What are Your Goals, Decisions and Challenges for 2012?

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,

Beth

 

 

Oils, Oils, and More Oils!

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.