How to Make and Sell Homemade SoapSuzanne A. YoungCopyright 2012
Table of ContentsTable of ContentsIntroductionWhat Are You Going to Do With It?Different Kinds of SoapNovelty SoapsPerfumed SoapsMiniature SoapsMedicinal SoapsLaundry SoapsKitchen SoapsBotanical SoapsUnscented SoapsSoap for the “Man Cave”The Language of Soap-MakingIngredientsGetting StartedA Simple Cold Process RecipeA Simple Hot Process RecipeA Simple Melt and Pour RecipeMistakes to AvoidStorageGetting Down to BusinessStock Up On Your SuppliesWhere Will You Sell?Pursuing Retail SalesGoing WholesaleSo Just How Will You Sell?For How Much Will You Sell?Conclusion
IntroductionMaking homemade soap is a technical process that requires more than just desire and creativity. It can beargued in fact that without a solid grasp of the technique of soap-making, one cannot fully explore thecreative aspect of this hobby that is fast becoming a viable business for many.So why go to all of the trouble of making your own? There are several good reasons.1. Its healthier. Store-bought soap contains many things that were not originally included in the soapmaking process centuries ago. Back then, soap consisted of only essential ingredients- period. Today,chemicals are added to soap in order to boost its cleaning ability. These chemicals often irritate the skinof those who are sensitive to them.Fragrance is another issue. We all like the fresh, clean smell than soap has. In fact, some people buyparticular brands of soap simply based on how they smell because that aroma is transferred to theindividual when they are finished bathing. The problem is that these fragrances are also harmful to theskin, creating harmful reactions. How harmful? Some studies blame these fragrances with causingreproductive problems in animals, as well as humans.Why are some of these fragrances so dangerous? Because of their origin. Many contain a petroleum-base.No one would voluntarily rub their skin down every day with oil or gasoline, yet we take the risk of doingso each time we use soap with fragrance.Research shows that well over half of the chemicals that come into contact with our skin are immediatelyabsorbed into our bloodstream. Why voluntarily add to that number by purchasing soap that is supposed tobe designed to clean our bodies?2. Its easy. Once you get the hang of it, soap making is pretty easy. Unlike something as complex asmaking your own wine, soap making is relatively simple and doesnt require a lot of steps.3. Its inexpensive. Although soap making does require certain ingredients, they are inexpensive and easyto obtain. This keeps the cost of the finished product down, which increases your level of satisfaction.4. Its fun. Many people get into soap making because they can be creative. You are in total control of thecolors, fragrances and shapes of what you produce. You can even design your own unique style that canbe marketed, if you so desire.For those who like to express their creative side, save some money in the process and do whatever theycan to improve their health, soap making is a fun way to do it!Lets get started!
What Are You Going to Do With It?People make soap for one of two reasons: either for their own personal use or to distribute to others. Thismay take the form of a profit making business or simply a method to supply family and friends with uniquehomemade items.In either case, the idea is to bring your own product out from the shadows of your own home and sharingit with the people you wish to share it with or to sell it to. Perhaps it is because we live in a busy andoften frantic world where everything we touch can be bought ready-made, makes us want to venture intoliving a more back to nature sort of life. Making your own soap, for example, means that you have fullcontrol of what is in your products. This will ultimately give you great piece of mind. Your very firstsoap-making attempt may be a failure, but you have to keep at it until you master your own techniques andmay even develop your own recipes.Soap making will be a rewarding experience and each time you make a batch of soap something new willcome to your mind. Whether it is a new additive, a new scent, or a new shape, you will know no limits toyour creations! The good news is that even though it can be frustrating at times, you will always learn toimprove on your abilities the next time around. Anytime we begin a new hobby or a new project there is alearning curve associated with the subject matter.Soap making is the same thing, you will have to work at it a little to understand the process and thenunderstand that you may have initial failures. These failures can be overcome – just don’t give up. Therewards at the end of the day are more than worth it! What follows here are a few ideas as to where youmight market your own handmade soaps.Once you have decided that selling soaps, your very own exquisite products, is what you want to do, bedaring and explore the online possibilities. This will keep you up late at night because you will beperusing and off into various directions and ideas forever. There are more practical methods that willbring results much more quickly. Look into the tried and true methods that have worked for others who areas creative as you are. Review eBay sellers of handcrafted soaps. Looking at others as a model may giveyou some new and better soap bars to come up with. There is not much that has not been invented and thegood news is that you do not have to re-invent the wheel to create your own charming soaps. In ourmodern times, there are many easier and more contemporary methods to use.Visions of laboratories and steam rising from a workshop of a soap maker laboring over boiling vats ofsoap are images of the past. There are many books, magazines and articles that have been written on soapmaking techniques as well as seminars at local community centers and crafts shows where you can pickup tips and information on your new found interest. Don’t be shy about going out and pursuing your newhobby.Secondly, look at the new crafter sites on line such as Etsy, an e-commerce site that is similar in design,but not in scope, as eBay. Everything sold on Etsy is of the handcrafted or vintage genre in order to beoffered for sale on this worldwide marketplace site. Etsy has grown tremendously in popularity as has itshandmade bath and beauty products.After you have compared online sites, you may want to consider creating your Web site in your own way,
and with your own touch or theme. There are plenty of people in the technology realm that would behappy to help you out for a relatively small fee. Perhaps you even have a good sense for it yourself. Thereare tutorials on the Internet that you can log onto to help create your Web site. Think of all the tweets andTwitters and other social media sites that you may be able to use to spread the word about your newventure!If high technology is not your cup of tea and you like to experiment on your own, there are many placesthat you may want to take your product to sell. One of the more popular places all of the country are thoseubiquitous weekly farmers markets that are keeping town and country folks healthier and exposing all ofus to alternatives that are natural and organic. Not only will you find fruits and vegetables, but an array ofnatural beauty products from lipsticks, body oils, perfumes, to body scrubs and scrubbers as well. Set upyour own stall and try your hand at promoting your product. Give out little sample chips to entice interest.Teach consumers about your specialty soaps and let them know about the ingredients. Let them smell,touch, and feel the quality of your soaps.For those of us in the know and who have lived through the era of preservatives, shelf life extenders, andpoly-vinyl chlorides, the farmers market regulars will support new sellers if you bring a product tomarket that meets the parameters of wholesomeness and value for the money. Try a theme for your marketsoaps. Perhaps the name of your town can be used on the wrapping. Tourists and out of town visitors arealways wishing to buy something small and relatively inexpensive to take home to show where they havebeen. How many different body lotions and miniature soaps have you taken home from a hotel? It is for areason that hotels promote their places with these small tokens of your visit. Of course they all have thehotel logo on them!The soaps you may wish to sell at the farmers market will have your touch, color and scent on them! Don’tbe shy about touting your talents once you become good at soap making. Be excited about your product,especially if you are in the selling end of the process also. Your friends and family will look forward toreceiving baskets of lovely soaps for their use. In fact, sometimes they will even tell you that they do notwant to use the soaps you have given them because they are “too pretty” to use up! Yes, many commentssuch as these have been heard by a number of soap makers who make soap as a hobby rather than abusiness. Encourage them to go ahead and use them up in guest baths and kitchens also – there will bemore!How about taking a chance on another kind of market? An option for those of us who wish to sell ourhand-produced soaps is to build a little niche and an umbrella stand emulating the wonderful Europeanidea of the traditional flea market. Another choice is to find a small business such as a beauty salon,health spa, gym, bed and breakfast, antique shop or mall, or boutique hotel to sell your soaps to. Or betteryet, ask them if they would carry your items. Many businessmen and women like the notion of one of akind products that promote their unique and one of a kind bed and breakfast or hotel or business. Find outwhat their logo is and tailor your wrapping to their names. You may wish to give out a few samples ofyour handiwork at first, until you develop your own reputation for delivering a quality product atreasonable prices. You may want to take advantage of delivering a few samples at first, along with yourbusiness card or simple flyers that have a creative name and email and phone number, along with a shortprice list of your products.The places to promote your soap line are as limitless as your enthusiasm and creativity. For example, bethinking in terms of wedding guests receiving something as a courtesy gift for attending the happy event.
