Artisan Giving

Most of us are gearing up for the holiday season.  We’ve planned our production schedules and are working to get our holiday products ready for the throngs of buyers who demand our wares (in our dreams, anyway).   With all of our planning, sourcing supplies and making product, we might be forgetting something.  Of course, it may already be part of your plans. What is it?  It’s giving.  Giving back can be an enriching experience and something we should all be considering.


The idea of giving or giving back is more prevalent during the holiday season than at any other time for most of us, so it’s a timely subject of discussion, even though it isn’t limited to that small space of time between Thanksgiving and December 26th (for our Boxing Day observers).


Do you give regularly during the holiday season or at some other time?  Do you give of yourself?  Perhaps you make one big annual donation or several smaller donations throughout the year.  Maybe you teach your craft to others or volunteer in some other capacity.


I know that we small business owners are terribly busy and often running on a shoestring budget, so that giving is sometimes the last thing we worry about.  Other times, we are stopped because we don’t know the best way to give, desiring that our gifts be used to their best possible use.  I know I’ve struggled with both.  I donated to a national organization that collects soap and sends it to third world nations, but then I learned that it costs more to collect, prepare, and ship the soap than it would cost to pay someone in the country to make it.  I have not substantiated this, but it made sense.  I decided then, to make my donations more local because it would be the most efficient use of my product.


I’ve read about a few other soapmakers traveling to countries to teach women to make soap and sincerely applaud them for their efforts to bring our craft to people who need it.  Some reach out to people in their own communities, as well.  Others donate money to the favorite charities.


What about you?  Do you agree or disagree with sending donations to national organizations?  How do you make a difference in your community or your world with your craft, whether it be soap, bath and body products or candles?  We’d love to know what you do.


Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.


Beth Byrne


6 Responses to “Artisan Giving”
  1. Rose Cunfer says:

    I have local organizations that I support on a regular basis. I would love to do more, but for now, a donation of soap always seems welcome!

  2. Colleen Kane says:

    I give gift baskets to EVERY organization that calls,emails or writes to us. I’ve been accused of being generous to a FAULT by fellow employees ! I don’t believe it’s possible. We’re all connected and need to be there for each other !

    All The Best,

  3. Joyce Noerr says:

    I bevel my soap bars and package them in muslin bags as SoapPourri. The proceeds from the sale of these are donated to the YWCA of Neny local domestic violence shelter. Also, some of the fabrics I wrap my soaps in are from collections for a cause and the company I purchase the fabric from donates the proceeds to various charitable organizations. Check out Moda fabrics “Collections for a cause”:)

  4. Cindy Jones says:

    Local homeless shelters always need soap. I was able this year to donate soap/lip balm to people displaced by forest fires too. I think donating local is always a good thing.

  5. Renee says:

    We donate bath and body products every month to local women’s shelter and a homeless shelter. They appreciate it and we love doing it! I was taught as a child to give unto others, so it may bless them. :) There is always someone who needs a hand up, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas. ~ Be blessed ~

  6. Dee H says:

    I have made a batch of soap (peppermint) for my local food pantry. Half bars will go in the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter food baskets we distribute. The full bars will be sold and all the proceeds will go back into the pantry. This is my first year in business but if I don’t serve I have no purpose. I have to live by what I teach my children. To bless others and you will be blessed.

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