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beebiz

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Hello all,

I have not made any soap as of yet. After reading a tremendous amount of information on the internet, I don't think I am interested in any method other than the M&P method. So, I have a few questions.

From what I have read, you don't want to add a bunch of different "stuff" to the MP soap bases. But, can two or more different MP bases be safely and successfully mixed? For example, if one were wanting to make a MP soap that had honey, oatmeal, and hemp, is it okay to take a pound of honey MP base, a pound of oatmeal MP base, and a pound of hemp MP base, melt them together, add color and fragrance to create a 3 lb. block of honey-oatmeal-hemp soap?

Also, my wife and I live in a rural part of northern west TN. We are both disabled and need some additional income. We are neither able to work at public jobs. So, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out something that would have a low physical impact on us; yet allow us to earn a few extra dollars each month. In your personal opinions, would you think that trying to sell MP soaps in a small rural area would be a reasonable way to earn a few extra dollars each month?? I know none of you have chrystal balls (or at least I don't think you do!). But, I'd like your input! And, be honest... I can take it!! :wink:

Sorry if these sound like dumb questions. But, I am trying to learn!!

Thanks in advance for your input!!

Robert
 

Lane

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I mix three different bases. I mix a low sweat base, a shea butter base and a shaving base together. Each base alone brings a quality to the soap that is enhanced by the other, I feel. If I want to make a hemp melt and pour, I mix a hemp base with a shaving base. You can get some really good, natural bases at http://peakcandle.com/. Their fragrance oils are really great too.

Making soap, any kind, and selling it can be really hard. You do have to put a lot of time (and money) into it. Even with MP, you have to look at buying the base, the molds, the dyes, the FOs, the packaging, the labels...etc. You can be SO creative with MP that it is hard to just settle with a "simple" bar of MP.

I once had a web site where I sold MP. I could actually make over 600,000 different combinations with the scents, shapes & colors I had. I switched to CP, because for me, it was actually cheaper. However, I am VERY addicted to making "pretty" things and there are SOOOO many things out there that make MP pretty. It's a little harder with CP because you worry more about MAKING the base. It's beautiful in a different way.

Have you thought about buying already made "logs" of either MP or CP and simply cutting and packaging them with your own labels?

I tend to type a lot...haha... I hope this info was useful!
 

beebiz

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Hey Lane,

Thanks for the information and the link. I figured that mixing multiple MP bases would be alright; but just wanted to be sure.

As for buying already made logs of MP or CP bases, cutting them and packaging them under my own label, I had not thought of that. But, I like the idea of adding my own colors and fragrances. It would also allow me to mix the bases to come up with my own custom (more or less) soap!

As for the molds, I have some power tools and some lumber. I figured I could make my own "log" molds. I also got an idea for a mold from about.com. It is in an article by David Fisher. In the article, he explains how to use a 12" long section of 3" PVC pipe as a mold to make loofah soap. Once the soap hardens, he uses vegetable cans to push the soap out of the pipe. Then, he simply slices the soap into 1" thick slices.

I definitely don't want to sink a bundle of money into this! That's why I had thought I would start out by buy trying about 3 MP bases from Candlewic ($1.87/lb. in 5 lb. blocks), a color for each, and a fragrance for each. With me making my own molds, the initial cost won't be that much. And, I know that 15 lbs. of base won't make a big bunch of soap. But, it will make enough for my wife and I to try it out (we have lots of trouble with dry skin); and have a pretty fair amount left over to make some small sample bars to hand out. With the "freebies" I figured I would include some info, my name, and phone number for the potential customer's future referrance.

I don't know if this kind of "advertising" will do any good or not. But, it was what I thought I'd try. A couple of places I thought I'd pass a few freebies were local doctor offices, dentist offices, vet. offices, hair salons, and a few other places that my wife and I have come up with. What do you all think???

Again, I thank you for your input!!

Robert
 

Lane

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You can get free business cards at http://www.vistaprint.com/. Including a card with your soaps really helps! I literally leave a small bar of soap shrink wrapped with a card inside in EVERY bath room...and on EVERY table (with my tip) when I go out to eat. You can get shrink wrap at http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com for pretty cheap.

I LOVE David Fisher's articles on about.com! That's actually where I gathered most of my information about soap making. Have you read anything on Kathy Millers site? http://www.millersoap.com/ Some call it the "Soap Bible" I have only looked it over...I don't know that it has much information on MP, but it is a good read.
 

