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A Story

Pink Grapefruit Soap

I want to tell you a story. Not outright a soap story, but if you can trust me a bit, know I won’t waste your time, you might see what I saw.

As some of you might know, we moved into our Hobbit home with great delight and anticipation of new beginnings. We call it our hobbit home because it’s not a large home, but suits our compact sizes perfectly.

Every cupboard, drawer and under cabinet was dirty. I spent a good couple of hours cleaning everything before we could move in and place our things inside. I did not have hardship in my heart, disappointment that this type of person to leave things in such disarray had occupied my new dwelling, but no malice floated in my chest. I set to the work, and blessed each area I touched.

Sorcery Soap Lights and Lounge
Sorcery Soap Lights and Lounge

There have been some issues with out hobbit home. Before the moving date, we’d taken possession and were at the house one evening doing laundry, trying things out to ensure all was in proper condition. J walked down the hall and asked, “Why is there a river in the hall?” The water flooded the new bath, down the hall, closet, and even the new carpet in the master bedroom all the way out onto the porch.

The water feed on the new commode hadn’t been screwed correctly and it popped off when used.

After the big move-in day we soon discovered many things that had been neglected like broken drawers, a kitchen faucet that didn’t work properly, broken verticals, broken microwave, mouldy and missing grout in the second bath and the one and only smoke detector didn’t function, just to name a few things. The most disconcerting was the new bathroom remodel was missing a commode paper holder and all towel racks missing, so it wasn’t a surprise the drawer that should work couldn’t be pulled out. This was a remodel that was incomplete. My warning bells went off. This was the level of “job complete.”

I used to be an electrical contractor, for those who don’t know. If we had a punch list (incomplete things after a remodel like switch plates, receptacles, lamps – light bulbs- that needed to be installed) we would notify the tenant/new home owner and make an appointment without excuse and complete the job. I would calmly explain the process and end with, “we will make it right, no worries”.

With all this said, after waiting to be called by the handyman, making calls to follow-up and much ridiculousness, I finally got in touch with the handyman. I mentioned that the remodel wasn’t complete and that’s when he yelled at me. So much so J could hear it across the room. When someone is that out of control and they cannot hear you, it’s best to end the call. Let’s call him Sam. I said, “Sam, Sam… I have another call and really need to take it.” He made a sardonic laugh and continued to yell. I interrupted his tirade and he accused me of not listening, so when I tried to explain he interrupted me… This went on for awhile until I finally insisted I needed to get off the phone and was fully prepared to hang up.

I’ve learned a lot from construction. When pointing out someone’s low quality work – in a polite way or less than polite way – the only reaction they can give is anger. They do not hold themselves accountable and are therefore not responsible to others. Their only way to deal is to attack, with words or otherwise. I should have known.

My guy handled what he saw as his part – he is a great and honorable protector – and ensured that this man would not be allowed into our home. I was comforted and relieved.

A new maintenance man was sent. He immediately did something similar where I could not complete a sentence, but he wanted to be heard. I pointed out that he wanted me to listen to him but he couldn’t let me complete a sentence. The tension was so high my dear, sweet dog sensitive to me, lay in front of the door not happy with this man’s comings and goings.

This same man had to come back the next day. It still felt uncomfortable, but he was doing all that was asked. He wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t easy. He was in the back room doing his work; I in the kitchen when I saw my burning bowl and felt compelled to light it. As I was burning the protection, thinking all honorable and good things are allowed in my home now, and if he doesn’t resonate he will depart easily. When he came in the kitchen, he didn’t ask or bat an eye, but continued his work. He asked me to check his work and explained the drawer wasn’t going to work properly.

I said, “not your fault at all. You couldn’t have done better. It should have been done properly before.”

As our conversation began to bloom it turned out he had the same experience with the first maintenance man as I did.

We exchanged information and I learned he came to the US at 17, moved out here a few years ago from a place I had history with and sent money to his poor (literally) parents.  He also told me he knows someone else who makes soap. As it turned out, he and I knew that very same person. He also knew how cruel that person was and the bullying ways. He had history with this mean-spirited person. I had parted ways with that person because of the vindictive behavior of trying to run me down publicly after I told this person not to use my property without permission. I pointed out the dishonorable behavior and once again, with no where else to go the attack happened.

How did I not learn the first hundred times I experienced this lesson?

As I helped the second maintenance man with his tools to his truck, he stopped and held up his fingers close together. “The world is this small.”

I am so pleased, that if ever I need to have this maintenance man in my home I can now do it with a glad heart.



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Interview with Vicki Hinde of The Soap Mine

The Soap Mine

I have known of The Soap Mine for some time by the distinctive and colorful drop pour soaps, however, I have recently connected the name with the company. So delighted to actually meet Vicki Hinde!

Vicki Hinde The Soap Mine
Vicki Hinde The Soap Mine

Read along and learn more about this amazing soap artist.

Social media links: 

Twitter:  (@thesoapmine)


When did you know soap making was for you? 

At some point in 2010 a friend showed me a small piece of brown soap that she’d made herself, and I realised that I had absolutely no idea how soap was made.  The question had never even crossed my mind, and, as I don’t like not knowing something, I got researching.  I very soon decided that this was something I had to try and my first batch was made soon after. I was utterly hooked from that very first time.

The Soap Mine
The Soap Mine
The Soap Mine
The Soap Mine

When did you discover you loved soap making? 

I loved it right from the beginning.  I had quite a few failures, and each one taught me something important – I made batch notes from the beginning, and never made the same mistake twice.  There were many mistakes though –  lye heavy soap, soap that was never going to harden up, vanillin discolouration (boy was THAT a disappointment!), omitted fragrance, the list goes on…  But that was part of why I loved it so much from the beginning. There’s SO much to learn, and there’s as much science as there is art.

What are your favorite parts of soap making? 

I think it would be easier to say which bits I don’t like!  Like most people, the wash up process is probably my least favourite, and if I’m honest, I’m not so keen on the wrapping or labelling either. However I LOVE choosing new fragrances and coming up with new colourways for them – most of my soap-making these days is restocking soap from my core range so I don’t get the opportunity to ‘play’ as often as I would like.  That relatively small portion of time during which I’m actually pouring the soap into the mould and creating the design is really important to me.  I focus quite intently on what I’m doing, and find it a very calming process. My husband knows that I don’t appreciate

The Soap Mine
The Soap Mine
The Soap Mine
The Soap Mine

any interruptions at that point!  And of course cutting each bar is a thrill.  I deliberately haven’t invested in a multi-wire soap cutter (yet!) as I enjoy the ‘reveal’ of each bar as I cut the loaf with my single-wire cutter.

