How to make 2 color soap as quickly as possible?

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Arimara

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@susie and @weaversport

I hear you both, you give valid critiques of me. Yes I agree I failed to ‘read the room’ properly.

For sure if I could do it over again, I’d find a different way to ask my question.

@arimara
I hear you, thanks!

@cherrycoke216
Thanks for the tips about painting it with mica, that idea hadn’t occurred to me to try. And thanks for your other kinds words, I appreciate it.

Everyone:
I like making soap as far as it is a challenge to me, as I’ve never made soap until recently, everything is new to me. Figuring things out is fun to me. I’ve learned to use 3d software, I’ve learned to use a 3d printer, I’ve learned about MP soap, I’ve learned about using a paper cutting machine, I’ve learned to design packaging on the computer and then turn it into real paper box. I’ve learned how to door knock on stores. I’ve learned what stores like and don’t like. There is a ton of stuff that I know now that I didn’t know a few months ago.

As far as CP soap goes. There are tons of beautiful soaps out there. I’ve seen them on pinterest and youtube and in stores. I don’t think I can add value there, because I have no obvious ideas on how to make CP soaps that isn’t the same as everyone else. MP soap is very kind to custom molds, that is where I think I can add value by being unique.

My apologies to those of you who felt I was rude in how I came on this forum and asked my question. Not my intent to make you feel uncomfortable. People who know me in real life say I don’t filter what I say before I open my mouth.
Like Weaver suggested, why don't you concentrate on making molds? You could have your standard sets and if you're a good enough artist, you can branch out from that. Obviously, you enjoy being creative and having an outlet and mold making would be a better way of being unique. You'd still have to take some time to learn how much punishment your molds can take or if you could possibly use those molds for certain culinary crafts *HINT*
 

WeaversPort

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@susie and @weaversport

I hear you both, you give valid critiques of me. Yes I agree I failed to ‘read the room’ properly.

For sure if I could do it over again, I’d find a different way to ask my question.

Everyone:
I like making soap as far as it is a challenge to me, as I’ve never made soap until recently, everything is new to me. Figuring things out is fun to me. I’ve learned to use 3d software, I’ve learned to use a 3d printer, I’ve learned about MP soap, I’ve learned about using a paper cutting machine, I’ve learned to design packaging on the computer and then turn it into real paper box. I’ve learned how to door knock on stores. I’ve learned what stores like and don’t like. There is a ton of stuff that I know now that I didn’t know a few months ago.

As far as CP soap goes. There are tons of beautiful soaps out there. I’ve seen them on pinterest and youtube and in stores. I don’t think I can add value there, because I have no obvious ideas on how to make CP soaps that isn’t the same as everyone else. MP soap is very kind to custom molds, that is where I think I can add value by being unique.

My apologies to those of you who felt I was rude in how I came on this forum and asked my question. Not my intent to make you feel uncomfortable. People who know me in real life say I don’t filter what I say before I open my mouth.
I have a lot of respect for you, and how you've handled a rather rocky start to the conversation. It also takes a lot of chutzpah to start knocking on doors so early in a process! You're still (like myself) something of a soap hatchling here :)

As a businesswoman in a former incarnation, I can tell you that there are people who pay good money for molds.. And might pay excellent money for custom molds if, as @Arimara points out, you've got good design skills AND they've been proven to hold up to the intensity of cold process soap making.

I also happen to know that people in Europe find it a challenge to access some of the stuff the US has, so there might be a rather large untapped EU market.
 

petech

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@arimara
For sure I will consider making molds for sale. Though I like to finish through with seeing if I can make selling soap a success first. “IF” I can figure it out, the number of customers for soap is many times more numerous than those looking for molds, even if each mold commands a high price.

You mean make molds for chocolate? :) Yes I thought of that and people have asked me. There is one technique that is needed in 3d printing for food molds that I am aware, of which I don’t have the skills yet. One of my friend is going to teach me later this week. I actually think the market for chocolate made out of unique molds is infinitely bigger than soap. Everyone needs to eat right? Though food has a much larger safety concern than soap too. Although I’ve already looked into chocolate, the way to go is use compound chocolate. You just melt them and pour into mold. Then I just need to figure out how to comply with my local state’s cottage kitchen laws for food safety.

