Spring Soap Line

March 26, 2019

Spring Soaps are now listed on my webpage – http://www.jennifersoap.com – Enjoy!

Aloe & White Lilac

Bumbleberry

Cucumber Mint

English Garden

Love Letters (aka Love Spell)

Love Spell

Plumeria

Rosemary Mint

White Tea & Berries

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Inspirational Friday

March 22, 2019

I’m not sure if these are exactly inspirational this month, but one is at least sound advice and the other I hope will give you a chuckle.  As my deadline for the Master Certification Exam approached (what feels like at the speed of light) I’m trying to finish up everything.  I’ve got the three hour test scheduled.  I’m studying like a crazy lady. I’ve worked on and prepped these answers for over a year now.  There’s some stuff though that I just have to brute memorize because reality is if anyone asks me about it in the future I’ll be able to give them a  basic answer but if they want more in-depth I’ll go to my notes (and honestly, I think most would be the same).  I’m stressing out and I don’t go anywhere without my answer package and I’m studying at every free moment.

My topical report is basically done. I’m waiting on some suppliers to “hopefully” respond to me.  If they do I can add one last section to the report.  If they don’t I’ll have to remove that section.  The report is sound without it, but having it would add one extra layer to it that I think would be great.  However, I’m relying on others to help me here so we’ll see what happens.  I’m actually really proud of my topical report.  There’s a massive amount of research that went into writing it and time and effort.  This Master exam has been HARD.  Much, much harder than I expected it to be.  Much more work than I ever imagined it would be.  As I get to the end I am stressing out that I don’t know enough and simultaneously hoping I pass everything.  *fingers crossed*


February 12 in 12

February 28, 2019

I’m not quite sure where this month went. I feel like life is crashing down and crushing me.  *sigh* I know why too.  This test. I’m stress as my deadline grows closer and closer. I have been working like crazy on completing Part 1 (which has given me a number of headaches), studying, and trying to find/research information I need for my last essay (which I’m not finding and so that’s stressing me out).  It will all work out I know.  In the meantime I keep telling myself: deep breaths!

February 5, 2019: Spring Soaps

In between all the test soaps I was busy working on creating the spring soap line and restocking standards. This soap didn’t really turn out how I’d hoped. This was a common theme with my spring soaps this year.

February 6, 2019: Cucumber Mint

A five layer soap I planed to hanger swirl.  Yeah, that didn’t happen as the soap set up too quickly.

February 9, 2019: Take Three!

Yeah, I redid my Artisan soap for the test three times. The first time I screwed up and didn’t follow directions. The second time I just decided I didn’t like the soap design.  I thought I’d be able to just go with it, but nope, I finally said screw it I’m redoing this soap!

February 11, 2019: Cedar & Saffron

Restocking.  The supplier changed the fragrance oil and I didn’t realize it until I added it to the soap. Gotta try and find a new supplier that matches the old scent. The new scent isn’t doing it for me.

February 12, 2019: Swirl Swoon

Too bad I then went and added salt on top of this top.  But now I want to make a black-white-gray soap!

February 15, 2019: 22 Quarts is BIG!

When you misjudge just how big 22 qt and 18 qt is!  I’ll find a use for them some way.

February 16, 2019: Cream Soap

Look at the pearly sheen the cream soap is getting.  So many batches of soap here.  I think I have two recipes that are nice soaps.  But definitely have one that is test worthy to submit.

February 18, 2019: Testing Cream Soaps

My cream soaps will definitely be nicer shaving soaps than hand/body soaps. Which doesn’t surprise me since I had a high stearic acid content in them.  I tested out a bunch of them and determined my two favorites!

February 19, 2019: Salting Out

I had super oil heavy self produced lye soap.  And I couldn’t seem to create a soap that wasn’t oily. So, I decided to try and salt out the soap and see if that would help the overall feel of the soap and improve it’s lather.  Let me tell you this falls under the category of “things I never need to do again in my life”!  But I am glad I tried it at least once.

February 19, 2019: Stock Images

Me spending way to much time search stock images to use to create my shaving soap labels.  Sometimes new labels just create themselves and other times it’s a fight to get a label I like…this one proved to be a challenge.

February 20, 2019: Finally making some label progress

I think this is option 8 and 9 of about a dozen or so.  I’m not 100% sold yet, but I think I at least have some decent options that are pleasing enough to the eye.

February 27, 2019: Bunny Butts!

I’m making some specialty Easter soaps. I can’t help it. I found these molds and they’re just too cute!


Inspirational Friday

February 15, 2019

This can apply to all things in life (both big and small).  Starting a business…introducing a new product…trying out new markets.  There are so many things that I have succeeded at and many things I’ve fail at. I’ve learned from that failure. It’s never been a waste.  Any from all of this some amazing new friendships were formed.  I got to experience and learn from others. I got to be an inspiration for others.

Life is a journey with many ups and downs.  Here’s to more adventures!


January 12 in 12

January 31, 2019

Year three of 12 in 12? Yup, year 3!  I figure this at least makes create posts and you can get an overview of what’s going on in the world of Jennifer :D.