Attendees may not get pummeled with rice but they may receive a miniature soap favor in the same themeas the wedding – a favor that you have put together. Use the favor idea, go ahead and be creative and sticka small business card in the wrapping.Continue with these ideas as you look to other venues for your product such as baby showers, bridalshowers, retirement parties, graduations, anniversaries, and grand openings for businesses, gift baskets,and family reunions. Think themes for children such as ponies, zoos, teddy bears, and cartoon charactersfor your wrappings as well as your soaps. One of the neatest ideas is to provide a family member who isgraduating from high school or college with personalized soap with their initials or school initialembedded into the bar!Now, let’s take a look at making soaps for your own personal use. You have worked at your ownbusinesses and jobs and now you’re ready for some fun hobby and craft that would keep you interestedand occupied. I would imagine that you should first and foremost, have an area where you can work that isfree of clutter and other debris of daily living; an area that is large enough to hold the tools of your newendeavor without infringing on the other areas of your home. If you have a basement or a spare room thatyou could dedicate to soap making that would be great especially if it is draft fee! But we’ll talk aboutthat a little later. Have your objective in mind when you begin your work. Remember to think“presentation” of the final product. What is it going to look like? What size will it take? At this point,packaging should be high on your list of end results.If your labors are geared to personal use, packaging can take on a whole new meaning. With moderntechnology, you can make color copies of family photos on printing copier paper that is 24-pound weight;thin enough to wrap soap in, and thick enough to be pliable but sturdy. There are endless varieties of usesof photos. For example: wedding photos, baby showers, grandparent photos, vintage photos from longago. The list is miles long as to packaging. These adorable packages of soap can then be tied with raffia,string, yarn, and any kind of way to wrap the paper around the lovely soaps you have created. If you don’tlike the idea photocopier paper, try the cartoon section, or classified sections of the newspaper to wrapyour soaps in. Black and white paper work well and is less expensive.Packaging is not just for sissies any more. Soap can be wrapped in fabric! Think of all the scraps offabric that you have at your fingertips. Hosting a bachelor party? No problem. You can wrap some manlysoap in a baby sock, or place some special soap in a baseball cap for the special man in your life. If youhappen to live in an area where large, pliable leaves shed in October, you might think of wrappingminiature lavender scented soap in a beautiful orange or purple oak leaf and tie it up with string or raffia.It’s all about presentation after all, isn’t it? Just like “location” is everything for the Realtor.Try foraging at resale shops and rummage sales for dishes, bowls and baskets in which you can arrangeyour soaps. It is amazing how inexpensive a cute little glass salad dish or plate can be. Some people willbe thrilled with a plain old wooden bowl, pottery dish, or basket while others will appreciate teacupsand fine china plates filled with your miniature marvels. You may think about gearing your containers tothe recipient and experiment with your own presentation ideas.
Different Kinds of SoapSoap is not just soap! You probably had no idea that there were such varieties of soaps. The small andnon-industrial types of handmade soaps are exceedingly varied and come in just about any size and shapeone wishes. The producers of these soaps are always working hard to think up new soap recipes that theycan bring to the marketplace in order to please their customers.Imagine soaps for men, women, teens, toddlers even in shapes and scents that are unimaginable in variety– take goat milk soap and apple scented soap for instance! How about soap embedded in a scrubberknown as a loofa. There are soaps for personal use i.e., face only soaps, hand only soaps, body soaps andyes, even soaps for the feet. Then there is also soap for laundry use, dishwashing, and even for washingthe family pet! Dermatologists get into the act as well by plugging their own hypoallergenic face washsoaps. Here is a look at some of these different kinds of soaps that you may find intriguing:
Novelty SoapsThese are soaps that are formed and molded into shapes that we find amusing such as the small yellowducks we played with in the tubs as kids; they were plastic back then. Today children find that it is muchmore useful: they float, clean, and can be played with. Other forms such as seashells, fruits, and variousanimal shapes, can grace soap dishes for our guests and ourselves. Their purpose is not only as acleansing soap, but also as a means to create whimsy and amusement. Don’t forget the odor and pleasantsmells either.
Perfumed SoapsAdd a bit of scent and your soaps can instantly be transformed into something that will delight the visualas well as olfactory senses! There are hundreds of optional ingredients that can be added to your soapmaking creativity. Many scents today are the results of smells that are all around us in nature. Callednotes, these odors are immediately perceived by the nose such as orange blossom, grapefruit, lemon,peppermint, lavender and sage. Some scents can be mixed and matched as well, to create individual andunique one-of-a-kind soaps. Ladies love the perfumed scents of roses mixed with lemon and orangeblossom on their skin.
Miniature SoapsAnother variety of soap is the miniature kind that is molded artistically and shaped into unique formsdesigned mainly for guests, hotel bathrooms and guest baths. Here again, the creativity of the soap makertakes center stage. Flowers, initials, animal and mineral shapes abound in the marketplace and areavailable in all natural and perfumed scents. There are even soap chips that can be used right after it“melts” on a washcloth or the palms of your hands.
Medicinal SoapsMedicinal soaps are similar to soaps in general but have the additional description of being botanicalbased for antiseptic or disinfectant use. Nature provides many medicinal plants that soap makers havefound useful such as jojoba oil, ginger, aloe, chamomile, and rosemary. These soaps have a wonderfularoma, making you feel that Mother Nature herself is healing you.
