We've been keeping a secret: Our very own made for TV commercial compliments of Amazon

Our big announcement long in the waiting….Today Amazon is introducing Amazon Storefronts : Over a million products from over 20,000 US Small and medium sized businesses from all 50 states. Storefronts launch coincides with Amazon’s first-ever national TV advertising campaign championing a U.S. small business, Little Flower Soap Co., selling on Amazon

This Summer our business was chosen to be featured in not one but two Amazon National Campaigns!!! Including a made for TV commercial filmed in Athens and a made for web video filmed at our barn/studio in Chelsea, MI. Here are both videos for your consideration followed by the story of our adventures.

Since opening shop on Amazon Handmade in October 2016 we’ve been contacted by Amazon’s PR team in Seattle on multiple occasions. The first of many “opportunities” was an interview by the Ann Arbor News. Already we were grateful to Amazon for making this connection with our local press no strings attached little did we know this was tiny opportunity compared to the epic offer they made us later in the year.

 Behind the scenes and on camera in Athens flipping the shop from open to “Open on Amazon”

Behind the scenes and on camera in Athens flipping the shop from open to “Open on Amazon”

The second time we were contacted by the PR team they asked if I’d be willing to attend the grand opening of a new Amazon warehouse in Livonia, MI for a tour with Governor Rick Snyder

That day I was interviewed for the channel 4 nightly news with Ron.. a 10 second spot about small businesses in Michigan sending their products into the new warehouse for Fulfillment by Amazon. I thought that was pretty delightful … and yet it could not compare to what happened next.

Soon another email came with a similar ask “we have an opportunity we think you might be a good fit for” I was excited to hear more but nowhere near as excited as I should have been …

“Do you and Justin have valid passports and are you available to travel these dates?” they asked.

They said The Little Flower Soap Co was one of 5 US small businesses being considered for a commercial that would be filmed in Athens, Greece and that they would make a decision in a few weeks (so we began hoping and praying).

 500+ bars of soap, Salts, deodorant, candles, and gift sets that we sent to Athens for the shoot.

500+ bars of soap, Salts, deodorant, candles, and gift sets that we sent to Athens for the shoot.

Drum roll please …. They picked us!!! They flew us to Athens (business class woot woot) and put us and our business in their national campaign commercial about Amazon and small business. We ate, we shopped with toured the Acropolis and watched Agatha Christi movies in open air theaters where ownerless cats scrounged for stray popcorn.

 Man are we happy to be here… in Greece … on the set of a commercial… featuring our business!!!

Man are we happy to be here… in Greece … on the set of a commercial… featuring our business!!!

 Agatha Christie film we watched in an open air theatre stars above and the Parthenon to our left.

Agatha Christie film we watched in an open air theatre stars above and the Parthenon to our left.

We had meetings in our hotel with the wardrobe specialists and then were picked up around 9pm to drive into downtown Athens to the set. Once on set we met the director Siri a wildly talented lady director who’s storytelling style is artful and humanizing.

 Setting the soaps in the window of our faux shop

Setting the soaps in the window of our faux shop

We both had makeup and hair … Justin had never had his hair “done” before so he was pretty excited with his fancy look (seen here modeling his best "blue steel”)

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After all the fun filming in Athens Amazon asked to come to our barn studio and create another short video about us and our small business. This video was made to go on the Amazon website as part of the launch of their New Amazon Storefronts featuring only US businesses and with a focus on Small and Medium sized businesses like ours. This piece came out so stinking cute you can see it below

Here is what the lovely Meg Coyle wrote about us in the Amazon blog this weekend. see her post HERE

Family business goes big on Amazon

Amazon launches its first-ever national television commercial to celebrate more than a million U.S.-based small- and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon.

By Meg Coyle

on September 16, 2018 

You wouldn’t think one phone call would alter the course of a small company selling handmade bath and body care products. But it did for Holly Rutt and Little Flower Soap Company – and in a big way. Rutt already knew she was a finalist for a national advertisement featuring a small- or medium-sized business that’s selling on Amazon. She was about to find out she got the gig.

“I remember trying to play it cool on the phone because I didn’t want to scream in their ear,” Rutt said. “Having a company as big as Amazon pick you out of more than a million other businesses validates what we are and what we do.”

Every little bar of soap we’ve wrapped making the bow perfect, with each handwritten gift note, we’re creating this emotion of joy and gratitude and contributing to the love someone feels when they receive it.

