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How to Succeed with Handmade Bath and Body Care Products

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

How to Succeed with Handmade Bath and Body Care Products

In this interview, we delve into the entrepreneurial journey of Teri Amsler, the business owner of Moss Hill Bath & Body Collection. Amsler shares her inspiring story of transforming a personal hobby into a thriving business, offering a rare glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of navigating the competitive bath and body products industry. From the inception of unique fragrances to the strategic growth of her business since 2011, Amsler reveals the key strategies that have shaped Moss Hill’s success.

Starting Out

SBS – What inspired you to enter the bath and body products industry, and how did you identify your niche? 

Teri – With a desire to create pampering products for friends and family, a hobby turned into a business.

Business Growth

SBS – What strategies have you employed to grow Moss Hill since you became a partner in 2011? 

Teri – We worked to improve communication with our customers and updated technology. We also have streamlined our fragrance offerings, and while we used to stock over 20 fragrances, we have pared that number down to 14 and now offer a “Custom Creations” option. We also added sales options through other platforms, such as Faire, and now offer workshops for people to blend their own scents and create their own items.


SBS – What were the most significant challenges you faced in transitioning from a partner to a sole proprietor?

Teri – The biggest challenge has been in dealing with having to change Employee Identification Numbers and the IRS! The team we have on board did not change, and many stepped up to take on more responsibilities to grow the business.

Product Development

SBS – How do you approach product development and maintain a balance between creativity and market demand?

Teri – The creative part is the fun and easier part for us! There is no shortage of good ideas with our team! We get a good idea of a scent we would like to create, and very often, market demand grows the scent from a few products into various other products. For example, one of our newest registered scents is called Kentucky Lily, and we modeled the scent after a cocktail that is made for the running of the Kentucky Oaks called the Lily. We started out with a lovely pink candle tin of the scent and a soap. The scent was so well-received that we began to make other products like lotions, room sprays, and perfumes in it. So, the creative spark grew the market demand into a larger product line. There are times when we have to evaluate if a scent needs to be pared down or discontinued.

Brand Identity

SBS – How have you cultivated Moss Hill’s brand identity over the years?

Teri – Our dragonfly logo has been in place since the business began, and the company name Moss Hill evokes a nature-inspired feeling. We take scents from nature to enhance the aromas in your home and personal care products. Recently, we updated all of our labels to incorporate colors that match the scents we make. I feel like I’m walking through a field of flowers when I walk through our shop or scroll through our website with all the lovely colors and smells! That’s one reason we reached out to an artist friend of ours to create our Moss Hill Meadow painting and fragrance watercolors to further identify our brand. 

Customer Engagement

SBS – What methods do you find most effective in engaging with and retaining your customer base?

Teri – We strive to exceed customer expectations, whether in person or through the fulfillment of a web order. We love creating our handmade products, so when we engage with our customers, I want them to understand our passion for what we do and how important it is to us to provide a quality product and experience. I like to call it the “and then some” experience. 

Marketing Strategies

SBS – Can you share some successful marketing strategies that have worked well for your business?

Teri – We include free samples with web orders and purchases to allow customers to try other products and fragrances. We utilize email marketing and post on social media. 

Sourcing Materials

SBS – How do you source your materials, and what role does sustainability play in your sourcing decisions?

Teri – We have several US suppliers we have used for years, and we routinely look for more sustainable ways to source, make,, and package our products. We encourage recycling and actually take items home to recycle since our building only recycles cardboard.

Competitive Landscape

SBS – How do you stay competitive in the ever-growing bath and body products market?

Teri – We make quality products that are subtly scented, attractive, and affordably priced. We hope that once someone tries our products, they realize the value and sheer enjoyment of using our bath and body products and supporting a local, women-owned business.

Scaling the Busines

SBS – What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to scale their small businesses?

Teri – We have grown in manageable steps. One thing that helped us was to buy our base stock items in more competitive quantities to make our prices more affordable.

Lessons Learned

SBS – Looking back, what is one thing you wish you had known when you started in this business?

Teri – I wish I had known more about the costs of the different kinds of insurance and taxes required to run a business properly.

Future Plans

SBS – What are your future plans for Moss Hill, and how do you envision its growth?

Teri – We want to grow our website’s reach and get more involved in corporate gifting opportunities.

Advice for Entrepreneurs

SBS – What key piece of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business in a niche market?

Teri – Make sure you research and research some more! Research to ensure you are not using copyrighted company, product, or scent names. What insurance do you need to carry, what types of taxes do you need to be prepared to pay? What kind of accounting software will help you track expenses and income? What kind of team do you need to assemble when the business grows beyond what you can do by yourself?


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How to Succeed with Handmade Bath and Body Care Products