What makes you happy to get out of bed regarding soap making?

Soap making is MY thing.  I have two young children (aged 4 and 7) and for a while they took over my life; I seemed to have very little time for hobbies.  These days, no matter how challenging the day has been (yes, I’m looking at YOU ‘Butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-your-mouth-four-year-old daughter’!!)  I can always spend an hour or two immersed in my soap business, and all is well again.  I may be extraordinarily busy ALL the time but it does make me very happy!!

What are you favorite oils, butters, micas and/or processes? 

All my regular bars are made using the same six fats – olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, Shea butter and castor oil, so I guess they’re probably my favourites (or at least, they combine to produce my favourite result!)  My go-to place for mica is U-Make it Up in Spain  (recommended to me by the lovely Carolyn of Siennalily Soaps). They have a fantastic range of mica specifically for soap, and I’ve found that even including postage costs to the UK they’re significantly cheaper than the UK based companies I used to use.  And process? There can be no doubt which is my fave – cold process with a drop swirl – my whole core range is made using a drop swirl. 

The Soap Mine
The Soap Mine

What were your hopes for creating your soap business? (To help you answer: What hopes came true, so far, for your soap business/process?)

My first hope was to make enough money selling my soap to enable me to continue making soap!  To begin with, it wasn’t a particularly expensive hobby – basic oils, a bit of fragrance and makeshift moulds are all relatively cheap as far as hobbies go – but as I got more into it and wanted to experiment more and more then the costs escalated.  So basically I started selling to fund my continuing experimentation, but I soon started to wonder whether this was something that could become a bona fide company, one that would allow me to make an income without having to go out to work while my children were young.  

What I didn’t expect is that it would take over my life so utterly and completely.  I work in the mornings, before the children get up, and I work in the evenings, after they’ve gone to bed.  I work after 4pm, as soon as my long-suffering husband finishes work, and I work at the weekend, when he’s not working.  In September, my youngest child starts going to school full-time and I’ll have time DURING THE DAY *gasp* to work and I. Cannot. Wait. which brings me to the next question:

What other interests do you have when not in your soap or bath products laboratory?

Oh so many, and come September I fully intend to free up some of my evenings to be able to enjoy some them!  I’m currently working towards my green belt in kickboxing – it’s just one one-hour class a week, but it’s fun, and it’s challenging. and I leave each class feeling energised and ridiculously happy and motivated.  I also try to get out for a run a few times a week, but that’s fallen by the wayside a little recently, purely down to lack of time.  Another of my passions is linguistics, particularly the history of language/s, and learning languages generally. I’m bilingual (English/Welsh), have a good knowledge of French.  At the moment I’m learning Russian, and I’ve studied German and Spanish in the past.  I used to be an avid reader, but that’s another thing that’s fallen by the wayside due to lack of time, so this coming winter I plan to challenge myself to read more AND to finally learn to crochet.

Do you have concerns and/or hopes for the soap industry?

I hope that I can convert more and more people to the joys of using (and making, if they so desire) handmade soap.   I know of so many people who claim to be unable to use bar soap, but I’m sure that for many this is because they can’t use COMMERCIAL soap. I’m on a mission to convert the public, and it may be a long road but I’m up for the challenge 😊

What do you want people to know about your soaps/business?  

I’m a one-woman outfit, and I do absolutely everything, from ordering the raw materials through to delivering the final product.  I use only the best ingredients and I’m utterly passionate about creating quality products that I can be proud of. 

What makes you laugh about making soap?  

How many people does it take to make a batch of soap?  10.  One to make the soap, and nine more to argue about whether or not it should contain palm oil…  

Only kidding of course, but I have to laugh, somewhat ruefully, at people who just can’t accept that different people have different ways of making soap. Personally I don’t use palm oil, and all my soaps are vegan friendly, however I’m not vegan myself (I’m not even vegetarian, and I have experimented with lard soaps in the past – they’re flippin’ wonderful!). I have no issue with others choosing to use animal derivatives or palm oil in their recipes.  I’ve done my research, and there are arguments on both sides, but I will not decry or criticise any soap-maker for their particular choice of ingredients.

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Interview with Annie of Arachnes Demise A Modern Apothecary

Interview with Annie of Arachnes Demise Soap

Maybe a year ago I saw a video of Annie, Arachne’s Demise; A Modern Apothecary, molding soap dough where Sorcery Soap was mentioned. Her highly creative design was hindered by not have simple hand tools. I

Annie of Arachnes Demise A Modern Apothecary
Annie of Arachnes Demise A Modern Apothecary

knew nothing about her, but saw she needed something that I could provide so I sent her a Sorcery Soap Dough Kit.

It seemed logical to spotlight Annie of Arachnes Demine Modern Apothecary with her fairy-like alchemy yet grounded in a warrior goddess determination.

What piqued your interest about soap? 

My journey into soap making has been a long and drawn out one. I first started my Etsy shop in 2012. I had a wide, and frankly quite random, assortment of offerings. Embroidered pillows, coin purses and hair bows, but also soap, other bath and grooming products and eventually mineral makeup. All I knew at that point was that I wanted to make stuff, and if people bought the stuff, well that was a bonus. I thought the idea of making my own soap, specifically Castile soap, would be not only fun but something that would treat my skin well, too. 

Describe the moment when you knew soap making was for you.

Annie of Arachnes Demise Soap
Annie of Arachnes Demise Soap

Before I made my first batch I had read every book at the library on soap making. I researched essential oils, carrier oils and butters, and various herbs and natural ingredients, but, cold process still intimidated me so I bought the Castile shreds from Bramble Berry. I decided I would make milled Super-fatted Castile soaps. I was in love with my plain looking soaps.

I finally tried cold process about a year and a half later. Of course, it was no where near as scary as I expected it to be. I altered my line up of soaps to reflect my new technique. At that point I was not selling any sewn items, but  still struggled with an over extended inventory and really had not settled into where I wanted my shop to go. I was attempting to take my uncolored “boring” soap and take it to another level.

I was making cold process for over a year I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a nice tall and skinny mold with a silicone liner. I had been using mostly individual cavity molds. That was truly a game changer for me! I was able to try out new designs and techniques; most of all I was having success that I hadn’t experienced in all my years of soaping and attempting different designs. I really began to enjoy the challenge of a new technique. It forced me to understand my soap on a deeper level. The more I learned, the more fun I began to have. 

