Wow, so much meat in this issue!
I enjoyed Elizabeth Sockol’s insights into a previously unheard of herb for me, Water Soldier. It’s hardy to zone 6, so there is some possibility that I might find it where I live; I just need to go looking. I’d better hurry, though, as summer isn’t going to last much longer. Given the article’s warning about not using it for products, I won’t try it, but I would like to know if it’s around.
Neem Oil, what do you know about it? Do you use it? If not, I hope you’ve read Lindalu Forseth’s article. This powerful herbal oil has potential for many useful products, from soap to garden insecticide. Interestingly, it is also known for its ability to increase skin elasticity. Be sure, however, to pay attention to its precautions. Like most herbs, although it can be used safely, we need to know its potential for danger when misused.
Have you checked out the Readers Showcase Gallery? It’s one of my favorite features of the magazine, as I enjoy reading about other companies and seeing their creations. This issue’s gallery is not an exception! I’m inspired by Janie Clark’s (Selkies Artisan Soap Co.) successful business and Ann Stoermer’s Pitter Pattern Designs. Her goodies look yummy enough to eat!
Finally, be sure to notice our fine advertising companies and check them out! They offer quality products that you’ll be sure to enjoy.
By now, I’m sure most of you have read your July/August 2011 issue cover-to-cover and packed with helpful articles and ideas to implement in your business.
Are you a maker of natural products? The term, “natural” is extremely popular right now, embodying products full of synthetic ingredients to those made with entirely earth-based ingredients. With the marketplace saturated with natural, how can you promote yours? Erica Pence details the difficulty of defining natural in her article, Promoting Your Natural Products,” as well as properly labeling your product so that it will stand out. You will gain confidence in marketing once you understand the ins and outs.
Interested in perfumery? Read, Perfume Oil Blending 101 – The Fragrant Body, by Sherri Reehil-Welser, to learn fragrance notes, blending mediums, and even a blend recipe for a “Daily Devotional” blend. Go ahead, try it.
If you have thus far resisted the temptation to make candles, beware that reading Erica Pence’s, Marbling: Torching, Hammering, and Painting Your Candles, may just change your mind! She explains the various techniques in detail, so if you’ve been thinking that your candles are a bit on the boring side, you can remedy things.
Are your marketing strategies less effective than you would like them to be? Perhaps you’re struggling with determining the best way to turn interest into dollars. Tamara Dourney explains the kind of demand that customers display will decide the type of marketing you choose in order to convert more “maybe” into “yes.”
Have you thought about or implemented any of the business actions outlined in this issue? Have you made the booth bunting? What do you think?
If you’re participating in or gearing up for fall craft shows, and want to set your booth apart from the competition, you’ll need something unique. To the rescue comes Rachel Wolf with Creating Your Own Booth Bunting. With just a little time, a bit of fabric, and a dose of creativity, you too, will create a bunting worthy of your product line.
Have you ever viewed anything on You Tube?
I’ll bet the large majority of us have, whether it was something funny that another person shared with you, performances of your favorite musicians, or to see something done, you’ll find it all there. But have you ever used You Tube for your business? If you haven’t, author of Filming Your Way to Success: How to Use You Tube for Your Business, Kelli Whitley, urges you to get to it! Her article is a veritable manual for learning what You Tube can do for your business and how to develop a business strategy using it. You won’t want to miss this one.
If you have a hankering to make salt bars, then Amy Kalinchuk’s, Salt Bars, is for you. She provides a formula and complete directions that will have you dying to start your own batch. You really have to try it!
If you haven’t read, From the Ashes, by Lindalu Forseth, you owe it to yourself to do so. It is both a difficult and poignant story of one soapmaker’s bad fortune and the results. Although you will feel for Sue, you will cheer for her and her supporters, and it will make you think about what you would do in her position.
Are you using You Tube? Do you make salt bars, or have you been wanting to but didn’t know how? Has any calamity befallen you or have you thought about what could happen and taken steps to prevent or recover from it? Let’s hear from you!
Have you been reading the new issue of the Saponifier?
