The direct selling of personal care items (soaps, shampoos, herbal products, cosmetics, etc.) is a $9.2 billion industry and growing annually. While a large percentage of these sales are through national companies such as Mary Kay, there is a constant demand for products that are homemade, using ingredients that people can pronounce. Soaps are a particularly easy starting point as there is a wide assortment of kits and raw materials available and they are a popular gift item. Organic, aloe-based and aromatherapy products are also big sellers. Again, these can be sold directly through your own website as well as offered through strategic partnerships with other companies, such as boutique gift stores in your community, gift basked companies and similar firms.
Margosmixtures.com (http://www.margosmixtures.com) is a good example of such a business. An esthetician from Dallas, she created her first batch of Sea Salt Exfoliating Treatments in 1999. Since then, she has expanded her line and has products available in 100 retail outlets nationwide as well as online. Halle Berry, Debra Messing, Kirsten Dunst and Alicia Silverstone have all used her products. She still runs her business out of her home.