Look at the beautiful soap my student made in my soap making class today! She scented her soap with Bergamot Essential Oil and English Tea Rose, and topped it off with rosebuds! In our Soapmaking 101 Class we make a batch of cold-process soap from start to finish and cover how to scent, color, mold your soaps as well as where to purchase soapmaking supplies.
Janet’s daughter made a pretty purple soap scented with blackberry sage. She added some oatmeal for gentle exfoliation!
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.
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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
Are You Selling Drugs?, by Carol Schatz
In The Lab
Expanding Your product Line: Pets are people too, by Robert McDaniel
A Time For Giving, by Elizabeth Carnahan
Create & Implement an Effective Holiday Marketing Strategy, by Jenn Givler
Creative Packaging – Make it your own, by Beth Byrne
Cropwatch Takes Stock, by Tony Burfield
A Soapmakers Notebook
Herbal Monographs: Adderwort & Tansy
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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.
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.
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!)
…used my class listing to explain how to register for classes in their catalog! Oh, and my next Houston, TX Soapmaking class dates are July 27th and September 21st! You can register online at http://llu.com or by phone.
Scanned by Jessica Merrit of www.snaptacularphotos.com Thanks Jess!
Charley 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.
The Everything Soapmaking Book by Alicia Grosso
The Soapmaker’s Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch
Making Scented Soap by Linda Hamblen
Soapmaking for Fun & Profit by Maria Nerius
Designer Soapmaking by Marie Browning
& more here.
What are your favorite soapmaking books? Leave a comment and let me know!