Laundry SoapsOne special area of soaps is called laundry soaps. These are designed to rid the items being washed ofstaining agents such as oil and grease. Many outfitters and outdoor equipment stores offer thesebiodegradable laundry soaps to their customers since they are in keeping with the ecological sensitivity oftoday’s campers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Kitchen SoapsKitchen soaps generally come in three kinds such as liquids, cleansers and detergents. Cleansers often areprepared with milder abrasives. On the other hand, dish detergents fight the tough grease and do the jobwithout abrasive use. Dish detergents are sold for dishwashers as well as for hand washing purposes.Liquid soap making without preservative use has some very specific requirements because of the moisturecontent that may lead to rancidity. If you intend to make liquid soap, follow guidelines carefully.
Botanical SoapsThe key to these sorts of soaps is that they are plant derived essential oil soaps loaded with naturalglycerin. Many soap makers use seasonal herbs in their process of producing botanical soap products andmany farmers markets have soap sellers that cater to those of us who enjoy these organic products. Thesoap makers who specialize in natural botanical soaps can also deliver many varietals soaps that arehypoallergenic, that is, soaps that are non-allergy causing soaps.Because of the natural and mostly organic ingredients, these botanical and organic soaps are made withthe purest of ingredients for very sensitive skin types. Pet owners, who have pets with very sensitive skinand allergies to the chemical products in manufactured pet soaps, may wish to look into different kinds ofbotanical soaps that help pets with troublesome itchy skin caused by allergies and other skin irritants.There are many testimonials of happy pets and ecstatic pet owners who are free of the high cost ofveterinary bills for their pets with dermatological issues.
Unscented SoapsWe are not all created the same and some of us have allergies and sensitivities to cosmetics, soaps andperfumes. There are others of us who simply don’t like fragrances, including the smell of soaps.Unfortunately, some skin types are also prone to conditions that will not allow for any contact withfragrance soaps and lotions of any kind. There is a solution however. Unscented soaps can be producedwithout any scent at all because the processor has not put any in when processing the batch. They arefragrance free. Those who have been helped by this kind of soap are extremely happy with the optionavailable to them. Mass produced soaps that are unscented are very expensive since the producers have tomake smaller batches that cost them more money.
Soap for the “Man Cave”Of course, women are not the only bodies that use soap, and handmade soap for men is just as important aproduct. There are some great smelling soaps that use specialty oils with masculine names for thediscriminating male of the species. For example, bay rum, sandalwood, oak moss, birch and eucalyptusstrikes a more masculine note. No, these are not camouflage pattern names (although that might not be abad idea either). As long as your soap lathers up and doesn’t smell like carnations and roses you’ll be ingood standing with these fellas! Remember that fishermen, campers, trekkers, and hunters need to wash upalso.
The Language of Soap-MakingHomemade soaps are easy enough to make that anyone can try their hand at it. With instructions and easy-to-follow recipes, it’s very unlikely that you’ll botch soap-making, even on the first try. But to ensure youare able to carry out all instructions as needed, you need to make sure that you understand all termsinvolved in soap-making first. Some of the terms you might encounter in soap-making include:Absolute. The highly aromatic and concentrated oily mixture that is derived from plants throughsolvent extraction.Alkali. A compound with pH levels higher than 7. Such as potassium hydroxide and lye (sodiumhydroxide).Anhydrous. A substance not containing water.Antiseptic. A substance that reduces the possibility of skin infections.Aromatherapy. Fragrant substances that can alter a person’s behavior or mood.Attar. Essential oil derived from flowers. Also called otto.Base. Alkali for making soaps.Bleaching. Removing or neutralizing the color of fats or oils.Biopein. An all-natural stabilizing ingredient made out of botanical extracts.Carrier oil. Plant-based oil for diluting essential oils to be used on the skin.Castile soap. A kind of soap made with olive oil named after a region in Spain where it wasfrom. Any kind of soap then that uses a lot of olive oil is called as such.Caustic soda. Also known as sodium hydroxide or lye.Cold pressed. A process of extracting oils using mechanical pressure at temperatures typicallylower than 125 degrees Fahrenheit.Cold process. A soap-making method that does not require heat except to melt oil solids.Cosmetic grade. This means an ingredient has received approval for use on cosmetics and bodyproducts. Cosmetic-grade ingredients have better quality so they are also more expensive.CPHP. Crock Pot Hot Process. Soap is made using a crock pot.CPOP. Cold Process/Oven Process. Essentially the cold process method is used for makingsoap but an oven is used after molding to achieve the gel stage faster.Cruelty Free. Has not been tested on animals.Cure. Refers to a period of time wherein soap is made to “sit” so pH levels can drop and makesoaps milder. The usual curing period for soaps lasts four to six weeks. After the curing period, soapis ready for use.D&C. Drug and Cosmetic. Means an ingredient is approved for use with drug and cosmeticitems, signifying that is safe.Decoction. Botanical matter is boiled in watery fluid to obtain extracts.Deodorize. Remove scents from the soap. Oils typically have their own odor so these areeliminated first before soap is used to allow fragrances to remain true.DHHP. Direct Heat Hot Process. Refers to hot process soap-making that utilizes external heatfor processing.Discount. To use less than what is required, like a water discount means less water is used thanthe standard.DOS. Dreaded Orange Spot. Appearing as small beige-orange spots, these occur in soaps withhigh levels of oil that are highly likely to go rancid.Embeds. Pieces of soap shaped and embedded in a lighter soap trace.
