Custom Order Soap Favors - M&P or CP??

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scrubadubdub

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Hello all! I have been soaping for several years and have finally decided to sell my soaps.
I am already selling individual bars of CP soaps. I would like to expand my business and start producing wedding/bridal/baby shower/party favor soaps.
For those of you selling soap favors, are you all doing M&P or CP?? Most of the offers I see on Etsy look like CP, but I cannot be sure just by seeing the listing. For those of you selling CP soap favors, is curing time calculated into lead time? Thanks for any insight you can share.
 

ImpKit

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Hello all! I have been soaping for several years and have finally decided to sell my soaps.
I am already selling individual bars of CP soaps. I would like to expand my business and start producing wedding/bridal/baby shower/party favor soaps.
For those of you selling soap favors, are you all doing M&P or CP?? Most of the offers I see on Etsy look like CP, but I cannot be sure just by seeing the listing. For those of you selling CP soap favors, is curing time calculated into lead time? Thanks for any insight you can share.
I don't sell. I've only been soaping for about 10 months. I'm not ready to sell, if ever. But I think about it a lot. Like, if I could win the lottery I think I would open a bath & body business.

Okay so with the term "lead time" I assume you mean that would be the quoted time to readiness for delivery to the customer. Working on that assumption, I would consider it bad business practice to deliver a product to a customer and expect them to finish curing it. Especially for a wedding favor / product. There is SO much that can go wrong or be forgotten about in the various planning stages of a big event that they might not cure it for the proper length of time or they could dismiss that as you being superstitious or any number of issues. And if they don't cure it properly then that ends up reflecting on the quality of your product. I would presume that most of these favors would still be branded under your soapery's name. As a guest if I got your soap and it wasn't cured, it'd be a negative experience that I would assume was typical of your products and could result in me never giving further consideration to purchasing from you.

To that end, I would say that yes cure time should be factored in to lead time. So with a CP soap, I would expect a minimum lead time of 6-8 weeks (enough time to order any necessary ingredients or molds, make, and cure the product) before it would be ready for delivery.

As to the CP or MP question... depends on what the couple wants I think. If they just want some simple novelty soaps to be cute, MP might be the way to go. If they want something special or customized, CP so that you can work with them to formulate and possibly even test different recipes. Your base recipe might not be the luxury quality they want. Maybe they want a super luxurious three-butter recipe blend. Or maybe they need a super skin sensitive castille product. In short... if you're comfortable with it, for things like event products be open to a range of different types of soap.
 
A

amd

For those of you selling soap favors, are you all doing M&P or CP?? Most of the offers I see on Etsy look like CP, but I cannot be sure just by seeing the listing. For those of you selling CP soap favors, is curing time calculated into lead time? Thanks for any insight you can share.
I don't have a lot of experience with MP, so I stick to strictly CP soaps for favors - although I may add an MP embed depending on the design.

Yes, curing time is included in the lead time. For lead time I include a week if I have to order in a fragrance, and another week to make the soap (because I have a FT job, 4 kids and a life), cure time, and then give myself a week on the back end for packaging (because LIFE).
 

scrubadubdub

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I don't sell. I've only been soaping for about 10 months. I'm not ready to sell, if ever. But I think about it a lot. Like, if I could win the lottery I think I would open a bath & body business.

Okay so with the term "lead time" I assume you mean that would be the quoted time to readiness for delivery to the customer. Working on that assumption, I would consider it bad business practice to deliver a product to a customer and expect them to finish curing it. Especially for a wedding favor / product. There is SO much that can go wrong or be forgotten about in the various planning stages of a big event that they might not cure it for the proper length of time or they could dismiss that as you being superstitious or any number of issues. And if they don't cure it properly then that ends up reflecting on the quality of your product. I would presume that most of these favors would still be branded under your soapery's name. As a guest if I got your soap and it wasn't cured, it'd be a negative experience that I would assume was typical of your products and could result in me never giving further consideration to purchasing from you.

