The Saponifier: September/October, 2012–Fun Projects for Everyone!

By now, you’ve probably read your entire issue of the Saponifier.  So much useful information in just one issue!


Lara Fiorelli’s advice in, Captivating Holiday Party Decor, was welcome to many of us planning either home sales parties or even our own personal holiday decorating.  I’m sure that many of us will be saving this article to use as a guide.


I found Aaron Polczynski’s article, Memory From the Suds, from the standpoint of an interested observer of the soap maker to be an interesting read, as well.  We don’t usually get such a good description of  how others view our work, so reading how Aaron feels about his father’s soapmaking was indeed a treat to read.  How many of us could identify with Aaron’s father as he grew in skill and confidence!


If using natural colorants in soapmaking has been a desire of yours, I’m sure you devoured,  Natural Colorants:   Herbs, Botanicals and Clays, as Erica Pence details the various process of extracting color from herbs.  You’ll find the accompanying chart very handy for future reference, as well.


Erica also gives us a candle lesson in, Yummy Candle Treats:  Fun Food-Inspired Candles, which, I’m sure, is inspiring many for the upcoming gift giving season.


Do you like marshmallows?  Make them with soap!  Tamara Dourney tells us how in, Marshmallow Melt and Pour Soaps. What a fun project for the holiday season!


Last, but not least, Elizabeth Sokol tempts our imagination and desires with her herbal monograph, Cabbae Rose.  You’ll be fascinated with its history and intrigued by its many uses.  The ages old rose has captivated us from the beginning.


Go forth and make soap and candles!


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


Beth Byrne

Selling Seasonal Items; is it a Good Idea?

With Easter just ended, I got to wondering how many of us produce holiday products.

Did you make and sell or give away anything specifically with an Easter/Passover theme? If so, are you now sitting on bath bomb eggs and thinking your bunny soaps reproduced by themselves?  No pun intended with the eggs, of course. . . well, OK, pun entirely intended.


It seems to me that seasonal creations are a two-edged sword. On the one edge, they enhance our product lines and give us the opportunity to sell more product as customers buy holiday offerings for gifts and home. That translates to sales and profits, of course, so it seems like a great idea. If you’re a hobbyist, seasonal creations are fun to produce and make great gifts for family and friends.


Looking at the other edge of the sword, however, our product ideas need to be planned out so that the items are ready well ahead of time so that we can start promoting them early. It also means extra production time, as well as increasing our marketing efforts. After all that, we are possibly left with product that is no longer in demand   and are then faced with storage issues or selling at a reduced cost, thus lowering profits.


It seems safer to create a regular line and not manufacture holiday products, but we may need to stop and consider how including them increases overall sales. Holiday products also allow us to introduce something new and fresh without requiring us to add them to our regular lines, which can be very appealing to the already overworked small business person.


What do you do? Do you make the products in the hopes or knowledge that it will be worth the effort in the long run? Or, do you feel that the risk of the loss associated with left over product is too much to make your efforts worthwhile?


Until next time, I hope you are busy in bubbles and wax!

Beth Byrne