Emollient. A substance for smoothing and softening skin.Emulsion. A mix of substances that normally don’t blend together, such as an oil and wateremulsion with emulsifying wax.Essential oils. Oils derived from plants for their flavor, scent, or therapeutic properties.Exfoliant. Abrasive ingredient added to soap to help in sloughing off dead skin cells to revealsmoother skin. Oatmeal is a common exfoliant used in soaps.F.D&C. Food, Drug, and Cosmetics. Means an ingredient can be used in making food, drug, andcosmetic items.Fatty acids. Gives soap richer lather, hardness, conditioning, and cleansing properties. Commonfatty acids include lauric acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid,and linolenic acid.Fixatives. A substance that anchors fragrances or essential oils in order to slow downevaporation. This means using fixatives will make your soaps retain their scents longer.Fragrance oil. A synthetic imitation of an essential oil as well as other scents.Gel stage. The point in soap-making when soap turns gel-like and translucent looking likepetroleum jelly. However, the gel stage is a preference. Undergoing the gel stage or not will notaffect the quality of your soap, just its appearance.Glycerin. A natural humectant and emollient.Handcrafted/handmade soap. Made with the melt and pour soap-making process.Hot process. External heat is utilized to accelerate the soap-making process. Typically, crockpots, ovens, and double boilers are used.Humectant. A substance that attracts moisture and helps in its absorption into the skin.Hypoallergenic. Not likely to cause allergic reactions.INCI name. International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. A naming system thatingredients for soaps and cosmetics use. Handmade soaps in the US and Canada are mandated tofollow the INCI names of the ingredients they use.Layering. Usually done with melt and pour soap, it involves creating several soap layers ofvarying colors.Lye. A base. Also known as sodium hydroxide.M & P. A reference to melt and pour bases. Melt and pour bases are pre-made soaps that are cutup and then melted for use in more decorative soaps.Milling. Colorants, fragrance, and other colors are mixed in with the soap with mechanicalrollers during commercial manufacturing.Mineral oil. Synthetic oil that is petroleum-based. Not a good choice for making skin careproducts because it creates a barrier over the skin, interfering with normal skin functions.Natural soap. Contains only natural ingredients. Free from anything synthetic.Organic. Natural and does not contain synthetic materials or chemicals.Photosensitizers. Ingredients that lead to sensitivity to sun exposure, increasing risks of sunburn.Rebatching. Also known as hand milling. Soap is grated and added with some water over heatuntil gel stage is achieved before additives are added and it is molded.RTCP. Room Temperature Cold Process. Lye solution and oil mixture are at room temperaturewhen combined.RBD. Refined, bleached, and deodorized.Saponification. A chemical reaction that happens between the lye solution and oil mixture thatresults to soap.Seize. Soap rapidly solidifies because of high levels of fatty acids.Soda ash. White powder that forms on soap surfaces. Can cause skin dryness but can easily be
wiped off the soap’s surface using a damp cloth.Surfactant. A substance that dissolves in water to lower surface tension and increase organiccompound solubility. Lifts dirt from the skin and brings it up to the surface for easy cleansing.Tallow. Fatty tissue from animals.Tocopherols. Types of vitamin E.Trace. Achieved when your lye solution and oil mixture have properly combined to produce apudding-like substance.Unsaponifiables. Doesn’t react to lye, but still contributes moisturizing and nourishingcharacteristics to the soap.Volatile oils. Oils that more easily evaporate than essential oils.Water soluble. Dissolves in water.
IngredientsSoap making traditionally was done at home since the turn of the century. It is interesting to note that everybit of fat from cooking and butchering was saved until there was enough for making soap batches thatwere crude in form but nevertheless effective in results. Some of us recall that our grandmothers used tosave the last bit of soap to be tossed into a bucket to be melted down into new bars another day. Nothingwent to waste. Today we have a huge variety of ingredients at our fingertips; ingredients that are plentifuland relatively inexpensive and for those of us concerned about the environment and our own health, thereare lots of choices for the non-synthetic soap varieties.The wide array of ingredients available has simplified the process of making soap as well. Theavailability of vegetable and plant based oils gives the variety of handmade soaps its appeal.Remembering your high school chemistry classes will prompt you to understand that soap is essentially asalt of a fatty acid. An acid base, the lye (sodium hydroxide), and a fatty acid ingredient, the oil, reactwith one another and are neutralized to form a salt or soap. The entire process is called saponification.Glycerol, also known as glycerin, is freed in the saponification process and becomes a useful by-productof the process known to soften the skin naturally. From this is derived the clear glycerin soaps that arepopular and which work to attract moisture to the skin.Understanding not only the equipment and different kinds of soaps that can be created is vital, but withoutknowing what the ingredients are that you will need, and how they react with each other to make aneffective batch of soap, will leave you wondering what went wrong in your attempt if the chemistry basicsare not adhered to properly. As you know, one cannot go headlong into soap making without a fewprinciples that will guide you. Thus, the correct temperatures and which combinations of compounds andwhen to add them to what, is critical to your first lessons. Each endeavor we choose has after all got itsown language! The ingredients you will use have their own identifications and serve a specific purpose,as you will see.The following fatty acid ingredients are the most common types used to combine with the acid base tomake soap:Rendered beef fat - also known as tallow or sodium tallowateVegetable oils – palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, laurel oil, olive oil, avocado oil, canola oilVarious butters – such as cocoa butter, and shea butterBeeswaxVegetable shortening in the form of canola oil that balances the harder oils such as coconut andpalm oilsOther handy ingredients:Phenolphthalein – liquid that tests the pH alkaline levels of your base ingredients during theprocess of making soap (they also come in strips)Once you have the basics down pat you can add scents and herbs to your batch. You will branch out onceyou become more adept and your experience kicks in. Soap making will become second nature to you andyou will want to branch out and explore new options. Here are a few basic ingredients for now that you
might consider:Essentials oils – extracted from plants such as lavender, rose, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange,and other herbs such as bergamot, peppermint, sage, anise, cinnamon, clove, sandalwood, patchouliand the wonderful scents of cedarwood and sandalwood.Coloring additives – ingredients such as clay for pinks and terracotta colors. For purple useratanjot, for yellow use annatto seeds, for green use spirulina or alfalfa powder, for peach andorange tones, a sprinkling of paprika works well.Herbs, flowers, and seeds in their natural state for desired visual or scrubbing effect.
Getting StartedOnce you have your equipment gathered and ready and the ingredients at hand, you will most likely beprimed to begin by using the traditional batch process method to make your premier batch of handmadesoap. There are three popular methods of soap making which are cold, hot (semi-boiled) and fully boiled.There is also a short cut method known and melt and pour. You will wind your way through the choices asyou gain skill. Suffice it to say that the least complicated methods are the cold and hot process and meltand pour. You will find that most home soap makers, and those making soaps for small business purposes,use either one of these processes.
