Have your customers asked you about Bath Salts?
They may mistakenly believe that your product is either illegal or should be illegal, a dangerous drug of choice for young people. If you’re fortunate, they may only ask you what the truth of the situation is. If you’ve been unclear yourself on the specifics of this situation is, be sure to read, The Dangers of Bath Salts, by Stacy Reckard. She explains what the drug, Bath Salts, is, why it’s dangerous, and how to deal with the situation as a business owner.
What do your goals regarding soap, candles, or body products entail? Whether you’re looking to start a business, expand it, or simply try new products, you’ll want to read Beth Byrne’s, What’s New for 2012? You’ll even find help for making your operation more efficient so you can sell more! Find out what’s new so you can jump on the newest thing.
Have you noticed that the soap and cosmetics market for teenaged boys is less than saturated? Have you been tempted to fill a portion of it? You’ll be happy to know that the marketing research has already been done for you by Tamara Dourney. She explains in, Joining the Teen Boy Bandwagon, how she was able to capture and keep the attention of a group of young teen boys to find out what kinds of products, scents, packaging and fonts work for them. Read the article and you’ll have a head start!
What are you waiting for? Take that next step.
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Whew! The holidays have passed and we’ve survived to tell the tales. Welcome 2012!
If you’re like most of us, you’ve made resolutions or set goals for the year, and we hope the Jan./Feb. issue of the Saponifier is helping, at least where soap or candlemaking is concerned! We probably can’t help you lose twenty pounds, but we can give you some guidance in your hobby or business ventures.
I found Brandy Kayzakian-Rowe’s article, Looking Good in the New Year–Spotlight on Product Photography, to be fascinating and very informative. Her advice as to where to take photos, what kind of lighting to use and other hints, even her advice about hiring a photographer, will be taken to heart by any of us.
In addition, many of us are scrutinizing our products and the ingredients we use in 2012. We want the best for our businesses and our customers. We may also be concerned the economy and with sustainability. Whatever our goals are, we continually hone in on our target markets and the customer base we serve. All of these factors cause us to make decisions, some of them very hard to make. Marla Bosworth’s, Resolving to go Palm-Free in 2012: Will You Join Me? was at the same time, thought-provoking and compelling. Reading it side-by-side with Erika Pence’s, Going Natural, which was also well-written and compelling, will certainly challenge us all in deciding whether to use palm and its derivatives or not. As with most issues, good points are being made for either side and further thought and research are in order.
What about you? What kinds of decisions have you wrestled with for the coming year?
Yours in bubbles & wax,
The Thanksgiving weekend is wrapping up as I write and I reflect on all that took place. I had such a wonderful time with my family and our friend who spent the day with us. I hope yours was equally as blessed.
On Saturday, I met up with a couple of soapmakers who hadn’t heard of the Saponifier before, so of course, I directed them to the site. It made me think about how the past articles have helped me to become a better soapmaker and how much I have enjoyed being on staff. Aren’t you glad you have the Saponifier? If you know of a soapmaker or chandler who doesn’t read the Saponifier, show her or him the light!
Interested in natural scents and blends? If you’ve read Erica Pence’s, Scenting Naturally, you’ve not only expanded on your knowledge base, but are likely composing beautiful scent symphonies to use in your products. If you don’t know why I am using musical metaphors, you haven’t read the article yet!
Hydrosols, also known as hydrolats and distillates, are lesser known aromatherapy products, but certainly no less useful. Sherri Reehil-Welser introduces them to us in The Healing Art of Hydrosols. If you’ve been wondering about them and how to use them, I’m sure you are or will find the information you read invaluable as you seek to use them more.
What are you doing? Go outside, gather a pile of pine cones and get busy making dipped cones! What a lovely gift they’ll be to your fireplace-owning friends and family, and so easy to do. If that’s not enough, Erica Pence also explains how to make Whipped Snow Cones and Snowballs in Winter Snow and Pine Cones – Making Whipped and Dipped Candles. Have you made any of them yet? Let us know how it was for you.
Talk to us and let us know what you think about this issue. We love to hear from our readers!
Best wishes for a happy holiday season,
Now that you’ve had ample opportunity to read the Nov/Dec. issue of the Saponifier, we can talk.
Sustainability–we’ve all heard the term, but what does it really mean, especially in light of the aromatic trade? The simple definition involves how current practices in using various natural resources affect the future, whether in our lifetime or in later generations. Tamara Dourney focuses on the aromatic trade in, An Exploration of Trade in the Aromatic Market, which encompasses raw materials and products from perfume to medicine. But what does it mean to you? Are current global efforts at sustainability adequate or woefully inadequate? How does your opinion on the topic affect your purchasing and product decisions? Let us know!
