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Posts Tagged ‘soapmaking’

Yummy coconut milk soap

Yummy coconut milk soap

I didn’t make any new year resolutions. Did you?

There are things that I’d like to see happen and I’ve been mulling over ideas that have been on mind for a while. For instance, having work that pays enough to have my own place and a cash injection that allows for supplies, market fees and plenty of space for soapmaking. I’ve been reading blogs and watching videos and wishing I had enough money to really get my little micro enterprise off the ground and into gear.

One of the blogs I’ve been reading, New England Artisan Soaps, is by a woman who decided to make and sell soaps about the same time as I did. I emphasize the word decided because it took me nine months to gather basic materials. That time was spent on hands-off research. Having a real job and a spouse speeds up the process – she’s made far more soap than I have, gotten to experiment with more materials, and has equipment that I’d love to have – multiple real soap molds and a whole loaf cutter. I’m envious! I’ve been perusing other blogs and videos as well. I’m captivated and inspired by people with working production studios who are making a living at this.

I’ve made one and a half soap batches this first week of January. I need more supplies. I want to order them. I’ve been planning a spring and summer line. I’m looking for venues that could be both affordable and profitable. I’m not sure whether or not I still have an income. If I had extra money I could be spending this time making lots of soap. Instead, I’m starting another new year in the slow lane – not having the funds for supplies, equipment, market fees or space.

What’s a woman to do? I made coconut milk soap and banana milk soap. I got a haircut. I’d really like to make this a turnaround year. Wish me luck!

Banana milk facial soap

Banana milk facial soap

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Earthy, sensual, minty

DSCN2362Yep, I`m in love with the scent of yesterday`s soap batch! It may be my new favourite and I hope it lasts – a perfect complement to the generous portion of shea butter in it.

 

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Sliced soap with leftovers

DSCN2351cr3I was soaping again last night and trying something new. I peeled the leftovers from a recent batch of lavender soap and incorporated the curls into this batch of lavender & lemongrass. I like the result; it reminds me of hieroglyphics.

 

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DSCN2265crI’ve read that soapmaking is addictive and I think there’s some truth to that. I enjoy the art, science and experimentation that goes into formulating. However, making soap has turned out to be far more expensive than I had initially anticipated.

I first stumbled on the idea last summer while trying to scale down my ideas for an eco-friendly¬† business to something more feasible as a micro-enterprise. With very little in the way of money, or space, it took a while to get started – lots of time for research – and it’s only this summer that I’ve been able to start selling. This is on a very, very small scale.

I found a small new summer art market that provides a table and chair to those of us that need this basic setup and once a week for the past few weeks I’ve been setting up a table and trying to sell my natural soap and body care items and gain some customer insight. It’s a challenge. The market is located in a wonderful outdoor space but being a new market and not really a commercial space there aren’t many customers. I have learned a few things from the experience so in that sense it has been worthwhile.

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DSCN2078cr DSCN2082cr2Last week I made a goat milk soap. The lovely caramel colour of the soap looks soothing and nutritious. I wanted to try another skin beneficial food additive – honey – and on the weekend I incorporated it and calendula into a batch. I’m looking forward to trying it, and the goat milk soap, once they’ve cured. Too soon to know yet but I suspect this may end up being my favourite!

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DSCN1985crI’m enjoying the art and science of soapmaking and¬† tried my hand at another soap loaf on the weekend. I incorporated lemon peel and orange peel to give the soap a high exfoliation factor, along with shea butter and avocado oil for their moisturizing properties. This formulation is intended as a soap for gardener’s, or mechanics, or whomever needs a little extra zing to help with cleaning their hands.DSCN1981

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My third soapmaking experiment is heavy on the olive oil, giving it more of a castille-like quality than the first two loaves. This time I scented it with lavender, tea tree and Rosemary essential oils and added a bit of French green clay.

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