A Simple Cold Process RecipeCold-process soap-making gives you complete control because you’re making your soap from scratch. Italso makes for a truly unique experience because you get to combine art and science. Fortunately, coldprocess recipes are very easy to follow so nearly everyone can do it. Whatever recipe you wish to usethough, don’t forget to take safety precautions and wear goggles and rubber gloves throughout the process.Don’t take them off until you are done!Ready to make some soap? You will need the following: 26.5 oz of olive oil, 16.5 oz of coconut oil, 10oz of palm oil, 209 grams of lye, 20 oz of distilled water, and 2.7 oz of your preferred essential oils.Here are the steps:1. Prepare your lye solution. Typically, you need to follow a 1:3 lye-water ratio. So if you are using 1 ozof lye, for instance, you’re going to need 3 oz of water. However, for this simple cold process recipe, youwill be mixing 209 grams of lye with 20 oz of distilled water. Aside from carefully measuring your lyeand water, you also have to take note that you cannot use hard water because certain substances in thewater may interfere with the reaction you need to make soap. If you don’t want to use a water softener,you can choose to use distilled water instead. Remember to pour your lye into the water and NEVERWATER INTO LYE. Mix continuously until you see that all of the lye has dissolved into the solution. Thelye solution will heat up and reach temperatures of over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure you areusing a container that is able to withstand that and that you keep it away from children. Set aside your lyesolution.2. Prepare your acids by pouring together liquid oils and fats into your soap-making pot. If you havesolids, melt them first under low heat before adding to the other liquids. Remember that you measure fatsand oils by their weight, not their volume, to ensure exact measurements. You may also add naturalpreservatives such as rosemary oleoresin extract to your pot of fats and oils, if you want. Set aside.3. Using separate thermometers, check the temperature for your base (lye solution) and acid (fats andoils). If you are using vegetable oils, your solutions should be fine at about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If youare using animal fats, such as lard and tallow, you have aim for temperatures of about 110 degreesFahrenheit. You can heat up either your base or acid solution by putting their pots in some hot water untilyou reach your desired temperature. To cool them down, just put the pots in some cold water.4. When you reach your desired temperatures, slowly pour your lye solution into the acid mixture, stirringvigorously as you do so. Stirring vigorously is important because this ensures that all the moleculesinteract as they should. You might find it easier to stir by following a figure-eight pattern or using anelectric stick blender. You’ll know you’re done when your soap has started to saponify. Saponification ispresent when you drizzle some of the mixture on top of the rest in your pot and the drizzled soap stays ontop for a bit before it sinks back with the rest. Total stirring period should be about 45 minutes to an hourwhen done by hand. Using a stick blender can help you achieve saponification in just two minutes! Thisstage is also known as trace.5. When you reach trace, add in all your other ingredients, like essential oils, nutrients, and dye. Mixthoroughly.
6. Pour the result into any mold of your choice. Just make sure that your mold has a lid. If it doesn’t, youcan use a piece of cardboard to cover it up. Wrap the mold in some towels, using as many as eight towelsto provide insulation for your soap to ensure no heat escapes for proper curing. Leave for 18 to 36 hours.7. When the soap has solidified, you can now take it out of the mold. You can cut it up into bars or carveit—it’s all up to you. Once you have your soap into the pieces you want, lay them out on a rack to air themout. Flip them over once every week. The curing process may take anywhere between three to eightweeks. It’s important to allow your soap to cure because this gives its pH levels enough time to drop soyou end up with mild and gentle homemade soap.
A Simple Hot Process RecipeThe main difference between hot process and cold process soap-making is that you have to “cook” yoursoap with the former. The addition of heat is required so you can reach trace faster, evaporate morewater, and produce harder soap faster, compared to what cold process soap-making can do. Other thanthat, a simple hot process recipe generally follows the same steps as a cold process recipe. You do haveto be more cautious with hot process soap-making because the addition of heat opens up other ways bywhich you can hurt yourself.Getting started with hot process soap-making, a simple recipe you can follow calls for the followingingredients, tools, and equipment:20 oz of palm oil16 oz of safflower oil17 oz of coconut oil3 oz of sweet almond oil8 oz of olive oil9 oz of sodium hydroxide (lye)24 oz of cold distilled waterA wooden spoonGlass measuring cup (can accommodate at least two cups of ingredients)A digital scaleSoap mold of your choosing (baking molds would work)Face maskHand blender (if you have one)Ceramic or plastic bowlCrock pot (with low and high settings)Aside from preparing all the materials you will need for hot process soap-making, you should also findyourself a place without any distractions and a large and flat surface you can work on. Don’t forget tocover your work area. A vinyl table cloth would work great for this purpose because it’s cheap to buy,easy to clean, and won’t leak oil in the event of a spill. If you want to make sure your floor is protectedtoo, you can use rubber-backed carpeting in your work area as well.The steps to make soap using a hot process recipe are as follows:1. Combine all oils. Turn on your crock pot and set it on high. Throw in all oils together, both soft andhard. Soft oils are those that remain liquid while hard oils are those that solidify easily. Wait untileverything melts and combines together. This should take around 10 minutes to finish but you may be ableto speed up the process by covering your crock pot. Set aside.2. Make your lye. Before going any further, please make sure that you have your rubber gloves on. Pourin your lye slowly into the cold water and keep stirring. TAKE NOTE TO NEVER ADD WATER INTOLYE. It’s always lye into water. Stir until the lye has dissolved into the water. The solution may be a bitcloudy but that’s fine. You just have to make sure that all the lye has been dissolved before moving on.
3. Add lye solution to oil mixture. Unlike in cold process soap-making, your lye solution and oils don’thave to be at a certain temperature before they can be combined. With hot process soap-making, just pouryour lye solution into your crock pot of oil. If you have a hand blender, now would be the time to take itout. Keep blending for around 5 to 10 minutes until trace is achieved. You’ll know you have trace whenthe lye solution has been completely mixed in with the oil and your lye and oil mixture starts thickening. Ifyou don’t have a hand blender, you can manually stir your soap but it will take you about 45 minutes ofvigorous stirring to achieve the same effect.4. Cook soap. After you reach trace, cover your crock pot and set it on low. No need to keep stirring atthis point although you may need to give it a stir or two every now and then just to prevent your soap frombubbling over. It’s done when your soap mixture looks like clear petroleum jelly and it feels waxy to thetouch.5. Add additives. Additives are the colors and fragrances you want your soap to have. Let the soap coolfor a bit and add the colorants and fragrances you want. You will have to work fast in incorporating thecolors and fragrances you want because your soap mixture might get too cool, solidifying to a certainextent that it won’t follow the shape of your mold.6. Mold soap. Once your soap has everything you want in it, you are now ready for molding. Unlike coldprocess soap, hot process soap cannot be poured into a mold. Rather, you have to spoon it into the moldbecause the mixture is quite thick and goopy. To ensure that your soap doesn’t have air pockets, tap yoursoap mold on the counter. Leave soap to cool to room temperature.7. Cut soap. To make it easier for you to remove your soap from your mold, make sure you line yourmold with some wax paper. If you’re using baking molds, you can use a non-stick spray before scoopingyour soap in. If you weren’t able to line your mold or use a non-stick spray, you can put your mold in thefreezer to make it easier to get your soap out. Once your soap is out of the mold, you can cut it right awayto whatever size you want.8. Cure soap. Soap is cured to allow its pH levels to drop. As such, the longer soap is cured, the gentlerit will turn out. Typical curing time lasts anywhere between four and eight weeks, much like how long itwould take to cure soap made with a cold process recipe. How long you should leave your soap to curewill depend on what you prefer though and how impatient you are, but do try to leave it be for at least fourweeks. To cure soap, leave the pieces on a rack. Turn them at least once a week to ensure all sides areaired out. Once you’re done curing, your soap is ready for use.With all the essential oils and ingredients you can use, there’s an endless number of soaps you can create.There are a range of recipes you can follow but you are also free to create your own when you have moreexperience in soap-making. Soap-making is easy to do, after all, and it becomes even easier and simplerthe more you do it.
