Hi! My name’s Jennifer Marie Hofmann (though I just go by Jennifer!) I’ve been asked many times how I got into making soap. It’s not your typical story and if you’d asked me if I ever thought I’d be owner of my own business three years ago I’d have said no way! And I’d have been wrong! Here’s my story:
This whole crazy adventure started because of an article I was writing back in September of 2009. I was doing research on the cleanliness of people in the 1800s. As I was doing my research I came across an all day soap making class Old Sturbridge Village was offering. I thought it could be interesting and if nothing else I could talk with the instructor (who worked at the village) about how they made soap in the 1800s. So I signed up. I honestly had no interest what so ever in making my own soap at this point.
I arrived at the class with my notebook in hand and an article on my mind. As the instructor started to explain about the process of soap making my interest was peaked. I found the process interesting (not so interesting that I thought it was worth the effort of making my own soap though). It wasn’t until the next morning when I checked on my soaps that the “soap making spark” was ignited in me. My soaps had started to solidify! And that’s when I went WOW! I did that. Then a few days later when I went to unmold my soaps I was completely pulled in. I started requesting soap books from the library, reading more and going back to the handouts I’d received from the class. I visited the sites recommended for buying supplies and made my first purchase.
I was a nervous wreck the first time I tried my own soap. I chose a simple recipe with only a couple ingredients and went at it. The first recipe “worked” (technically). But I used food coloring (big no-no). And the soap when I tried to use it wasn’t a very nice soap. I ditched that recipe and tried a new one, this time with the proper coloring agent. That soap worked beautifully! And that was the beginning of the end.
Everyone got soap for Christmas from me that year. I continued to make soap for me, friends and family throughout that year. Then an online friend saw pictures of my soap and asked to order some from me. I said sure and made her some soap. She came back for more she loved it so much and that’s when I thought maybe I could sell them. It took me almost nine months to really say YES I’m going to sell my soaps. And in January of 2011 I officially started this adventure.
It’s been a learning experience, but so much fun. I’ve had my fair share of failed batches, but I’ve learned from them. And, now here I am with a webpage and great soaps to sell. I’m part of an awesome soap community and I absolutely love what I do. What more could I ask for?
Website: Jennifer’s Handmade Soap
Find me on Facebook: Jennifer’s Facebook Page
Visit my ESTY Shop!