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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Almost.....


 I am getting closer and closer to a soap recipe I like. Thanks to everyone who is asking when I'm going to sell them! I heard from a friend yesterday that he gave a bar to his sister and it has cleared up her eczema, who knew!? Michele Hastings had mentioned in a previous post that sometimes the essential oils bother her skin.

Which leads to me to thinking about fragrance free soaps. One, the essential oils are EXPENSIVE!. Two, I don't know what I'm doing and its a crap shoot if the blend I mix turns out. I am all about problem solving, and this fragrance thing is a problem for me. So, if the oils can be skin irritants why use them? I think clay soaps for oily skin and soap with luxurious ingredients like shea butter and hemp seed oil and calendula petals might be nice on their own without the fragrance. What do you think?

The only thing about this is watching people around soaps. The place I'm working now sells fine french milled soap and every person that looks at the soap picks it up and smells it, first thing. I do it too. I like soap fragrance. But apparently not everyone does.

So maybe there are better reasons to make soap, like good for your skin reasons....

The shop I am working in also had these cute wooden baskets. I suggested while helping on a soap display that we use them to package some of the soaps, I got shot down, so I bought the things and did my own packaging. I added some green spanish moss, got some colored raffia and some clear bags, and voila, instant gift! I also found these tiny little brown paper bags that I thought would be a nice item to tuck in with a purchase, add a couple of soap ends and a card with the soap ingredients, fun!
I have been trying to find a clever way to package soap that isn't like what everyone else is doing. Its a challenge for sure.


I now have a choice to make with this job thing. I have been looking for some part time work to help fund Wesley's school and film costs. I applied first at a local DIY garden shop that sells homebrew supplies, canning, cheese making, organic farm supplies, etc. Its sort of a boutique garden center with the nicest guys ever working there. I love this store and really wanted to work there. Then I applied at the shop where I am nowworking, because the garden shop didn't have any hours available. And you know what happened don't you?!  As soon as I got the job at the vintage store, which I also like a lot, the garden store called and asked if I was still interested. Of course they did. I knew this was going to happen. I was hoping I would be able to work at both places and have all kinds of fun, but they both want me to work Saturdays..... so I have to choose, one or the other, not both..... ugh.

I had an interesting day yesterday at the vintage store. They also sell very expensive clothing and I helped a lady choose an outfit for her class reunion. Without blinking an eye she bought a jacket and some black leggings for almost $300...... I don't think I have spent $300 on clothing this entire year. It amazes me, this money thing. In my mind, $300 is Wesley's rent and groceries, its a car payment, its groceries for us, its a power bill..... it's sure as hell not a jacket and leggings...... I am living in a different Universe.

17 comments:

Scott Garrett said...

I like your Universe better!

Debbie said...

If you have soap that clears eczema, please let me know when you start selling it. Getting desperate here. Thanks!

Tracey Broome said...

Scott, yeah it's a pretty good universe, haha!
Debbie, I gave my friend a bunch of samples, not sure which one she liked.... But, I am working on some recipes today, looking for non drying non irritating ingredients and using calendula which is supposed to be a skin soother. I can send you some samples to try when they are done, email me an address

DirtKicker Pottery said...

Class reunions can majorly mess with your head. I spent way too much on an outfit for mine and then decided not to go. Thinking about going back to high school can make people do silly things.

Your soaps are the most beautiful I've seen. I'm also an eczema person. It's rare that I can find a soap with fragrance that doesn't mess up my skin. Fragrance free, moisturizing, natural soap sounds perfect to me. I would totally buy some.

Tracey Broome said...

Ooooooh, motivation to try new recipes!
I hear ya on the reunion business, I went to my tenth and I still have regrets about going. High school was the worst time of my life, why I ever thought I could go back and make it better is beyond me, if anything the people were even worse. I will say this lady I helped was different, sounded like they were all still friends and looking forward to seeing each other, it was her 59th reunion if you can believe that! Of course she was a cheerleader so I'm sure she had a good time in high school, didn't they all?!

Dennis Allen said...

I think Fragrance Free is a fine thing to pitch about your soaps.That way people know you left it out on purpose and you can educate them on the benefits.You could probably sell EPK as an astringent mask then sell them a mug and brush to apply it.

Anna M. Branner said...