A Simple Melt and Pour RecipeThe melt and pour process involves a melt and pour base, which you can easily get your hands on fromwherever soap-making supplies are available. Think of the melt and pour base as the equivalent of all thesteps involved in hot and cold process soap-making until trace is achieved. Melt and pour soap-makingessentially takes away the part where you have to handle lye so it’s a generally safer method of makingsoap. Some people don’t like melt and pour soap-making though because you don’t have complete controlover what sort of ingredients are used, most especially the oils and fats. But there are others who prefer itbecause it takes away a lot of the hard work involved in soap-making, making the process moreconvenient and letting them focus more on the aesthetics of creating soaps.If you’re just starting out, it would be best if you tried out the simpler melt and pour recipes first. Milkand honey soaps are particularly popular because they can make your skin feel luxuriously soft. If you’relooking to make some of your own, you’ll be glad to see that a basic melt and pour recipe for milk andhoney soap calls for few ingredients, all easy to find.A melt and pour milk and honey soap needs the following ingredients:1lb of opaque melt and pour soap base1 tbsp of honey½ cup of goat milk or whole milk1 tbsp of melted beeswax20 drops of vitamin E (250IU)1 tsp of vanilla fragrance oilAs for other materials, like tools and equipment, basic melt and pour soap-making will require anappliance for melting the melt and pour base (double boiler, microwave, etc.), your soap mold, a mixingbowl that can withstand the heat of melted melt and pour base, cling wrap, and rubbing alcohol in a spraybottle.Again, melt and pour soap-making is considerably simpler than hot or cold process soap-making becauseyou take away the parts where you have to create a lye solution, add oils, and achieve trace. As such, thesoap-making process is faster, involving just:1. Melting the soap base. Melt and pour soap bases are available in big bars so you will have to cutthem up to make them easier to melt. Chopping the base into small and even pieces is best because thisspeeds up the melting process. Depending on what you have available, you can melt the soap base using adouble boiler or a microwave oven. Just make sure to continuously stir while you’re melting the soapbase. If you’re using a microwave oven, heat the soap base in a microwave-safe bowl for 15 to 30seconds and stir afterwards. If further melting is needed, just pop the bowl back in the microwave overfor another 15 to 30 seconds. If just a few chunks remain to be melted, just keep stirring. No need to heatthe soap base further as it will have retained enough heat to melt the remaining chunks. Splitting meltinginto intervals will help you avoid overheating and destroying your melt and pour base as you do not needto go beyond melting. If your base is boiling, you’ve overdone it.2. Adding additives. Additives can be anything you want to add to your melt and pour soap, such as dyes,fragrances, and exfoliants. In the case of this recipe, the additives would be honey, milk, beeswax, and
vitamin E. Just add these when your melt and pour soap base is ready. As for the vanilla fragrance oil, letthe base cool a little more before you add it in.3. Molding the soap. Once your soap is complete, you can move on to pouring it into your molds. Yoursoap mixture will be pretty fluid so it’ll be easy to pour into the molds. However, you still have to becareful so you don’t spill some on yourself. The soap mixture may have cooled but it will still definitelysting. Spray with rubbing alcohol on top and let your mold sit for at least two to three hours at roomtemperature. If you can leave the soap overnight to set, that would be better. Once you pour the soap intothe mold, a film will form on top so it’s best that you don’t move your mold once you pour soap in as thiswill cause the film to become uneven, giving you an uneven surface for your soap.4. Wrapping the soap. When your soap hardens, remove them from the mold and wrap with cling wrap.You don’t have to wrap your soap immediately but it is recommended that you do so within one to twodays of removing your soap from the mold. A lot of people believe this helps prevent fragrances fromfading but this is also an excellent way to ensure your soap stays clean.Soap-making is simple enough as it is but it has become even simpler with the help of the melt and pourprocess. Not to mention that you don’t have to go through a curing stage so your soaps are ready whenthey harden. Whether you want to make soaps for yourself or as gifts for friends and family, soap-makingopens up so many opportunities for you to explore that will help you not just improve your well-being butexercise your creativity as well, making it a truly worthy hobby to try out. As with anything, soap-makingwill become easier for you as you make more soaps, providing you with experience to create your ownmelt and pour recipes you can share with others.
Mistakes to AvoidJust like anything else, trial and error attempts have to be made so you can pinpoint exact temperatures toget the soap to set or harden correctly. Many other factors can play into deciding if your batches will besomething you can be happy and proud about. Sometimes comedians have a good time poking fun at themany top five or top ten lists - you know, the stupid pet tricks and so on. Having said this, the following isa summary of top five mistakes to most definitely avoid:1. Too much or too little of a good thing primarily in regard to scent. Goldilocks learned the hard wayabout too much of a good thing! Essential oils are essential indeed, but too much of a dose can spoil thebatch by making it too thin and not having enough wonderful scents can make your batch a real dud.2. Not sticking to the recipe. Consistency is the basis of good soap making. If your batch of soap turnedlumpy due to the fragrance that wasn’t conducive to a cold process soap making formula, you could verywell be using soap scraps forever!3. Making batches the first few times that are too big for the novice home soap maker. You may have theingredients and want to get the job done and may even have the desire, but one little error in measuring ora sudden drop in temperature can ruin a whole lot of labor on your part. Save yourself a headache andfrustration and experiment with the concept of “less is more.” As you become more adept at the process,you can increase the size of your output.4. Make really sure that your recipes are from a credible source. Too often the seizing process of soapmaking can get out of hand and turn your visualized dream bars into something that looks a little more likecement nightmare perhaps. Yes, you may be able to melt it down again, but that is just not a fun thing tohave to do! Stick to recipes that work!5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help. There are a myriad of resources on the Web and withtoday’s ease of contacting experts you should not be discouraged and stop the wonderful and creativeoutlet that you have latched onto. Sometimes you can throw yourself into a mild panic when you hearabout a product you have been using that is no longer available, or that bleach was added to a product youhad been using with great success. Get onto the World Wide Web and start looking around at chemiststores and suppliers that will ship to your area. For example sodium hydroxide is considered a hazardousmaterial and many companies will not ship. Find out, ask questions, and call the phone numbers for othersources as well. Regardless of what kind of products and ingredients you need, there will be someone thatwill supply it for you. One soap maker even gets her beef suet from a local butcher!As a follow up to the main mistakes to avoid section above, here is a short list of “must do” for safetypurposes items:1. Always use safety precautions and even have them posted to remind yourself of the dangers to yourselfand others when working around lye.2. Carefully and often read the labels of all dangerous substances such as lye or caustic soda.3. Make sure the lids on the lye you are using are always on tight.
