October 12 in 12

November 1, 2017

I’m a day late, but at least I made it!  October is always a busy month.  It’s at about this point that I start to panic every year ha!  It’s the constant wondering do I have enough soap made, how will the new items sell, how will I be able to manage my crazy schedule…you think I’d realize by now that things all work out and not to worry, but no, I still worry and stress!  Anyway here you go, a view at hour October went for me.

October 1: Wax Melts

I wanted some winter scents. That’s what inspired a seasonal line.  I hadn’t been planning on making these that day, but I got an order for some and one of my standard scents I was out of (and didn’t realize).  Once I started restocking the standard one, I was like might as well just go ahead and make the seasonal ones. I’ve got everything out.  So, what would have been an hour project basically turned into an ALL day project.

October 2: Grinch Soaps

There are some soaps I make that I absolutely adore.  I love them. They just speak to me.  This was one of those soaps.  I can’t claim credit for the idea. I saw something similar somewhere and I thought it was cute.  So I came up with my own little twist and created these. Love them.  They just make me smile every time I see them.

October 5: Mini Winter Soaps

I quite often this time of year get asked if I have something small for children.  Little stocking stuffers basically.  So, with that in mind I made these soaps.  I’ll package them in sets of 4 and see how they go over!

October 6: Goodbye PO Box

I finally (officially) moved over my PO box to my new town.  It was the last element of the move I needed to accomplish.  It was a little sad to say goodbye to PO Box 1385, but I’ve now made friends with my new PO Box :D.

October 8: Mica Swirls

The first half of October continued my crazy soap making spree.  I restocked on (almost) all my standard soaps.  Pretty much most of my soap making is now down for the year.  There will be some restocking here and there, but it will be for after show season as it won’t be ready before the end of the season.

October 10: Label Creation

I’ve introduced a number of new soaps and new products this fall/winter season.  It’s meant I’ve had to make a lot of new labels.  I changed up my standard bar label a tad for the Grinch.  I also created new labels for all the other new products.  I had quite a day at the computer.

October 12: Lip Scrubs

Restocking on lip scrubs.  Now that the soaps are all made it’s bath product time.  Much to do (as you’ll see over the next few days).

October 14: Emoji Soaps

Let me start off by saying these are a pain in the backside to make.  It took a lot of experimenting to figure out the best way to make these.  They’re definitely not “perfect” by my standards) but they are cute.  I made these because I was asked by a long time Wholesale client.  I’m going to experience the with another method of filling the faces in the winter…once life slows down.

October 16: Photo Day

All those winter soaps…well they needed to be photographed! (They’re all listed on my webpage too if you’re interested).  I have a prop box.  Anyone else have a prop box?  Pictures can be challenging.  Some days they go great other days I can’t get anything to look right.  Luckily this was a good day. It was a bright but overcast day which is the easiest time to take pictures.  And I was happy with how I arranged the soaps for the photos. Some days I can’t get a composition I like.

October 20: Dryer Balls

My plan was make dryer balls in January and February when it’s slow (since these take time and are so labor intensive) and then not have to worry about it during show season.  I looked at the number I sold last year and then increased what I made but 1/4.  Apparently that wasn’t enough because here I am making another batch of dryer balls…and I have a feeling I’ll be making another round of them in November too. Guess that’s a good problem to have.

October 21: Show Season

Of course the weekends have been filled with shows.  🙂

October 25: Bath Bombs

I decided to redo how I label and package my bath bombs.  It was something I knew I needed to do, but took me a bit to figure out how I wanted to do it.  I love the redesigned labels and the new shrink wrapping. Both the old and the new methods had their advantages and disadvantages, but in the long run I think the new packaging looks much more professional and will hold up to wear and tear and not get “beat up” looking.

There you have it. The highlights of my month.  It’s been a crazy month where I think I’ve worked every single day. This snap shot doesn’t seem to do it justice when I look back over it.  But you got the highlights!  Here’s to next month! (Where I can assure you the craziness will continue).

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September 12 in 12

September 30, 2017

E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D!  Umm…I think I started last months post just like this.  If it’s possible to be more exhausted I think I am ;).  It’s that time of year…I’m just going to always be a little to a lot tired :D.  So, are you wondering what this month looked like for me? Well wait no more! Here you go. It was a crazy production month…mostly soap, but still other things got made too!

September 1st: Embeds 

I was a bit behind on starting my winter soaps this year (moving and all…) but I got them ALL made this month…and for whatever reason somehow my winter soaps designs always end up with most of them involving embeds! Which makes everything so much more work. Here are the first of the embeds I made!