Yup, I agree with everyone else that fragrance free can be a huge selling point. I have several friends with environmental type sensitivities and unless they know exactly what the fragrance is and where it comes from they buy only fragrance free. And I LOVE your packaging idea. Did you print the bags? If not I KNOW you could come up with your own design as well. :)

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Demnis, I have been using kaolin, makes the soap sooo soft. Maybe I'll find another potter to make some mugs for me:-)
Anna, maybe there is a reason my fragrances aren't sticking around, haha, someone tryng to tell me something?!

Sandy miller said...

I love the packaging idea! Gotta say I'd be jumping ship to other place :) ya know this soap thing..... It's like pottery, ya just can't please everybody so make what you love! Gosh I surveyed my house for soap..... Fels Naptha at the downstairs wash up sink, also Lava. Half bath.... Rosemary and lavender soap. Upstairs, shower, dr. Bronners, sink something handmade for me with a lavender scent and coast for my better half. It's a quandary, every sink seems to have a different function. Oh and the kitchen sink...... Good old white Castile soap from the local hardware store that I just love :)

BaHaaaaaa!!!!!! $300 on a jacket and leggings, bahaaaaaa! Do you know what could do with $300! But then all my shoes have clay or chicken poop on them.....

Tracey Broome said...

Sandy, you need some more soaps :-)
Speaking of poop on shoes, I went to interview at this store, wore my brown cowboy boots, only decent non hiking looking shoes I have. I looked down at one point and I had chicken poop on the bottom and edge of one of my boots. Way to go, job interview with chicken shit on my shoe!

June Perry said...

I would think a mixture of scented and unscented would be a good way to go. As you say, most people pick up the soaps to smell them.
Yes, essential oils are pricy but they can be a good selling point.
Many of those essential oils are used to everything from meditation, relaxation, to healing and that could be a very good selling point.
Although they're pricy (and so is cobalt)but like cobalt, where there's very little in each glaze it's probably the same with the essential oils. Many of the soap making supply companies have frequent sales on their fragrances and essential oils.
Love those little bags and baskets!

June Perry said...

I would think a mixture of scented and unscented would be a good way to go. As you say, most people pick up the soaps to smell them.
Yes, essential oils are pricy but they can be a good selling point.
Many of those essential oils are used to everything from meditation, relaxation, to healing and that could be a very good selling point.
Although they're pricy (and so is cobalt)but like cobalt, where there's very little in each glaze it's probably the same with the essential oils. Many of the soap making supply companies have frequent sales on their fragrances and essential oils.
Love those little bags and baskets!

Vicki said...

I haven't spent $300 on clothes for myself in well over three years. Some items are getting pretty ratty - but then, with no job, whose going to look at them... only my dog :D
Most of my $$ have to go on clay (and related) supplies.

Your soap baskets look awesome! You have a great eye for detail and whatever you choose to package your rustic, delicious soaps will be fantastic.

Wow, you're so fortunate to have not one, but two PT jobs to choose from. Over here, the competition for full and part-time jobs is so fierce due to the high population.
Go with your heart and you'll be happy in the place you decide to go.


handstories said...

I'm just waiting….ready to place my order….I've knitted up some washcloths for holiday gifts & need a beautiful soap to put with each of them, just saying.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi June,yes a mix I think is the way to go. Now if I can just get a fragrance I like. I'm moving towards not blending the oils and just having the one scent, maybe peppermint, patchouli, something.... I have spent quite a sum on experimenting, not cheap!
Hi Vicki, yes I lucked into these jobs, have been looking for awhile, and then it rains, it pours.... My clothes are also pretty tattered, comfortable, but tattered:) took myself shopping last week with birthday money, it was actually very stressful, stuffy hot dressing rooms, sizes for teenagers, ugh, no wonder I like my old things!
Cindy.... Soon..... I'm almost there!

Lori Buff said...

I have a friend who has issues with the essential oils also. I like the idea of using fully natural ingredients for fragrance. I’m thinking about lavender, rosemary, coffee, etc.
Another friend makes a soap with charcoal that people like because it helps clear up skin conditions...something else for you to ponder.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Lori, I have tried herbs and teas and coffees but the fragrance doesn't stick around too long. The soap looks nice though.... I also tried charcoal soap but I found it too astringent and exfoliant for my skin, it makes a great kitchen soap though, and I love the black. I'm learning more and more that essential oils can be quite bothersome, also they can cause photo sensitivity to sun...