Canadian suppliers. . . .

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

momma_mayham

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
Montreal, QC
I've done a ton searches - here on the forum and on the web... I don't like asking the same question someone(s) else has asked, I understand irritating repetitive questions, but I'm at a loss. I don't have any local soaping friends, so I come to you! My virtual soaping friends :)

Here's the story. My boyfriend sat me down and crunched numbers with me. Boy was that fun! Not! LOL! A bit of yelling and a few tears but we got through it. We figured out that my soap cost (just the cost of ingredients) is between $2.50ish up to $4.00! Obviously depending on the oils, essential oils, I'm sure you get the idea :) Yikes!

So I've been trying to figure out bring the cost of my soap down. But with the suppliers I've been using, I don't know how that's possible. Currently I use Saffire Blue and sometimes New Directions. Did I mention the crises of attempting conversions? Holy crap Batman! Liters to KG?! And fragrance & essential oils. Don't even get me started with that! I'm simple minded, and I'm just fine with that. But how the heck do they ALL weigh differently! My gawd! I never thought high school math would come in handy. Shoulda payed more attention in school!

Now, I want to order from Voyageur (I hear so many good things!) but I have reservations about shipping costs (I'm in Montreal). I know it's their job and all, but I don't want them packing up an entire order for the shipping cost to be so astronomical that I have to tell them no. My lovely boyfriend suggested looking into direct from supplier purchasing. His logic is - that's where they get it from, why can't you? Hmmmm, so I looked into it. Eesh. My biggest problem is the minimum order quantities. Hundreds of liters/KG. No go my friend. Back to square 1 I go!

I would just like some ideas to bounce around with you guys. Who do you use? Actual soap/cosmetic supplier? From a "direct" supplier? Fragrances? I found this place: www.pureessentialoils.ca/ Anybody ever heard of them? Use them?

My brain is just overflowing with numbers, I apologize if I'm making no sense at all. I think I'm loosing my mind :S eeekkkkkk

Thank you all for being here and willing to share the knowledge you have. I don't know where I'd be without this place! :)

xo
 

Lindy

Soap Diva Queen
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
8,625
Reaction score
1,634
Location
BC
New Directions is going to be the cheapest on EO's but you have the $100 minimum. Voyageur ships via Canada Post most of the time and they have the best customer service, bar none. Your cost should be around the $1.00 range, not sure how come yours is so high??? What are you including?
 

Dahila

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
2,619
Reaction score
1,820
Location
Canada, Ontario
I agree with Lindy, I ordered from Voyager probably 5 or 6 times and paid less than from almost locally placed Saffire blue (their Essential oils ssuck big time) the cost of shipping from voyager is like 13 dollars. We have in my city supplier Candora, and the quality of Essential oils are very good. Their prices are a tiny bit higher than Saffire but I love this supplier:))
I have a list of Canadian suppliers in home, I will try to rember to pm the links to you. I remember there is two suppliers in Quebec....:p
 

momma_mayham

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
Montreal, QC
Okay, here goes it!
My Dead Sea Mud recipe is where my notebook brought me, so I guess I'll use that one as the example. For a 2 kilo batch:

25% - 500g Olive oil - $5.40
25% - 500g Coconut oil - $2.20
30% - 600g Lard - $4.50
15% - Shea butter - $2.80
5% - 100g Castor oil - $0.60
760g distilled water - approx. $1.00 (I know it's under, just rounding up for arguments sake)
281g Lye - $3.00
1 tsp silk, 3.4g - $0.54
1 tsp Activated charcoal - (didn't get to this one, that's why I rounded up the water cost)
185g Dead sea mud - $3.00
25g Kaolin clay - $3.15
20g Lavender EO - $2.20
12g Cedarwood EO - $2.40
10g Lime EO -$1.50
10g Rosemary EO - $1.00
8g Patchouli EO - $1.60

