Double feelings

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Putzii

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Hi Team Experience,

I am only new to soaping and only made around 18 batches in total.
The thing is: every soap I made I can’t say I’m ever satisfied and it feels like I only have the exciting feeling when I actually soap & unmould. After that I don’t feel happy anymore with the outcome…although I’ve had a few good feedbacks I don’t seem to “feel” so satisfied. My husband says I always have something to criticise about my own soap.

Will this at some point get better?

It makes me feel a bit low sometimes. I also think it’s a lost sense of direction. Maybe need to create a signature or something. Don’t know what really. I’m intending to make it a selling thing next to nursing but at this rate I cant say I’m happy with any result.
You guys are experienced.
How did/ do you guys deal with that feeling if you had it.

I know:
A lot of 😢 boohoo here, sorry about that. just had to ask how you felt in the beginning.


Cheers🪬
 
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Putzii

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The designs I guess. No signature feel. I really hope that comes. Its a creativity thing I guess. I also wonder if I’m not creative enough. I have ONE soap that I like that I’ve made. Only one. The rest I don’t like. I ❤️ the feeling and excitement that comes with it but I can’t stand the disappointment when I see its not good enough. And I’m reading and trying to learn so much. Am repeating things to learn but I’m never ever happy with the outcome. Sounds like I’m a monster isn’t it? 🤣🤣

Have you ever had this feeling?

Am not really with other things but with this it just hurts❤️‍🩹
 

paradisi

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It's way, way too early to expect a signature look or scent or identity. Soaping isn't something with that fast a turnaround in skill level, let alone creativity.

It's also too soon to have planned on selling soap as a 2nd career.. there are too many variables. Especially if you are unhappy now.

That said, why not see what you do enjoy about it, do that, and if it turns out later you love it, great, and if not, that's great too. There are loads of hobbies, loads of other ways to make money. And sometimes we murder hobbies by trying to shoehorn them into businesses.
 

dibbles

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I think we all have expectations, or at least hopes, of how our soap will look. And I am sure we have all felt disappointment when we cut and it's not that. My best advice is to let it be for a few days and then go look at it with new eyes. Don't look at it as what you wanted it to be, but as what it is. I'm sure more than one of your creations is quite lovely and you are getting in the way of seeing that. You are relatively new to soaping. Soap will do it's own thing more often than not. You will learn that, with the exception of layers or a solid color, you can have a *general* idea of what it will be, but it won't very often exactly match what you envisioned.

Post some pictures and I think we can all help you understand that there are things to love about what you've made - even if they weren't what was intended.
 
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Watch lots of different videos of designs you are looking to achieve. Watch them over and over again. It just takes practice. Also different designs require different stages of trace when pouring to turn out as desired, so become familiar with identifying that. There is so much fabulous information on this forum. Search and read! We are own own worst critics. Don’t compare your soap to others. I would bet your friends will think your soaps are beautiful and be very impressed that you are making them! I started making cold process soap in January 2020 and I just made my 370th batch. I’m not always thrilled with the results even now. But I’ve come to accept that my buyers don’t know the difference. They mostly want good soap that smells good and that makes their skin feel nice. Look at buff city soaps. A nationwide chain that is growing by the day. I have watched some videos of how they make their soaps. they just dump color on top of color in a hap-hazard manner and the design is Nothing special. If I turned out one like that I’d be disappointed to be honest, but I’m the one sitting here with barely any sales on my website, while they open more stores! . It’s all about the marketing…LOL and I’m not good at that. 😱
 

Putzii

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I think you are both right. I knew this somehow. I do believe someone can have dreams, so I won’t give them up just now because I can’t be stubborn.
As you said it is way too early and somehow that also relieves me so I can give myself more time to learn.

Thanks for the responses.

Thank you JG.

I will now actually have a
Look at their soaps. I am just too tough on myself I think with everything. Always have been and it doesn’t help at all. I have had a great career as a flight attendant if you can call it a career and had my own salon years ago which went really well quite early on. I studied piano at the Conservatory also a long time ago and I believe my fear of failing comes from that early time in my life from a very young age. I have to find that root, get rid of it and enjoy the ride I think.
Are you based in the US? Sounds like you are really passionate. It is all about marketing. I was just reading something about that actually.

Thanks for the helpful chat!

🪬

It's way, way too early to expect a signature look or scent or identity. Soaping isn't something with that fast a turnaround in skill level, let alone creativity.

It's also too soon to have planned on selling soap as a 2nd career.. there are too many variables. Especially if you are unhappy now.

That said, why not see what you do enjoy about it, do that, and if it turns out later you love it, great, and if not, that's great too. There are loads of hobbies, loads of other ways to make money. And sometimes we murder hobbies by trying to shoehorn them into businesses.
Just to correct one thing.
For me it’s not about making money and I don’t want to shoehorn something I’m passionate about into a business. For me this is not a trendy one off actually.

