ED lye batches question: I was gifted lots of soaping supplies

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galaxyMLP

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So, I just moved to a new area of Florida and I've been starting to work on my business more because I don't have a job here yet, and I haven't started school yet. I was going to be a substitute teacher for a bit but they stopped accepting applications for the year... Thankfully my BF is letting me focus on my soap and see how it goes.

Ok, back to the soap. It turns out that a soaper is going out of business sorta close to me and they were selling their supplies on Craigslist. I contacted them and long story short, the got me into a local weekly market (yay!) and decided to gift me 24 lbs of left over unopened lye (from ED), about 10 lbs of fragrances from reputable suppliers, and a boat load of colorants/clays. I'm super pleased is an understatement!

My only worry is that the lye is from the bad batch. Anyone have the numbers from those batches or have somewhere I can look them up? I can't find it...

I also purchased a large amount of supplies from someone else closing up shop. In it was 30 lbs of soy wax, a wax melting pot, 5 lbs of Shea butter, fragrances and bunch of other soap additives for only $50. I don't see myself using all of the stuff though as some of it is used in making cosmetics or is unlabeled.

Now, a part of me is worried that with 2 people closing their business so close together that there's something in the water but... Hey, here's for hoping!
 

Gini

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Oh you lucky saponifier you! I would just do a test batch with some of the lye, but I'm adventurous that way.

As for worrying about two soap businesses closing, keep in mind that you're not them. You could ask them why they're closing, but would it really make a difference? If they said every single person in Florida has stopped using soap, there might be a way you can convince every single person in Florida to begin using soap again. Or, maybe they already made bazillions of dollars, and are retiring to the south of France to make wine.:idea:

Remember, they are not YOU, and you are not them. I think getting lots of terrific soapy stuff is an indication that things are going to be wonderful for you. Happy soaping!!
 

lenarenee

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There was a discussion here about the ED lye - and it mentioned another website (the dish?) which had an extensive thread on the ED lye.

Big score on all the supplies! You're going to be very busy (and we're gonna need pictures!)
 

OliveOil2

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Good Score! I don't have batch numbers for you on the lye, but I believe the problem was during March-April of 2014. I would just do a small test batch. You may be able to search the batch numbers on this forum or the Dish forum.

The soy wax would be used for wax melts or candles, if you don't make candles you would be able to sell the wax and melting pot to a candle maker. Check the fo's to make sure they are all skin safe, since it looks like they were also making candles.

Don't give the 2 people closing business to much thought, they aren't you, and there could be so many reasons they decided to close.

How funny posting at the same time as both of you, guess I am slower!
 
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galaxyMLP

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I will definitely get some pictures up! I've also got some stuff that I've never heard of before. What is honeyquat? And why would I want it? There are also some tiny amounts of things like coffee butter.

Thanks for the tip about dish. I've never been on it so I guess I'll have to head over that way now!

Edit: I actually make soy wax melts so it works out perfect for me. Thanks for the encouraging words about the other businesses.

I'll try a test batch with the lye and see if it's any good!
 
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kchaystack

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I thought Florida had a bunch of really restrictive laws about soapmaking businesses ... or was that just cosmetic things like lotions and stuff?

But I am sure you will so great galaxy, no matter why the others were bailing. They didn't have your support group.
 

galaxyMLP

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Cosmetics only. I don't make any because of that! I make soaps, wax melts and room sprays.

I don't make claims of any kind. Very very few people actually abide by the laws here and I really am proud of myself for following regulations and knowing what I can and can't sell!

Florida is really crazy with cosmetic regs. You can't make any on residential land and you have to pay INSANE fees even if you are in a commercial facility. In Florida, the same government body that oversees drug makers, also oversees cosmetic makers if that gives you any idea on how strict it is.

Edit:


Check the fo's to make sure they are all skin safe, since it looks like they were also making candles.

Thank you for this reminder!!
 
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KristaY

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Congrats on the scoring all the great stuff Galaxy! I agree with everyone else - put the other people (that closed their businesses) out of your mind and move forward with your confident, good-natured style. I think you'll do really well so rah-rah!!! (yells in cheerleading voice, lol) :thumbup:
 

Seawolfe

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Honeyquat? Go search on swiftycraftymonkey, Susan uses it in conditioners? Lotions? I'd like to get my hands on some quats myself. Great score!
 