So! The total cost should be, if my math is correct: $35.25. This makes 22 bars of soap, which equals me out to $1.60 per bar. For s#!ts and giggles we figured out what I would have to sell this for using what seems to be the standard business model I've been seeing. Cost+labor. x 2 = Wholesale, x 2 = Retail. We roughly estimated that if I were to pay myself (properly) and cover "overhead" which isn't much, I'd be tacking on another $45.00 to this equation. That puts me at $80.25! So the COG and time already puts me at $3.64 a bar. I haven't even gotten into the cost of wholesale cost yet. Eesh! Now, my "wholesale" cost would end up being $160.50 for the whole batch - $7.29 per bar. What would be the "retail" cost $321.00! That equals out to being $14.59! PER BAR?!?! WAAAAAA??? I'd like to think I've done some decent research and learning on selling handmade goods, but this is to high for anybody to justify.

I just want to put a disclaimer here, if/before I get pummeled about being a new-ish soaper. I know I've only been soaping since mid 2013, but the force is apparently strong with me. I can't stop - which is good because I keep getting asked if I have "such 'n such" for sale, or when are you going to start selling your soaps? I've have actual serious inquires about selling in a couple boutiques. I supplied my best friends' wedding favors. The same best friend started this "you have to start selling your soap" strong arming. I feel my stuff is good enough to sell, I just never feel like I know enough. Mildly self deprecating, yes. I think most of you know how that feels from time to time (at least?).

So what are your thoughts? :)
 

momma_mayham

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
Montreal, QC
I agree with Lindy, I ordered from Voyager probably 5 or 6 times and paid less than from almost locally placed Saffire blue (their Essential oils ssuck big time) the cost of shipping from voyager is like 13 dollars. We have in my city supplier Candora, and the quality of Essential oils are very good. Their prices are a tiny bit higher than Saffire but I love this supplier:))
I have a list of Canadian suppliers in home, I will try to rember to pm the links to you. I remember there is two suppliers in Quebec....:p
Thanks Dahila! Just wondering how much you ordered? Lots of heavy stuff?

I know (ish) of a little soap place here in Montreal that sells soap and supplies, but of course I can't remember their name :p I thought there was just that one tho! Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D
http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

Lindy

Soap Diva Queen
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
8,625
Reaction score
1,634
Location
BC
Nah not going to get pummeled. I think your numbers are a bit high on cost. French Rose Clay for 25 gr cost .65 cents. Kaolin is no higher. Your EOs look to be about right, but your lye looks really high.

On the other hand I don't know where you get your lard, but I think at the grocery store you'll find it to be a bit cheaper plus no shipping.

Can I recommend SoapMaker 3? It will show you your exact costs per bar of soap.
 

momma_mayham

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
Montreal, QC
Nah not going to get pummeled. I think your numbers are a bit high on cost. French Rose Clay for 25 gr cost .65 cents. Kaolin is no higher. Your EOs look to be about right, but your lye looks really high.

On the other hand I don't know where you get your lard, but I think at the grocery store you'll find it to be a bit cheaper plus no shipping.

Can I recommend SoapMaker 3? It will show you your exact costs per bar of soap.
Phew! That takes a load off! :)

Maybe it's the way I've been calculating the cost of shipping into the equation as well? How I worked it is I took the orders I have made in the past and added the taxes and the shipping then divided by however many items I had that order. The average is around $1.00 per item. So I just took the cost of what I bought and added $1.00. I'm fairly certain everything in this particular recipe is from Saffire Blue(if that matters at all). I figured the lard was a bit pricy, I just never got a chance to check the prices when I'm out. I always get the "hurry up" eyeball roll, or "we're late!" :p

Ohhh Soapmaker 3! How i want you soooooooo badly! But I use a Mac. And when I went to go check it out I was so sad to see they don't offer a mac version, or will they ever :( I would have NO issue spending the $100 for a tool like that! I suck at spreadsheets, so all the calculations I've been doing are the old fashioned way. By hand. I don't mind it in the least :) but a program like that I drool over lol If I ever get wind they released a mac version, I'll be one of the first in line!
 

