I had been stressed for the last eight years, I'd start playing with oils and making things to relax me.  Wunder Budder was pulling me towards it, but I kept pushing it back for various reasons.

Then December (2009) came.

I was in school, hating it, really hating it.  I was sick for months, not sleeping, constantly in a bad mood.  Once again, I was pulled towards Wunder Budder to cheer me up.  I began to get messages, that I finally, finally!, started listening to.

One night, while working at a coffeehouse (what up FSC!), there was this great band playing.  My bosses and some of my co-workers were there, as well as other friends.. I was having a lot of fun.  I hadn't had a lot of fun for a long time because I was so stressed out with school.  My mood brought me back to how I felt having fun at other coffeehouses I had worked at, when I was leading my life in a more adventurous way.  I missed that sense of adventure, and I had an epiphany!  I should just do it!  I should put school away for a bit, keep working at the coffeehouse and go for Wunder Budder full time!  Just take a chance!

I got talked out of it that night.  I should just finish school, get it done.


There's my test post.. I'll finish the story later!