One month later, Rutt and her husband, Justin, were in Greece where Amazon filmed the ad. It features Rutt and her business – her logo appearing on the side of train cars and container trucks making the journey from customer order to delivery. It’s dusk in the commercial, and we see her flipping the “Open” sign on a storefront to “Open on Amazon.” She then delivers the closing line: “Half of all items sold on Amazon come from small and medium businesses, just like mine.” 

Small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of Amazon’s stores, and it's estimated those businesses have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide. Amazon’s national ad recognizes that reality and celebrates business owners like Rutt and her husband Justin, living their own version of the American Dream. 

Rutt has a degree in business management and a background in floral design, and her husband is an osteopathic doctor with an interest in herbs. With their combined expertise, they started selling their handmade, small-batch soaps and body care products on Amazon in 2016 and sales have nearly doubled since. The business had taken over their home in Chelsea, Michigan. “We were making the soap in the kitchen, assembling gift boxes in the living room, and doing all the packaging and labeling in the dining room,” she said.

In 2017 they moved into an old farmhouse with a big red barn on two acres where they could also grow and farm their own lavender to use in their products. They renovated the barn and converted it into their studio, where two full-time and five part-time employees are working harder than ever. Amazon’s national commercial means a boost in brand recognition and could drive up demand. 

Rutt’s soapmaking that started as a side hustle is now a company on the rise and for her, a business that will always be personal. “We make small things with great love, that’s where my heart is,” she said. “Every little bar of soap we’ve wrapped making the bow perfect, with each handwritten gift note, we’re creating this emotion of joy and gratitude and contributing to the love someone feels when they receive it. You’re a part of something. And for me, that’s everything.” 

Amazon.com will be profiling U.S.-based small- and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon, like Little Flower Soap Co., throughout the month.

Batches of bath bombs

Why do we love these little guys so dearly?  They are a sensory extravaganza... looking cute smelling so good and even sounding fun (fizzzzzzz) maybe don’t taste them... though we have been reading about new edible bath bombs must try that at our upcoming lavender planting party! 🌿⚪️🌿⚪️🌿

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we topped our bombs with fresh lavender flowers! Now home grown on the little flower lavender farm.  Here's Tammy holding one of the precious fizz balls after attending a traditional Indian wedding over the weekend where they henna tattooed her palms.. so pretty! 

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Below you can see our first thriving row of lavender, I kept meaning to harvest it but every time I would head out with my clippers there would be 20-30 bees happily buzzing on each plant and I just couldn't bring myself to take away the food they were storing up to survive winter.  Bees have it rough these days so... oops and then it frosted.  But it was so pretty!! 

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Behind the Scenes : Making Candles in our Sunlit Studio

Ever since we moved into our newly renovated barn studio work has felt more doable.  This bright sunlit space inspires creativity including a new candle scent released just this week (Balance & Uplift) and a new soap too (Hibiscus Rose Geranium) 

In the background of this photo you can see our candle making jugs hanging in a neat row on reclaimed wood slabs that have been fitted with railroad ties to make giant candle jug hangers (thanks Brennen Patel!)  I'm pouring at Tammy's workstation which is made up of a giant custom essential oil wall built for us by Thomason Brothers Carpentry of Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Holly Rutt pouring candles at the little flower soap company barn studio sunlit soap making studio in Chelsea Michigan
Holly Rutt pours candle at The Little Flower Soap Co in Chelsea Michigan

I'm a sucker for some natural light which is what sold me on this 2 story barn with no less than 14 big windows upstairs alone (where the magic happens) We almost never have to flip on the lights except at night.  

Its so nice that the barn is at the top of the hill and from up in our shop we can see acres of protected woods our house and barn back up the the Waterloo and Pinckney State Rec protected land.  

 

 don't look too close I think I might have spilled (whoopsie) These Vanilla Candles are SO popular as part of a  Happy Birthday Cake themed gift set HERE

don't look too close I think I might have spilled (whoopsie) These Vanilla Candles are SO popular as part of a Happy Birthday Cake themed gift set HERE

 The finished product is our  Newest Candle perfect for headache or stress relief  mmmmm love it!

The finished product is our Newest Candle perfect for headache or stress relief mmmmm love it!

FUN FIZZY FEATURE : Bath Bombs

The pop and fizzle of dropping a bath bomb into the tub is relaxation at its best.  So much great new stuff has been added to our shop since my last post back in 2017.  We've been working hard to perfect our Bath Bombs, Candles, and added a new Hibiscus Geranium soap!! For now here is a little info about these great smelling fizzies. 

