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TeresaT

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I decided I was not going to sell soap until I've been making soap for at least one year. Well, that decision is out the door. My friend's MIL wants soap to give as Christmas gifts to her quilting club. One dozen lemon verbena soaps are due the first week of January. I made the mistake of telling another friend that I was making the soaps for the first one's MIL. Now, I've got a dozen peppermint soaps due before Christmas. I'll make the peppermint soap tonight instead of my normal Sunday soaping and unmold it Saturday. He wants to give them out before his kids get out of school for Christmas break. The four week cure date will be 12/3 and the six week date will be 12/17. I really don't like the idea of giving anyone four week old soap and to top it off he's gifting it! I know 4 weeks is the "minimum" cure time and it's perfectly fine, but I usually wait a full six weeks to give it away. Of course, I always use it a day or two after I cut it because I am not patient.

I'm going to go online and bulk order some of those cheap soap dryer things (plastic with the spikes) and include them with the soaps so everyone will have the proper drainage for their soap. Then they might be inclined to request a bar or two in the future...

So much for my "not selling for a year" mantra. But if I factor in the dishes (and the cigar bands and shrink wrap I'll need to buy), they're really just reimbursing me for the supplies. Right? That's not really SELLING, is it? Surely not...

Yeah. I'm trying to justify letting two people talk me into breaking a "rule" I put in place for myself.:think:
 

shunt2011

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I agree, as long as you are confident your soap is good, your're not really selling it. It would be a different story if you were going to shows etc....so, I think you are okay. I had a few people purchase soap from me before I sold. They didn't feel comfortable just taking it.
 
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TeresaT

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Thank you, thank you, thank you! This was really tearing me up. I'm totally honored that they like my soap enough to want to give it as gifts. But I'm also not really ready to sell. I would gladly just give them the soaps to gift to their friends, and said so; but neither one wants to do that. So, yes, they are "just" allowing me to restock my supplies!
 

traderbren

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I have a few friends that do not feel comfortable just "taking" soap from me, so they insist on contributing to my supply fund. I have no intentions of ever making it into a side business, or doing craft shows, farmers markets, etc, but if a friend or family member asks me for a particular soap, I will gladly give it to them or make it for them, as long as I have tested it myself and/or it is one of the recipes I have made several times. To me, accepting a few bucks for several bars of soap to family, friends, and friends of friends and family is quite a bit different from selling soap for a set price to the general public on a semi- to regular basis.
 

IrishLass

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I agree with Shari and Traderbren. I draw a line at publically setting up shop and/or doing shows or farmer's markets for the intention of profit before a year of testing has passed. Doing for family and friends after 6 months of successful soaping has gone by is a different thing altogether in my mind (don't forget to ask then for feedback!).

I've been in the same conundrum, too. I don't sell, but I have 2 family members and a close friend among my peeps who have insisted on paying me from day 1, even to the point of stubbornly sticking money in my purse when I'm not looking, so I pretty much gave up refusing money from them anymore. lol As an aside, all 3 of them happen to own their own businesses (not soap related), which I'm sure without a doubt figures into their insistence on reimbursing me. It all goes right into my soap fund envelope so I can buy more soap supplies.


IrishLass :)
 

TeresaT

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I agree, as long as you are confident your soaps is good your not really selling it. It would be a different story if you were going to shows etc....so, I think you are okay. I had a few people purchase soap from be before I sold. They didn't feel comfortable just taking it.
So far, I've been really lucky. I have only had one failed batch. I've had to rebatch a few times because of various mistakes. Uh, math quickly comes to mind, but no disasters (yet). Everyone that has tried my soaps has loved them and gladly requests more. That is truly an awesome feeling. I make good soap. My boss in Nashville used the kitchen soap in the shower and didn't have any ill effects. (I specified to EVERYONE that the "hockey puck" was made with coffee and had coffee grinds in it. It was for the kitchen only because the grinds are really harsh and scratchy. He showered with it anyway. Yeah. He's a dork.).