I’ve also though about making candles out of unique molds. I definitely have a skills gap in knowing how to make molds suitable for candles. Also I’ve heard candle making is apparently some what technical.

Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.

@weaversport
Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it. And for sure I’ll look into mold making as a business after I’ve given soap making a good effort.

@millie
Maybe we can talk at a future time when I’m more setup to take on mold making business :) Thanks for your interest.

Everyone:
I realize quite a few of you have gotten some awful first impressions of me. I probably deserve it. It is just my opinion, but let me say, I’ve tried harder than you think I have. A lot harder.

Here are some photos that I took recently, showing where I am up to in my soap making progress.

Easter themed soaps:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/23ipieh5stzl4h8/1.png?dl=0

Misc circle soaps:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/efbudvj8tb0b60i/2.png?dl=0

I designed the graphics on the computer. I then turned them into 3D molds. I then created matching paper boxes to go with each soap. I’ve traveled extensively across the USA, Australia, and Europe for my photography job the last few years. I’ve been inside many boutique stores to look at what soaps are selling. The style of soaps that I make are not common.

I’ve put a ton of effort into getting this far. The reason is because I speculate that I “might” just have an idea that will set me apart, and allow me to earn a decent living wage from selling soap. But of cause I won’t know for sure until more time has passed. So far I’m making too little amount of money. So far it is not sustainable as a living wage. Here’s the thing though. I’m focused on making money. To make money I need to keep expenses down, which mostly means labor cost, which means doing things as quickly as possible. I thought the 2 color soap style of soap would be a good compliment to the range of one color MP soap that I make now. But for me to offer 2 color soap, I have to know how to make it super fast, otherwise I can’t offer it as I don’t think the margin is there to make it sustainable for my business.

I have other soaps that I’ve made that I haven’t shown photos here. I current range is about around 100 now.

My current goal is to figure out how to get into LA Mart trade show for June or July. I emailed them earlier last week but never heard back. So I think I need to be a little more persistent in getting their attention somehow.

So for those of you who thought so lowly of me, I hope my progress photos show you a better side of me, and in the future when I will have more questions about things I don’t know, you guys might feel better about sharing any knowledge you might have that I do not yet have. Thanks! And for the record, I do lots of google searches and I watch lots of youtube videos. Asking questions here is part of that learning process.
 

SunRiseArts

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I was looking at this 2 color soap on etsy.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/262191664/oriental-pagoda-temple-with-plum-tree

I understand they probably used melt and pour soap with a mold. I know how to make molds from a 3d printer. Right now I'm wondering what are some options on technique on how to make manufacture 2 color soap of my own design in as little time as possible?

My initial though on how they made this soap is to drop in the white color soap first and just wait a while till it dries, then spray rubbling alcohol, then pour the blue color soap. Look at the example on etsy, it looks like so much care needs to be used to make sure the white soap does not overflow. I'm not keen on exercising that much care on making soap, I rather explore options on how to make something similar while spending as little time (and care) on it as possible. The more care I need to take, the
more labor time increases, and the more costs increases.

The most amazing part about this soap for me, is how delicate looking the white part of the soap is.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

The mold is a plastic mold sold on line, not from a 3d printer, if I understood you currently. I actually have a couple of the ones she shows in her page. They are called milky way molds.

I got mine at wholesale supply plus.

And ditto to everything others said.
 
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Millie

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I'm sorry you stumbled on a 'hot-button' issue in your first post. I'm sure there are many people on the forum who started selling too soon and know exactly where you are coming from... and have had similar responses to their early posts! Actually, I think there is a warning in a sticky post somewhere on the forum because it happens so often.

