May 31, 2011

When one of my soap newsletters had a recipe with silk in it I was intrigued!  So of course I had to order some and make it.  It really is actually SILK in the soap.  You dissolve it in water and it adds a silkiness to the soap.

It comes packaged like this and I use only about 1/4 of a cotton ball size of it for a 2lb recipe.

I've torn the silk up into small pieces and added it to the water. I'll mix it up a bit and it'll eventually dissolve.


My Crazy Schedule from May

May 31, 2011

I SWEAR I will never do a schedule like this again! (Famous last words…of course I’ll probably do something as crazy as this again ha!)  The summer “fragrances” came out in mid-April.  Granted there were some classic fragrances in there, but also some new summer time ones too.  And to be honest I didn’t start thinking about my summer soaps until Whole Sale Soap Supplies put out their summer list.  Then I started thinking about it and realized I had to get all my soaps made by the end of May if I wanted them ready for July and August!

This was the list of soaps I made in May 2011!

I went on one roller coaster of a ride making soaps!  Not only did I have about eight batches I wanted to make I then got requests which bumped my list up to 11 and then I decided to add two more to that list!  I know crazy.  I ended up making the following summer soaps:

  • Blueberry Cobbler
  • Summer Honeydew
  • Coconut-Vanilla
  • Peach
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Ocean Breezes
  • Melon Spritzer
  • Beach Baby
  • Tropical Vacation
  • Orange-Pineapple Punch
  • Creamsicle
  • Summer Fling
  • Pineapple-Coconut
  • Midnight Pomegranate
  • Island Nectar

I also made a Blue Hawaiian Glycerin batch.  So I technically made 15 batches of summer soaps!  On top of that I was finishing up a couple custom orders and then I did Eli’s Treasure’s order and soaps for my friends Bachelorette party!  I didn’t stop there I then started to make restock batches of soaps I sold out of at the Craft Fair.  All said and done I made 29 batches of soap in 31 days.  THAT IS CRAZY!  June will be for restocking and trying a couple new recipes.  July I start working on my Christmas soaps.  I learned my lesson: Start early!  So I don’t have to have another month like May!  Plus I figured I’m going to need a lot more time to make my winter soaps as I plan to do as many fairs/flea markets as I can.

The Brain is a Workin’ :)

May 25, 2011

So I went into my first craft fair really with no idea how to best set up my table or the correct supplies but I figured I’d get plenty of ideas walking around and viewing other people stalls and boy did I get ideas!

I’ve been sketching and putting together ideas since Sunday night.  I want to use baskets.  I’m not sure if it’ll work, but I think if I can get levels on my table that I can make baskets work.  I went out and bought some Monday night.  Tags are still on.  I needed the baskets though to layout on the table and see if they work.  Try as I might to lay it out and picture it in the store I couldn’t.  I hope to be able to try setting it up this weekend or next to see how it’ll work.

My next goal is to get my wonderful dad (I’m totally sucking up here :)) to help me build a shelf to create levels on my table.  Too hard to explain here but I know what I want in my head!

Next is to start going to garage/yard sales and seeing what treasures I can find for my set up as well.  I have some specific things in mind that I want that I think I can find at yard sales.  So that’s my goal this summer is to go to yard sales all summer until I find all the pieces (and hopefully some little treasures I wasn’t expecting) for my table set up.

I’ll also need to invest in another table and a couple of tablecloths, some ribbon and supplies to make new signs for my soap.  Got some ideas for that too!

Me sketching my ideas down on paper! Notes and ideas. It might not make sense to anyone else but it makes perfect sense to me!

One thing I realized that (especially for craft fairs) I need to package my soap. I think I came up with a very nice and cost effective way to do this that won't make me have to increase my prices. Pictures will be sure to come eventually!

My First Craft Fair

May 23, 2011

I survived my first craft fair, made a small (very small) profit, and learned A LOT! I’ve also got ideas for how to display my soap. I didn’t know what to do or how to do it this time, so I kind of went with that I had and I made it work, but I have definite ideas for future craft fairs and flea markets. My mom and I are going to go hit up some garage sales this summer in hopes that I can find a few pieces I’m looking for! Some stuff I’ll have to buy, but it’s an investment that will last and be worth it in the end.

My Cold Process Soap Table! I have ideas for a better layout and just a more pretty set up!

