As I sit down to do my year end taxes, I must look back over the past 12 months. Business has been good for the most part but there was one occasion where I thought it could have all been over. I should begin by stating that I am a soap-maker. I still use my grandmother’s tried and true recipe and sell bars of natural soap to customers at local shows. I find the entire process of creating soap enthralling, from mixing the solution to molding to wrapping and selling the final product. Additionally, I am able to work from home in my soap studio which cuts down on overhead costs. My biggest expense for my business has got to be my HVAC system. I had a separate unit installed in my studio and I have to keep it running year round to ensure that the heat and humidity are kept low. One day, in the middle of summer, my HVAC unit broke down and I was not aware of it. I was away at a show and when I returned, the tempature in the room was almost 85 degrees and the soap was beginning to melt. I quickly opened the windows and plugged in fans to try and cool the room off. My HVAC dealer sent someone over in just an hour which I was very grateful of. The unit had shut down because the filter was almost completely clogged. If I hadn’t come home I would have lost hundreds of dollars in inventory and, being a small business, the can be critical. I am now careful to check the filter on a monthly basis. I never want to have a scare like that again.