What is your favorite part(s) of making soap and why? 

I love the challenge because it’s incredibly satisfying for me to achieve something. So, when it goes well and my soap turns out just how I want it to, it makes up for all the attempts along the way. I also love that I have a functional piece of art, even with the ugly ones! 

Who or what do you look to for inspiration for your unique soaps?  

I can find inspiration in practically anything. Whether it’s the cup of tea I’m drinking, the colorful pile of clothes hangers on the floor, or a Design Seeds color scheme, it can be as simple as that. Sometimes a soap is planned out for a year before I even attempt it and other times I am so struck with inspiration that I drop everything to make that soap. Lately I’m really inspired by Mama Bass Handmade Soaps, Euphoria Soap Works, and L3O Soaps. I find that when someone is inspired you can feed off that creative energy and come up with something all your own. All of their soaps just put me in the mood to create! 

Annie of Arachnes Demise Soap galaxy
Annie of Arachnes Demise Soap galaxy

Are there any aspects of soap making that others might not know about you? 

There isn’t much about my soap making life that I keep private. Let’s see… I’m somewhere between 150-200 batches under my belt. I didn’t start making soap that was not Castile until last year. I also really enjoy making liquid soap and cream soap paste and have been doing it a lot more often lately. 

How often do you make a youtube video?

I had stopped making videos there for a while, but I’m trying to get back into it again. I don’t have a schedule to it, but it would probably be beneficial to implement one. Typically I make a video every time I make a soap that I feel is worthy of sharing. My goal with getting back into YouTube would be to make more tutorial style videos, actually going into my recipe creating process and hopefully teaching the viewer something new. I’m hoping I can publish at least four videos each month.

What makes you happy to get out of bed regarding soap making?

I’ve gotten up early to cut into fresh loaves many times; the customers that keep coming back for more, stocking up when I have sales, and constantly supporting me – those people make getting out of bed to make soap pretty awesome, too. 

What do you do that supports your soap making, creatively? Are there other things you do that support your love of soap making?

Annie of Arachnes Demise Shea Butter
Annie of Arachnes Demise Shea Butter

Living in such a connected world, it was a combination of soap making and the internet that happened to have me cross paths with a woman in Ghana by the name of Ajike. She’s the founder of a women’s center in rural Savelugu, Northern Ghana where they produce unrefined Shea butter by hand. I knew I just needed this Shea butter for my soaps so I ordered 50 kg. I shared this news with my followers on Instagram, a lot of which are soap makers, and many people were interested in this Shea butter as well. I took a risk and bought another 500 kg.

Shea Queen Fuseina was in charge of my order. The Shea nuts are sun dried, crushed and roasted, then ground into a paste and boiled. The paste is then kneaded by hand for several hours adding only water to remove the bits of Shea nut from the butter. After the butter has been separated from the impurities it is heated again and strained, then stirred by hand again until it becomes creamy. Having the luxury of seeing my Shea butter created from start to finish, by hand no less, was absolutely incredible. The Shea Queens working at the center were able to purchase books, pencils, and other learning materials for the school in the village with our groups purchase, too. Every product I make with this Shea butter and every order I get from fellow soap makers and crafters helps bring it all full circle and I’m really grateful to have been a part of that. 

 What were your hopes for your soap business?

I did start this business with the hopes that it would create livable income… Eventually. I quit my day job in January 2014, which in hindsight was too early. While I’m certainly no millionaire, I have heat, electricity, a reliable car and a full tummy so I’m not complaining.

I will say that the majority of my income isn’t even from soap. I manufacture beard products for a company called Mr. Rugged.  I make a mud mask for a company called Spa’s Premium. I work with the same guy for all of these

Mr Rugged Pump Beard Oil Conditioner
Mr Rugged Pump Beard Oil Conditioner

products. He came to me with a few comparable products in mind and asked if I could create something similar, but not exactly. He wanted to chose the ingredients. Mr. Rugged Bold Beard Balm was born and I’ve produced over 5,000 units since December 2014. I was 7 months pregnant at the time and in a serious financial dilemma. It’s hard to say what this business would be today if it weren’t for that opportunity that has blossomed into many others. If I had to guess I’d probably be making ten bucks an hour in a dead end job while I paid the equivalent on eight bucks an hour to a day care facility with zero time or energy to spend on Arachne’s Demise. I am truly and deeply grateful for what I’ve been able to build this business into and my ability to do it all while staying close to my daughter! 

Do you have concerns and/or hopes for the soap industry?

I hope the soap community continues to flourish and build each other up. Most (99%) of the people I’ve come into contact with over the internet through soaping are true gems and I’m happy to be a part of that community. I don’t have a group of people like that around me in the real world.

If anything were to concern me it would be the quality and source of our ingredients. One of the many things that importing Shea butter has taught me is that I really have no idea where the rest of my ingredients come from. It’s hard not to assume the worst when I find a great deal on something. I learned the hard way, it is very very expensive when done ethically and in small batches. That being said, I’m really taking a step back and reevaluating where I purchase my ingredients. I still have a budget to mind, but utilizing things like local animal tallow have made a big difference. 

What do you want people to know about your work?

I’d love for people to know that by supporting me you really are making my dreams come true and quite literally helping me dig myself out of poverty. Every purchase, review, nice comment and is noticed and appreciated! It fuels me to push my boundaries and try new things.

What are your favorite parts to making soap? 

Annie of Arachnes Demise Soap
Annie of Arachnes Demise Soap

I love a good fragrance oil! My favorites are the ones that just scream out a color scheme when you smell them.

I’d have to say my favorite part is planning out a specific soap. For example: every now and then I get an inquiry about a custom loaf. These are my favorite! I will immediately go down and see what I have in stock, asking what sort of scents they like, color schemes, any skin sensitivities or allergies. I absolutely love these custom batches! 

What makes you laugh about making soap? 

I’m at a point where I feel like every disaster has already happened, until a new disaster happens. Luckily I’m also at a point where that makes me laugh now, instead of scream. 

What do you want readers to know about you or your soap making business?

I’ve got one potentially huge idea, and a few little ideas bouncing around my head and at least one of them is almost guaranteed to happen so stay tuned!

