Have I been away? No, just focusing on other projects at the moment. Last month when I attended the Fiber Festival, I took 2 bars of homemade soap with 2 homemade lotion bars as my gift exchange and gave my roommate another bar of soap and lotion bar. They were well received and the conversation turned to whether I should be a vendor at the next Festival. The trouble with this is that several of the participants are sensitive to scents and the smell of raw fleece, so if you vend those items, they must be kept in your room, not in the Festival area. This prompted more discussion and I began toying with the idea of opening an Etsy shop through which to vend soap, lotion bars and handspun yarn.
After arriving back home, my daughter and I discussed it more and with her business knowledge, we began the process of setting this project in motion. A shop name had to be selected and my first choice was already taken. Labels had to be created and business cards designed and ordered.
As my supply of soap is limited right now to the last two batches that we made together about 6 weeks ago, we started making more cold process soaps as they must cure for about 4 to 6 weeks to dry enough to not dissolved too quickly in a bath. First we ordered 2 more loaf style soap molds and 2 molds that will make 2 1/4″ disc shaped soaps or can be used for the lotion bars that fit in a tin. We ventured down to the local Michael’s and used 2 coupons for 40% off to purchase 2 more loaf style molds. That will give us 5 to work with. Yesterday, I experimented with a batch of hot process soap as they can be used right away, but benefit from a curing period to harden as well. When cutting the soap from the loaf molds, there are always ends that are too small to sell and some of them we use at home or grate to use in our homemade laundry detergent. The rest of these slivers and small bars collect in a jar and this afternoon, we played with two different recipes of rebatched soap to create Oatmeal and spice scrubbing muffins and flower imprinted bars of Lavender scented guest soaps. These will be usable immediately and will be packaged creatively to add to the shop.
Last evening and this morning, photos were taken of the soaps and hand-spun yarns that are ready for listing. A learning curve as I set up a business Paypal account and began to populate the shop. A spreadsheet was developed to track the supply purchases and the sales when they happen. Many more batches of soap will be made. Lotion bars will follow as soon as the molds arrive. As yarn that I am not planning on using myself or making for my daughter is spun, it will be added to the shop.
Late last night, my shop went live. This will help me indulge my love of the old homestead crafts and hopefully earn a little money that can help me continue making more. If you want to check it out, it is http://www.etsy.com/shop/CabinCrafted.