A couple of years ago, I began making cold process soap and handmade solid lotion bars so that I knew what the contents of the products were. The soap that I was making was being used in our household and by some of our children and their families. The lotion bars have been used by me, given as gifts to knitter and spinner friends and family and all were well received. This encouraged me to continue to make more and varied products and soon I was stockpiling much more than we could use. A couple of months ago, I opened an Etsy Shop, hoping to make a hobby business out of my passion. I signed up for a folk craft festival. Both the shop and the festival have been or were largely unsuccessful, however, my friends who have been given soap, lotion bars, or beard oils or who have purchased them from me have encouraged me not to give up.
In this vein, one friend suggested that I apply for the Holiday Market at the Farmers’ Market that will occur on two Saturdays, one in November and one in December. I contacted the market manager and received an application. The application was completed and promptly returned with the necessary photos of products. October 15 was the deadline to submit the applications and I am sitting on pins and needles awaiting notification of whether I was accepted for either or both of the days. As soap can be made in a couple of hours, it requires 4 weeks to cure to sufficient hardness to make it marketable. My supply is fairly good right now, especially of the ones scented with essential oils, but 3 of my 4 signature unscented soaps are in a fairly low supply. For the past week, I have debated with myself, whether I should make more soap, knowing that if I don’t get in the market and if my shop business doesn’t pick up, that I would be adding 27 more bars of soap to my supply shelf.
This morning, I decided that the soaps that were in short supply are also the ones that we are most likely to use here, so I hauled out the scale, pot, immersion blender, oils, lye and other accoutrements of a morning of soap making.
I ended up making 3 batches of signature soaps. My Coffee Scrub, Lavender Oatmeal, and Rosemary Oat soaps wrapped in insulating towels on a wide window sill until they can be unmolded and cut tomorrow or the next day. These soaps are all natural soaps made with food grade oils, no preservatives, no artificial colorants and no scent oils. They are all mild castile soaps.
Now my fingers and toes are crossed that I am admitted to at least one of the market days and that my soaps, lotion bars, beard oils, Comfrey salve, and handspun yarns sell. I would love to keep indulging in my love to make these products.