I’m sure you’ll agree that our writers have outdone themselves this issue, especially if you own a business.
Niche? Target audience? What do these terms mean to you and your business success? Read Marla Bosworth’s, Identifying Your Niche and Target Audience,” to find out! If you don’t have one, you need to get one. Marla warns us that instead of trying to be everything to everyone, we need to find a niche market to concentrate on. But don’t forget to peruse the article, or you’ll miss out on some very helpful information.
If you want to keep it local, read Cindy Noble’s informative article, Backyard Marketing. Find out how to put together a business prospectus, how to find the right demographics for your product, and how to get ready to market your business. Additionally, get ideas on where and how to find good advertising sources so that your market can find you. Cindy tells us that although the focus these days is on globalization and international markets, we can still find a foundation at home.
Did you attend the HSMG Conference in May? If you did, read Beth Byrne’s review, Miami Bubbles with Soapmakers, to relive the excitement and energy. If you didn’t attend, read it anyway to see what you missed! Read who came to speak, who came to learn, vendor-sponsors who support us, and much more. You might even find yourself in a photo!
I recently had the privilege of attending the HSMG (Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild) conference in Miami, Florida.
Not only was it a treat to visit the warmth and intriguing culture of Miami, but it was also a treat to meet with some of our readers. You were all very kind in sharing your positive comments about how you loved the Saponifier, and it was very gratifying and encouraging to hear. If you haven’t subscribed yet, take the plunge and join the Saponifier family!
So, have you learned what Purple Salsify is yet? I was curious to find out about it as it is a new herb to me, and was excited to read that it would probably grow in my climate! Now, just to find some of this elusive and uncommon herb. . .
Eucalyptus Oil is one that the majority of us are at least somewhat familiar with. If you don’t use it for soaps, cosmetics and medicinal products, you’ve probably used the cough drops when suffering with upper respiratory infections. Thinking I wouldn’t find much new information about this common essential oil, I was surprised to read that it is being grown outside of Australia. To see that it is grown in Tasmania is one thing. To learn that it is also grown in southern Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal is quite another! As with any essential oil, but sure to do extensive research on its safe usage before employing it in your products.
Did you see the Soapers’ Showcase? Wow! Silvia Victory’s (Indulgence by S.V. Soaps, Idaho) creations are indeed unique, and her use of color and texture, exhilarating. Amber West’s (Bambu Earth, California) natural soaps were simply inspiring. And to think, they are all naturally colored. Her labels are plantable, too. These ladies are exhibiting the very best in beautiful soapmaking.
Until next time, happy bubbling and waxing!
Summer is here, or nearly here!
We all know that as much as we love the sun and summer activities, it can be hard on our skin. Want to know all about keeping your skin soft and sexy for summer fun? Check out Sherri Reehil-Welser’s article where she talks about hydrosols and butters that will help keep your skin in great shape. Recipes included!
Are you a melt & pour soaper, or do want to learn? How about candles? Erica Pence has written a how-to article on beautiful fancy soaps and candles that you’ll enjoy making. You’ll amaze yourself at your talent!
Do you know what Business Valuation is? Alexander Sherman sheds some light on the subject of determining the value of your business, and other pertinent points such as adding value to your business. If you’re a business owner, you can’t afford not to read this one!
If you’re looking to add something that will give your products a special touch, consider making gift bags and pouches. Rachel Wolf shows us how to make lovely lined bags and pouches that will set your products apart.
The Saponifier will be at the HSMG Conference! Tamara Dourney and Beth Byrne are attending the conference, so be sure to find them and provide feedback on the magazine. We’re offering prizes for some lucky attendees, too.
Have you tried anything formulas or ideas from the new issue yet? Did you learn anything new?
Beth Byrne’s, DIY Bases, will get you started on making your own soap and cosmetic bases if you’re set on your own formulas, but need to save time. Have you tried any yet, or are you planning to try making your own? I think making your own bases is among the best ideas for smaller businesses who are working to be as efficient as possible.