Changing gears a bit, Denise Marks of the Mold Market illustrates a short lesson in sleeping with the enemy. What does she mean by that? By relating the tale of her climbing into bed one night, only to find herself in bed with her grandson’s army set, Denise compels us to think about how our businesses might actually be enhanced and strengthened by collaborating with our competition rather than quashing it, especially in this global economy.
How do you feel about this? Will “sleeping with the enemy” kill your business or make it better?
Changing gears once again, Lindalu Forseth introduces us to Corrie Smith, a Scotland soapmaker who owns Lomond Soaps. Corrie describes how she fell in love with making soap and finally began selling it in desperation–to get a bigger house to house her soaps! She goes on to tell us how she planned and grew her business, all with the love of the Orangutan in mind.
Were you as inspired by Corrie’s story as I was? Tell us.
Until next time, many happy bubbles!
Have you been pouring over your new issue of the Saponifier? I have.
Thanks to those who participated in the Raves for Faves survey (by Beth Byrne) by taking the time to vote honestly and carefully. How did your favorites match up to those that placed? Were you surprised at the outcome? Of course, we all know that many amazing companies serve our industry; still, it was fun choosing the top three in each category.
It was interesting, also, to see how much or how little popular scents and products change over the years. How does your product line compare? Do you find your customers enjoying new products and scents or do they stick with the tried-and-true?
Reading, A Day in the Life of a Natural Perfumer (Marla Bosworth) gave me a new respect for perfumers, as well. Although I do enjoy blending scents fairly frequently, Sharna Ethier’s knowledge and how she puts it to work was fascinating to me. I also found it remarkable how young she discovered that she had a keen nose for scent. Including the recipes was icing on the cake! Do you see yourself as a budding perfumer?
The Art of Distillation: From History Directly to Your Backyard, by Cindy Noble, was one that I was looking forward to reading. I don’t think my life will be complete until I have my own distillation unit! What about you? Knowing more about the ancients and their love of distilled herbs and other materials was compelling, as was the information gleaned from Copper-Alembic, which manufactures these beautiful devices.
I hope I haven’t given anything away that would spoil your reading, but I did want to whet your appetite if you haven’t had a chance to sit down with it yet. You’ll be glad you did!
Until next time, Bubblingly Yours,
Do you grow Barberry?
Some would call the European Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) a weed shrub, but thanks to Elizabeth Sockol, we know that although it is weedy, Barberry is also a useful shrub. Along with its close relatives named in her article, we now know that its berries are edible and loaded with vitamin C. Additionally, it had been used in the past for a long list of ailments. Nevertheless, this attractive shrub has a dark side due to the fatal fungus that resides within–a fungus that very nearly wiped out wheat and barley growing in the US.
Intrigued? Make sure you read this most fascinating article and tell us if you don’t agree that Barberry might be called the Jekyll & Hyde of the herb world.
Fortunately, we can turn to one of my favorite herbs, indeed an favorite of many, Calendula (Calendula officinalis). This lovely, cheerful annual is not only delightful in our flower gardens, but an extremely useful herb, as well, Lindalu Forseth explains. She talks of Calendula infused in oil, teaching how to grow, harvest, and infuse it for use in a variety of ways. It’s a known anti-inflammatory, helps heal wounds, and may even be useful as an anti-cancer and anti-viral.
Many soap and b&b makers love Calendula for its skin-loving qualities. After reading this article, you’ll want to give it a try!
Do you have questions regarding what you’ve read in this issue of the Saponifier? Did you like particular articles, finding them helpful in your soap, bath product, or candle making? Let us know. We love to hear from our readers.
Lastly, be sure to drool over the photos sent in by our readers, and to read the bio of Maria Sarafi from Greece. You’ll be inspired!
What did you learn from reading this issue?
All those bits and ends of candles, you’d like to find a way to use them, but how? Erica Pence comes to the rescue in Recycled Candles, explaining just how easy it is to remake those stubs into tea lights, votives and even decorative candles. She even gives simple directions for making candles in pumpkins and other seasonal produce for a lovely holiday theme! Naturally, I purged my leftovers not long ago, but will save them again so I can give Erica’s advice a go.
Have you tried this yet? Let us know how it went.