September 6th: Travel Soaps!

I packaged almost 200 travel soaps.  Not hard, just tedious.  They’re pretty popular soaps, and I was almost completely out of stock. I should be good for a while now ;).

September 8th: Christmas Lights…gone wrong.

This soap is a PAIN to make. 1) I need to get more light bulb molds. 2) It not only involves embeds but pipping too.  I was so excited to make this once I got my embeds done (aren’t they pretty)?  And then what happens? The pretty white soap they’re embedded in turns BROWN!  I was so upset (still am). My fault for not testing the fragrance, but it was clear in the bottle and I thought I’d be ok. They smell great, but I’m just so bummed over the final soap.

September 9th: More Packaging!

Sometimes I feel like I spend a lot of my time packaging! These are half bars that are all going into gift sets that I had to package.

September 10th: Square Updates

I had a photo shoot for the fall soaps that debuted this month, which meant I had to add them to Square. I can’t tell you how much I love Square and being able to basically keep track of all my inventory and what I sell in a quick and easy manner at shows.

September 12th: Yet again more embeds!

I did mention that many of my designs involved embeds for the winter soaps right? Ha!  I love the crazy bright color of these embeds.

September 15th: Lip Balms & Gift Sets

Multi-tasking, when I label the lip balms and package the gift sets at a market ;).  Using my time wisely.

September 16th: Swirl Swoon

Oh my! I was just in love with the top of this soap.  Aren’t the swirls pretty?!?!

September 19th: 5000 Bars!

And on this day I made my 5000th bar of soap for the year :D!  With what I’ve made since and what I still have to make I’m pretty sure I’ll come close to (maybe pass) making 6000 bars this year.  This is a great thing! It means business is growing. All that hard work seems to be paying off.

September 22nd: More swirled tops!

I was having a really good month of swirl tops. This is another one I just fell in love with!

September 23rd: A new design…

I got this idea to make a Santa belt soap.  I didn’t know how, but I was determined to do it.  I played around with sketches and my molds and finally figured out how to do it.  It’s not perfect…there are things I’ll change/fix up next year, but I was really happy with how this soap turned out :D.

September 26th: Dry Rack

It’s not  quite full in this picture but two days later it was completely filled!  There’s A LOT of soap on the dry rack!  Just waiting for October to come so it can be sold!

And a bonus picture: I had to start my 2018 calendar :P! Yup…already planning/scheduling things for 2018. *OYE*


August 12 in 12

August 31, 2017

E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D!  I’m so tired.  While I’m pretty much settled in from the move and finally getting caught up on making everything, I still feel like I’ve run four marathons back to back to back…  A lot has been going on.  It’s just that time of year where the craziness starts and it won’t slow down until Christmas comes.

August 4th: The Corner Spot 

The first two weeks of August I set up in a little pop-up (affectionately called “The Shed”).  This was part of a town initiative in Ashland to create a community space.  They created a park area, and the shed for local artisans and food to come in set up for a time and sell their products.  I had applied to be a part of this back in February when they sent out a call for proposals.  I figured it would be a good experience–especially if I wanted to one day have my own store front.  Here’s my set up. I’ll have a full post soon on more about my time there.

August 7th: Restocking 

One thing I was able to do while set up in Ashland was work.  It was nice to have a space to do stuff when the shop was slow.  I restocked on my Gifts for the Magically Inclined. Going to have to make more soaps! But hopefully I’m restocked for the moment.

August 8th: Soap Soap Soap!

I continued on my crazy soap making spree in August.  Here’s lilac in the mold.  I finally got (mostly) all my restocks made and my fall soaps done.  Now I can start thinking about making the winter soaps ha! It never ends.

August 9th: Baby Shower Favors

Baby Shower favors! I adore these.  The customer wanted an earthy green and it was so much fun to be able to do something just a little different than my normal colors!

 

August 1oth: Bath & Body Class

I had classes all week  while at the corner spot.  This was a teen Bath and Body class that day. It was lots of fun making product with the girls! Hopefully inspiring some young girls too!

 

August 11th: Custom Anchor Soaps

Aren’t these pretty! I love the simplicity of them and can’t wait to design the labels to go with them.

August 13th: Pranks

I house sat for my parents while they were gone in August.  And my dad (an Army guy) played a prank on his neighbor (an Air Force guy) while they were on vacation in July.  Well I walk out on the deck to water some flowers only to be startled by this lovely rat. Ha! Go Army! I was raised right ;).  I know who’s the best.