Thanks for your tips though
 
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@Putzii Yes, I am in the US. New Jersey. I would recommend that you first develop a recipe or two or three that you really love. Give it to friends and family to try and ask for their feedback. I have a traditional (as I call it) recipe that uses lard as well as a plant based recipe. I am working on a facial soap that will be extra gentle and a mechanics type exfoliating soap. Once you have those down you can experiment and practice your designs. Even Though I use a lot of hard oils in my recipes and need to soap a little warmer because of that I have learned to work quite fast and there are a wide variety of designs I can achieve with my particular recipe. I absolutely love creating soap and you are right, I am very passionate about it. Have fun with it while learning. ♥️
 

Putzii

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Thank you JG! I have been giving it around. There is one recipe that works well which I made with my own percentages and ingredients and am using that a lot now.

I will try to enjoy more😊

🪬
 

paradisi

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Just to correct one thing.
For me it’s not about making money and I don’t want to shoehorn something I’m passionate about into a business. For me this is not a trendy one off actually.

Thanks for your tips though
You say in your o.p. that you are intending to make it a selling thing.
 

Putzii

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Sure, but that’s not why I started to make soap.
I started because I love the feeling of creating. I used to make balms and creams and loved doing that. There was at a certain point not enough time anymore in my life. Its definitely not my first intention to sell.
That was an idea that I thought could become real when good enough. Later on a
Follow up of my dream. Sure.
 

TheGecko

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The designs I guess. No signature feel.
I don't know of too many soap makers who have a 'signature' per se. Katie has her high tops and she rarely repeats a design. Tiggy has her 'swoop'...she didn't set out to make it a 'signature'...she just liked how it looked. Holly has her Rainbow Extravaganza. The majority of my soaps have a Drop/Chopstick...it's less about having a 'signature' and more about me being pretty freaking lazy when it comes to a 'design'. And I don't have a bunch of different recipes either; I have one recipe for my Regular Soap, a slightly different recipe for my Goat Milk Soap.

It's taken me three years to get where I am...part of it was Covid, part of it is because I'm a procrastinator, part of it has been because my brain was on overload and I lacked direction (aka 'rabbit hole').

My advice...just make soap. Find a collections of oils/butters that YOU like, but don't waste your money on expensive oils/butters as they will be destroyed by the 'lye monsters'. Make small batches...I have a couple of 4" Square Silicone Molds that I like; they make 4-5oz bars. Once you find your recipe, then start having fun with scents and colorants. Buy small amounts until after you have cured your soap to know if it is something that you like. Same with colorants. Give yourself time to enjoy this new craft...acknowledge that there are going to be times when you are going to make crap soap...the scent wasn't what you expected, or the colorant wasn't a good choice, you swirled too much or didn't swirl enough or your layers are uneven or any other number of things that can (and will) go wrong. Even the best, most experienced soap makers still make crap soap once in a while/
 
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@Putzii I have been making soap for a bit, and I still think most of my soaps are needing something else or are not good enough. "I could have done this one other thing to it" is always sitting at the back of my mind. That being said I have learned to let it go when it doesn't work out, which usually means I am on a time crunch if not I would just keep doing the same soap different colors until I learn the technique. I am a big fan of what Dibbles says, put it away for a while and come back later and see it with fresh eyes. I have to tell you that the soaps I hate the most are the ones that I cant keep around because they are the ones people love.. Its just the way these things go sometimes. So keep at it, and don't get discouraged.
 

Putzii

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I don't know of too many soap makers who have a 'signature' per se. Katie has her high tops and she rarely repeats a design. Tiggy has her 'swoop'...she didn't set out to make it a 'signature'...she just liked how it looked. Holly has her Rainbow Extravaganza. The majority of my soaps have a Drop/Chopstick...it's less about having a 'signature' and more about me being pretty freaking lazy when it comes to a 'design'. And I don't have a bunch of different recipes either; I have one recipe for my Regular Soap, a slightly different recipe for my Goat Milk Soap.

It's taken me three years to get where I am...part of it was Covid, part of it is because I'm a procrastinator, part of it has been because my brain was on overload and I lacked direction (aka 'rabbit hole').

My advice...just make soap. Find a collections of oils/butters that YOU like, but don't waste your money on expensive oils/butters as they will be destroyed by the 'lye monsters'. Make small batches...I have a couple of 4" Square Silicone Molds that I like; they make 4-5oz bars. Once you find your recipe, then start having fun with scents and colorants. Buy small amounts until after you have cured your soap to know if it is something that you like. Same with colorants. Give yourself time to enjoy this new craft...acknowledge that there are going to be times when you are going to make crap soap...the scent wasn't what you expected, or the colorant wasn't a good choice, you swirled too much or didn't swirl enough or your layers are uneven or any other number of things that can (and will) go wrong. Even the best, most experienced soap makers still make crap soap once in a while/
Hey Gecko,

Thank you for your reply.

