Kitchen Coffee Soap Log Stands Tall

Kitchen Coffee Soap Vanilla Scented with Cocoa Butter
I love making and using this soap. I grind coffee beans, melt cocoa butter and stir in poppy seeds for exfoliation. I use a special secret mix of vanillas and it makes my whole workspace smell wonderful! This is one of the Bigger Batches of soap I made over the weekend. The log of soap is 17 and a half inches tall and currently weighs 5.8 pounds! It’s been sliced up into 17 and a half bars (the half bar will go into someone’s order as a sample).

I made this soap a few weeks ago but pulled the wrong mold, (the 5 & 6 lb mold look really similar) so I ended chopping about a 1/2 in from each bar from that log so they could fit into my boxes! Not this time! After they cure for 4 weeks they will fit perfectly into my brown kraft boxes.
handmade soap

Bigger Soap Batches

Blackberry Sage in 18 bar KelseiI admit it. I make most of my soap in tiny two-pound batches. I do this so I can make many different scents and still have room to walk around my workspace. But this weekend I made some of my more popular soap in 5 – 6 lb batches.

One of the batches of soap I made was my Blackberry Sage Shea Butter Handmade Soap in my new 18-bar mold. This yummy smelling soap will available in a month! Cold Process Soap takes a few weeks to cure and is totally worth the wait.

How to Rebatch Soap in the Microwave!

I recently attended the first Houston Soapmakers Meetup. One of the questions that came up was how to rebatch soap. There are many ways to rebatch soap. I’m going to share my favorite method with you.

Supplies
Handmade Soap (either in block form or shreds)
Cheese Grater or Knife
Water or Aloe Vera Juice (or liquid of choice)
Fragrance or Essential Oil (not required, but this is what adds the scent to the soap.)
Microwavable Rice Cooker
Microwave
Molds for your soap. I prefer log molds when I rebatch – more on that in a minute.
Large Spoon to scoop soap in the mold

Step 1. Shred or chop soap into tiny pieces. I use a cheese grater to get my soap into small pieces.

Step 2. Put shredded soap in a microwavable rice cooker. You don’t want to fill it all the way to the top – I wouldn’t fill it more than 3/4 of the way full. You don’t want it to overflow when it’s cooking.

Step 3. Add a small amount of water or aloe vera juice, just enough to wet the soap. (1 Tablespoon at a time) You don’t want to get it too wet or you will get warped / shrunken-head looking soap. You will need to experiment with the amount of liquid to use here.

Step 4. Microwave the soap in 3 to 4 minute bursts.  The soap will get really hot when you microwave it, so be sure to use a potholder when handling the rice cooker. Open the container slowly so the steam doesn’t burn you.  Check to see if the soap has become translucent after the first cook. If the soap looks dry and is starting to burn, you are going to need to add more water. If you add too much water, the resulting soap is going to have a sunken look too it when it dries out.  I’ve rebatched 2 lbs of soap in two 4 minute bursts on my last try. You want to cook the soap in the rice cooker until it looks semi-translucent and a homogeneous look.

Step 5. Start scooping the soap into your mold. I like using log molds with a lid because you can use the lid to smoosh it down flat into the mold.

Step 6. Unmold your soap the next day and cut into bars. Your soap is ready to use! Take a bath!

Feto Soap will be at Bazaar Bizarre / Maker Faire Austin!

Hey Austinites! Feto Soap will be at Maker Faire this October as a part of Bazaar Bizarre! The Bazaar Bizarre is a juried craft fair that selects vendors based on various elements such as: Individuality, DIY-sensibility, Quality of work & Diversity of Products

Travis County Event Center and Fairground (It’s where they have the Rodeo) and it sounds like we are going to be in the Show Barn. 7311 Decker Lane,  Austin, TX 78724

Bazaar Bizarre will run from October 18th, 2008 10am to 10pm and October 19th, 2008 from 11am to 6pm.

Maker Faire Schedule:
Saturday, October 18th: 10am-10pm
Sunday, October 19th: 10am-6pm

Saponifier Magazine


Saponifier Magazine
is the educational and encouraging voice for handcrafters of soap, toiletries, cosmetics, and candles. Saponifier disseminates the news and information about the industry relevant to the interests of manufacturers and suppliers.

The July/August issue’s focus is Christmas in July.

Don’t wait until November to make plans for your holiday line up! Pick up this edition of Saponifier for tips on packaging your holiday gift sets, product ideas, recipes and more!