Instagram @arachnesdemise 




Instagram handles for soapers I mentioned as inspiration Mama Bass Hand Made Soap @soapgirl62 @l30soaps

More on the Ajike Shea Centre 

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Interview with Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter’s Lair

Many soap makers do more than one hand craft. What got my attention about Rachel was how she answered a post on our Facebook group, Sorcery Creations. I realized she did much more than just make soap. Here is a spotlight on kind-hearted and resourceful, Rachel Martin of the Handcrafter’s Lair. 

Is soap all you make by hand? 

Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter's Lair
Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter’s Lair

-Nope, not by a long shot. Our business is one based upon how handcrafted artisan products can work together to create a magical whole that brings to life through sensory experiences memories and imagination. So we’ve broken things down such that my husband works wonders with jewelry (primarily chainmaille with some wire-wrapping, lace, and other techniques added) and works inventory and soapy blends; our partner turns wood, plays alchemist, knits, and helps create scent blends; and I design all of our crochet patterns/products, play office monkey, work the wood burner, and also create several of our scent blends as well as our soap creations. (Can you tell that we all love to take turns with mixing our scent blends?)

When did you know soap making was for you?

-Several years ago, my aunt and uncle began making their own soaps. I was fascinated with the idea, and promised myself that I would learn someday. Then a few years ago, I learned some of the basics from a colleague at the farmer’s market where I had begun selling crochet products. I brought the techniques home that I had been taught after also asking for advice from my family, and my husband and I began to experiment to find a natural moisturizing soap that would help while keeping clean skin in extreme conditions while still being a rich, thick, bubbly lather. Then when we were trying to name our first “I love this scent sooo much!” soap with an eye toward selling it, we hit on the idea of creating scent blends that would bring favorite memories and books that we loved to life (we are both hard-core bibliophiles) and from there…we were hooked! It was heaven, being able to read a book or watch a fantastic movie in the name of product research and then bring your own imagination to life with practical products and using as many senses as possible and then feeling that silky bar in your hands.

How did you create your signature style soaps?  

Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter's Lair
Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter’s Lair

-When we first started experimenting on soaps, there was one in particular that was made by the woman showing me the soap tracing technique that reminded me of something similar my aunt had made. It was visually extremely appealing, but the scent just irritated me. So I set a goal for myself to find a way to make a natural bar that would surpass that. First we started experimenting on different oil blends, and then went a bit further with the botanicals included. From that we learned so much that we have stuck to blending and layering different essential oils and botanicals and finding all the magic combinations that bubble up.

What makes you happy to get out of bed regarding soap making?

-There is an incredible satisfaction in being able to look at a beautiful finished product that is beneficial and healthy for those using it. That is especially so when it is something that you have created or made, and even more so when it is regularly used. When you add to it the gift of being able to create scenes or memories or even characters through multiple senses (something that comes from being able to use multiple techniques and materials so that it is more than only through vision or scent) then your imagination gives each experiment and design a thrill that is a powerful gift and motivation even during dark times.

What were your hopes for creating your soap business?

Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter's Lair
Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter’s Lair

-Having grown up with a deep love of books ranging from the historic, mysterious, romantic, and fantastic, my husband and I have a deep love of imagination. So when I started designing crochet products, it was with a love of those to inspire me whether it was with toys, hats, or fashion. When I had the opportunity to add the practical luxury of handcrafted soaps that would carry the senses even further, I was just thrilled at the idea and have been inspired by it ever since!

What are your favorite parts of soap making?  

-Honestly…the way the soaps make my workshop and house smell.  I love the way the soaps feel on my skin but when you have 5 kids, 2 cats, a dog and a lot of family & friends coming and going plus a husband who was a professional cook for 20 years and is a current master gardener, there are a lot of smells that can take over your life. While room scents and such are delightful, there is nothing like the clean smells that come whenever we make our soaps or bath bombs to keep things so much more pleasing. 🙂

Do you have concerns and/or hopes for the soap industry?

-I hope that as we work through and overcome protective fears, we will all begin to reach a point where we will understand the power of the artisan communities and how incredibly important the work we do is for our communities, as well as the value we each have in working alongside our industry colleagues in helping people make educated choices and inspire both our colleagues and customers.

What do you want people to know about your work?  

Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter's Lair
Rachel Martin of The Handcrafter’s Lair

-Most especially, I suppose, how much we are hoping that the love poured into each of the products we make will be a gift and blessing to all those who try out and use our products regardless of whether it is a crocheted character being snuggled, a beautiful piece of chainmaille jewelry highlighting the wearer, or bubbling up soapy inspirations.

What makes you laugh about making soap?  

-The reactions that come from people stopping to smell/feel the soaps as they guess what scents are within them… especially children. The way my kids react to some of our soapy experiments is also frequently quite hilarious.

What do you want readers to know about you or your soap making business?

-How much magic you can bring to your life when you let imagination and inspiration lift you and share that with all those around you. I would never presume to claim we are *the* source for such, but we strive with each item that we bring out to provide an avenue for that with daily use of the luxurious and practical. (Ok, so that sounds like a marketing pitch but in truth I can’t find a better way to phrase it…hahaha)

The Handcrafter’s Lair is a business that is just getting a foothold in baby-steps so while we’d love to see you on Etsy at , the best ways to come and play or just find out what new products and designs we’re rolling out is to come follow us via Instagram (id handcrafterslair), Twitter (id @handcrafterlair), and especially Facebook ( ), with more coming as we get more established.

Coupon Offer for Sorcery Soap Readership: Just mention this article    or use coupon code SOAPMAGIC25 on any purchase from Hand Crafters Lair on Etsy through the end of April 2017.

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Interview with Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color

Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color

I met Jo Haslauer in an experimental group to write books, based on soap making by Amanda Aaron from Lovin Soap Studio. I was stunned when I found out who she was, as I didn’t connect her name with the research I’d done on natural colorants. Jo’s soap images and information had popped up more than once, and I recognized her soaps, just didn’t connect her name. 

Jo was incredibly supportive and encouraging during the some-what arduous process of writing.  Jo completed her invaluable book and we formed a friendship.

I love her in so many ways… I want to share her vivacious energy, helpful information and her motivations with you.

When did you know soap making was for you? 

Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color
Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color

I have always had some sort of craft on the go.  I learnt to knit squares as most kids do from my mum and moved to cross stitch when it was all the rage.  Later on a trip to England I learnt Tatting from my aunt and I was introduced to vegetable gardening by my grandmother at the same time. I also learnt to embroider as well and learnt heirloom sewing too (I have to admit although, I like the end result I really don’t like the process of that). Later I learnt how to do stump work embroidery as well. Around this time I also learnt to sculpt with polymer clay and produced a few dolls and food items etc also.