Do you know if there is somewhere I can show my recipes here on this forum and ask for feedback?
 

earlene

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Good advice from all. @Putzii, you also mention nursing. Are you also now a nurse or in training to become a nurse? I ask of course because I am a retired nurse and there are several soapmakers here at SMF who also happen to be nurses. It is a lovely and vital profession, but one which trains us to be precise and analytical and to look at our actions and outcomes critically, to make judgements to seek solutions aimed at improving outcomes. Being self-critical to start does lend itself well to that training, but we do need to learn to be self-forgiving and tolerant as well (everyone does who struggles with this trait). If you are in training or have already completed training, I am sure you have learned this at least to some degree. But as was said about practice and repeated practice being necessary to master soapmaking designs, the same is true of learning and achieving self-acceptance. And I do know that altering one's expectations is not always an easy thing, but it too takes practice. And then there is the subject of perception, we each have a way of seeing something that is colored by personal experiences, expectations, cultural influences, preconceived ideas and so on. Adjusting our perception is something we can also work on to allow for a less critical view, but that also take a concerted effort to open up to the possibility that perhaps there is another way to look at something, like the 'looking at your own soap with new eyes'.

Without making a conscious effort to change some of those things, a self critical person tends to perpetuate this dissatisfaction which makes for unhappiness. Therefore, my suggestions to you and any other soapmaker here who is rarely satisfied with their outcomes follow:

Use the SMF community to provide feedback about your soap. For every negative you see in a batch of soap, look for and acknowledge (i.e. write it down) a positive about that soap. Take photographs of your soapmaking and share them here. For one thing, we love pictures of soap, but we can also help you with a different perspective as we are 'fresh eyes' and as you said, we do have some experience. We can actually assist you in building up your confidence and make suggestions to further your skills, as you've already realized otherwise, you wouldn't be here I think.
 

Putzii

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Hi there Earlene,

Thank you so much for pulling this up.

I really agree with you on all you say. I think it has a lot to do (for me) with needing to see things from another perspective and with more openness.
Its known I am a bit hard on myself and I am trying to find a way to loosen up with myself.
This soaping has given me that enjoyment and relaxation but when I’m “out of my soap bubble” my own reality always is first to catch up saying: NAH, not good enough.

I finished my study 4 years ago and work on a very busy ward.But really think it has to do with going a long way back during my piano years. There was this 2.5 hourly terrible piano drill every day except on Sunday. My grandmother was a well known violinist and she drilled my mother. My sweet mom has passed this on. This “not good enough” thing comes out in soaping now🤣oh man.

Its a terrible feeling so I need to get busy with this.

Thank you for helping clearing up my mind. Checkpoint Charlie time and it’s a good one because it’s standing in the way of things “I” would like to do.

Also the soap I like may not be liked by others because that soap may not be the one someone else likes to use.

I will try to ask for feedback here on the forum. Please be tough and honest if you need to. I will appreciate it🪬⭐️🪬

🌸🪬🌸
 
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Zany_in_CO

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The thing is: every soap I made I can’t say I’m ever satisfied
Welcome to the club! We've all been there. :nodding:
it feels like I only have the exciting feeling when I actually soap & unmould.
The "exciting feeling" relates to having high expectations. When the results don't match the expectations it's a downer for sure. 😢

As a "recovering perfectionist" I recognize a kindred spirit in you. You can lower your expectations for the time being as long as you can recognize "never being satisfied" as the key to your success.

Make as many small batches as you can, as often as you can, and tweaking each batch will have you up and running with the best of us in about 4 months if you put the time and effort into it.

TIP: It's best to avoid adding fragrance and color until you have a solid recipe ( or 2 or 3) that delivers every time you make it.

NOTE: It took me 12 years (!) to develop Zany's No Slime Castile. I got there because I was never satisfied with the results of the 100% Qlive Oil Castile I made along the way. It was "OK"... it just didn't meet my high expectations. To my mind, it wasn't "perfect".

Now I get excited every time I make a batch of ZNSC because it not only meets my high expectations, it also exceeds them. I just 😍 it.

GOOD LUCK & HAPPY SOAPING!

ETA: Not everyone who has tried ZNSC has liked it. It's crazy to expect "you can please all the people all the time". It just isn't going to happen.
 
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Putzii

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Hey Zany,

That’s very true, it’s good to recognise, 1step of many baby steps🤣

I’ve been reading about your ZNSC method and saw a video on YouTube about it! Really interesting stuff man. Are you familiar with science or anything like that?
I must confess I have bought 2 smaller 500 gr moulds today to start making smaller but ALSO must confess I made most of my soaps with essential and fragrance oils. That person I am it had to be good and not half good again so did everything straight away from the day starting.
The first soap is an absolute monster to be honest and I will send the picture lol. I believe it has gone a bit up after that, I most certainly hope so 🤣🤣 otherwise there is no hope.

I will also ask for some honest feedback in recipes.
Please tell me if anything isn’t good about it.
Your posts always make me laugh out LOUD. This is really a nice group of people with helpful and honest creative minds and souls.

That’s what I like about being here. You can escape from COVID & political things and just Talk About More Important Things: Soap Making☺️

Thanks Zany🪬⭐⭐️🪬
 

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