FEATURES
History of Bath & Body Recipes: A look back on the interesting history of bath and body recipes from the Dark Ages through today, by Tamara Dourney

FDA Globalization Act of 2008

Bonus Gift Guide Supplement: A Bonus Gift Guide of holiday recipes for all your gift giving needs- including printable gift tags!, by Tamara Dourney & Carol Schatz

COLUMNS

Toiletries
Are You Selling Drugs?, by Carol Schatz

In The Lab
Expanding Your product Line: Pets are people too, by Robert McDaniel

Showcase
A Time For Giving, by Elizabeth Carnahan

Working Smarter
Create & Implement an Effective Holiday Marketing Strategy, by Jenn Givler

Reviews
Creative Packaging – Make it your own, by Beth Byrne

Aromatic Materials
Cropwatch Takes Stock, by Tony Burfield

A Soapmakers Notebook
Herbal Monographs: Adderwort & Tansy

PLUS
Exclusive Subscriber Discounts, News, Letters, Events, and More!

(Current Issue available by Subscription Only)

(47 pages, 3.58MB)
Click Here to SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

WSP’s Handmade Product Swap

If you have not participated in a swap, it is lots of fun.  A swap is where you mail items to a “co-ordinator” and then receive the same number of different items (including recipe) from other participants. A swap is a great way to show off your products and get new ideas. For WSP’s Hosted swap you send in two Full Size Homemade Products (Soaps, Lotions, Candles, Etc.) that you have made and get you two different products back! Since WSP is sponsoring this swap, you will get TEN – 2 ounce bottles of fragrance oil! (they pick which ones!)

You Send to WSP:
2 Full Size Homemade Products (Soaps, Lotions, Candles, Etc.)
2 Recipe Cards for The Above
$25 (Cash/Money Order – Made Out to Wholesale Supplies Plus)

You Receive:
2 Different Homemade Products
2 Recipe Cards for The Above
(10) 2 oz Fragrance Oils from WSP – assorted (no requests), from our newer additions

To Participate Send Your Handcrafted Items To:
Wholesale Supplies Plus, Inc.
Rita – Swap Coordinator
10035 Broadview Road
Broadview Heights, Ohio 44147

Swap Items Must Be Received By: August 14th.
Return Packages Will Be Mailed on: August 15th.

For updates and communications about this swap, log into the forum and go to the community swap board.

Board Address: http://forums.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/index.php

I’m going to send some soap in. I can’t wait to smell the TEN fragrances they will send back along with the handmade items!

White Linen Nights in the Heights & Hello Lucky

Hello Lucky is restocked with my handmade soaps and dry oil perfume sprays.  Check them out during White Linen Nights this weekend!

Hello Lucky
1025 Studewood Street
Houston, Texas 77008
713-86hello – 713-864-3556
http://www.hello-lucky.com

Hello Lucky will be part of White Linen in The Heights
Saturday August 2, 4 – 10pm
We will be open from 11 am – 10 pm
serving up some cool libations after 4

# 47 on the White Linen map
shuttle stop- # 10 on the shuttle stop index

So if you live close by, you may just want to walk to Hello Lucky
or park nearby us and catch a free shuttle from the shop to take you around The Heights

more about White Linen at: http://www.whitelinennightheights.com/

Road Trip on view now
Artists:
Jim Denk, Rachel Hewlett, Jillsbadcar, Melissa Lonchambon,
Mike Lonchambon, Whitney Riley,
Brooke Summers-Perry, Vagrca, David Waddell, Joanne Witt

Ongoing
work by Ryan Geiger, Woody Golden, JoAnn Park, Christine West
and a collaborative video by Elaine Bradford, Teresa O’Connor and David Waddell

July/August Monthly Challenge
Throughout the months of July and August
we will be a drop spot for plastic shopping/grocery bags as well as fabric remnants.
Itscool2care will use these items to create reusable shopping bags. http://www.itscool2care.org

This quarter Hello Lucky is happy to be working with Glasstire. A portion of in-store sells will be donated to the non-profit http://www.glasstire.com

Road Trip on view in store now!