The day started at 6:30 AM. I was up and out of the house by 7 AM. I had to go to my parents. They were letting me borrow their tent and table and helping me set up and take down (Thank you Mom and Dad :)). We got everything packed up and in my parents van and were off to Worcester by 8:50. Got there, checked in, were assigned spot 113 and so began the setting up. We were done by 10:45-11ish so my mom and I (while Dad watched my soap) walked around to visit the other stalls. There where all sorts of wonderful artisans there! I counted 6 or 7 soap makers total. I paid close attention to what they all did and got some ideas from their displays and also realized how I could do things differently next time.

I knew I needed to sell at least 20 soaps to break even on the booth cost. My goal was to sell 40 soaps. If I did that I’d have broken even on the entire deal from soap costs, gas, banner and supplies. And I’m happy to say I surpassed 40! I was happy.

It was really interesting to see what most people were interested in and what people showed NO interest in. I didn’t sell a single lavender bar or lavender-vanilla bar and only one vanilla. The tangerine, lemon verbena, oatmeal milk & honey, cedar and saffron, and white peach and hibiscus were the most popular. The vanilla-pomegranate was also pretty popular.

In two weeks it’ll be time for my local flea market. That’ll be interesting to see how it goes. That one will be much less intense and a very different atmosphere seeing how it’s a local flea market and not a craft fair. However the town folks are pretty good about supporting their local businesses so I think it will be a fun day.

Then come July it’ll be time to sell my summer soaps and I am so happy with how they all turned out! I think they’ll be well received at the flea markets this summer. I can’t wait to get started on my Christmas soaps! I have to do some restocking, that’s my goal for June and come July it’ll be Christmas time for me 😀 At least me house will smell like Christmas time!

Soap set up with the description tags.

Juniper soap! I sold a couple soap dishes! I think the Apple n' Spice is going to be discontinued after I sell my last three bars. Not much of a demand for those or my apply blossom patchouli ones.

Shaving Soap Follow Up

May 19, 2011

Remember all the way back to March?  When I posted about my kind of-sort of failed batch of shaving soap?  Well after months of curing the soap was finally ready to use!  Definitely not the prettiest batch of soap I’ve ever made but it did cure!  This is was my first time trying out shaving soap.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but here’s what I discovered:

    • This is not a great “lather” bar.  In fact I got very little lather.
    • It’s very slippery-silky feeling.  The soap coated my legs and really did make shaving easier.
    • The soap was slippery enough that it didn’t cause the razor to irritate my legs.
    • Worked well on legs and underarms, though I made sure to really really lather it on the underarms.
    • If you use a poof you can get a bubbly lather, but it looses any effectiveness for shaving cause you don’t get the “slippery feel” that comes from the bentonite clay added to the soap.

I didn’t try it with a washcloth, but I recommend soap on skin when using this bar.  Don’t expect a great lathering bar.  This really is a bar of soap meant just for shaving.  Now I can’t wait to try one of my bars that I put the arrowroot into.

Preparation for Craft Fair

May 18, 2011

Banner and Tags completed and ready to go!

Okay everyone! Do my a favor and pray for good weather this Sunday!  The craft fair can’t be held if we have bad weather and I REALLY don’t want it to get postponed!

I’ve been a busy bee getting ready for it!  I’m almost there.  I need a few things still mainly another table.  If I don’t get one I can make due with one table, but I think having two would help.  I need to get some “plastic” table cloth and a paper bags (the small lunch ones) to put orders in but otherwise I think I’m ready!

The hardest part about this is wondering if I have enough soap or too much soap!  I just don’t know!  I’ve never done a craft fair before and I’m not sure how much I’ll need.  Though if I sell out of all the soap I have (about 150 bars) I won’t complain 😀  I made my description tags and got them laminated last week.  My banner came too!  I like it.  Simple but it works.  I just wish they’d had the text option I used in my banner, but really in the big scheme of things I supposed that’s minor.

Saturday I’ll go pick up the last couple items I need and then I think I’m ready!

New Mold!

May 9, 2011

My new 2lb (though it can hold up to a 3lb batch of soap) arrived!  Right now all my batches of soap are 1lb batches (since I didn’t have a mold big enough to hold anything larger.  This mold will give me 9 bars of soap at approx. 4.5 oz.

Here it is:

And it’s even got it’s own pretty lid!

You can see that I placed a bar in the mold.  That’s a 3oz bar, so I’ll get larger bars for sure.  What surprized me was how small the bars/dividers looked.  I think I was expecting a flatter more rectangular bar, but this will be me a thicker/deeper more square bar.  Can’t wait to make my first batch!

Update: Since it’s taken me forever to post this I’ve since made my first batch!  Now comes the challenge of unmolding the soap!