You are correct, coming to SMF is part of the learning experience when making soap! There lots of good people here with experience and it would be wise to think about their comments before going forward with a trade show and taking on any more accounts. But you can and people do. Newbie soaps invade shops all the time (it's a big ol' pet peeve, along with soaps that are magically made out of oils... just oils). But... well, every day people are posting about things that go wrong with soap. It can happen with MP too. Scents are unpredictable over time. Your packaging is cute and marketable. But it has to be good soap too, if you want returning customers. Do your friends beg for scraps and like the soap even without the designs? Does it go mushy in the shower or weep in the summer?

I do hope that you take the time to develop your craft and succeed.
 

Luviesmom

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I don't want to be Debbie Downer but I highly doubt you can make $12.00 per hour soap making. Even when I had I business for goats milk soap years ago, I didn't make minimum wage. I made more profit selling my young bucks for meat!

It's the starving artist syndrome. I make products because I enjoy creating, it's therapy. I spend an insane amount of time of some of my bombs. I think your Easter boxes are really cute. I think you could make more profit selling labels or soap boxes, custom printing perhaps?
 

Arimara

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I'm more inclined to make sugar candies than chocolate, when it occurs to me. I hate having to melt those wafers down.
 

Luviesmom

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Silly, Amimara! Made me laugh. Had to reread it 3x to understand. Made me feel guilty about making melt n pour hand soap for my family. But they buy from others cause it is "pretty".
 

Arimara

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Silly, Amimara! Made me laugh. Had to reread it 3x to understand. Made me feel guilty about making melt n pour hand soap for my family. But they buy from others cause it is "pretty".
If it's what you like, don't stop on anyone's account, mine especially. I'd love to give M&P a go but it's more cost efficient for me to make CP soap and I've already narrowed it done to what I like at least. My kid... That struggle is real.
 

earlene

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@arimara
For sure I will consider making molds for sale. Though I like to finish through with seeing if I can make selling soap a success first. “IF” I can figure it out, the number of customers for soap is many times more numerous than those looking for molds, even if each mold commands a high price.
<snip>
Here are some photos that I took recently, showing where I am up to in my soap making progress.

Easter themed soaps:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/23ipieh5stzl4h8/1.png?dl=0

Misc circle soaps:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/efbudvj8tb0b60i/2.png?dl=0

I designed the graphics on the computer. I then turned them into 3D molds. I then created matching paper boxes to go with each soap. I’ve traveled extensively across the USA, Australia, and Europe for my photography job the last few years. I’ve been inside many boutique stores to look at what soaps are selling. The style of soaps that I make are not common.
One of your Easter soap designs is quite similar to a silicone mold I just bought recently at WalMart for under $4.00. It is sold as a Cake Making mold. I also bought one they sell for candy making, but am using it for soap, too. My plan is to add the Soap Flower on top of a solid soap sometime in the future.





I have spent much more for other molds, but am always looking for a good bargain and these were definitely a bargain in my book.

I am also always on the look out for a good car mold and a good eagle mold. Boyish or Mannish molds are kind of hard to find, too, so I think they would really draw potential customers.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I had a wonderful mentor my first year of soaping who encouraged and inspired me enormously. "Paying it forward" is the best way I know of to show gratitude to her for all the help I got from that lady early on. We all build on what has gone before. I'm not a scientist, but I know what works for me. I would be proud to help you build your business, or not, and wish you all the luck in the world...
HTH :bunny:
 
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petech

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@earlene
Those easter egg molds are awesome looking. Actually better than the ones I've made myself. So far I only know how to make flat molds. Haven't quite learned how to make curve shapes in 3D software. $4 is an amazing deal, great find!

@zany
Do you or anyone else here know much about selling at trade shows? The LA Mart trade show is on in June and July. I saw it is around $2,000 to attend. I'm thinking paying the fee to go sometime soon. I've never been to a trade show before, so I'm not sure what to expect. Though I have seen videos online of the American's Mart in Atlanta. I'd guess the LA Mart would look something similar. At this point I have a variety of different soaps. I have packaging sort of figured out for most of my soaps. I have a website up sometime in the next week or two. My biggest fear is to go to the trade show and end up selling nothing. I've done 'okay' selling into a small batch of stores that are local to me, though recently I tried going to a neighboring state to sell and sold nothing. I quickly learned that once I'm not local to shops, they become quite a lot more picky. At the time I didn't have the nice paper packaging that I have now, and I got quite a few comments from different shops that my soaps looked too homemade for their store. So I went home and added paper packaging.
 