Having an interest in craft I discovered online that you could find the most amazingly talented people just with the click of your mouse.  One day following a long trail on the net I found a melt and pour soaper and I was absolutely mesmerized with what she was producing.  I had to find out more.  I found suppliers in Australia and bought colors, fragrance oils and molds (as you do) and for quite a few years I ran a melt and pour soap business.  However I wanted more, I wanted to actually make the soap.

By this time I was involved in online forums and had made several friends that encouraged me to learn to make cold process soap.  One of them I met in real life (also an Aussie)  and we instantly hit it off.  She is an amazing person and soaper – Patti Flynn – I absolutely adore her.  Her soaps were are so inspiring that I knew I had to give it a try.  Luckily for me an American soaper said she would help me learn.  She taught me over the private message section of the forum.  I gathered all my ingredients and she told me in the messages the steps as I performed them.  I would add the lye to the water and then run back to the screen for the next step.  I added the lye water to the oils and then had to run back to the messages for the next step to see how far to stir until I got to trace. Looking back I must have been a lunatic to learn it that way and I am thanking my lucky stars it was clearly a slow to trace recipe hahahah.  Just imagine learning it now like that!  There was no Youtube or Skype in those days, just yahoo groups and forums.  

Once I had made the one soap batch I was hooked –  I knew had to have more and more!  Fortunately I had all the mica and fragrance oils already from my melt and pour business and I experimented with different colors

Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color
Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color

and scents.  I was a goner, hook line and sinker.  I haven’t touched tatting for years. I occasionally knit, embroider and do stump work.  I absolutely refuse to smock ever again, however I do dabble with polymer clay and this year I planted my own dyers garden in the hope of learning how to use some of the more exotic home grown colorants in my soap.

How did you create your signature style soaps? What prompted you to make natural colorant soaps?  

I was very happy making my bright coloured fragrance oil soaps and using the brightest micas at the time known as Pop Micas.  However, for an inexplicable reason the supplier of the Pop Micas suddenly announced that the micas were no longer available.  I was devastated.  I bought up as much of the Pop Micas as I possibly could (pounds of it).  I had changed my soap business over from melt and pour to cold process with mica and fragrance oils and I had never even considered that the colorants would suddenly not be available and what would I then do!

Many other soapers were in the same position and we struggled to find substitutes particularly for the orange and purple.  I was seriously annoyed that on a whim my business could be completely thrown into turmoil and I could not fulfill my customers requests.  Something had to change.

I was very lucky I had a friend who was a very “green eco minded” soaper. We had already met over coffee and swapped soaps.  She made a very off the cuff comment (whilst I was lamenting the loss of the micas) that she

Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color

would never have to worry about being beholden to anyone but nature. She only used natural colorants and you could buy those anywhere, at anytime.  It was my light bulb moment.  Why was I even looking for synthetic substitutes when the same thing could happen all over again to me?  I left that coffee session with her suggestion ringing in my ears. In fact she gave me a challenge and I am always up for those. Her exact words to me were “open your pantry and make me four soaps from colorants that are in there”.  I can’t tell you the words I thought (not polite to be honest), but four soaps!  Was she mad, I could maybe make one at a stretch two

 but four…

I already had a no-palm recipe. I have never used it even from in the first internet lesson with my friend in the U.S.  I have a background of being green having gone through university in the 80s and being a marine biologist I was aware of the impact of some of the ingredients that soapers used.  Natural colorants seemed such a no-brainer for me that I couldn’t believe I had never considered it before.  Of course now the challenge was set, I had to go to the extreme of also saying no fragrance oils either. I truly was a lunatic.  You know the old saying “in for a penny, in for a pound” well that is me.  I can’t do just one step I have to go all the way.

I loved the results of the soaps from her challenge. Yes, I did make four soap batches.  I loved to see her face when I appeared at our next coffee session with my four soaps – all bright colors and all achieved with the help of my own pantry.  I loved it so much that I came home, gave away my micas and fragrance oils, and put the sealed pop micas stash that I had gathered like a crazy woman, front and centre in my cupboard to remind me that the world was my oyster with natural colorants, and I didn’t ever have to use synthetics again.

What makes you happy to get out of bed regarding soap making? 

Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color
Jo Haslauer Natural Soap Color

The challenge that I never really know the color that I will make today.  I have a general idea that I am going to make a pink soap for example, but will it be a pastel pink or a bright hot scorching fuchsia pink?.  Just when I am sure it will be a pastel and I have nailed the way to get it pastel, it will be the fuchsia I absolutely guarantee it.  There is always a challenge with natural colorants to see if you can repeat that color.  That never quite being 100% sure makes me leap out of bed and soap.  I can’t wait and if I have a new (to me) idea well that is the best fun ever.  Pushing the boundaries of natural colorants is my absolute favourite way to spend a soap making day. We have such a long way to go with natural colorants still, there is so much more to learn and do.

What were your hopes for creating your soap business?

My hopes for my soap is that my use of natural colorants inspires other soapers to try.  To look at natural colorants in a different way than we are used to and to give them a go. Not all natural colorants make muddy colors, nor are all natural colorants beige or brown or even green.   Actually, I find I have to blend several colors to get a really good brown and a really good green.  They are quite hard to achieve for me.  If someone is inspired by my soap to try natural colorants then I am ecstatic.  I think every soaper should try them at some stage of their soaping journey.  Just open your pantry and look what you already have and try it. Natural colorants are beautiful and they all blend so beautifully together when they are lined up. Not one of them clashes with the other – they blend and together they are really magical to see.

What are your favorite natural colorants and why?

Woad, Alfalfa and Astaxanthin are my favourites at the moment.  Woad has been the love of my natural colorant journey and I am sure always will be.  I love saying the word Woad and the history connected to it,  but I love the Robin’s egg blue soap that you get using Woad.  I have tried to achieve it with Indigo, and I have come close, but Woad just has that little bit of green to add to the mix and boy, when you see it in real life, its spectacular.  I definitely have a love affair with Woad. 

Alfalfa gives the most exquisite grass green. Its bright and cheery and very like Matcha Green Tea powder.  Its that sort of green color and shines alongside Woad and Astaxathin.

