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Soap Making Forum > The Soap Making & Craft Forum > General Chat > [Rant] Store-bought soap gifts!
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:34 PM   #1
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Default [Rant] Store-bought soap gifts!

This is just a light-hearted rant, I figure you folks are the perfect group to commiserate with.

I've been making CP soap for my family for the past 5 years. Everyone seems to look forward to it and I always put in effort to make the soaps beautiful and well-wrapped and placed into a goodie bag of other homemade items that I make.

This year my mother's partner decided to splurge on fancy Italian soaps for everyone. When they unwrapped the soaps everyone ooh'd and ahh'd and bickered over who would get which scent... while completely ignoring my little handmade soaps.

I couldn't help but feel a bit miffed by the whole situation, especially since everyone in the room (including my mom and her partner) knew I do the soap-thing for Christmas!

Anyway, just a very minor annoyance. Has anyone else experienced something similar with their family?

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Old 12-30-2016, 09:53 PM   #2
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I haven't - at least to the extent you have. But I do empathize with you because when I oogle fancy speciality soaps I admire the scent quality, the perfect shapes, the clever packaging and etc. Makes me feel mighty humble, but not in a positive way.

Its hard to do - but try to remember the proof is in the pudding; the quality of your soap, the fact that you honed the formula as you went through all the trial and error it takes to find the right recipe. And the results....the way your skin feels.

You did the work. You didn't pay experts to formulate the cheapest easiest way to mass produce a product that would make you money. You didn't cheap out on the ingredients (budgeting wisely is not cheaping out!).

And as I spent an roughly 10 hours shrink wrapping, labeling, and sorting fragrances into gift bags (I spend way too much time trying to predict who will like which fragrance), I know the kind of work it took to make your gifts.

And.....drum roll.....there's a lot more love and thought in your gift, than someone who just pulled out a credit card for the commercial stuff.

We get it.

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Old 12-31-2016, 12:15 AM   #3
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Thankfully, I haven't experienced any incidences like that with my family and my soap. I honestly can't think of a single one of them who's a long-term a recipient of my soap that would ever do something like that to me......at least not in my presence in front of my whole family anyway.....
............at least not that I know of .....

I totally get it, though, because I've had something similar happen to me, but with something other than soap.

If it was done intentionally, I know I would feel quite hurt and would no longer gift any more of my soap to the particular family member in question. Not out of spite, but rather due to the amount of work and time spent on making, curing and wrapping/labeling/packaging it. It's just not worth all that time and effort I expend to gift it to someone who doesn't appreciate it.

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Old 12-31-2016, 12:43 AM   #4
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That's a bummer for sure. Thankfully I've not experienced that either. My family looks forward to their yearly soapy gifts. They also purchase from me throughout the year.

As stated the proof will be in the use of the soap. Handmade is so much better than mass produced. Hold your head up high.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:19 AM   #5
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I'm sorry you had to go through that.

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Old 12-31-2016, 02:31 AM   #6
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I haven't had that happen to me either, and I'm sorry that it happened to you. I do get a variety of responses, from my brother in law who will say 'thank you - I like your soap' all the way to my mother in law who this year actually teared up and mentioned how much work she knows goes into making it. Which was very sweet, but I should also say she wears her heart on her sleeve and will get teary over a TV commercial too.
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Old 12-31-2016, 03:44 AM   #7
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I can see how that would hurt, but may be the gifter hasn't been in the family long enough to understand the significance of your little tradition or they have been and knew more soap would only make your family happier and your family was just appreciating the gift.
If you don't think that they did it intentionally then just smile it off and move on to assessing your own fancy soap, I'm assuming that's what you got too.
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:33 AM   #8
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I can totally understand why you're feeling chapped about that. I'm hoping maybe your mother's partner is a new addition? If not, if they knew it was a rather longstanding annual tradition, then it was thoughtless of them to do that, even if it was a "splurge". They could have just as easily splurged on Swiss or Belgian chocolate or something else exotic-sounding to those of us on this continent. However, they may not have thought about that at the time so hopefully it was not an intentional slight.

However, regardless of that, there are a few possibilities for the oohing and aahing that had nothing to do with the quality of your soaps. If the partner is new then maybe they were trying to make them feel welcome? If not relatively new to the family then maybe your family members could have realized that it was a splurge and appreciated the partner's effort. It could have been the "grass is greener" syndrome and anything new/different would get attention. Certainly the "Italian" part could have been exciting and exotic. They know they can get more soap from you if someone got a scent they wanted, whereas the supply of fancy soaps were limited to on hand and in front of them.

There is also the competitiveness of some people, wherein the jostling for who gets what is exciting. My adult brother and sister have come to almost-serious blows (pushing and shoving) during the family Easter egg hunt that was put on for their children--and my sister doesn't even eat candy! (They were hollow eggs filled with candies.) In fact, if someone threw out some soaps on a table at my family's gathering and said for everyone to pick which one they wanted, I would probably back up because there would probably be blood shed in the ensuing scuffle between my brother and sister! lol

Anyway, there are a lot of factors that could have prompted your family's reaction that have nothing to do with your lovely soaps.

You have me totally curious about what other homemade items you make?

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Old 12-31-2016, 05:41 AM   #9
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I don't think people really understand how much effort goes into making soap and labelling and packaging it. My family are appreciative to a degree but some compared it to farmers market soap - no ingredients listed so no doubt it has palm oil and high CO which I don't use but makes a great hard soap and probably SL and EDTA which I also don't use - so yes it's "better" than mine. Hopefully they will notice the difference on their skin when they use it.

One of my family members uses only natural soap (I discovered later) so my carefully selected FOs and colours were wasted on her. I later sent her some of my all natural soaps. I'm still learning and perfecting my soap so I know they aren't perfect but it is still a bit daunting.

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Old 12-31-2016, 03:22 PM   #10
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I feel ya! My family knows I'd be really upset if they brought home commercial soap, but I do hear complaints that my hobby has made gift giving hard for them. No more going into Bath and Body Works for easy-dont-know-what-to-get-them gifts.

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