Zany_in_CO

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No, I've never done a trade show, but in 2013 I had a wholesale customer who did and you remind me of her... Marilyn Konnerth of Utopia Bath, Long Island NY. You can read about her soaping journey at her website here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/UtopiaBathLtd

She used goat milk & lanolin in her products and targeted a high end customer base, mainly the knitting community, and her packaging and prices reflect that. She did several trade shows during the year. Entry fee was $1500 and she always did well. Here's a link to one of the trade shows she did:

http://www.knittinguniverse.com/stitches/

HTH :bunny:
 

SunRiseArts

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petech, I tried to help. I told where to get the molds. If you know how to melt and pour, which as you say is not hard to put in the microwave, two colors does not take long, and is very simple. I will give you a direct ink for the molds, since you did not take note of my post.

Now where I disagree is that there is a lot to melt and pour than just heating the soap in the microwave. If you need help on how to bond two colors, I can explain, but there is a gazillion videos on the tube for that.

Molds:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01953J01W/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VV3Z7JZ/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

http://www.ebay.com/itm/262844959833?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/products/wonderland-soap-mold.aspx

If you research enough online, I am sure you can find the pagoda one.
 
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earlene

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Petech, in my youth I worked on electronic assembly lines and it has impacted some as to how I do things because I realized the efficiency of the method. Perhaps that is what you need here in your goal to make these soaps faster. That and some specialized equipment.

For me, what slows me down when trying to do intricate work with soap are:
1. Design intricacy and my lack of experience/practice doing the design (first time or not enough practice to become proficient.)
and when I want to make multiple soaps of the same design:
2. Not enough molds on hand to allow for making more soaps of the desired design quickly (This is why I prefer multiple cavity molds when making soap that doesn't require cutting, rather than only one mold or a 3-cavity mold of a particular design.)

So, here are some ideas how to make an assembly line out of MP soap for that 2-color design you posted about:

You could try this Electric Topping Dispenser set-up:


You can purchase this from myBoelter Food Service supply online for under $200.00.

It might be perfect for keeping MP soap warm enough that you can squirt the two different colors into the molds several times before it gets too thick, then put the squirt bottle back in the warmer. While the white warms up again, squirt the other color into multiple molds before it thickens up too much, etc.

Another less expensive option is an individual Batter Dispenser such as you see at some Hotels that serve all-you-can-eat breakfast waffles that you cook yourself:



This is only about $10.00, and releases a pre-set amount of batter with each pass, but seems it could be adaptable to soap. Although it probably would not be as convenient as the Electric Topping Dispenser above.

You can solve the 'not enough molds on hand' issue that I face when I want to make multiple soaps of a design for which I have only one individual mold, because you can print them with your 3D printer. And you can easily adapt a counter-top or table to an assembly line method.
 

cherrycoke216

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@petech
Very pretty soap! I'm sure you have spent lots of time using 3d software trying to contemplate it.
You can search forum for "booth or trade show" for ideas.
@earlene
Very cool idea about set up an assembly line of soap production. And the electric topping dispenser &pancake batter dispenser... Very creative thinking!
 

Zany_in_CO

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It's too late for this year, it's all sold out. But if you do get your custom soap mold business up and running, I think you could do very well at the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild annual conference. Save $$$$ by joining HSCG -- plus there are many benefits/discounts available once you join, including reasonable liability insurance. Just a thought. Take a look...

HSCG Annual Conference

https://www.soapguild.org/conference/
 

Arimara

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It's too late for this year, it's all sold out. But if you do get your custom soap mold business up and running, I think you could do very well at the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild annual conference. Save $$$$ by joining HSCG -- plus there are many benefits/discounts available once you join, including reasonable liability insurance. Just a thought. Take a look...

HSCG Annual Conference

https://www.soapguild.org/conference/
A very good thought if you want to sell soaps still.
 
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