4. Have your workspace where there is ventilation.5. Keep a bottle of vinegar handy since vinegar helps to make lye mixtures neutral should theyinadvertently contact skin.6. Keep your surfaces including walls covered in plastic or have your work surfaces far enough removedfrom painted areas of your house since lye can remove paint easily.7. Always keep rubber gloves handy, especially when touching your fresh soap.8. There are certain metals that lye will react with in a negative way. Tin, aluminum and zinc containersshould not be used.9. When mixing or working with caustic materials, be sure to use heatproof stoneware, stainless steelglass and enamel.10. Use hot water and dish soap to remove any residue from equipment while wearing gloves.
StorageStorage – the name conjures up images of attics, walk-in closets or cramped spaces full of boxes one ontop of another. But we are talking here of soap storage after you have spent a lot of time and effort in aprocess that is fun and rewarding. You are just waiting for a little cure time for your soaps before thecreative wrapping begins for the holidays or before sending a nice package off to Aunt Susan. Storage; theone little detail of soap making that is often overlooked and makes the hobby or small business you havestarted so much more rewarding! As with all parts of making handmade soaps, a dry, cool, and dark placeis essential to “cure” your soap. For long-term storage, try plain old brown paper lunch bags or waxpaper, they allow for little evaporation and make the soap harder. The harder the soap, the longer it willlast. Saran wrap tends to “sweat” the soap and you will find it soggy and even shrink in some cases,especially if it is also humid where you are located. The color and scent will also be affected if you donot store the soap correctly from the get go.At times, your batch of soap will develop a thin white powdery substance on the surface of the bar. Don’tworry about this; it is perfectly OK and is called soda ash and is due to the fact that air has reached thebar within the first day after processing of the soap. It simply rinses off after you use the bar. Sealing yoursoaps immediately after pouring into molds and forms will prevent this from happening.When your cutting and unmolding work is over, you might want to be thinking about some largeRubbermaid type containers – each big enough to hold three or four five-pound batches of soap. You canassign a fragrance to each container with a note taped on the top, telling what oils you used to achieve thefragrance. For example: one container could be marked “Rose/Patchouli” and another labeled“Grandma’s Geranium/Coffee.”After airing the soaps for a few weeks, you can place them into their designated container and keep thecontainer covered with the lid on. Try rubbing a small amount of the specified fragrance oil on the insideof each storage container. We all know how plastic holds a scent! Who can forget mothballs smells after aseason in plastic, or sauerkraut in a plastic container in the back of the fridge! Your soap will continuesmelling like a rose, or like coffee, or whatever you wish it to smell like if stored in the proper mannerwith this method of storage.Regardless you what you have learned about soaps, soaps can keep for years. The one thing that time canaffect with soaps is their smell. For the freshest fragrances, it is best to use soap within six months. Soapsmay also be stored in zip lock bags for some period of time after it has gone through the curing process. Insome extreme cases, people have been known to place their homemade soaps in the freezer. The onlyproblem with that is if they are not securely closed, your other foodstuff may develop a slight taste ofroses or grapefruit that will not please anyone! Be sure and label your bags and keep them separated fromother items should you be interested in going the freezer route.For storing soap that you are using in the bath or shower, make sure that you have a soap dish that drainsoff any water. Your soap will last longer if it is not sitting in its own little soapy puddle.Now that you know everything you have ever wanted to know about soaps, and how to make the most outof storing the adorable shapes and forms, you need to know one final thing…soap needs air to dry itselfout and if your shower water is forever spraying the special bar made with all that elbow grease, it will
disappear too quickly. The best advice to you and your potential customers and friends is to invest in asoap container with draining holes or slats that allow the air to circulate from beneath.
Getting Down to BusinessNow that you’ve invested your time, talent and money in making soap, you need to start getting seriousabout the business side of it. We know that not everybody is a natural businessman or woman, but we alsoknow that the skills can be learned. A logical first step is to determine whether you have what it takes tobe an entrepreneur. It will take up a lot of your time and probably more of your money to set up yourbusiness, so you need to make an honest assessment of your willingness to commit both.In your role as business owner, you will don many hats. You will be expected to show creativity andvision, as well as drive, confidence and passion. All of which will help you steer the business in the rightdirection. You will need to become obsessed about your business, constantly on the lookout for ways toimprove your product and service.Any business owner will tell you that you will do well to find your niche. This is the best way todifferentiate your product from others on the market. So in order for your soap not to get lost among thethousands of others like you also peddling their wares, you need to ask yourself some vital questions, notthe least of which are:- What do the customers really want?- Is there room for a new entry in the particular niche you are interested in or is that particular marketsaturated?You will need to do as much research as possible to make sure that you are not flooding the market withproducts that nobody wants or needs. You will need to develop specific soaps to meet the needs of yourparticular market segment. Be sure to get as much feedback as possible from the customers. This can bedone through participation in trade and retail shows, craft fairs and craft or farmer’s markets.The next step is to formalize your business. This is the fun part. You get to choose a name and build abrand. You get to design an image that resonates with who you are. Some might find this a bit daunting,but the following breakdown should make it easier.The first step to creating your brand is to choose a name for your company. You need to choose somethingthat conjures up the images and emotions that you feel embody you and your product. Before you think thisis starting to get complicated think of this: You have a much better chance of selling a batch of soapscalled ‘Mystic Mists’ than you are to sell one tagged ‘Jill’s soaps’. Avoid the temptation to add ‘soaps’as a suffix to your company name. You can always do this in the tagline, i.e. Mystic Mists, DelightfulSoaps For Every Skin (not very inspiring, but you get the picture right?)Now before you run out and have your labels and packaging printed, you need to consider the following:1. Firstly, you will need to register your name and trademark. You will be very disappointed to spendmoney on branding only to find that the name, logo and slogan you have chosen already belong tosomebody else. It will be cheaper to go through the legal registration process as required by your stateinstead of expensive litigation later. Cease and Desist orders are no fun. So confirm that the trademark isavailable, and then purchase it immediately.
2. You will also need to get business product liability insurance for your product.3. As far as getting your business license, consult with your local town office as requirements can varygreatly from locale to locale.4. Open up a bank account for your business. You will need to start practicing incredible discipline hereand make sure that you keep your business and personal spending separate.Be sure to invest in bookkeeping software such as QuickBooks to keep up to speed on your income.
Stock Up On Your SuppliesYou will need to have adequate supplies to be able to meet the demands of your customers. So you willhave to stock up on ingredients and supplies so that you can keep up with your orders. The best thing is togo straight to the manufacturers where you can. This is especially helpful with essential oils andfragrances, which can be quite expensive. Online suppliers can also be located on Google.You will also need to stock up on molds, as well as a good quality cutter now that you will be in theactual business of soap-making. When you are trying to keep up with orders there really won’t be time tomake sure that all your soap is cut to the same size. Be sure to buy high-quality molds as well. You knowhow many soaps you will need to make at a go so you need to plan ahead and design a workableproduction flow. You need to become an efficiency machine and choose molds that will speed up theprocess since your time really is money.