 

August 14th: Lip Balms

Oh my! If I never see another lip balm tube again. Ha!  It too me a week, but I restocked on all 16 flavors I offer.  Almost 1000 lip balms made. I’m hoping they’ll get me through the winter season, but I have a feeling I’ll be making lip balms again before the year is over.

 

August 15th: My Happy Place: The Dance Studio

Despite all the work and craziness I’ve made time to make it to ballet each week.  It’s my happy place–where I can just forget about all the worries for an hour and lose myself in dance.

August 17th: Transparent Soap!

I make a pink grapefruit soap with goat’s milk. I make my soaps go through gel phase. This soap went through an intensive gel phase! 24 hours after I made it-completely cooled and it has this glassy slightly transparent look. I’ll be interested to see if this changes as it cures! I’ve NEVER had a soap stay this transparent looking!  It’s super cool. You can see my finger behind the soap!

August 18th: Designing Custom Labels 

 

I had a couple custom orders this month. They’re so fun to do for me.  Remember the anchor soap for a few photos up…well I got to design labels for them. I was really happy with how they turned out. This was my initial sketch I started with before I put them into Photoshop.

 

August 21st: Mini Vacation Starts (Sort of) 

Every year I take the last two weeks of August off from shows (I cheated a bit this year I did schedule two weekend farmers markets…but the other 12 days are mine).  I need this time to 1) Work on Winter  Soaps and restocking products and 2) to recoup and relax! I am utterly exhausted by the time I get to the end of August and crazy show season is just about to start.  I need that break to get through the coming four months.  This year more so that normal! I have plans to do some work (what needs to get done) and then I’m doing some day trips, exploring my new town, and just enjoying life and some time off.

Oh…one last thing if you haven’t heard. I offically (finally) started an Instagram account! I know, I know it took me long enough. You can find me here: jennifer_soap


July 12 in 12

July 31, 2017

Oh my word!  Let me tell you!  Moving is tough.  I sit here now and wonder how my parents did it over thirteen times with me growing up!  I function only with order and a schedule (even if it’s a wacky schedule).  And moving completely threw me off my game. I’m finally starting to get back into a pattern of things and getting used to being in a new location!  This month was all about unpacking/hanging pics/curtains and basically settling into the new home (no pics of that).  And then getting into a rhythm with the new studio space and shows.

July 1st: Complete and Utter Chaos! 

This is actually one of the less scary pictures of the craziness of my new work space as I went about setting up the space.

July 6th: Shows! 

Work/Shows didn’t stop and wait for me to move. 😀  Let me tell you it was a challenge at times to manage it all.

July 8th: Order

Here’s a two parter.  I went from the first picture of starting to get it all pulled together to the second picture of it finally all came together in the span of 24 hours. Haha! Once I was on a roll I was really on a roll!

July 9th: Final Touches 

This was the final touch to be added to the studio.

July 1oth: Bath Bombs!

I was finally officially back and working in the studio by the second week of July.  One of the very first items I made in the new studio were bath bombs!

July 12th: Soap

After basically not being able to make anything for a month with the move I have become a crazy lady making soap. I’m soooo far behind on things it’s not funny.

July 14th: Lists

I live by my lists. That’s how I get things done.  So I sat down and took stock of everything I needed to make/restock for my soaps and made a list.  19 batches long… OYE!  I’m making soap as fast as I can!

July 16th: Custom Favors

Finished up some custom labels today for a baby shower order 😀  I’m definitely getting back into the swing of things.

 

July 18th: Fall and Winter Soap Planning

Normally by this point I’ve already started my fall soaps. Obviously I’m a bit behind on things this year…I’m JUST now sketching out my ideas for my soaps.  And my mind is refusing to cooperate and come up with fun/cute/creative designs.  *sigh*

July 24th: Coconut Oil Solid?!?! 

My coconut oil is solid.  It’s July.  I’m not thrilled that it’s THAT cold that my oil solidified.

July 28th: Packaging More Gift Sets 

50 sets finally made…just ribbons left to put on. So much I’m behind on.  I feel like I’m never going to get caught up.

July 30th: A “soaptastic-load” of Soap 

I made sooooo much soap this month.  This is my dry rack minus a few batches that I need to get cut.  I’m so tired of soap.  Did you ever think I’d say that! Ha!  I’m not really sick of soap, I just need a break from making soap day in and and day out!  Every soap you see here was made in July! I’ve got about 15 more batches to go to really be caught up!


