MEGHAN PATTERSON: BLAZING BOMBS
Blazing Bombs creates handmade artisan bath and body products. Meghan began learning about making bath products 4 years ago and since then steadily grown her business. Blazing Bombs was so successful that Meghan was able to convert her full-time job to part-time. Most recently, her work caught the eyes of curators of the One-Of-A-Kind show, arguably the biggest and best craft show in Canada. The Nooks wanted to find out more about how she does it all.
What distinguishes your products?
“I create handmade artisan bath & body products. They are bright, vibrant and with a wide range of fragrances. But they are much more than that! All ingredients are responsibly sourced; vegan friendly; phthalate-free; paraben-free and not tested on animals. They are 95-100% natural.
There are a lot of companies out there where you pick up a product and cannot pronounce the ingredients on the label. Many use surfactants, man-made emulsifiers, and other chemicals – ingredients that are unnecessary to put on your skin. The recipes I create for Blazing Bombs are carefully and selectively created using high quality ingredients that are only necessary while incorporating the fun side to bath time using cosmetic grade colourants and skin safe fragrances.”
How did you get interested in becoming a maker?
“Ever since I was young, I’ve always had a creative imagination. I really loved anything to do with arts and crafts, bright colours and making something out of nothing.
The fuel for creating was always in my soul and it wasn’t until the spark lit fire when I learned about making bath products 4 years ago. I honestly didn’t know where this hobby would lead me until I tested the waters to see if this was something I could sell for other people to enjoy.
Several months later, I found myself experimenting more with colours, recipes, designs, and couldn’t believe that I was able to take a hobby that I enjoyed and could make something out of it. What I love most – is the freedom to create and the connections I get to make with every customer to make their bath experience beautiful.”
Who or what inspires your work as a maker?
“I so much like vibrant colours, wild designs and anything eye catching. I love to follow current trends - they give me the opportunity to challenge my creativity and turn it into a product.”
Which maker/artist do you most admire, and why?
“When I was about a year and a half into establishing Blazing Bombs, I met a soap maker through a friend: Margo Stinson of Carberry Soap Company. I remember walking into her studio space for the first time and my jaw just dropped. It wasn’t about the fancy equipment or space she had, but it was the fact that she built her business from the ground up and made it what it was.
I remember telling her that I could literally just sit on her couch and stare at everything for hours; yes, weird… but you had to see it. Her products were nothing less than beautiful.
When I got to know her, I was truly inspired by her willingness to help another maker- a competitor within the same product category at that. She believed in good karma and when referring to any business, she always said there is room for everyone. She taught me so many things from creating recipes, marketing, techniques, customer interactions, show tips; the list goes on. What I admire most about Margo is her bright and adventurous personality. I truly believe that your attitude is the key to success and I know she taught me that.”
What are the goals for your maker business in 2019?
“My first goal for 2019 is to increase online sales by the end of the year. With hard work and a good advertising campaign that should be achievable. I also want to generate an income of $20,000 in 2019 after costs and rent. Looking ahead to 2020 another big goal is to move Blazing Bombs HQ out of the house and to an off-site 1500-2000 square foot studio space by the end of 2020.”
What do you think are your biggest challenges for selling your work?
“Bath and body products are definitely a tough business to be successful in because it is an oversaturated market. One of the biggest challenges is to stay on top of trends that make you unique compared to another company with a similar product. No matter where you look be it retail stores selling big company names or markets, just as examples, there will always be another company that has something similar to you.”
How are you planning to overcome these challenges?
“Oddly enough, I love a challenge. I feel that if you want something so bad – you will bend over backwards to find a way to overcome an obstacle in business and in life. To overcome my challenges, I will continue to evolve my brand, my look and my designs and stay on trend with what people are looking for while maintaining the vibrant style that separates my product from others. If something doesn’t work out, I will find another way until something does.”
What do you know now that you didn’t know when you started your maker business?
“I went into the maker business essentially blind folded. The only post-secondary education I received was through nursing and I never stepped foot in a business class. I now know that owning a maker business isn’t just an afternoon hobby anymore. It is literally a 24hr job if you want to ensure you are providing optimal customer service while keeping up to date with your records, product making, packaging, etc. It is a lot!”
“Even if you think you can manage time, something will always come up to throw a wrench into your plans. But, I love a challenge and I am still learning. Even if you have no idea where to start, it’s okay to look like a flamingo looking for food, we’ve all been there.”
What would you say to those who want to start their own maker business?
“If you have a passion for something that makes you happy and you want to share that with the world, do it. We only have one chance on this earth to enjoy life, so take the risk, do something wild and do what you love. No dream is ever reached by thinking about it, so why didn’t you start yesterday?”
MEGHAN PATTERSON’S BLAZING BOMBS CAN BE FOUND AT:
The Nooks in Port Hope - 68 Walton Street
The Nooks in Toronto - 2038 Danforth Avenue