Sales, business, and writing.

by Veronica on March 8, 2015

in Soapmaking

We didn’t have a market this weekend, and my long suffering joints breathed a sigh of relief. I took less painkillers and I let the exhaustion creep in, just a little bit. We’ve been working hard, all of us, and it was time for a break. The nature of my particular disability means I can only push it so far before it begins to push back, and while I am more determined than smart sometimes, taking this weekend off was the smart thing to do.

I celebrated of course by making lots of soap, catching up on the work I’d been otherwise unable to do, due to markets, travelling, family time constraints. All of these things, and a few others.

My hands rebelled by cramping abominably as I tried to glop a perilously close to seizing soap into moulds on Friday night, and I was forced to switch to my left hand while my right hand contorted itself into some kind of claw outside of my control, while I swore and smoothed and tried to stop everything going to hell in a hand basket. The soap survived, but I walked away with a new appreciation for what my right hand can actually do in a pinch, and intricate layered soap with lots of parts needing stirring, scooping and smoothing may be getting beyond me.

Raspberry Layer Soap

But I don’t stop trying of course, chasing that holy grail with lots of colours and intricate swirls, even when I am left nursing my hand into submission with hot water and heat packs, painkillers and warmth in equal measure.

I try to tell myself it’s pain with a purpose, that lots of people suffer for their art, but I’m left unsure whether it’s worth it.

Blue Horizon Soap

Modified Tiger Stripe

In an attempt to celebrate a long weekend, I threw a sale over on the online shop, but I suspect everyone is feeling just as poor as we are, with the back to school levies following so closely on top of everything else. Still, we try, because we have no markets and an influx of bills has sent me scurrying to my calculator to set ourselves a Very Strict Budget.

One of my children asks me if we are rich now, because we have a business, and I laugh and laugh and laugh. If people knew the truth of it; how much time and money a fledgling business takes, they would never ever ask for anything. But there you go. And yet I still cannot stop myself lusting over new colours, or a bottle of essential oil, because Business Expenses are Important.

In any case, there’s a rather big sale happening, so if you wanted some soap for $5, and some even cheaper, you should go look, right after you finish here. I’ve promised on our Facebook page to throw in samples for everyone (the sample cupboard is looking a little bloated right now, please help me thin it down), so it’s a good way to get free random soap.

Whisky Soap fresh poured

We went out to Belgrove Distillery the other day, in a quest to find some very good whisky, to put into soap. Everyone remains a little baffled by my insistence on soaping with the Very Good Whisky, but if I wouldn’t drink the cheap stuff, why would I want to wash with it? So we bought some Very Good Whisky (see above, re: business expenses) and I boiled it down and added it to soap.

I can’t begin to describe how lush the lather is on the soap bits I tested, but it’s going to be gorgeous. Set to be sold at the Mud and Ink exhibition closing (whisky themed for World Whisky Appreciation Day, of course) by Jon Kudelka and Kim Foale, it should be a bit of fun.

Carnation Layers

I’ve been invited, and was delighted to accept a proposal by Kenna at Modern Soapmaking to be their newest contributor. Kenna is set to take her family across the USA in an old converted bus and couldn’t dedicate the time to Modern Soapmaking she would normally, so I’m filling the gap and smashing together two passions of mine all at once. Writing AND soap making? What could be better? I’m not really sure. Maybe free chocolate AND writing about soapmaking, but that’s another story.

You can read my first article here, but not before you go and buy soap here, okay? I need to pay my power bill, and the postage costs for the month, and somehow, the German Shepherd pup (very cute, very naughty, very intelligent) eats more than my three children put together. Puppies should come with warnings: WILL GROW TO EAT EVERYTHING.

Eh. I knew what I was in for.

Cranberry Pomegranate soap

Cranberry Pomegranate Cut

In summary, life is good, if busy and somewhat painful. I’m learning to manage the things I want to do against the things I am physically capable of – a balancing act every day.

Soap making remains an absolutely delightful way to spend my time – I mean, come on, have you seen my soaps? Have you smelled them? (You should, they’re great)


Business is good, if suffering slightly from the same ennui we’re all stricken with at this time of year. Growth is happening, and everything is a lot of fun.

How are you, Internet? Good I hope?

Erin March 9, 2015 at 12:03 am

So excited. Just bought my first batch of soaps…. Future me is going to love it!

Becky March 9, 2015 at 2:50 am

I’m so in love with that third-to-last picture!

river March 9, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Me too, that third to last picture is gorgeous.
I’ll check out the sale but can’t promise anything, 🙁 I’ve been buying books 🙂

FunMumX3 March 10, 2015 at 5:16 am

OOOOOOOHHHHHHH Sparkles. There’s a niche right there. Bring it on.

Off topic, I would still love you to come up with a reasonably priced, sustainable soap holder. I don’t have anywhere to put my soap where it doesn’t turn to mush.

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