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 green...so ok even though I love them all, I admit: I do have a favorite color, it's green. :)
SoapRehab Store: soaprehab.etsy.com/
SoapRehab Blog: http://soaprehab.blogspot.com