Hello Lucky
http://www.hello-lucky.com

New Shop Hours
Thursday 11 – 5
Friday and Saturday 11 – 6
*Sunday Noon – 5*
We will happily stay later,
just call us before 5pm
xox

or by appt, just call

you are amazing, you are

Another Reason to Join the Texas Soapmakers Association

Texas Soapmakers AssociationOne of our members is out of a certain fragrance oil that’s not being manufactured at the moment. She sent out an email to our member list asking if any of us had some to spare. I happened to have a pound of it that I’m not using, so I’m shipping it out to her tomorrow. Instead of cash I wanted  the glass topped tins in a case she happens to carry in her store, so we’re going to barter for them! They are perfect for transporting samples. Everyone wins! It’s a great group of supportive soapmakers!

To become a member of the Texas Soapmakers Association (TSA), you must:
• manufacture handcrafted soap in a business or hobby capacity and/or sell soapmaking supplies.
• live or have a principal place of business in the State of Texas.

Benefits of Membership

• info and advice from experienced soapmakers
• New 3 month mentorship program available – limited spots available
• friendship
• use of the TSA logo
• discounts from member suppliers
• access to the members-only section of our website, with recipes, co-op listings, etc.
• quarterly TSA newsletter
• reduced admission to our annual conventions
• participation in our mailing list discussions

Membership Dues TSA Membership dues are $25 per fiscal year.

If you have questions about TSA membership, please contact the TSA Membership Chair at membership@txsoapmakers.org.  http://txsoapmakers.org

Leisure Learning Soapmaking Class Feedback

After I teach my soapmaking class the students fill out a feedback form with their comments. These comments are from the latest soapmaking class held on Sunday.

“Thank you for sharing your info and knowledge. This is so cool!”
“Really enjoyed it. It was very laid-back & comfortable.”
“Enjoyed it! Very informative and educational!”
“Good Class – very informative.” “Great Class!”

If you have taken one of my classes and have not filled out a feedback form, feel free to respond to this blog post or email me – lisa at feto soap dot com. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

If you missed this class and would like to attend a basic soapmaking class in Houston, TX, here’s the signup link! Private classes are also available.

Soapmaking Class in Houston, TX – Sunday, July 27th

My next soapmaking class is coming up this Sunday, July 27th

Soapmaking 101 with Lisa Chouinard of Feto Soap

In this class I will cover the basics on how to create your own soap from scratch with lye, water and soapmaking oils. It is a hands on class and everyone will have an opportunity to participate. I will provide the protective gear (gloves and goggles).

Class Number: R1020D Sun 2-5pm July 27th
Location: Houston JCC 5601 S. Braeswood

To register, go to Leisure Learning Unlimited’s Website:
http://llu.com/sdc/regclass.html?class=42614

or call them at 713.529.4414 with the class number R1020D.

I’m back from the Texas Soapmakers Association Annual Convention

fragrance oils from the txsoapers convention garage sale

fragrance oils from the txsoapers convention garage sale

I attended the Texas Soapmakers Association Annual Convention in Austin, TX over the weekend. It was jam packed full of great speakers, activities and soaping camaraderie. There aren’t many places I can geek out about soapmaking in person, so I’m always excited to gather with other like-minded individuals. I attended this convention last year, but didn’t meet nearly as many people as I did this year. This year I helped out with registration, so I got to ask EVERYONE their name so I could check them in and help them find their name badge. I also got to know the other soapmakers that were at the registration desk.  Sarah Bongle from Dallas specializes in making soap wedding favors with her company In the Soap Dish. She’s also signed up to be our new secretary. There were two soapmakers from Houston at the registration desk that I hadn’t met yet – Marcia Cunningham and Melanie Brown. Evelyn Martin from Lathers Del Corazon was at the other end of the registration table. She made an awesome smelling (and looking)  mp flip flop soap with a bead in it and leopard print embeds for the swap. 40 of us participated in the swap, so I took home a very large and heavy bag full of soap, candles, lotion, lip balm and bath salts. I’ll be sharing some of my swap goodies with my soapmaking class students this weekend.

During the Saturday night social there were raffles – (I won a Soap Hutch no line test mold!) & a soapers garage sale where I spent way too much money! The picture to the left is the stash I got compliments of Margie Lemons of Hill Country Haiku – I bought a few of those items, but the rest she just gave to me at the end of the garage sale. Her thank you note is in the mail. There was a Texas Natural Supply hosted a Make Your Own Bath Tea table (that’s where I get my base oils for my soap) and an essential oil smelling contest – if you guess the right essential oils, you got a prize!

In my goodie bag I got a sample of smokey patchouli from Bramble Berry. I was curious as to what it smelled like after hearing about it on the Bramble Berry blog and can’t wait to make a bar of soap with it.

