Last week a reader suggested that a chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry combo would make interesting lip balms. I’d been wanting to experiment with layered balms in tubes (and even had the clear tubes ready), so I asked for an opinion at my Facebook page. Friends there expressed more interest in having a three-layered balm than with a set of three balms. I did a little experimenting, sharing photos of the “swirled” look balms and the flat layered balms as I tried different techniques. There were lots of suggestions and comments as I went along. I shared photos of the finished Neapolitan Lip Balm, and even offered to send some samples of the “factory seconds” that resulted from my experiments. (Anyone interested? I have a few left!)

I collaborate every day with customers to provide gifts and favors with the designs and colors they like, but this was a new experience for me. I’ve never shared this much of the creation of a product with people before, and it was so much fun! I will definitely be doing this again.

This week I was also reminded of some other really cool ways that people collaborate. If you’ve never seen his projects, I highly recommend Ze Frank. Some (many) of his lyrics are explicit and not appropriate for kids, but it’s worth checking out the really unique ways he connects people using technology. This particular TED talk shows some of his ideas.

Do you like to collaborate? What have you learned from collaborations? Please share your thoughts!