Maker Stories: Episode 67: Sandy Engels of The Purple Sage [Podcast]

Welcome to Episode 67 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Maker Story introduces you to Sandy Engels of The Purple Sage in Ethel, Louisiana. Sandy purchased her brand from another entrepreneur eight years ago, shortly after she discovered that her friends and family members were interested in buying the soap she had been making for fun.

As you'll enjoy learning in this episode, Sandy is naturally introverted, but celebrates the fact that being a business owner has given her levels of confidence and self esteem she does not feel she would have achieved had she not been an entrepreneur. Enjoy my interview with Sandy NOW!

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Episode Show Notes

Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that most interests you:

  1. How Sandy first learned to make soap and other cosmetics products, and how that led to her starting The Purple Sage. (starting at 1:53)
  2. How Sandy decided to turn her soapmaking hobby into a business. (starting at 6:44)
  3. How Sandy keeps procedures and systems together in her business so she stays on track, runs the business well, and still has time to be creative. (starting at 8:56)
  4. Sandy's love for selling her products at festivals and fairs, face-to-face to buyers. (starting at 11:43)
  5. How Sandy integrates her business and personal life into an integrated whole. (starting at 12:55)
  6. How to know if you would be good at selling your products at festivals and fairs, what type of work is involved. (starting at 16:14)
  7. Sandy's business model, split between shows, wholesale, and online sales. (starting at 17:42)
  8. How Sandy selects shows that fit her brand. (starting at 19:14)
  9. Sandy's favorite social media outlets. (starting at 21:40)
  10. Sandy's favorite thing about having a business of her own. (starting at 23:28)
  11. A bit about Sandy's product line (starting at 29:07)
  12. Sandy's one piece of advice to help a new entrepreneur be successful in business (starting at 35:04)
  13. What's on tap for the future at The Purple Sage (starting at 38:19)

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode

In this episode, Sandy and I mentioned the following resources.

  1. The Purple Sage website: The Purple Sage
  2. The Purple Sage on Facebook: The Purple Sage on Facebook
  3. The Purple Sage on Instagram: The Purple Sage on Instagram
  4. Festival: Georgia Apple Festival
  5. Email newsletter services: MailChimp and Klaviyo
  6. E-commerce platform: Shopify
  7. Planner: Passion Planner

A few of the entrepreneurial points Sandy and I discussed in this episode

  1. Plan and systematize everything.
    It's a basic tip that makes a big difference. Sandy uses a paper planner to write things down so she doesn't miss a beat in terms of her schedule and events. She also maintains separate notebooks with all of her recipes and product processes. She describes it as the “gold” of her business. What gets written down gets done and done correctly, and this is great advice for any entrepreneur.
  2. Take advantage of opportunities to meet and talk to your customers.
    While traveling to shows and selling at events is a lot of work, Sandy says she loves it because it gives her an opportunity to sell her products in ways that are not possible online. Standing in front of customers forces Sandy to sell and gives her a chance to really get to know her target customer. There's nothing like face-to-face and the energy that comes from connecting and showcasing the benefits of a product in person.
  3. Develop an email marketing strategy.
    Sandy says that, if she could only give a new entrepreneur one single piece of advice, it would be to set up and use an email newsletter to nurture and maintain relationships with customers and prospects. I definitely echo that advice, as I have been publishing a newsletter for 20 years and agree with Sandy to the value of making this investment as early as possible in your business.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.