Archive for February, 2011

Cucumber Mint handmade soap

Feb 19 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,limited edition soaps

oh yummity yum, this soap smells so nice!

I’ve added a new category to the website for limited release soaps; ones where a fragrance oil caught my eye but may or may not become part of the permanent range. And this was one of them. I had a great time making green soap balls with mica and goats milk soap, l then coloured a portion of the soap mix bright green and attempted to swirl it through. One thing l forgot was that there were rather a lot of soap balls and l didn’t reduce the size of my recipe to compensate. So the finished bars are quite hefty LOL! They’ll be ready for purchase around the 12th March 2011.

Personally l’m also just a bit in love with my new soap stamp too…l haven’t decided yet when it the best time to stamp the soaps, so there will be a bit of experimenting going on here.

P.S – a big thankyou to Vincent who fixed the rotating banner on the front of the shopping cart. You’d think l would remember to upload all of the files after 7 years of creating websites ;-)

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Yup. I made it.

Feb 18 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff

One of the hardest things for me to do is to put my name on something. I’m terrible at it. It must be a lack of confidence or something – in product descriptions, writing website text and on Facebook, l constantly hide behind the safety net of  ‘our’ soaps or ‘we’ (did something). It implies there’s a whole team of behind the scenes people running round ‘doing things’. Hey, there might even be a warehouse involved! Not one person could be accountable, instead, it’s a lovely undefined grey area of ‘someone’ being out there but it’s not quite explained who those invisible people might be.

In reality, there’s no ‘we’ or ‘our’, it’s just ME. I make the soap, l take the photos, l work on the website. I clean up after l’ve spread soapmaking implements and melted oil all over the bench. I’m in awe of those people who name their business after themselves, or register their own name as a domain name – it’s not something that comes naturally to me at all and never has been.

Encouraged by John (who has more front than Myers and David Jones put together!) l am trying very hard to be proud of who l am and what l can make. And to not be scared to put my name on it, or to say ‘it was ME that made it!’ So my first baby step was to go through the website and remove all the references to ‘we’, ‘our’ etc, etc. I am firmly and slightly bravely replacing them with ME. It makes me feel very uncomfortable, but l am doing it.

Next up will be an ‘About Me’ page for the website. Now that’s scary LOL!

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how it all began…

Feb 10 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff

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.

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