Susie

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You also need to remember how many people make one batch of soap and decide that they are going to get rich selling soap. Those folks would soon realize that they are not going to get rich making soap and sell off all their stuff when some new "get rich quick" scheme gets in their heads.
 

DeeAnna

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"..What is honeyquat? And why would I want it?.."

It's a humectant like glycerin, but not as sticky. It's made from honey, like the name suggests. You'd use it in lotions.

***

As far as the two soapers who have closed up shop -- I looked up the numbers rather than speaking from memory. About 25% of all business startups fail within the first year. Only half survive 4 years. And just 30% of small businesses survive for 10 years. For every person who has started a successful soap related business, you're going to find even more soapers who have tried but didn't succeed.

Folks regularly show up at SMF with the expectation of starting their own soap biz without ever having made a batch. Not only do they know nothing about the craft of soap making, but I'd guess most of them also know nothing about managing a business. And they don't have the wide range of skills, family support, thoughtfulness, and funding to persevere through the difficult first years. It's like they are dooming themselves to failure before they even start.

I'm not saying this to discourage anyone from starting a small business, because I'm a small business owner myself. The hard numbers underscore the fact, however, that a small business is not for the faint hearted, the poorly prepared, or the underfunded.

More: http://www.statisticbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry/
 

galaxyMLP

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Thank you for that explanation Dee. On both the honeyquat and the business!

I've been making soap for 4 years and doing business with it for ~2 (a little less). I didn't know exactly where/how to start at first but I've learned a ton. Experience truly is the best teacher.

I've had some really failed shows that I've lost money on or batches of soaps I attempted that I felt were not good enough to sell (not to mention any of my early soaping failures!). It's taken me a while to get into my "niche". I realize I purchased supplies when I started out that I really don't use much at all any more. It's most definitely a learning experience! I only ever put out product I am proud of. Even if others say it is ok, if I don't feel that way, it doesn't go out to customers.

Selling soap does take a lot of time, work, planning, and diligence.

Here are the pictures of the items I got (sorry! There are a lot!):
Gifted:
ImageUploadedBySoap Making1456496213.559419.jpgImageUploadedBySoap Making1456496223.126128.jpgImageUploadedBySoap Making1456496232.044441.jpgImageUploadedBySoap Making1456496241.961375.jpg

Paid for:
ImageUploadedBySoap Making1456496272.497031.jpgImageUploadedBySoap Making1456496283.763490.jpgImageUploadedBySoap Making1456496292.998275.jpg
Plus the wax/melter

Stuff I have no use for but is still good:
ImageUploadedBySoap Making1456496332.616256.jpg
I'll add the honeyquat to this batch of stuff. I don't see myself having a use for it any time soon.

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone for the words of encouragement and the happy-for-me-ness! I wasn't sure I should post this or not.
 
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dibbles

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How wonderful for you Galaxy! And it's also wonderful that you get to spend a bit of time only working on your soap business. I wish you great success!
 

DeeAnna

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More power to ya, Galaxy! Kudos for being in the right place at the right time to score those supplies -- being a smart shopper always helps the bottom line! :)
 

galaxyMLP

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Ok, so I finally got my email to be able to join the dish forum (I have been too scared to join! Haha!) and I read through the long thread.

My lot number did show up in one of the "reported" batches. However, it was not one of the two batches that were actually tested by a member. There was a really cool trick to try with the bad lye there. Because the bad lye was likely comprised of sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide, it would fizz on contact with an acid. I checked mine (I actually found one that had been opened and partially used with a clump in it) and it did not fizz. We are off to a good start!

I'll report back if my test batch goes well today. I'm making a Castile batch with no additives and 45% lye conc. and 5% SF. If it's good lye, it will be rock hard tomorrow. If not, it will be soft and soggy.

Update: CPOPed and already able to be taken out of the mold!! Looks like this lye is good. I've still got 3 or so lbs of my old lye left. I'll monitor this batch closely over cute for odd behavior before I start the gifted lye.
 
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CaraBou

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Great score Galaxy! Have fun and good luck in your new area.
 

SoapingChick

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What an amazing score! Congratulations Galaxy, lucky you :)
I'm absolutely ecstatic about the 14 kg. (!!!) of coconut oil I got for free yesterday, from a local grocery. You must be over the moon with joy <3 Happy soaping :) :)
 

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