Monday, November 23, 2015

Luvy Bear Soaps and SCENTsations

written by Ruth K Blackwell, a member of

My business, "Luvy Bear Soaps and SCENTsations" (Handmade Soaps, Lotions, Soy Candles and Unique Handmade Teddy Bears) was established in May of 2001, selling my soaps and other handmade items at local craft fairs and festivals. In November of 2001, I decided to try my hand at selling on the web. All of my soaps and lotions are made by hand the old fashioned way in small batches.

My Teddy Bears and other sewn items are all sewn either by hand or on a Treadle or Hand Crank Sewing Machine (my Favorite is my 1909 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitcher). Each year I have expanded what I carry and last year was no exception. I introduced my line of Unique Teddy Bears including my own "Phantom of the Opera" Bear which is musical. I even have an Elvis Bear and many other bears to choose from including Wedding Bears, Fireman, and Team Bears.

I also introduced a new line of Soap Party Favors which have become all the rage. I take great pride in making each and every one of the SCENTsations that I sell.

I promise that if you give Luvy Bear's a try you won't be sorry. I stand behind each and every item 100%. Most of my products are made when ordered as each done to the customers liking - special orders are my business! Stop in and see what Luvy Bear Soaps and SCENTsations has to offer - you'll be glad you did! You can visit Luvy Bear Soaps at

The Story Of

In the late 1990's, I watched businesses appearing on the net and I wanted in. The problem was that I had nothing to sell, no special skill or talent that anyone would want, and nothing more than a burning desire to have a web business. So I decided to sell space! Why not? They've been selling the pet rock, the clapper and other useful items for years. I decided that I could sell useful space to small businesses who did have something to sell. My background included 30 years in hospital management, 5 terms as PTA President, supervisor for 3 NYC Marathons and the 1992 Democratic National Convention ... but was totally clueless about designing or running a website!

I taught myself some HTML and designed my site in the format of a flea market. All the businesses who wanted to list with us would open "virtual tables" at the flea market. I'd charge them a monthly fee, make a fortune, and retire a rich man. Great plan - just one small problem - no one knows me. Why would they want to pay me to be listed on one small little website that's just getting started?

So, I gave free links while building a good reputation. Something happened along the way. I got to know my vendors. We started a YahooGroup and provided mutual support for business problems. I realized these were not big companies. They were what I call the "Mom and Pop Shoppes of the Internet". Crafters, soap and candle makers, jewelers, tole painters, quilt makers and more. They are work-at-home moms, retirees, handicapped, newbies and many other small businesses just trying to survive the business world. Setting a fee became easy ... zero dollars! became the largest free virtual flea market on the planet, a distinction of which I am extremely proud.

Our flea market is now a community with hundreds of vendors working together striving to be the first choice for online shopping and gift giving by providing variety, customer focus and personalized attention. We support our vendors and provide a perfect shopping experience.

Take some time and browse our flea market. Like what you see? Tell all your friends. If not, tell me. I'm Charley. I run the place and you can contact me anytime. I'd love to hear from you. And if you think your website qualifies to be listed with us, I'd love to hear from you too!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

For those who wish to visit our online flea market, here are the neighborhoods through which you can choose unique, personalized and one-of-a-kind items, many of which are hand crafted, from our vendors.