Astaxanthin is a reddish/brown color. Its quite a mystery colorant to me as it can produce a beautiful candy apple red in a swirl but as a whole base color its a brown red. So odd I am mesmerized by it.

Do you have concerns and/or hopes for the soap industry?

My hope for the soap industry is that we can all grow together and share what we learn, but respect the ones that have gone before us and not forget that at the moment very little has not already been done before. Instead of criticizing new and innovative soapers and their ideas we should be looking to them for inspiration and growing on their knowledge and running with it. Take what they doing and add our own spin on it.  Copying is rife, credit the original soaper and add your own spin, soap is so creative and each soap is a work of art, there will be similarities but never that same piece again. Rather than recreate find your own style, we each have one and embrace it, enjoy your soap journey its meant to be fun and once you find your own style and are having fun it becomes obvious in your soap and we can all enjoy it for the magical achievement that it is.

What do you want people to know about your work?  

People should know that I love soaping with natural colorants.  Love it.  I am like a child in a candy store. I love searching for that elusive red and pushing the boundaries of natural colorants.  It is such fun to see what a yellow powder will do, or a red liquid or a bark that will produces blue oil – it really is a playground and I love every minute I am in it playing.  How lucky am I that I found something I really really love and can share?

What are your favorite parts to making soap? 

My all time favourite part is finding or hearing of new colorant that I have to try.  Receiving it in the mail, buying it in a local shop and finding out what it will do in oil, at trace or in the lye water.  That is the most fun ever.  

I also love to look at soap photos. I find it relaxing.  I know I won’t try to make the soaps (I can only do my own style)  so I can just enjoy them for what they – each a one of a kind art form that will never be repeated again.  There are some amazingly talented soapers in the world, from Russia, the UK and Europe, The US across to Asia and down to Australasia. When you aren’t looking at soaps to see how the soaper created it, but are looking at the soap photo as an art form you realize just how beautiful soap can be and how talented people are.  Its astounding really.

What makes you laugh about making soap? 

The community of soapers really do have some hilarious people in it.  I have been blessed with meeting many online that have great sense of humours and nothing is better than sharing a joke or a story with them.  Its a wonderful community.

However, I do have to say your chicken and egg soaps when I first saw them on a chicken blog made me smile and say wow and go OMG all at the same time. You were a breathe of fresh air and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was enamored of those darn chickens and wished I had thought to make them myself! Then along came the mice and the cheese and I was hooked. Each time you make a soap I smile, I wish I had thought of it first, but I smile because I know no matter how hard I had tried, I could not have made them in my wildest dreams.  They are amazing and yes they do make me laugh at times especially those darn chickens!

What do you want readers to know about you or your soap making business?

Just know that I love playing with natural colorants – its such fun and I wish the same in your soap journey for all of you.

Jo Haslauer can be found on Instagram and on her Facebook page. Jo’s insightful, helpful, and humors comments are in many soap groups.


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The Desert Chuckwalas and Soap

There is something subtle and magical about the desert.

How can this be, you ask, when all there is are cactus, faded colors and dirt? That is what the casual observer will see. There is a deeper beauty.

Chuckwala Lizard
Chuckwala Lizard

I have lived in the southwest for 22 years. I first moved to Sedona, Arizona, an area with obvious beauty, tempered seasons, dramatic weather changes and majestic rock formations.

At first, after a trip to Estes Park, Colorado I was enamored with the emerald greens, abundant wildlife and rich smells of that area. I was moving.

I didn’t move to where I thought but to even lower desert, where rich greens are rare and the land doesn’t offer its fragrance until after the rain.

On a hike, standing on a small hill (a few hundred feet) I let my gaze settle on the landscape. At first it all looked washed out under the bright sun. The beginning of spring, all things are faded, beginning to wake. I looked more closely and saw the subtle bloom of purple flowers dusting the area, the brilliant crimson fruit and flowers of the cactus and heard the territorial clicking of hummingbirds. The more I looked, and softened myself, the more I heard and saw. Quiet bees going about their business, small chipmunks running from unseen predators and quail calling for a mate.

Eventually I made my way to my meditation rock. It’s not hidden so, it makes it a good practice when noisy hikers walk past. I looked over the landscape, saw more blooming plants, felt the soft warming wind, and was quiet. Looking down, I saw what looked like a carrot. Not a carrot, but a large blackish lizard with an orange carrot-like tail. This lizard, being about a foot long and as big around as my wrist, was a creature to watch. Eventually, Truman spotted the lizard too. We sat, still as rocks, watching. Truman, so very still he was drooling, which he only does for dinner. He’s an honorable being and would not attack this lizard but was as curious as I was. The lizard hid when it saw our shadows, but eventually grew brave to flick it tongue and eat invisible bugs. He moved from under his rock and ate the lower vegetation. Extraordinary!

A raucous group was making its way up the hill; a group of 7 young kids (about 8 years old) and two moms. When they arrived I looked at them, put my finger to my mouth and whispered, “want to see?” Mom’s agreed and they all cambered on the rock. Swarmed with little kids, they settled right away and studied the lizard along with us. The moms began taking photos. I turned around and asked if they were okay with Truman, and by then most of them had a hand on him and Truman was in his version of heaven, tail wagging and sniffing, being petted by kids.

They all sat quietly and watched the lizard. When the lizard darted off that was my moment to finish my hike. As I walked, I realized that is a version of humanity I enjoy. It brought it full circle, what I heard on the Mind of the Chef, “when you cook, you cook for other people. When you like the people you cook good.” 

I thought if these moms and kids received a bar of my soap… I imagined their curiosity and delight. This is why I make soap.


*Males on South Mountain in Phoenix have bright “carrot orange” tails.


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A Story of Pain Magic

Strange Love Soap

I want to tell you a story… It’s just a story. It is not my identity. I have hesitated sharing this story because I don’t like being boxed into an identity and stuck there. I left a marriage and a solid career because I could see I wasn’t allowed to grow outside that box. No matter what I did, I was still seen as I was, not as I am or what my possibilities were. So I stripped my life of all my comforts and jumped off the safe ledge.

And flew.

This is only one part of this story, remember that. It’s not all there is, but a part that is important to understand.

I have trigeminal neuralgia.

The short version of this is the nerve that runs (generally on the right side of the face) near the joint, or meeting point of the upper and lower mandible, short circuits. It can cause constant pain or intermittent pain. It feels like being shocked with a cattle prod in the jaw, all your teeth hurt more than any tooth pain you’ve experienced, and punched, all at the same time. Some times you will vomit, pass out or lose your mind. Or what you thought was your mind.

