I’ve made soap for a good couple of years now. It’s something that l’ll never give up, because once you’ve tried handmade soap, you can never, ever go back to the supermarket variety. (well, l guess you can, but l certainly don’t want to!) I was drawn into a world of wonderful ingredients, soap designs, different techniques and recipes, and l couldn’t stop now if l tried. Quite simply, l really love soap. I love dreaming up different ideas, love buying little bits and bobs to put in my soaps, and especially love knowing exactly what l’m putting into each bar and that it isn’t full of chemicals or preservatives.
Why did l decide to start a soapmaking business? Well, it was simple really, my fragrance oil collection started to get terribly out of hand. This was a small portion of it late last December, and now it seems to have multiplied out of control. I swear those bottles breed in the dark!
Ha ha, seriously, l had lots of friends and family asking to buy my soap, and because of the size of the recipes and the frequency l was soaping, it just seemed to make sense. I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to make things, and l love the idea of sharing my soapmaking passion with other people.
It took me a long time to commit to going ahead with the business though. l already have one business, and l know how much hard work it is working for yourself and trying to keep track of everything. I’m a terrible procrastinator, and book keeping is also another of life’s challenges that was sent to try me. I decided that before l went ahead with a new venture, that l had to have my first business in order. Which took a few good months, because l was 2 years behind in administration.
However finally l got my head above water, and with the support of my wonderful friend John, decided to go for it. He’s been amazing. Before meeting me, he knew nothing about soap except that it comes in a box from the supermarket. He’s had quite an education in the last few months, and is just as proud of every single bar as l am. He has helped me set up my soapmaking room, built shelves, arranged rows of bars, and even corners visitors when they come over to make them come and look at the soap room.
First up, while making soap, we decided to start on the website. l had a very clear idea of what l wanted it to look like in my head, above is the first ‘storyboard’ l created for my little business. It didn’t change much from the original idea. I also had a couple of names floating round in my head, but l kept coming back to Simply Soap. To me it embodies everything l love about handmade soap, and it’s also a good reminder for me – to try and keep things simple.
My first batch of soap – Honey & Oatmeal. Even though l’ve made hundreds of batches and tried loads of different recipes, l was so nervous before actually starting. I put off the actual soapmaking for a good couple of days while l talked myself into doing it.
Luckily, it didn’t take long for the creative urge to kick in, and l started soaping every day.
Raspberry Ripple – first ever batch
Some beer soap!
one of my favourite pretties – Coconut Pearl.
I was just a tiny bit proud of the swirls so had to take a photo.
and months later (today, actually) l’ve started on labelling and taking product photos. It’s been a very long process to date, and l am so grateful to John for all his enthusiasm & help.
I’m not 100% sure when the website will open yet, l’m still waiting for soaps to cure and testing some of the batches, but it will hopefully be soon. You can follow Simply Soap on Facebook to be kept up to date.