In this day and age, you’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of Social Media. Clearly, the buzz phrase of the decade, Social Media brings to mind probably at least a couple of types. The question is, how well do you make use of it as a tool for marketing your business? Is the entire topic an unknown that you’re afraid to explore? Or is it a lake that you’ve dipped your toe in, but you’ve been afraid to jump? Perhaps you feel as if you have jumped in, but belly-flopped. Read, Five Steps to Social Media Success: An Interview with Donna Maria Coles Johnson, written by Beth Byrne. In it, dM as she likes to be called, outlines the major Social Media types, as well as a few not so major, and helps us to both understand them, their purpose, and how to use them effectively in our businesses. Ever amazed by dM’s knowledge of the latest and greatest in marketing and technology, I just know you’ll find her thoughts helpful in your own efforts.
Have you implemented any of the strategies mentioned in the article? Share with us how it’s working for you!
Until next time, happy bubbles!
Do you feel comfortable using essential oils?
If the answer is no, but you would like to learn, Marge Clark on The Essentials of Essential Oils is for you. Beth Byrne interviewed Marge to get the scoop on essential oils, from what they are to how they are obtained. She explains the production processes, how to choose oils of acceptable quality, and questions to ask suppliers to ensure pure, good quality oils. She also talks to readers about proper and safe use of essential oils. Read the article and arm yourself with the knowledge to make appropriate buying decisions!
What are your favorite essential oils for your products, and why?
No doubt you know of a soapmaker who has sought an alternative to palm oil–maybe one of these soapmakers is you. The reason? The rampant burning of the rainforests in order to create farmland for palm trees to satisfy the needs and desires of the world. The effects of this uncontrolled practice are widespread and alarming, and who could look at Orangutans losing their habitat and not feel a pang of guilt? Erica Pence, in The Search for Sustainability, aptly explains the situation, not simply for palm oil and Orangutans, but also for other products and causes, and urges us to search for sustainable products, instead. She makes a compelling case and even provides us with two formulas to try out.
Have environmental or social global concerns affected the way you do business?
Carrier oils, how much thought do you give them? Except for getting the right balance for soap, do you pay attention to them? I admit to being an oil afficionado, so Sherri Reehil-Welser’s article, The Beauty of Carrier Oils, was on my must-read list. She reviews a long list of oils, ranging from the most common such as olive oil, to a few that are more obscure, namely Tamanu and KuKui Nut. She informs us as to the vitamins and other properties of the oils, as well as their effects and what products or conditions to use them for.
How many of your favorites were mentioned?
Until next time, may bubbles be part of your day.
I was happy to read Cindy Noble’s, Understanding Fragrance Oils: From Blending to Safety. Learning about the building blocks of fragrance oils, terpens, carriers, alcohols, and chemical compounds helped me to understand what a fragrance oil is other than a bunch of chemicals mixed together with a carrier to make them skin safe. Many of the terms I was familiar with, but not in the defined way Cindy presented them. Some of it, I admit, was a little shocking, but fascinating, nonetheless.
In the delightful article, My Soap Went Up in Smoke, Larry Strattner regales us with his tale of his soap adventures and his good friend, Deb. Through them, we learn that some basic rules and tricks of the trade would be useful for us to share with our customers. This one was how we could help our customers keep their soap longer and proper storage of soap bars. Your customers would be pleased to learn this information!
H.R. 2359: heard of it? How about its title, Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011? If you haven’t, you need to read, An Update on H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011. In one page, it sums up what the bill is about, its status and popularity, and commentary on why some support it and others oppose it. It’s something you need to know about! This bill was not sent to the House for a vote before their session ended in June, but may be brought up again when they reconvene, so any soap/cosmetic maker would do well to become familiar with the bill and track its progress.
Which article was most helpful to you?
Have you finished reading your Sept./Oct. edition of the Saponifier yet? I confess that I haven’t either. Not from lack of interest, mind you, simply from a lack of time! What I have read, however, has been fantastic.
Having recently purchased argan oil, the Miracle from Morocco, I couldn’t wait to read Marla Bosworth’s, Moroccan Gold: The Beauty of Incorporating Argan Oil in Soaps and Skincare Products. She reminded me why I wanted this oil so badly, given its high vitamin content and polyphenols, not to mention its cachet in high-end cosmetics! You too, will enjoy learning about this amazing oil and trying out the formulas she provides.
I was actually excited reading, Growing as a Soapmaker, by Jean Broughton. It’s a little sappy, I guess, but when I read of another soaper’s success, whether a good first batch of soap or a big account like Joan’s, it just makes me smile. Joan’s frank account of her experience, from first phone call to delivery, was thrilling to read. It was instructive too, you’ll find, as she recounts the steps involved and doesn’t hesitate to inform us of just how hard she worked and how much help she needed to pull it off.
Have you read these articles? Tell us what you think!