This is called the suicide disease. More people commit suicide after 3 years of this issue than any other health issue.

This is not me. I have had this issue on and off since I was 25. It has increasingly grown worse. The professionals do not understand this nerve or the signs. Many say it’s in your head and keep drilling.

Now you know what my personal burden is, you can understand I understand you have yours too. We all have our burdens.

I am not on disability, nor do I take money from our govt. I also do not talk about this issue. I do not have health insurance and I still manage this issue. I am intelligent and access to many resources.

I have told three people. Now, I can no longer claim this…

I realized after this last bought of pain that a certain hyper-focus of pain makes you see the world differently.

I see details. I focus on the details. Of everything. I bring focus to details, philosophical, soap details, behavior details, details of honor and photography details… I haven’t seen this in my world before, until this last episode of pain.

I do not want others to feel my pain. I have more compassion than that. I want you to understand that I know we all have our personal burdens. I choose to deal with mine with as much dignity as I can muster. I feel because I don’t quit, quit my life because of the pain, (any kind of pain) that I have seen things that were there, but so obstructed by the comfort of being pain free, that those aspects aren’t revealed until I look deeper.

Soap is an example of me looking below the surface.


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Interview with Janet Darrow of Soap Making Group

Janet Darrow

Interview with Janet Darrow of Soap Making Group

Janet Darrow
Janet Darrow

Janet Darrow is the moderator of one of the largest Facebook soaping groups around, Soap Making. Janet manages over 36,000 members, daily and does it with kindness, decrement, and a healthy does of wit. Janet does all this and makes her own soaps. 

Learn more about Janet Darrow in this first-time interview. – Bee Iyata

When did you first get introduced to the Soap Making Facebook group?

Viktoria Grace Lindskog created the group August 20, 2010. I was added to the group by Lee Davies on September 11, 2014.

How did you become moderator of the Soap Making Facebook Group?

At the time I was added there were approximately 3000 members and Lee Davies was the only active administrator. He was on the other side of the world so his days were my nights because of this the group was kind of unruly because it was most active while he was asleep. I told him once that he was deleting the wrong people and that it was the same mob causing friction over and over, he then asked if I wanted to help him admin the group. I waited a few days and told him I could try and help for a while until things got smoothed out, so he made me admin and left the group.

For the next couple months it was pure hell. I have never been called so many awful names; I had never felt so hated. I even managed to be mentioned in a bully video. I’m not looking for sympathy but I really wondered what I got myself into. Things started to work out when I stopped trying to reason with the unreasonable. 

Janet Darrow
Janet Darrow

Every day a lot of people were asking to join I spent most of the winter trying to keep up and the drama was much less by now. I finally felt confident in adding more admins to help, these poor girls (especially one of them) got to hear it all and they will never know how grateful I was for them lending me their ear helping and for putting up with me.    

What does your day of being an administrator of one of (if not the biggest) soap group on Facebook look like?

It is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last before I go to bed. This has become such a part of my life and I have learned so much from this group and met so many unique creative people made friends and I feel privileged to have something in common with them all.

What skills do you possess that help you manage this group?

That is a really broad brush… I think the skills I have that might help in the soap making group is that I try my best to stand solid and treat everyone with the same respect, I like problem solving, helping people and sharing as much knowledge as I am able to. Also, helping members to search and navigate the page.  Maybe tag them in something they need help with or sharing a file or even commenting on (bumping) a post I know nothing about so others might help. In a group with this many members there is no reason for a question to go unanswered.   

Janet Darrow
Janet Darrow

How long have you been making soap, Janet?

Three years ago a friend and I wanted to learn how to make beldi soap to use on tadelakt, plaster. My friend made soap first and sent me homemade soap. It all started there  and I got so involved in soap making. I never did do the tadelakt.

I like making cold process soap and anything to do with soap. I have made soap decks, several cutters, several molds and a planer.

What are your favorite butters and/or oils?

Before I knew what I was doing, my favorite was any exotic oil. I just knew they had to be better than lard or tallow something we always had plenty of on the farm.  My favorites now are Shea butter, lard, tallow, rice bran oil and of course I experiment with new oils once in a while, lard and tallow are very luxurious in soap.

Who is your favorite type of poster in Soap Making Facebook Group?

My favorite type of member might be happy they made their first soap, or happy when they understand something new. I like positive people it sets the tone for the rest of the group.   

What do you want members to remember when posting in this group?

I would like members to keep in mind the rules and to have respect – most of the members do.

What is your favorite part of moderating this soap group?

My favorite part is meeting so many good people from all over the world with one thing in common. We all need soap ;). Being thanked or appreciated for helping someone. To see someone helping someone else in a kind or fun manner and so much more, I can honestly say, all of it is my favorite.

Thank you, Janet, for taking time from your busy day of help all of us communicate better in the Soap Making group. 

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The Gift of Washing Soap Dishes

Morning Joe Coffee Soap

Yesterday, I posted a story about country life, growing food and chickens.

Although soaping can be all consuming, we are all multifaceted. Like over sniffing fragrance oil coffee beans cleanse the palate, so does a new story. A new story can offer a moment to dream. While dreaming with our eyes open we make ourselves available to those inspired ideas floating, just out of reach, all around. Using the coffee beans in the same way, we unencumbered our minds to fully experience the next scent.

It occurred to me while washing soap dishes today that a large chunk of my time is cleaning: cleaning up after soap, getting ready for soaping, standing in front of the sink, and if I run out of glass ware, scrubbing the oil from plastic. My nemesis – plastic.

To outsiders, non-soapers, (yes, there are those) washing dishes seems boring. As a child I hate, HATED, washing dishes. It wasn’t the chore I hated, it was why I had to wash dishes. This scene played out after church on Sunday. If my parents wanted to spend time alone my mater would find some innocuous reason to punish me. The correction was to wash all the dishes from our Sunday meal and every single item of silverware. She would dump the drawer, pull a chair to the sink, and insist I stay there until all were clean, dried and put away. The other consideration was if I didn’t wash everything quickly and the water grew cold, (as I was known for dawdling by blowing bubbles) I was not allowed to add fresh hot water.

This was a lose/lose situation. If there were spots on the silverware, the drawer would be dumped again. I spent many, many Sundays standing on that chair. Thank the powers that be, this parental unit left our home by the time I was eleven.