Lindy

Soap Diva Queen
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
8,625
Reaction score
1,634
Location
BC
There is something for Mac that allows you to use Windows based programs like SM3. I don't remember the name but ask in the FB group I think some are running it on their Macs.

I don't include shipping, taxes or wages in my calculations because that is overhead which is absorbed through the profits. As long as you calculate that way you are not going to be competitive. But if you take your ingredients only x 4 for retail you have your expenses covered with a profit.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,960
Reaction score
8,998
Location
Austria
As I have said before, if you can't afford to make a lot of soap, don't make a lot of soap. If you like going to the cinema bu can't afford to do so, you just go less - the same with any hobby.

That said, reducing the costs is a better way to make more soap for less cash, when possible. Have you also tried this recipe with out the clay? Maybe also try one batch where the only thing you change is the butter (15%) in to lard - that will reduce your costs a fair amount and I really think you won't notice much of a difference in end result.
 

momma_mayham

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
Montreal, QC
Thanks Lindy! I will most defiantly ask around the FB group. I had asked one of the IT guys I work with about it - he didn't seem to think it was a goo idea. So I kind of left it alone. I didn't get the computer bug, so I'm very apprehensive installing something like that. I WILL try again!
The Efficacious gentleman. Thank you, I will give that a try :)
 

dneruck

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
137
Reaction score
71
There is something for Mac that allows you to use Windows based programs like SM3. I don't remember the name but ask in the FB group I think some are running it on their Macs.
.

There is an application called VM Ware that you can install on your Mac and then run Windows. You have to purchase it though (and the copy of Windows)

You can also install windows on most of the newer macs and have the ability to dual boot, meaning you can either start up the computer in the Mac OS or Windows
 

momma_mayham

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
Montreal, QC
There is an application called VM Ware that you can install on your Mac and then run Windows. You have to purchase it though (and the copy of Windows)

You can also install windows on most of the newer macs and have the ability to dual boot, meaning you can either start up the computer in the Mac OS or Windows
Thanks dneruck! I'll look into that!

Dahila, Thank you for the links! Much appreciated :)

Well, off to do some research! :)
 

misfities

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
85
Reaction score
19
This will cost you some money up front, but, hey, it's a canadian company and you're supporting your own people. This program will really help you break down the costs of everything and make better financial organization on a per-bar basis. Just a suggestion.

https://www.soapmaker.ca/features.php
 

momma_mayham

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
Montreal, QC
This will cost you some money up front, but, hey, it's a canadian company and you're supporting your own people. This program will really help you break down the costs of everything and make better financial organization on a per-bar basis. Just a suggestion.

https://www.soapmaker.ca/features.php
Thanks misfities! Lindy already got back on her band wagon and dneruck gave me an application program to look into/use so that I can run it on my Macbook. I've seen Soapmaker... Many times. I drool over it lol!
 

Lindy

Soap Diva Queen
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
8,625
Reaction score
1,634
Location
BC
Thanks misfities! Lindy already got back on her band wagon and dneruck gave me an application program to look into/use so that I can run it on my Macbook. I've seen Soapmaker... Many times. I drool over it lol!
*giggle* I love my band wagon.
 

momma_mayham

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
34
Reaction score
8
Location
Montreal, QC
Thanks Trix! I'll check them out :)

Lindy, I've tried figuring out the VM ware... I think it's a little too far out my realm of comfort and understanding when it comes to computers. So I've decided I'm just gonna go find a cheapie PC. Just for SM3! :)
 

Lindy

Soap Diva Queen
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
8,625
Reaction score
1,634
Location
BC
You won't regret it...
 

Neve

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
346
Reaction score
168
Voyageur is awesome and their shipping costs are completely reasonable even for heavy boxes. I'm closer than you are though. But I think you'll find you are pleasantly surprised.

I do think some items are cheaper at NDA though. If you really wanted to get serious about it you'd have to compare prices on everything. Major headache I tried. And I decided I was ok with Votageur's pricing.

And get this: they actually CALL you if an item is on backorder or not available.
 
Top