Tamara Dourney’s article about QR Codes was very informative and on the cutting edge of technology. It’s exciting to think about the possibilities that using these codes hold for our future. Don’t wait. Jump in now!
I read with interest Erica Pence’s article, Natural Bath for Babies and Children, about using essential oils in baby care, and will take heed of her recommendations as I make products for the babies in my life. It’s so important to learn all we can about essential oils before we use them, and doubly so when we intend them for use with infants.
With the craft show season upon us, Tamara Dourney’s, Redesigning the Market Stall is a timely piece challenging and encouraging those of us who do shows to give our set-ups some thought and thinking of new solutions to the problem of merchandising in small, temporary spaces. Anyone who has tried it will understand how important it is to design booths to maximize exposure and attract customers, all in a 10 x 10 square! Study the photos and see if you can glean some tips for your booth.
I’m sure that by now, you’ve read at the least, a few articles. Let us know what you think!
What a terrific issue! I am thoroughly enjoying the time I get to spend reading this issue of the Saponifier.
I was looking forward to reading Marla Bosworth’s review of melt and pour soap bases. She certainly delivered in this article, as she took on the major sellers and solicited reviews from soapmakers. Did reading her article help you to decide which one you’d like to try? I liked that she established criteria for testing the bases.
Tamara Dourney’s article, Redesigning the Market Stall, was excellent, as well, giving us tips to increase sales, from business plan to focus groups. Anyone selling at shows will benefit from reading this one.
A Canadian soapmaker, Louise Vargas, was the spotlight of Lindalu Forseth’s article. Find out how she went from the bookstore to establishing her own business. She’ll share her success with you!
Are you thinking about using bases for all or part of your product line? Don’t order anything until you read, The Basics on Bases: A Review, by Beth Byrne. She solicited the opinions of other soap and cosmetic makers in order to bring you a good deal of information that will surely help you to decide which bases you want to work with. This may help you to choose the best one for your needs.
What do you think so far?
The newest issue has arrived at your mailbox. Have you had an opportunity yet to read the latest edition of the Saponifier?
If your answer is, “Yes,” we hope that you loved it, cover-to-cover. If your answer is, “No,” then we hope you get to it!
The theme of this issue is bases–soap bases and cosmetic bases of all kinds. Do you need them? Do you want them? What will they do for you?
Don’t skip Tamara’s editorial at the beginning. She speaks about working smarter, not harder–something many of us need to be reminded of. It gets us off on the right foot in reading this issue to help us work efficiently at our businesses and hobbies, which is a real necessity if we’re to make the most of what we do.
Have you ever considered making your own bases? You can, you know, and the article, “DIY Bases” by Beth Byrne, shows you how easy it is. You’ll love the time you saved, as well as the satisfaction gleaned from making your own!
What do you know about QR Codes? If you’re scratching your head, muttering, “QR Codes?” you’ll be fascinated, reading this article by Tamara Dourney. Keeping you abreast of new technology is our business, and QR Codes are among the newest. This up and coming concept holds a world of exciting opportunities if we embrace it.
Curious? Start reading!
Have you ever met up with fellow soap and candle makers?
If not, you really should! There’s nothing like being with those who understand your passion. The Saponifier publishes information about conferences and gatherings, both in the magazine and on our blog. If you’re the host of an event, send the information to email@example.com, and we’ll make sure it gets published.
Have you got a good soap story? We’re looking for freelance writers to add to the magazine, and we might be looking for you! We’re looking for humor, for how you overcame a problem, how you started your business, anything that your fellow readers will identify with. Surely, you have one!
We welcome reader letters. Tell us how we’re doing. What are your favorite parts about the Saponifier? What do you look forward to every issue? What would you like to read about? We welcome reader comments.
Take a look at the back issues that are available. If you see one you like, it can be yours for just $5.95!
Don’t forget! Get a friend and subscribe. It’s buy one, get one free. If you’ve never subscribed before, this is a great time to join us. If you have a friend who has never subscribed, be a good friend and give a gift.
Last of all, please support our advertisers! We’ve got some terrific companies represented and are proud to have them aboard.