To that end, I would say that yes cure time should be factored in to lead time. So with a CP soap, I would expect a minimum lead time of 6-8 weeks (enough time to order any necessary ingredients or molds, make, and cure the product) before it would be ready for delivery.

As to the CP or MP question... depends on what the couple wants I think. If they just want some simple novelty soaps to be cute, MP might be the way to go. If they want something special or customized, CP so that you can work with them to formulate and possibly even test different recipes. Your base recipe might not be the luxury quality they want. Maybe they want a super luxurious three-butter recipe blend. Or maybe they need a super skin sensitive castille product. In short... if you're comfortable with it, for things like event products be open to a range of different types of soap.

I totally agree- I wouldn’t put the burden of waiting the cure time on the purchaser because I know how impatient I can be, and I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with liability issues.

Soaping is an expensive hobby; I have invested quite a bit and didn’t have intentions on selling my creations initially. But people truly love my soap, and I figure, why not make a little money doing what I like.

I was thinking more along the lines of whether buyers typically expect to wait 4 or 6 weeks before they receive their ready to use favors? Or, is this preferred so that they can choose fragrance, color, etc? Just trying to get an idea of customer expectations in this area. Thanks for your response

I don't have a lot of experience with MP, so I stick to strictly CP soaps for favors - although I may add an MP embed depending on the design.

Yes, curing time is included in the lead time. For lead time I include a week if I have to order in a fragrance, and another week to make the soap (because I have a FT job, 4 kids and a life), cure time, and then give myself a week on the back end for packaging (because LIFE).
Thanks for your answer; that makes sense.
Haha, I hear you - I have 3 kids, a dog, a husband, and a FT job, too. And yeah...pretty much not very much extra time either.

If making small 2 or 2.5 oz bars, are you doing a full 4/6 week cure? I know other factors determine cure time, but in general, smaller bars cure faster, right?
 

ImpKit

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I was thinking more along the lines of whether buyers typically expect to wait 4 or 6 weeks before they receive their ready to use favors? Or, is this preferred so that they can choose fragrance, color, etc? Just trying to get an idea of customer expectations in this area. Thanks for your response
I mean... most weddings are planned out months to years in advance. I would hope they are willing to wait a simple 4-6 weeks, and would be careful enough to not wait until the last minute for anything custom ordered.

But for that, you could offer MP options. Last minute order, sure! This is the ONLY soap base available and only available in these X kinds of generic options, based on your MP proficiency. In that way you can have custom soap favors turned around swiftly even if you would generally encourage a full custom CP bar.
 
A

amd

If making small 2 or 2.5 oz bars, are you doing a full 4/6 week cure? I know other factors determine cure time, but in general, smaller bars cure faster, right?
No, small bars cure at the same rate as large bars - at least as far as the molecular part of curing goes. It all takes the same amount of time. With smaller bars you may notice that they stop the rapid weight loss sooner - but that's just the water evaporation part of it. To give some context, my favor bars are typically 1.5 - 2.0 ounces, my full sized bars are 5.0 - 5.5 ounces, I use the same recipe and lye concentration for both. Favor bars seem to stop loosing weight at about 3 weeks, my full sized bars may need an extra week or two (around 4-6 weeks). They're not done curing just because the majority of the water weight is gone.

I made the decision that I would always use a 5 week cure time for favor soaps, the soap is safe to use at this point, and for my recipe it's a very nice soap at this point. Most of the favors I do are for weddings and brides tend to be a bit particular. I have to work to convince them to let me put an ingredient label on it, but for the most part they want their packaging to focus on their name/initials, and wedding date. No contact info for who made them. So knowing that I likely won't be getting repeat customers from these soaps, I'm ok if the soap isn't quite up to my usual standards simply because it needed another week to cure. Occasionally I do get someone who was interested enough to ask who made the soaps and a bride who remembered me enough to know my contact info, but it's rare.
 

lucycat

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What will your packaging be? I think how they look is the most important thing for wedding favors. I personally think shrink wrap is pretty unattractive and commercial. So, unless you have a way to hide it in a box or bag I would think CP will allow for much more attractive look.
 
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