I eventually plan to sell online and in farmers markets, but that is not until after I retire (in "only" 2307 days). There is an annual yard sale that runs from MI to AL that I'm going to sell at next year, but that isn't until August. I plan on starting to make the soaps for that in January. I would really like to try to do what most soapers don't do: sell old soap. I think it would be cool to sell soap that has been cured a minimum of six months instead of six weeks. I don't mean just Castile. I mean all of my soaps.

I also want to educate people about hand made soap vs commercial soap (including M&P). Every one is perfectly fine and safe to use; however, each one has its own benefits and pitfalls. Since I have started using hand made soap, I will never go back to commercial soap. My skin has benefitted from the extra fat and "extra" glycerin in the soap.
 

HoiPoloi

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Teresa, I'm in the same boat. I am going to do a local charity/craft show at my niece and nephews school. Mostly everyone there has gotten "free" soap from me, which believe me, I don't mind but this came up and I thought OK, maybe I would be OK donating some money and maybe taking a small % for my soap kitty from the folks who get lots of free bars anyhow!!! It is funny how some people want to give money and others just ask, "so what's done?" LOL!!!! I love to give it away, I love to hear they want more but after a while my checkbook starts to say.... "You're buying WHAT essential oil again???" I think you're good!! A little help on the cash end from folks who get lots of freebies throughout the year I think is A-OK!!!! :)
 

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I'll make the peppermint soap tonight instead of my normal Sunday soaping and unmold it Saturday. He wants to give them out before his kids get out of school for Christmas break.
I run risk of misinterpretting this, so I'll just ask if you're familiar with the potential effects of peppermint on skin? It could be a very tantalizing Xmas gift that might need disclosure, lol!
 

TeresaT

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Ha! :lol: Yes, I was concerned about that. The usage rate for soap is max 5% ppo, I think I'm going to go with 3% for that reason. Peppermint is pretty strong smelling, so that should be more than enough to give it the candy cane smell without the burn. I didn't make the soap tonight after all because of other issues (new psycho dog to be exact), so I'll do it tomorrow night. Once I weigh the oil, I'm going to go outside for a bit to clear my head. When I come back in, if the house smells strongly of the EO, I'll re-weigh it at 2% and use that instead.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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^ I have to agree with this. In this case, I think you are feeling okay with it, but in general.

Sometimes there comes a post where someone HAS to have soap that is cured in two weeks because someone NEEDS it in two weeks. It just won't work, so they should have said no.

I've even said no to The Admirable Lady when she wanted to give away some bars that weren't cured. I didn't care that it was so-and-so's birthday next week, my soap does not go out until it's ready or unless it won't arrive until then.
 

CaraBou

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Once I weigh the oil, I'm going to go outside for a bit to clear my head. When I come back in, if the house smells strongly of the EO, I'll re-weigh it at 2% and use that instead.
I'm not saying you can't make a safe peppermint soap at this percentage (depending on who uses it). However, I am saying your method for determining how much to use is not on solid ground. This is a time when experience or greater knowledge would serve you better. Regardless, I hope you will label your soap; it is a good practice in general, and also with this situation specifically.

I truly want you to be successful, so please don't misinterpret what I'm saying. Honestly, I wish you the best.
 

cmzaha

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I'm not saying you can't make a safe peppermint soap at this percentage (depending on who uses it). However, I am saying your method for determining how much to use is not on solid ground. This is a time when experience or greater knowledge would serve you better. Regardless, I hope you will label your soap; it is a good practice in general, and also with this situation specifically.

I truly want you to be successful, so please don't misinterpret what I'm saying. Honestly, I wish you the best.
I make quite a lot of peppermint soap using 6% of my peppermint. You need to know your peppermint, I have had a few peppermints that had to be used at 3%. They are just not all created equal

I also, Always, put a warning label on my peppermint and menthol soaps.
 

TeresaT

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CaraBou and cmzaha, I understand what you are saying and completely agree. I don't know jack about peppermint and I'm scared/reluctant about it. When I was talking about soap possibilities with him, I was just throwing things out, and "Oh, I could do a red and white swirl with a peppermint smell kind of like a candy cane" popped out. I could have slapped myself HARD (and repeatedly) with that, because, of course THAT's the one he latched onto like a terrier on a rat.

