Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ten Questions: Sara @ SoapRehab

I was so excited about my SoapRehab experience that I asked Sara, the owner if it would be alright if I asked her some questions for this blog. It’s always fun to learn about the people behind great products and ideas. Hope you enjoy! Don't forget to checkout my review! Thanks for sharing your time, Sara!

1. How did you get into soap making and how long have you been doing it?
The women in my family (aunts, mom, sister, grandma) used to do a lot of crafting together when I was young. As a result of this crafty childhood, I got together with my sister eight years ago and we decided to make soap as a fun project to do one Saturday, and I was completely hooked. I've made soap ever since. My sister had fun, too, but she ended up finding her artistry passion with yarn.

2. How long have you been selling soap and what motivated you to do so?
I've been selling my soap about a year and a half. I was motivated by seeing the joy it brought to others, and the empowering feeling of selling a product that I made. Also, partly by the desire to bring in additional income so that I can stay home with my son.

3. How did soap making evolve into lotions, balms, and sugar polishes?
From a very young age, I've always been keenly interested in skin care, not just face, but all over body skin care. I was reading skin care books by age 12 and never really stopped. I got my Esthetician license and learned a lot about ingredients. And once I realized I could successfully make soap, it gave me the confidence to start making lotions and other bath and body products.

4. What’s one story where an item you were making came out disastrously (or humorously) wrong?
My worst soap disaster is pretty bad!!!! It was supposed to be a vanilla, but ended up smelling like disposable diapers...that plastic-y smell. And it didn't come out of the mold well, so it ended up a crumbly, brown, lumpy, diaper-y mess. Funny, but yuck!

5. What is your favorite item to make and why?
Lotions are my favorite to make. There's just something so fun and satisfying about watching it go from a bunch of melted mess into lovely, creamy, whipped up lotion. mmm.

6. What is your best selling item?
My best selling item is my Brown Sugar Pecan Soap.

7. Your site mentions that soap is detergent and paraben free. What does this mean and why is it important?
Detergents are synthetic cleansers that are harsh on your skin, and some of which (those with phosphates specifically) are bad for the environment when washed down the drain. Some of them have molecules that are small enough to penetrate your skin, when really all you want and need from your soap is to pick up the dirt and wash you clean. This is why detergent free handmade soaps feel so much better on your skin. Parabens are preservatives sometimes used in lotions and other bath and body products. While it's a good thing to keep the bugs away (yeasts, molds, fungus, bacteria), parabens are becoming increasingly controversial as their safety has come into question. Since the jury is still out on that, I keep them out of my products.

8. You create soap by using the cold process method. What is this and how is it different that other methods?
There are a few different methods for making soap. Cold Process involves combining oils and butters with a lye solution which creates the chemical reaction that produces soap. Curing time of about 4-6 weeks is required. Hot process is a method by which the cold process soap is already made up, usually pretty fresh, then it's grated and melted down. Then additional oils, fragrances, or other additives are thrown in, and when it's finished, it doesn't require those weeks of curing. Soap like this doesn't melt all the way down to a liquid, so you have a different consistency using this method. Melt and Pour soaps, also known as glycerin soaps, are made using an already prepared base that has extra glycerin added (all handmade soap retains the glycerin as part of the chemical process, this just has extra), and is formulated to be able to melt completely. It also has a very different feel, look, and consistency. I started offering a few of these glycerin soaps in my shop, too, because I can do some really creative things with it, and some people really like the way they feel.

9. What are your future plans for SoapRehab?
I would like to continue to build my business, yet still be able to be available for my family.

10. What is one random fact about yourself?
I used to get really irritated when someone would ask my favorite color. I love all colors, I didn't want to have to play favorites! But then I took a look around me...turns out my wardrobe is mostly green, my living room scheme, several soaps I have swirled ok even though I love them all, I admit: I do have a favorite color, it's green. :)

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Off the Beaten Path: SoapRehab

It’s probably safe to say that I am a soap fiend. Through the years my skin has become so dry and sensitive, that even the “gentlest” of soaps dry out my skin and make it feel uncomfortably tight. (Aren’t you still supposed to feel radiant, glowing, and youthful in your 20s? 25 is still young, right? Did I really use the term “young whippersnappers” yesterday?)

A few months ago I was checking out Etsy and came across SoapRehab. Although I didn’t make a purchase right away, I added the shop to my favorites and decided to lust from afar until it was time for my next (self-imposed) monthly allowance. During this time, I continued my Etsy scouting, but still found myself checking back on SoapRehab. There was something so visually appealing and comforting to me that kept me coming back. Though my wish list was a mile long, I decided to start with the Buttercream Frosting Shaving bar and the Caramel Latte Exfoliating bar. (I also purchased the Caramel Latte Bath Soak, but one of you lucky readers will be the one who gets to try it! The bath soak is one out of a mountain of items included in my giveaway!)
A few weeks ago after getting home from the gym one night, my package was waiting for me. What better time to try out soap than when you’re getting back from a sweaty workout? I ran the shower, opened up the buttercream bar and lathered up my hands. As the sweet aroma filled the shower, the first words out of my mouth was “Holy s**t!” I can not begin to describe just how amazing this soap smelled. It was like holding a piece of fresh baked cake in my hands. My mouth began to water and in all honesty, I actually began contemplating if I should give the soap a quick lick. (I wanted to, but I didn’t.) This soap has a nice smooth lather to it and glides nicely over the skin. It also allowed my razor to glide against my skin very easily and left my skin feeling smooth and fresh. I was excited it wasn’t still or tight feeling. I can’t wait to try the Caramel Latte Exfoliating bar which has small coffee granules that gently exfoliate the skin….mmm sounds invigorating!
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

DIY Brush and Eye Pencil Holder

I was at Michael's the other day and came across these paper mache houses that separated so you could use them as containers. They were on clearance for a dollar, so I bought two and used the bottoms to hold my brushes and eye utensils. (Is utensils the right word to use there? Lol.) I painted the boxes red and glued some black lace scraps I happened to have leftover from a previous project. And, voila....I have some new brush holders that cost me about 3 bucks to make.

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