Little Flower Soap Co Bath Bomb Gift Set

New Bath Bomb Gift

Essential Oil Bath Bombs Make a great little something gift for a friend who could use a relaxing home spa day.  Each bath bomb is 1.5" diameter and 1.5 oz and shipping is just $5 

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Thanks!

Thanks to the amazing ladies at Lavender Hill Farms for the fresh local lavender buds we use to top these bombs!

New Studio Construction Complete!

Ever since our first basement batch of soap I've been dreaming of a someday studio.  I enjoy working from home so I was dreaming of a house in the country with an outbuilding as the soap making workshop.  At first I was thinking small ... a shed studio I had seen during a garden tour my mom dragged me on as a girl.  It was full of natural light and it was obvious the artist took loads of inspiration from her view of the garden .  As the soap and floral businesses GREW and grew and took on employees I realized we would need something larger than a shed.  We house hunted for a year and were just becoming discouraged when the perfect 1840s Farmhouse on 2 Acres with 2 story barn became available in Chelsea!! It was snowing the night we toured the house and there was a fire roaring in the wood-burning stove.  The 2000 square foot barn was unfinished inside, a suitable blank slate for our studio ambitions.  2 acres was plenty of land for growing lavender and to my delight this home is only 2 minute drive from Downtown Chelsea and 8 minutes from the oh so important post office. 

 Me and my baby fresh from weeding the overgrown gardens standing in front of the future studio.

Me and my baby fresh from weeding the overgrown gardens standing in front of the future studio.

we purchased and Moved in May 2016 and now 1 year later the barn has been completely renovated on the inside including plumbing, heating, cooling, insulation, drywall and a septic system all its own (oye!)  The fabulous Thomason Brothers Carpentry  team took on our project and whipped this 3 car garage into a fabulous upper lower floral design& soap shop 

 Here is the lower level where custom cabinets were built using reclaimed barn wood from another Chelsea Area barn that had been deconstructed 40 years ago and stored.  We got lucky asking the lumber yard for reclaimed wood 1 day after this old barn had been delivered to them!! 

Here is the lower level where custom cabinets were built using reclaimed barn wood from another Chelsea Area barn that had been deconstructed 40 years ago and stored.  We got lucky asking the lumber yard for reclaimed wood 1 day after this old barn had been delivered to them!! 

 The French door and window over the sink were added to bring more natural light into the space.  I'm geeked about the dishwasher which is custom panel ... do I maybe have the only reclaimed barn wood dishwasher in the world?  I like to think so :) 

The French door and window over the sink were added to bring more natural light into the space.  I'm geeked about the dishwasher which is custom panel ... do I maybe have the only reclaimed barn wood dishwasher in the world?  I like to think so :) 

Hour Detroit Magazine May 2015 Issue

We were so proud and thrilled about this  recent feature in HOUR Detroit Magazine.  

Handmade Healing

Detroit-based soap company goes beyond the bar

The Little Flower Soap Company has blossomed since its sudsy start in 2010. Husband and wife duo Holly and Justin Rutt run the Detroit-based company with beautifully packaged, all-natural products including: bath salts, skin balms, lip balms, and, of course, soaps. The first time the couple made soap together was for their wedding. Now they’ve created their own unique line using essential oils, organic cocoa, and shea butter. Justin, who graduates from med school this month, utilizes his knowledge of herbs and natural health to formulate products packed with healing properties. “I love our Muscle Rescue balm the most,” Holly says. “It really works. It’s great for all kinds of different ailments.” The formula, rich in anti-inflammatory St. John’s Wort, was so popular it inspired a Skin Rescue balm, without menthol, suitable for the face. For now, the couple is concocting products in small batches in a small studio, but they hope to expand soon with the purchase of a 3- to 5-acre farm. littleflowersoap.com — Lexi Trimpe

PICTURED ABOVE: PINK GRAPEFRUIT HIMALAYAN BATH SALT $6.50. // HANDMADE SOAPS $4.50 EA. // ALL-NATURAL LIP BALMS $5 EA. // MUSCLE RESCUE BALM $5.50.

Source: https://holly-rutt.squarespace.com/config#...

A Website of Our Very Own

Excitedly launching our very own website and shop after 5 successful years on ETSY and a feature in Martha Stewart Living December issue it was beyond time for a legitimate website to call our own.  The site has been in the works for over a year (ever since Martha called) and we have learned so much about the do's and don'ts of web design.  The big takeaway? If you want something done right, do it yourself!