When I make the soap, I'm going to do a "back-up" mulberry. This way, when I test the peppermint on my sensitive Sjogren's skin, I'll decide if I'm comfortable enough giving it to someone else. If it burns me, then hell no! I'll dump the whole thing and tell him about the mulberry. If it doesn't, I'll proceed. I plan on making cigar band labels with my name, address and phone number and all of the ingredients. I never thought of a warning label for the peppermint; but I was going to include a "if you have any type of reaction to this soap, stop using it immediately and please call me." I don't want anyone to get hurt by something I made. That's why I'm so torn up about this whole thing. I'm really glad they like it enough to gift it; but, crud! I'm new at this and have no clue what the heck I'm doing. What if someone ends up with hives and that turns into MRSA and THAT turns into a flesh eating bacteria and they lose a limb or die because they used my soap. (I'm not paranoid. It could happen! :lol:)

So: what do you suggest as a warning label? The peppermint EO I purchased yesterday is the Whole Foods brand (365). Any thoughts or advice on that? Do you know of a good online source of data that delves into peppermint oil and its issues? I've read several articles and the WebMD website on it, but you know the internet. My favorite quote: "Never trust anything you read online." - Abraham Lincoln

You are allowed to say no...
REALLY? (LOL). You are right. But, it's hard.
 
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cmzaha

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CaraBou and cmzaha, I understand what you are saying and completely agree. I don't know jack about peppermint and I'm scared/reluctant about it. When I was talking about soap possibilities with him, I was just throwing things out, and "Oh, I could do a red and white swirl with a peppermint smell kind of like a candy cane" popped out. I could have slapped myself HARD (and repeatedly) with that, because, of course THAT's the one he latched onto like a terrier on a rat.

When I make the soap, I'm going to do a "back-up" mulberry. This way, when I test the peppermint on my sensitive Sjogren's skin, I'll decide if I'm comfortable enough giving it to someone else. If it burns me, then hell no! I'll dump the whole thing and tell him about the mulberry. If it doesn't, I'll proceed. I plan on making cigar band labels with my name, address and phone number and all of the ingredients. I never thought of a warning label for the peppermint; but I was going to include a "if you have any type of reaction to this soap, stop using it immediately and please call me." I don't want anyone to get hurt by something I made. That's why I'm so torn up about this whole thing. I'm really glad they like it enough to gift it; but, crud! I'm new at this and have no clue what the heck I'm doing. What if someone ends up with hives and that turns into MRSA and THAT turns into a flesh eating bacteria and they lose a limb or die because they used my soap. (I'm not paranoid. It could happen! :lol:)

So: what do you suggest as a warning label? The peppermint EO I purchased yesterday is the Whole Foods brand (365). Any thoughts or advice on that? Do you know of a good online source of data that delves into peppermint oil and its issues? I've read several articles and the WebMD website on it, but you know the internet. My favorite quote: "Never trust anything you read online." - Abraham Lincoln
When it comes to soap people will tend to use it full body. Some body areas will burn like **ll if you use peppermint. Sure you get the picture, and a young person may not think about it. There are some nice minty fo's available
 

TeresaT

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EXACTLY, Carolyn! That is my "true" zap test. (OK, TMI coming up, stop reading now.). Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease that attacks the moisture producing glands. ALL moisture producing glands, so I'm very dry, everywhere. I figure if it can pass my "zap" test, it's gonna pass 99% of the population's as well. I know, not scientific or very accurate, but it's as close to it as I can get.

Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to buy a minty FO...HOLY CRAP BATMAN! I have WSPs "Double Mint" at home. I wonder how that compares to peppermint...

You are a freakin' genius!!!!

ETA: I emailed my friend with my concerns and said I'm just not comfortable with making a soap and giving it away that I'm not going to be personally using first. I gave him the alternates: double mint, mulberry or nothing. He opted for nothing. I am relieved. This will give me more time to learn the craft better and purchase safer peppermint FOs. I'm going to make some "candy cane" soap this weekend with double mint anyway. Just because I can. Besides, it's a FO I have used before and like, it will cure for six weeks, and I can give pretty soaps for Christmas gifts.

Thank you all for your help. Your responses helped me to really put my foot down and do what I know in my heart is the right thing for me.
 
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