It has taking me years to learn to love washing dishes. Soaping has brought this gift to me. I made myself available to this gift by not allowing anything, ANYTHING that might hinder my love of soap making to stop me. Even the stories of my life, the stories I still tell myself and my resistance to letting those stories disappear, to be replaced by new stories.

This, I hope for you too, that road blocks disappear and evaporate, but not before they leave you a lovely gift.


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Soap Making is About the Details

Sorcery Soap Fairy Cookies

Even after having made so much soap I still have a long way to go in my apprenticeship. I am in awe of the amount of attention to detail soap making requires.

I read some where that an apprenticeship requires 10,000 hours. (Actually, what I read said to master anything takes 10,000 hours.) I use that as a rule of thumb. If I work at soap making 40 hours a week to complete my 10,000 hours of apprenticeship will take 4.8 years. I don’t think even after 10,000 hours soap will be mastered and this is the allure of soap making for me.

So, to glean as much information as I can while I’m making soap, reading about soap and thinking about soap.  I pay attention to a variety of details. I have not fully fallen down the rabbit hole and am still absorbing aspects of combining NaOH and oils/fats to make a product that cleans skin – soap.

Why do I say I haven’t fully fallen down the rabbit hole? Because much like Alice I haven’t yet picked up the cadence of the speech of the other world, not yet found my power (fully) in that other world as to make myself completely comfortable. If I have this awareness then I realize I also haven’t fully grasped the subtleties of the other world, the soap world and the magic that is soap making.

It’s much like playing Euchre. One can gasp the basics of the card game well enough to play. To know the feelings, subtleties, and nuances of this fast paced game, takes playing the game and time. I have been playing for 30 years. I am a reasonable Euchre player. I can mentally keep track of the cards and still I’ll throw off-trump. I can tell when someone plays the rules and not by gut-feeling. I also can tell when they cannot read me or the other players. All these layers of awareness take time. Some can be taught, but to fully understand and win takes practice and a dash of luck.

I also realize no one can teach these layers of awareness to me regarding soap making. I must keep my eyes open, pay attention to as many details as I can absorb and keep turning the spiral wheel; with every turn I pick up something new. With every batch of soap I have an opportunity to learn something new. Each batch is practice.

Details are Important

Not to overwhelm new soapers, because you will only see the top layer of information in the beginning, but with every new soap another layer of understanding will reveal itself, no worries. In essence, you will only see what you are ready and willing to see. This applies for soap and just about everything.

I recently asked for help in a soap group about soda ash. I know more than I did last time I asked the same question, and the time before that, but still its rather illusive. Weather (local humidity), condition of the NaOH, temperature of the room, temperature of the oils, additives, how the soap is treated after pour… All these things are important.

I also realized that there are many soapers who do not see soda ash on their soaps.  If one is not getting soda ash, does it mean they know how to avoid it? Or did all the important elements come together and soda ash was not created? That is why I brought this point to the surface, “Create Soda Ash.” No one wants soda ash, but knowing how to create it is another aspect of knowing how to avoid it.

I have realized that creating soda ash or not creating soda ash has been one of my bigger lessons. I might be more focused on it because of the detailed embellishments I put on top, which means I cannot easily wash the soda ash off or steam it off either. Therefore, I have to focus on this details and KNOW how it happens.

Another Aspect of Soap Making

Another detail, shifting gears, is how we build relationships in our soaping world. Many of us are independent thinkers, creatives, doers of the world.  Soap gets made. Doers do. Doers move elements of this world and bring ideas into the material world. This power is not to be taken lightly, but it has been – for thousands of years.

When it comes to making business alliances we (I am speaking for all of us in a general sense) want to be treated fairly, not like employees.

It has been my experience that retailers think we, when wholesaling, work for them. This is a slightly incorrect view.

A rule of thumb: If the person (assumed to be an employee) stops doing what they do, does your business stop? Then that is the most important person to your business and therefore should be treated with at least that much respect, even if you pay them. Paying someone does not equal “employee.”  An employee is also (or should be) treated with respect, but I’ll save that topic for another day.

We have an opportunity to re-design how business works. Its not as if business has been working so well it can’t stand improvement.

We can see each other as vital and important, treating each other fairly.

There are a few things to consider when wholesaling hand made goods.

  1. Can this easily be found anywhere?
  2. Am I offering something it would take my customers effort to discover and/ or make?
  3. Is this product unique and different?
  4. Am I making a quality item available?
  5. Am I saving my customer time and effort?
  6. Am I delighted to offer this product?
  7. Will my customers love this new product?

All these things should be compensated, and therefore, a deal can be struck. Simply making money is not a good reason to build a business relationship. That is the old way of thinking and conducting business. Clearly, our world needs a new way of relationship building and a new business model.

I have been approached by big and small businesses to wholesale. Those who ask me do not understand how much time and detail goes into what I create and are just tickled and excited about my soap creations.  That’s cool, they don’t have to understand in the beginning.  It is my job to explain what I do and keep a level head for both of us. With that said, I am no one’s employee. Treat me as if I am an employee (typical condescending disrespect) and I will balk.

I work 8-12 hours a day, spend most waking moment studying and applying myself and work for myself to avoid this type of treatment. I treat myself with respect, honor and dignity. You don’t have to, but I will also know that too.

Ask me in a short email “do you wholesale?”  I will reply with as much effort. “No.”

Ask me to wholesale and after much effort in negotiations, deliberations and many emails and if you don’t keep your phone appointment three times. I will refuses you. Quite simply, our business models don’t align. I’ve seen this many times, and have learned. When it comes time to pay me for my efforts, if you cannot respect my time in the beginning you won’t respect my time later.

Just because you can get something cheaper doesn’t mean you should. Just because everyone else is doing something one way means its the best or ideal way to do a thing.

I learned a great lesson early on. If someone tells you through words or actions not to trust them, believe them. I do not doubt or argue their truth because it will result in more of what they are offering. (This applies to dating, marriage and all forms of relationships, in my opinion).

In conclusion, I focus on everything – everything in my awareness. I strive to not over look or dismiss any detail. After all, what else is there in life, but the details?

With this new lesson truly learned if I get stuck on a detail I pick up my needle, move it to a new place on the record and keep listening to the music.

The devil is most certainly in the details. 😉


Make Soap Dough

Read about Soap Dough, Alchemical Soap Making and Soap Dough/Bar Recipes.