June 12 in 12

June 30, 2017

It’s time for June’s 12 in 12!  By this point I’m sure you all know what it’s about, so without further ado here’s my June! Or at least part of it.

June 1st: Baking Soda Restocking

I typically just go to BJs to restock on baking soda.  And every time I usually get looks.  Today I got: “That’s gonna bake a lot of cakes!” hehe

June 2nd: Summer Soaps

Been working on summer soaps.  These embeds will be part of my Raspberry Lemonade soap!  I was a bit behind on my summer soaps, but I did get them all finished and on the cure rack the first week of June so they’ll be ready mid-July.

June 6th: Partial Failures

I always put my soap through a gel phase, but when I work with an MP embed I have to be careful it doesn’t get too hot.  I wasn’t careful enough this time!

June 8th: Farmer Markets

Farmer Markets are in full swing. Luckily after a week and a half of rain the weather cleared up for a nice day for the opening of the Framingham Market.  And I got to get my first cup of lemonade for the season!

June 10th: Happy Birthday!

The best day of the year ;).  I had a market in the morning then celebrated my birthday in the evening with family.  This card was from my two adorable nieces.  I love it!

June 11th: Restocking Gift Sets

Busy day making more gift sets and restocking on other items I’m running low on.  Pretty much all I do these days is restock lol.  I don’t seem to ever get caught up. Just when I think I’m good…I suddenly need to restock again! 😉

June 12th: I’m Moving!

Finally! After a very long search I found a home to call mine.  Moving is going to be fun in between my show schedule!

June 15th: Bath Bombs

This is just a small fraction here. I made 90 (large and 4 packs) sets of bath bombs.  It was a marathon of a day. I’m hoping that keeps me restocked now through moving as I won’t be able to make any more until I get my new work space up and running!

June 19th: Labeling

The one thing about labeling lib balms is I can do it just about anywhere!  Make the product, print the labels and then bring it with me to work on!

At this point life became so hectic that I wasn’t doing any soap…I was just trying to move and get set up in the new place (so this is more 9 in 12 ha).  Sorry for the abridged month!


May 12 in 12

May 31, 2017

It’s time for May’s 12 in 12!  Again, if you’re wondering what this all about check out my very first post for more information!  The basic gist of it is:

Each month document your soaping/bath product making in 12 pictures. One picture MUST be taken on the 12th of the month (even if you’re not doing anything soap related).  Create a blog post of your 12 pictures (with a one or two sentence explanation) and post it at the end of each month.  Please share a link back to your post here if you’d done you’re own 12 in 12! I’d love to see them!

May 1st: Day 1 of the Annual Soap Conference

Getting to the conference was a bit of a challenge!  But I made it (despite some canceled flights).  I finally got to meet Anne-Marie from Bramble Berry. That was a treat!

May 2nd: Day 2 of the Annual Soap Conference

The conference was held in Las Vegas this year, so it was easy to walk out of the hotel and go find food and visit the sights.  This was on our way back from getting dinner the second night at the New York hotel where we had the most delicious ham and cheese crepes.

May 3rd: Day 3 of the Annual Soap Conference

Lots of worrying and stressing over the stinking Advanced MP test.  I’m SO glad that is out of the way and I never have to do another MP test. Not that I HAD to do this one, but I felt I should at least have my advanced certification in MP, even though I don’t do MP soap.

May 10th: Master Exam Prep

I’ve officially started on my Master exam.  I submitted my time line for completing the two year test and my Outline for Part 3 for approval from the test board. I’m ready to start working.

May 11th: Fragrances!

One thing I love about the conference is the ability to SMELL fragrances my favorite suppliers sell.  This was my order from the conference from Lebermuth!  Lots of good scents here to start soaping with!

May 14th: Happy Mother’s Day

This made me smile.  And I just had to share!

May 15th: Restocking

I’ve been busy restocking standard soaps.  I got a little off schedule with the conference and catching up with life after it, but I’m back on track.

May 17th: Restocking done!

This was the last of the my standard soap line I had to restock.  Now I have to move on to making my summer line if I want them ready by end of June! The work never ends ;).

May 18th: Custom Favors

I love black and white themes so I was excited to get one for a custom order!

May 19th: Gift Sets

My Magically Inclined Gift Sets have been going over pretty well!  Which meant I spent a good portion of the day making more sets!