My favorite speakers were Kelly Bloom from Southern Soapers – she spoke about Big Batch soapmaking, Mary Berry from Texas Beauty Labs – she shared her version of how she got wholesale accounts with her company B Pure, and four of our members shared their success stories/business models with us: Mama Says Wash!, A Wild Soap Bar, Roundtop Natural Soap and Shambhala Body Gallery.  They all have very different approaches to running their businesses.

A term that came up more than once during speakers talks was about creating a Life Plan before you write your business plan.  From Startup Nation:

“As we always say, plan your life, then plan your business. Some of the most successful and happy people we know are entrepreneurs who created a business that’s in perfect synchronicity with what they want out of life. If you do what you love, you’ll work harder, better and more happily.”

I can’t wait until next year’s convention.

Texas Soapmakers Association 2008 Convention Swap Soap

Last year I was talking to a fellow microbusiness about google and she didn’t think that feto soap would come up in a search for handmade soap in houston. I had never googled those terms before and a computer happened to be nearby, so I punched in handmade soap in houston. Guess what? Feto Soap was the first result. Daisy Soap was the second result. I clicked on their link and they had the Texas Soapmakers Association logo prominently displayed. I hadn’t heard of it until then. They were showing that their annual convention was the following weekend, in Houston! On Monday I signed up for the convention. I participated in the bath & body products swap – and I came home with a canvas bag FULL of 40 handmade bath & body goods from my fellow Texas soapmakers. I’m glad that I had a conversation about google searches or I wouldn’t have learned about the Texas Soapmakers Association!

This year I am bringing one of my most popular soaps to the swap – Blackberry Sage. I packaged them in chinese take-out boxes. I can’t wait to see what my fellow soapmakers have created for the swap. If you click on the picture you’ll get to see more pictures (like what’s inside!)

blackberry sage handmade soap

Midtown Farmers Market Local Crafts Spree Saturday!

Midtown Farmers Market

Feto Soap will be vending at the Midtown Farmers Market Local Crafts Spree on Saturday, June 14th from 8am – Noon. The Midtown Farmers Market is located in the front of Monica Pope’s T’afia. 3701 Travis Street @ W. Alabama directions here.

Houston Craft MafiaSECOND SATURDAY SHOPPING SPREE!! Lots of local craft vendors on the patio such as Houston Craft Mafia Members Mandorla Designs and Eutectic Handcrafted Jewelry will be there! Shop Local and Shop Handmade!

Cheers!
Lisa Chouinard, Feto Soap

bike



bike, originally uploaded by fetosoap.

I started locking my bike outside in our locked & gated parking lot like my neighbors were doing (hauling a bike up and down the stairs is no fun) and it was going well until last week when someone cut the lock off it in the middle of the night. I found out thmy neighbor’s bike had also been stolen.

I might invest in a folding bike at some point so I can store it in my trunk or apartment easily.

New Houston Soapmakers Meetup Group

Meetup.comCharley of Skunkwerks Soap Co. (formerly from MO) has started a new Houston Soapmakers Meetup Group that meets once a month. We had our first meeting on Sunday and I’m trying out his Pine Tar Soap in the shower now. He’s got a lot of great ideas for the group.  I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

I’m going to be in Austin during the next meeting at the Texas Soapmakers Association Convention, going batty over soap July 18 – 20th.

A typical week in the life of Lisa Chouinard

In addition to running my microbusiness, I fix computers a  hospital during the day! Here’s what a typical week looks like:

This is a typical (Monday – Friday) Day

7 am – wake up and get ready for work (the hospital where I fix computers)
8 am
– Work (fix computers)
11am– lunchtime! I usually run errands like go to the bank, drop packages off at FedEx, run to the office supply store/Discount store for supplies/displays and or run home to process orders or go to my dr’s visits at this time. and scarf down some lunch.
5 pm – Gym – usually cardio for an hour
6:30 pm Dinner – usually out with friends (have to be social sometime!) or I eat at home.
7:30 – 11pm
Make Soap and process orders, update website, blog, twitter, do product photography, clean my apartment.
11pm – I aim for this time to be sleeping. I don’t always make it, but I try!

Saturday (when I have a market)
6am
– wake up and get pretty for market
7am – set up for market
8am – Noon Market!
Noon Break down market.
Lunch
Make Soap
When I’m done making soap, I go dance, usually around 10pm.

Sunday
Laundry
Grocery Shopping while laundry is going
Clean Entire Apartment
Make Soap
Relax!

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