Hope your New Year started off well!  I took a couple weeks off over Christmas and then somehow I ended up jumping right back in to being crazy.  I’ve a list a mile long of things to get done and it never seems to shrink!

January 2, 2019: Bookkeeping

2018 Bookkeeping is complete.  Granted, I had only December to complete and then the general 2018 end of year stuff to complete.  One thing I’m pretty good about it staying on top of bookkeeping.

 

January 4, 2019: Hand Balms

There were items I needed to restock after the end of the year…hand balms being the biggest item (after soap).

January 5, 2019: Some time for myself (Books!)

October through December I don’t really get much time to read. I am so busy.  Come January I devour books.  I get more out of the library than I can possibly read before they’re due…and yet some how I manage to get through them ;).

January 6, 2019: Basil Sage Mint

First soap made of 2019: Basil Sage Mint restock.  The rest of the month was spent restocking on standard soaps I was low on.

January 7, 2019: Master Exam

I’ve always spent most hours most days working on my Master Exam.  With just a little time left to complete it I’m not wasting any time.  My brain hurts ha!

January 9, 2019: More Soap!

In the pot is Ginger Lime.  Lots of restocking going on.

January 13, 2019: Research Essay

My research report is almost done at this point. I had a little left to type up and then it was off to my critiquers.  Some editing and hopefully this section will get submitted shortly.

January 14, 2019: Bibliography

I know why bibliographies are important, but oh my word they are tedious to do. Especially when you have 20 some odd sources to properly cite.

January 16, 2019: Part 1 Documentation

With part three basically done, I’ve been working on part 1 (making the soap), which involves a crap ton of documentation on top of just making the soaps. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but it’s actually kind of fun doing this (stressful because I’m down to the wire, but I’m still enjoying it).

January 17, 2019: Designing Spring Soaps

And I decided on the spring soaps and their designs. I have no doubt some of these will morph/change when it comes time to making them, but I have ideas at least in my head.

January 19, 2019: Embeds

I decided on my spring line and I started making them!  The pink hearts are bright! And I love them! Can’t wait to see how they turn out in the soap.

January 21, 2019:  Pretty Tops

Ummmm…. I don’t think I’m going to do the dusted hear embeds on the top of this batch again. Oh my word the work. They look good on top. So let’s see how the bars look when I cut them. I hope they turn out well for all the work they were.


Inspirational Friday

January 25, 2019

As many of you know I am working on my Master Exam Certification (through the HSCG).  I had to kind of put work on hold the past four months as I was overwhelmed with show season. Now, I’m working like a crazy lady on it as my deadline fast approaches.

I’ve come across this quote at various times in my life and it popped up again and it seemed appropriate for this month.  As a teacher, a student, and never ending learner (more than just a student) this resonates.  Especially now as I work on my Master Exam. The whole point of the exam is exactly this.  It’s asking me to show/demonstrate my knowledge over a wide range of topics.  And when it comes down to it, if I can’t explain it simply, then I probably need to do more studying.

I also find I have more confidence in myself when I realize that I can take many of the topics on this test and (now) explain them simply.  I have definitely grown as a soap maker because of this test.  It’s pushing me to become more than I thought I could when it came to soap making.

Let the studying continue! I’ve got more to learn yet!


Goals for 2019

January 5, 2019

Now that we reviewed 2018, let’s look at what I hope to accomplish in 2019!

  1. Increase sales.  I’m not putting a number out there this year. I think I have reached a point in the business where it’s harder to increase sales, and I need to not be so down on myself if I don’t reach that number. I think it’s just good to have the goal to increase sales.
  2. On that account I need to come up with specific ways to increase sales and implement them.
  3. Increase online sales.  I have the new webpage.  Now I need to implement a number of ideas I have been playing around with to grow my online business.
  4. Continue to make sure I’m 100% GMP compliant.
  5. Evaluate my teaching schedule/classes/goals and come up with a plan for getting the most out of teaching.
  6. Continue to grow our local New England Chapter.  Have more meet ups.  Proctor test sessions.
  7. Complete (and pass) my Master Exam.  My deadline is April 7th to get all this done.  I can do this. I WILL do this.
  8. Take the new Cosmetic Certification Test.
  9. New Products: Traditional Shaving soap! I also want to learn how to make Liquid soap (not that I have plans currently to add it to my line).
  10. If time permits work on growing sales of my custom favor soaps.
  11. Finish redesigning all my labels. I started that in 2018 and I need to finish up the complete revamping of my label designs!
  12. Less is More! Apply this to my product line this year.  I want to evaluate the products I make and make some decisions on what I should discontinue.  What products are worth making and what aren’t?  And what should I cut out?
  13. Do some serious thinking about where I want the business to go and how to get to that point.
  14. Use FB to promote/sell items more. I have a large following and I need to not be afraid to try and “sell” my products.  Whether it’s featured items, subscription boxes, specialty pre-order items. I need to find a way to really use the potential social media offers.

So, 2019 let’s do this.