Where Will You Sell?Once you have sold to your family and friends, you need to expand your sales platform. Some people evenstart by giving product away as a way of creating and testing the market. You can invite people to testyour products, garner feedback and then make adjustments to recipes if this will secure a client base.
Pursuing Retail SalesOnce you have established the demand and perfected the product, you can pursue other channels. Thesecan be art and craft shows, farmer’s markets, home parties, and the internet. You can also use corporatevenues, hospitals and airports as venues to get your product sold. It is imperative to create attractivedisplays, be competitively priced and also have business cards and flyers with information about you andyour product. You need to be ready with information on why your product is superior, and be sure toeducate your customers on the benefits of handmade soap.You have to be passionate about your product and you need to communicate this passion when you engagewith your customers. You really need to be genuinely concerned with the skincare needs of yourcustomers. Let them know just how your products can benefit them.Be clever about pricing by offering discounts for increased quantities. Sell one bar for $7, but a set offour for $20, for example. Be sure to have a variety of products on hand that you can put forward to yourcustomer. This will increase you sales volumes.Although you are a new business, be sure to get up to speed with credit card sales. Ask your bank to helpyou. Many people find it easier to make larger purchases using their credit cards. Just be sure to use areputable credit card processor. You can get advice on this from your bank and also from other businessowners.Be sure to collect the tax as required by your state.
Going WholesaleWhen it comes to wholesaling, preparation is the key. You need to be sure that the product will be a fit forthe store you wish to sell it in. Take a walk through the store and see if you can envisage your product onthe shelves.Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the store owner/buyer is just waiting for you and your product tocome in and make them the offer of a lifetime. You need to show that you are serious and that you are aprofessional by calling ahead and making an appointment. You need to put yourself in their shoes and treatthem with the same patience and courtesy that you would expect in their position.Get up to speed on the terms of wholesaling, including pricing. Be sure to have the terms and prices neatlyprinted and ready for distribution to your potential wholesale customers. Include the following:The minimum opening order. This helps you identify serious buyers. Also, making sure that youhave a decent opening amount means that you can ensure that there will be enough stock in the storefor it t visible and therefore have a better chance of being sold.Include quality pictures of the products with the price next to each item. As a general rule,wholesale prices are half that of retail. So where a bar of soap would retail at $8, it would be soldwholesale at $4. Also be sure to indicate the minimum quantities applicable. Most companies sell bythe dozen.Now you have an idea of where you can sell your soaps. You can see that the market is open and there areenough options for you to carve out a decent business. But it is not just enough to know where you aregoing to sell your product. You need to have a clear idea of how you are going to do this.
So Just How Will You Sell?It is not possible to make sales without marketing. You need to therefore take this aspect of your businessvery seriously indeed. The more soap you sell, the more soap you can make, the more soap you can sell.You get the picture.There are several marketing efforts that you can make, and they don’t need to cost an arm and a leg.For example:You can print business cards rather inexpensively from your home computer. There are severalprograms that allow you to do this and also you can get creative by using custom paper to create adistinct look.Make full use of the social networks. The platforms such as Facebook and Twitter offer greatopportunities for businesses to create a presence and also to reach potential customers. There aremany books available that help you with internet marketing.Blogging has become very popular as well and it can go a long way in establishing arelationship with your customers.You might consider investing in a website. You will need one that has a shopping cart and also acredit card processing system. You will need to invest in a website that meets the standard marketrequirements today. It needs to be easy to find, and it needs to rank highly among search engines.Don’t be shy about asking a professional for help.Be sure to attend business networking events. This is a great way to promote not just you, butalso your business.Industry associations are another way to meet people in your business or industry. Not only willyou make friends, but you can also find that you get a lot of referral business from friends who sendcustomers your way who might want what you have.Newsletters are another great way for keeping your current customers updated. Keep yourcustomer lists updated and then keep them abreast of all your company news, specials, and anyevents through an email marketing campaign.
For How Much Will You Sell?Pricing and Profit Margins are imperative concerns. You definitely don’t want to undersell yourself. Ifanything, you need to know how much you are worth. Remember that the perception of a low priced bar ofhandmade soap will generally be that it is not worth buying. So take into consideration your time andeffort, as well as the ingredients and packaging and shipment. After you have done this, price your soap sothat you make a decent profit. Remember the convention that wholesale is half of retail. What this meansis simply that if you sell your soap at $6 retail, it will be sold at $3 direct to wholesalers.But all of these need to come together in such a way that you have a solid plan that guides you and yourbusiness forward. Location, marketing, packaging, pricing, etc. all need to come together so that you knowexactly what you and your business are doing at any point. The best way to do this is with a business plan.
ConclusionSo there you have it! Everything that you need to know to get started making your own personal soap. Thebest thing about making your own soap is that there is really no such thing as a wasted batch. It might notbe exactly what you were hoping your finished product would turn out like, but it will still be usable soapnonetheless. Chalk it up as a learning experience and you can still use it up as you figure out the changesthat need to be made in your next batch. Lastly, don’t be scared to share your experiences with others.Soap making is not a secretive practice. When you become a pro at it, help out the novice by sharing yourups and downs. Soap making is a joyful business because there is always something new around thecorner. There are new products, new ideas, and always something new to learn. If you have never madesoap before and have had a great first experience, share it with someone else.So go out there and have fun learning the many tricks that can be applied to soap-making. Some of themhave been presented here, and with the basics that you should have mastered by this stage, you will be ina good position to develop and create your own unique recipes. You will soon find yourself bringingfresh offerings to the market that will become the ace up your sleeve if you bring them to market properly.Taking up a new hobby is exciting, and even more exciting is the process of turning your hobby into aprofitable business. It cannot be stressed enough that the whole process should be fun and that thereshould never really be any ‘work’ in the traditional sense. After all, if you wanted to work you would getjob right? This should be a passion. And we all know the old adage that your heart is where your treasurelies. So put your heart into your soap, thoroughly enjoy making them. Enjoy finding new creative ways ofpresenting these soaps to the market. Fall in love with your product, and your customers will too.It won’t be long before your passion turns into a positive bank balance. And because you will be doingsomething that you enjoy, you will probably not even mind the legwork involved. After all, this is aproject that you take on to satisfy your creativity. Fortunately, it is also one that can translate creativityinto dollars. Who knew that you could pop your bubbles in the bank?!
Table of ContentsCopyrightTable of ContentsIntroductionWhat Are You Going to Do With It?Different Kinds of SoapThe Language of Soap-MakingIngredientsGetting StartedMistakes to AvoidStorageGetting Down to BusinessConclusion
Table of ContentsCopyrightTable of ContentsIntroductionWhat Are You Going to Do With It?Different Kinds of SoapThe Language of Soap-MakingIngredientsGetting StartedMistakes to AvoidStorageGetting Down to BusinessConclusion