May 21st: Market

And show season is in full swing. I had two outdoor shows this weekend.  I’m getting back into the swing of setting up the tent.  I can’t say it’s my favorite thing to do ha!

May 23rd: Custom Favors

With those custom favors came custom tags!  Photoshop is an amazing program!  Do you know I recently realized that I first learned to use Photoshop 20 years ago!!!  I feel old!

May 25th: Bath Bombs

The never ending process of making bath bombs…and I’m still not done with this restock as I need to make another batch but waiting on a fragrance to come in that I ran out of (accidentally).


12 in 12 April

April 30, 2017

It’s time for April’s 12 in 12!  Again, if you’re wondering what this all about check out my very first post for more information!  The basic gist of it is:

Each month document your soaping/bath product making in 12 pictures. One picture MUST be taken on the 12th of the month (even if you’re not doing anything soap related).  Create a blog post of your 12 pictures (with a one or two sentence explanation) and post it at the end of each month.  Please share a link back to your post here if you’d done you’re own 12 in 12! I’d love to see them!

April 1st: A Snow Storm

No, this was not an April Fools joke. We did indeed have a snow storm.  No, I was not thrilled 😛 ha!  I used the day to do some soaping.

April 3rd: Soap Stamps

It’s no secret I love stamping my soaps. Whenever I can work it into a design I do.  This is one of my new favorite stamps :D.  “Keep Calm and Carry a Wand”  Good advice, right?

April 5th: Beer Soap

I was making a beer soap using a local beer.  I had this really cool design planned, then the fragrance accelerated and that design sort of kind of didn’t happen. Oh well.  Here’s the colors prepped and ready for soap!

April 8th: Fabric Galore

I went in to get a couple yards of fabric to make more lavender sachets (or more accurately to get fabric to give to my friend to make them for me ;)).  I walked in on a day they were having a sale and I walked out with enough fabric to make probably 2000 sachets. Ha! I’m probably all set on fabric for a long while now.

April 13th: Finding Old Labels

I spent hours looking for this file a few weeks ago. It’s a REALLY old label that I used for a short time about 4-5 years ago. I went through old discs of files trying to find it. I figured it had never been saved (and was one of the files I lost when my hard drive died on me four years ago). I gave up the search.

Then today I’m looking for another label. I type in the key word I wanted it to search and a list of files pop up. I start opening all of them (looking for the file I needed today) and what surprises me when I open one of those files?!?! The file I spent forever looking for! Under a name I’d NEVER have used to search for it ha! Somehow it got renamed and put in a miscellaneous folder that was backup and saved and obviously transferred over to my new hard drive. Go figure!

April 14th: Custom Favors

I first made sunflower soaps for my sister’s bridal shower. These are a bit of work to make, but I love them.  They just make me smile. Making another custom shower order where I hope they make this bride-to-be smile too!

April 17th: Photography

Everything went wrong.  I took about 3 hours to photograph all my spring soaps and they’re just not great pictures. I had a smudge on the lens (that’s to my sister’s pup :)) that I never noticed until after I downloaded the pictures.  They’re grainy and just blah!  Win some lose some… Here’s one of the best of them.

April 18th: Avocados

When you find avocados for $0.99 a piece you do a happy dance and make avocado soap! 😀

April 20th: Packaging

Moms are awesome ;).  My mom came over today and helped me packed soaps, sample soaps, gift sets, bath bombs, and label lip balms.  Accomplished twice as much work as I would have on my own today!

April 22nd: Show Season

And show season has officially begun for 2017!  I had two small winter farmers markets earlier this year, but today’s event marks the first actual show of my season.  I’m still at a reduced set up.  I’ll pull out the full set up in May when my outside events start up.  It’s time to get back into the swing of things! Winter is over!

April 28th: Packing 

Very last minute packing.  I’ve been so crazy busy that I haven’t had a chance to do any packing until now. What’s worst is I had to pull out spring/summer clothes (which are still packed away because it’s still COLD up here in MA!)  I managed to get a weeks worth of clothes in the carry-on though.  I *think* I’m ready…  Pictured is my stuff for the Advanced MP Exam–I don’t really do MP soap, but I figured I need to at least complete the first two tests for it. After this one is complete all my focus will go to the CP/HP Master test… *gulp*

April 29th: Conference Bound!

This is truly a gift I never expected to happen, but because of the generosity of a friend and my parents I’m able to attend the conference this year. I’m all checked in and ready to fly out!