Angel Avenue Our angel vendors create pins, jewelry and other angel items.
Antique & Collectible Shoppe Visit these vendors for vintage antiques and collectibles.
"At Your Service Center" These are services that are not computer related.
Baby Boulevard Choose from a variety of gift ideas for baby including clothing and blankets.
Book Nook Select reading materials including books, ebooks, texts and magazines.
Candle Court Let hand crafted and scented candles light up your life.
Clothing Closet Fill your closet with shirts, designer fashions and accessories.
Computers Services These are computer related services including Web hosting, SEO and design.
Craft Corner Our crafters create one-of-a-kind items including folk art, primitives and baskets.
Decorative Painting Talented tole painters decorate beautiful items that are great for gift-giving.
Doll House The doll house contains dolls, furniture, clothing and accessories.
Fibre Arts Studio Selcted from various hand made items crafted with fabric, fiber and yarn.
Food Court You found all the edible goodies from our creative chefs.
Gifts & Novelties GalaxyGive a gifts that is personalized, hand crafted and one-of-a-kind.
Health & Wellness Fair Enjoy items good for you, including kool wraps, saunas, inhalers and more.
Home Decor Terrace Decorate your home with mailboxes, planters, weather vanes and more.
Jewelry Junction Jewelry that is crafted using gemstones, crystals, charms and fine metals.
Leather Arts Landing Fine leather arts products are available as belts, handbags, wallets and bags.
Personalized Gifts Park Design your own one-of-a-kind personalized item that is great for gift-giving.
Pet Plaza Pamper your pet with bedding, costumes, carriers, food and booties.
Pottery Palace Choose from beautiful hand crafted pottery and ceramic items.
Quilt Quarters Our quilters create beautiful one-of-a-kind hand made quilts.
Soap & Fragrance Meadow Spoil yourself by using hand made soaps, shampoos and fragrances.
Spiritual Way We offer an ecclectic selection of spiritual gift items and services.
Stained Glass Gallery Beautify your home with colorful stained glass creations.
Teddy Bear Turnpike We have hand crafted Teddy bears from all around the world.
Wood Craft WorkshopSee the beauty of custom handcrafted wood furniture, gifts and decorations.
and Everything Else If it didn't fit into other neighborhoods, we have it here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Have they lost their minds over at Alexa?

Alexa is the site that supposedly ranks websites by their popularity. A few years ago, the Alexa ranking for was somewhere in the 100,000 neighborhood. Once we even cracked the rarified air of "Under 100,000", a fair accomplishment for "the little flea market that could".

In recent checks, we were sitting in positions like #6,041,616 and #6,043,266. Did we get that much worse in a few years? Yesterday we were at #6.071,132. And then, when I checked this morning, we were #7,182,806! Really? Did over one million websites get better than us in a day? Frankly, I doubt it.

If you find this little note, why not visit and tell me if we're that horrible! I'd love to know what real people think about us. The folks at Alexa can't be right.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

It's early May. The trees are just starting to show some leaves, the cover to the pool has not yet been removed and the New York Mets still have a chance for a successful season ... and I'm already thinking about Christmas and Chanukah! Crazy? Perhaps. But I often think long term and I'm already planning the QFLEA Holiday Promotion. We've run one each year since we started. 2014 will be no different.

In 2013, I tried something very different. Rather than coming up with a price for participating, I asked the vendors to name their own price. Whatever the wanted to pay was fine with me. Some were pretty generous. Some offered a few dollars. The disappointment in this plan was that many chose not to participate. They could have had a graphic ad, designed at no cost for them by me, posted on the QFLEA Holiday page for a dollar. They failed to step up.

This year, I've got something different in mind. I've already told the vendors that this year's holiday promotion has five basic premises:

[1] On or about July 1, I'll send the official memo asking for sign-ups, with instructions similar to prior years, however ...

[2] There will be no information included about the fee. Trust me - those who participate will not be disappointed.

[3] If too many apply, there may need to be a lottery. We'll see. I have not set a firm limit yet on spaces.

[4] On or about August 15, I'll let you know if you're in.

[5] The next day, I'll announce the fee.

Those who trust me will participate. Those who don't, won't. It should be very interesting to see how people react to what I have in mind. Yes, it's a very different approach from the traditional "service for a fee" arrangement, but at we are a little different!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

We're going to be reopening this QFLEA Blogger site again soon, so stay tuned.

Friday, June 09, 2006 - The Virtual Flea Market

Be sure to visit - The Next Generation Flea Market

Our current QFLEA blogs are located here.