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Old 04-04-2017, 12:47 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Arimara View Post
A very good thought if you want to sell soaps still.
??? I don't understand, Arimara. That would be like selling coal to Newcastle, wouldn't it? What am I missing.

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Old 04-04-2017, 01:03 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Zany_in_CO View Post
??? I don't understand, Arimara. That would be like selling coal to Newcastle, wouldn't it? What am I missing.
There's no harm in joining the guild if you're selling in general. Even an M&P soap maker can benefit from joining, as the OP is currently such. I was actually agreeing with you, in short.

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Old 04-07-2017, 02:14 PM   #43
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@zany in co

Thanks for the tips and links, I appreciate it!

Thanks for the info, I can see you spent quite a bit of time for my (and hopefully other’s) benefit. I appreciate it!

The electric topping dispenser is pretty cool idea. I’ll have to investigate it more.


@zany in co
I’ve thought about the soapers conference. I already have a membership because I bought the insurance. Haven’t decided if I’ll go to the conference. Was thinking I would instead put the money towards going to a tradeshow.

@ Everyone else

What is the max $ you would pay for a custom soap mold?

I had a long lost friend contact me on Facebook yesterday and said he wanted a surf wax mold made with a graphic of an orchid on it, he asked what I would charge to make it, plus make a packaging box for him. Basically he has seen my various FB posts over time about the progress I’ve made with my soaps, and he wanted the same thing to make a prototype for surf wax. I quoted him $150 for 2 pairs similar but different surf wax molds, one is where the orchid is indented and the other is the orchid extruded. $75 for the box design. $20 shipping to Hawaii. 150+75+20=245. Thus total for the job is $245. He agreed to my fees. Even before he agreed, I also gave him a referral to my local 3d printer store and have them quote out a potentially lower price.

$245 is not unreasonable for white collar contract work. This friend of mine is not a soap maker. He is a white collar worker, and the surf wax is a project at his desk job funded by his company. I just don’t think the average soap maker will be willing to pay anywhere near what I’ve asked for with this guy.

I wouldn’t accept work for hire for anything much less than the amounts I’ve asked for in this example. It is because I’m reasonably well paid from my photography job, and so I base all my time value at what I think my photography job pays me. Which means I wouldn’t make a $20 or $30 or $40 custom mold.

Thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:10 PM   #44
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Hi petech,

It looks to me that you like the design part quite a bit. Your last question - about how much a person would pay for a custom mold seems to be in the same arena. So ... the idea for you (for what it's worth) ...

Why not follow that custom mold idea, but take a step further and make forms for silicone molds. Then you get to design the form (and keep it), and the material/time costs are put into pouring and curing silicone.

One of my favourite mold designers (to look at their designs) adds to their range regulary and does spectacularly detailed soap molds that they charge about $30 to $60 for.
"I've learned to respect the whimsical" Michael Leunig
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:48 PM   #45
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I would make my own custom mold rather than pay someone else to make it. I have seen thousands of silicone molds online for reasonable as well as a few for exorbitant prices. I have been sorely tempted by a couple of designs I'd love to have that want $36.00 US for a single soap mold, but I simply will not pay that for a mold that can be used for only one bar of soap. I'd rather make the mold myself. The trouble is that I'd first have to have the master from which to make the mold.

My avatar is from a mold I made myself. After I made the mold, and made the soap, I later felted the soap, so that's what you are seeing when you look at my avatar. But I did make that mold and a few others. It was fun and I even had my granddaughter help make some others because she was interested. Since then I have purchased many little items that I'd like to make molds of, but also lost interest at least for the time being. That hasn't stopped me from looking at new and different soap mold designs periodically.

As I mentioned before, I prefer a mold with multiple individual cavities as opposed to single cavity molds. And I prefer silicone molds to hard plastic. I tend to use single cavity molds for left-over batter when doing CP soap. Even with MP, multiple cavity molds make far more sense for efficient production, so the few times I've done MP, I preferred them. But sometimes when I want a particular design, that is all that I can find online (single cavity molds.)
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:06 AM   #46
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I have a hard time with mp. It hardens so fast. Have to keep heating than loose the scent!
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:45 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by jod58 View Post
I have a hard time with mp. It hardens so fast. Have to keep heating than loose the scent!

It depends on what you are making .... but definitively MP needs a lot of temperature checking.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:14 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by petech View Post
@zany in co
I wouldnít accept work for hire for anything much less than the amounts Iíve asked for in this example. It is because Iím reasonably well paid from my photography job, and so I base all my time value at what I think my photography job pays me. Which means I wouldnít make a $20 or $30 or $40 custom mold.

Thoughts? Thanks!
I'm not altogether sure you're asking the right question. If you search, you'll find a thread of mine called - I think - "Pricing Time" where we discussed the "fair" value of the labor of a soap maker. I don't think a consensus we reached, but there's food for thought there.

It feels to me like you're approaching this backwards in regards to labor cost, trying to make soap-making or mold-making fit into your definition of what you're worth based on a previous job. Whereas it seems like the better approach would be do figure out what a soap of mold business will make then decide if you want to do it. I suspect you will find that it's not tenable.

I'm sure it is possible to make a successful business from handicrafts, but I can't imagine a scenario where it would be possible that such a business would net you the equivalent of $20/hr for your labor to meet your $40k goal, not to mention absorbing the doubled contributions for Social Security and healthcare relative to a salaried job.

That said, however, if there IS such a market it will not be in volume. Making thousand of the same soap won't do it because a real manufacturer could destroy your CoGS - probably by a factor of 20 - and if the market was there they'd probably already be doing it. I think your most valuable asset is the potential customization. Try to get "in" with wedding and event planners who would use you to create wedding or party favors. (Would I be right in guessing that as a photographer, you might already have in-roads into this industry?) I'm thinking of a bride and groom sitting down to pick out the designs for a soap and a box (or two for His and Hers) personalized with their initials or names, the date of the wedding, etc. Looking through a book of beautiful photographs (that you can clearly take yourself), sniffing scent samples and handling bars of soap. It'd be like going to a cake tasting at a bakery. Then you can knock out that custom mold and make a few hundred for that wedding. A couple-three thousand dollars for wedding favors is a pittance in a lot of weddings nowadays. So with anniversaries, retirement parties, maybe birthdays.

I could see that being something viable, but I'd bet you still won't make $20/hr doing it, unfortunately.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:40 PM   #49
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OMG!!! What is this? I also have (oups 2) college degrees and made a lot of money... like many also surely do here... so what? That is not the point I will be the Bit..h here... I'm making soaps because I LOVE IT!!! I never calculate my time... everybody know that crafting is NOT an hourly calculating money making job! I had a big car accident that forced me to do something else in my life and you know what? I've never been happier! I do M&P because I have no space and pets so I care for them and I wanted to start my business so I DEAL with it... with my health, with my lack of space and with the fact that if estimate the time I take to do this instead of the $65/hour I used to make 8years ago... well guess what I'm way below the minimum wage!
My suggestion to you.... DO SOMETHING ELSE! This is something we do with passion and love thats it! AND when you do it this way money will come but never expect to make 60$ an hour..... another suggestion is to go back to school to do something that will pay... since this is important... We are here to help each other with tips and tricks but this soap is not hard to do... IT TAKES TIME.... well take the time and do it! Its fun and relaxing to do you never know you could like it! me? I'd rather be happy then dead .... Voilŗ !

opening soon!
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