Hi From the Rocky Mountains of CO

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Lynusann

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I figure it's about high time I introduce myself since I've been stalking this forum for ages.

My name is Lynnsy and my DH and I live in beautiful southern Colorado. He's stationed at Ft Carson and as a result I've been here for nearly 9 years (with an unaccompanied 3 yr PCS to Germany tucked in there). We have 3 beautiful fur babies that are far too spoiled rotten for their own good. Right now I work full time (50-60hrs/week), getting my Masters at night, and somewhere between studying and sleeping I have to find time to make soap.

As for soap making, I suppose I'm an accidental soap maker to some degree. A while back I was given a soap recipe from my great grandma and after buying hand poured soaps from several shops around here I figured I would give it a go myself - without fully knowing what I was getting in to. I had no idea about forums, hadn't really considered books on the subject and knew no one else that made soap apart from the few stores around here. So for almost a year I was making ONE soap recipe (seriously, only one!) and any time I wanted to change the volume I was hand calculating all the values for lye and water from this crazy old recipe. If only I had known about soap calculators!!!

Initially I started making soap for just myself and DH but obviously an entire loaf is a lot of soap to go through so I started giving it out to friends. One friend turned into dozens and then I had complete strangers emailing or calling me (yes, I have lovely friends who give my info out.......:problem:) asking me for soap. I've always had extra so I never had any real issue with just giving it away and it was super flattering too that people wanted something I made!

Fast forward a hot minute and my cost was getting out of control, my time more limited. I started getting so many requests, and then special requests that I started consuming everything online that I could - hence where I found this forum (which has been an invaluable tool, so thank you everyone!!), and a soap calc! (who knew I didn't need to calculate everything by hand...ugh).

So for the last several months I've been reading, experimenting and learning a lot of what DOESN'T work as well. The first time I realized I could really cover my costs was when a friend came to me and asked for a very specific type/look of soap and offered to pay whatever I wanted to charge (seriously!?! people would pay me for soap!?!? That was a foreign concept for me :shock:). So I've recently taken a bit of a step back and acknowledged that in order to keep up at the rate I've been going that I'm going to have to start charging for soap, though I've started to feel a bit guilty about it since I've always given it away for free.


I've been reading this forum for quite a while now, well before I even got around to signing up for an account and you all have been so invaluable!! I can't even begin to tell you how much I've learned. I will probably still have plenty of stupid questions but I feel a little better prepared for what I'm walking in to because of resources like SMF.
 

snappyllama

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Howdy and welcome neighbor! I'm up in foothills outside Denver and get out that way throughout the summer. I love the Colorado Springs zoo and take the fun drive through the mountains to there every year. 11 Mile State Park is lovely for kayaking (and too terribly cold like some of the higher elevation lakes).

If you're looking for a local-ish supplier, Mile High Soap is located in Denver. They have nice oils (a little higher priced than the online places but handy for buying small amounts without massive shipping charges), but I'm not a fan of their FOs. If you make the drive over for will call, check out Two Rivers Coffee located about 10 minutes away... their lavendar latte and pumpkin bread is the reason I'm always happy to drive to pick up my supplies.

Peak Candle is also here, and I hear better things about their fragrances.

If you're planning on doing craft fairs, hemp/"natural"/gluten-free seem to be BIG sellers to folks in the Boulder area/small mountain towns. I don't sell but love to eavesdrop. Best of luck on that and maybe I'll run into you at a fair!
 

osso

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Welcome! <3 Colorado and hoping to move back in the next few years.
 

Lynusann

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Thanks all for the warm welcomes! I'm a little hesitant to post pics of my soaps because I don't feel like they're anywhere near the amazing creations I've seen from all of you. My family soap recipe is very basic, no colorants, no fragrances - just lots of yummy, good for you oils. I've only recently started playing with colors and fragrances, WOW are there a lot of options out there!

Snappyllama - I've actually bought several FO's from Peak Candle and I've been really pretty happy with most of what I've gotten. It's hard to get up there during their office hours though because I work a 8-4:30 job and then do my masters at night. I will say that their online help is super friendly but the one time I did go into their office, I was a little disappointed with the customer service. I'm just trying out some micas from them too. I'll let you know how they go! I had heard of Mile High Soap but I've been keeping a spreadsheet of lots of online suppliers and their comparative prices and MHS is a little too rich for my blood I think but hopefully I'll get to check them out. I know Peak Candle will sell to me tax free with my business tax ID, wonder if Mile High would too? I probably won't be at any fairs selling any time soon but I will definitely have to go check them out to see what everyone else is doing. I have a lot to set up before I can go to market though. I have a registered business in CO, a tax ID, a logo, etc, but there is so much more both business and product that need to be handled before I can even consider selling a product.

OSSO - where in CO did you live before?

Exhausted tonight! I just finished making about 40 lbs of soap and I still have one more batch to go....it's SOAP DAY here (aka no homework and just one final exam left!).
 

osso

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Lived in Ft. Collins / Loveland for 3 years and worked in Broomfield just north of Denver for a bit. Miss it so much!
 

lillybella

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Welcome!
I'm west of Denver in the foothills too! I do a lot pf shopping at Peak! I really like their FO.
 

Lynusann

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Well if any of you local CO ladies would ever be interested in getting together to shoot the breeze, I don't have any classes this summer, just road races and work!
 

KristaY

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I'm headed up to Denver later this week for my future daughter-in-law's bridal shower. A trip to Peak is on my agenda! I envy everyone that has a soaping supply company near them. There isn't a single one in AZ. It would be a good business venture for someone!
 

Lynusann

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I'm headed up to Denver later this week for my future daughter-in-law's bridal shower. A trip to Peak is on my agenda! I envy everyone that has a soaping supply company near them. There isn't a single one in AZ. It would be a good business venture for someone!

Krista, if you haven't been on the Peak before, I recommend altitude sickness pills. You can generally get them OTC at the local Safeway or King Soopers. We're actually going on vacation this weekend to the the ocean, but hopefully you have nicer weather than what we have been dealing with!

You absolutely must get donuts at the Peak. They're lovely! And if you're in town for more than a hot minute, there's a pizza place in Old Colorado City (you have to drive right by it to get to the road for the Peak) - Pizzeria Rustica.
 

KristaY

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Thanks for the tips, Lynnsy! Luckily for me I've never suffered with altitude sickness but my DH has a real problem so always takes something like what you suggested. It MOSTLY helps, lol. We live at 4000 ft so the trip to Denver isn't as much a problem for us as those that live at or close to sea level. I'm hoping no more snow in the area while I'm there too!

The pizza place sounds amazing so hopefully we'll be able to stop by. My future DIL has lived in the Denver area her whole life so knows all the best places to see. My 2 youngest have lived there for about 4 years and she's been an invaluable resource for great local sights and sounds. I'm really looking forward to my visit!
 

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