I was reading an article the other day by a fellow soapmaker, all I could think of, was YEAH! I agree!
I still consider myself a soapmaker, but I just don’t see it happening as a business. I think a lot of soapmakers come into the trade for whatever reasons, and people love their soap and they think “wow, I could make money doing this”
I started making soap, because I have sensitive skin. Bad skin really, and I am always looking at peoples skin, and envious when they have flawless beautiful skin. When I was little, I was clueless and thought, wow they are pretty. Now, I know they have just spent a ton of money on themselves, and got pretty lucky in the skin dept.
Working in the hospital also pushed me a bit towards soapmaking. I seen MANY types of skin from the painful, to the flat out disgusting. Sensitive to leather. And most people were clueless about what they were putting on there skin. I seen a woman with red, dry raw nearly skin lathering on some expensive, scented luxury type crap, thinking it was helping her. After doing some research, no, these products are not good! Alcohol on dry skin? What, no. I might as well go rub some vodka on there and hope for the best. Not to mention all the serious chemicals that are known carcinogens.
So I started making soap. All natural handmade soap. No frills, simple soap. And the people that tried it, LOVED it. I even had soap selling out at the GNC. But oh my god, the unregulated and booming soap business was maddening and frustrating and I just could not keep up. I enjoyed discovering new recipes, and ingredients. But once I really started selling the soap, it became a nightmare.
And lets not talk about the selling part. I am NOT a salesman. I make soap and take care of people. And dogs. And cats. As I started to get out there and throw the soap at people, all they wanted was the pretty colors, and consistant sizes. And wild fragrances.
NOOOO. This is the good stuff for your skin. Its not showy, and doesn’t smell like it came from a factory. And no, that bar does NOT look just like that other bar. They aren’t even the same size. THEY ARE HANDMADE AND HANDCUT AND HANDLABELLED. I am not a machine.
To make it worth it, I would have to make ALOT of soap, and still barely profit when everyone wants lush soap, or fancy soap with a heart in the middle. I am a simple, bare bones, uncomplicated kid of girl, so making showy, scented, whats in it doesn’t matter as long as its pretty and smells good soap, was a challenge.
I sometimes regret pulling my stuff from GNC. I know that it would have eventually done well. But the only time I would make a profit, would be to start @ 0500 am and sit at some festival all day under a tent, selling soap.
That’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to be home making soap. And spending time with my family. Not eating fried food, spending all day trying to convince people their skin will appreciate my soap. Even if their nose objects. (not that my soaps smelled bad, I use plenty of essential oils).
Anyway, I became very frustrated. I became tired of trying to tell people “That’s not natural” and I gave up.
I have started making soap again (after a year of swearing it off) because I DO have sensitive skin and my boyfriend loves the soap. I tried just using plain store bought Dove etc, but it just wasn’t doing my skin right.
So now I am back at it, trying to maintain my previous recipes and learn how to make tallow and try some new stuff. I hope to have some new pictures soon, but its hard to get good shots in the middle of the process.