PhillipJ

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Lane. How often do you get a sale from leaving soaps and your card for a tip or in wash rooms?
 

Lane

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PhillipJ said:
Lane. How often do you get a sale from leaving soaps and your card for a tip or in wash rooms?
When I leave a tip, I just fold like two dollars and use the soap as a paper weight. I have a little card that simply says "Thank you for the great service, now how about you treat yourself?" With my soaps I leave in wash rooms, I just have a little label that says "This soap is just for you...yup...you. Let's call it your lucky day".
They both have my web addy on it (and of course the ingredients to the soap). I never leave something lying around with my # or address on it.

I probably leave about 3 around a week in various places. So...about 10-15 a month. Generally I will have about 5 to 7 people e-mail me saying they love the soaps they "found" and are excited to place an order...

Sorry...that was a reallllly long answer to a pretty simply question!
 

PhillipJ

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Thank you Lane. That was a good answer. I was kinda thinking of leaving some at certain places. But that will be some time off, as I need more experience yet before I start tinking about selling.
 

Tabitha

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beebiz, as for your question about can you make a side income off soap... I know hundreds of soapers * realistically* they just make enough to keep themselves in supplies for the most part. I am going to put a poll up & see just how much does everyone make a month on soap & *hope* everyone is honest. It will be good to know.
 

mirandazoo

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I have had three spinal fusions so getting around after work causes me alot of problems. I have found though that making the soap, I made CP soaps is not all that difficult to me. I make mine on the weekends, and have a handy hubby who makes me my molds.

It does cost some to get your supplies. The members here have been so helpful with sugestions and links to places they use for supplies. Makes your plans, set things up and set up some relationships with local stores and go from there.

Good luck to you. Soap making is addictive. And relaxing to me. Plus my house smells just terrific!
 

beebiz

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Lane, thank you so much for the tips and links!! I love the idea of leaving the small bars of soap in restrooms and on the table with the tip. When you do this, what size bars do you leave... 2 oz.... 1 oz.... or what?

I have just spent about 2 hours checking out Kathy Miller's site. And, I didn't even scratch the surface!! To say that she has a plethora of information would be a gross understatement!! Unfortunately, I have yet to find any MP information. But, there is still a great deal of information that I may find useful. And, if I ever decide to try CP soap, I'm sure I'll wear her site out!!! :lol:

Tabitha, thank you for putting up the poll. I've already checked it out. And, I will be quite interested to see the results!

Mirandazoo, I can identify!! I have had one ruptured disk removed from my back. I have two more that are herniated. I have advanced Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) in my back from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I have RA in virtually every joint in my body; causing damp winter days and nights to make mobility a wonderful experience in torture! I've had 2 heart attacks; six bypasses done. And, I am an insulin dependent diabetic with several complications from the diabetes! Other than what I've stated, I'm in pretty good shape for a 48 year old man!! :lol: And, I won't even go into my wife's health problems!! :)

But, I AIN'T dead yet!! So, I was hoping that making and selling homemade, hand poured soap would be something that I would enjoy and be able to make a little extra money with. Even an extra $100 per month would help out a bunch!!

I'm glad I found this site!! From what I've seen and read so far, you all seem to be a bunch of kind, warmhearted, willing to help folks!! God bless ya!! :wink:

Robert
 

dragonfly princess

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Welcome to our forum, I only do M&P, I have a few tricks up my sleeve if you would like to talk. I have been doing this for less than a year but I can't stand going a day without doing it.
 

Lane

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Tabitha said:
beebiz, as for your question about can you make a side income off soap... I know hundreds of soapers * realistically* they just make enough to keep themselves in supplies for the most part.
Agrees with Tab. I have been making and selling for a little over three yrs now. I don't profit. I put everything back into my business. My son, myself and my brother have really bad sensitivities to synthetics and chemicals, tho mine has gotten a lot better with age...Anything I sell just pads the cost for supplies I need to buy anyway. I put about 6 to 10 hours a day networking and building my website, if you added everything up, I make about $2.00 an hour. I don't mean to discourage!!! I just run my business from a different angle. Plus, any profit that isn't spent on supplies, I donate. I'm truly passionate about this craft and make atleast a pound of soap every weekend to donate every month.

beebiz said:
Lane, thank you so much for the tips and links!! I love the idea of leaving the small bars of soap in restrooms and on the table with the tip. When you do this, what size bars do you leave... 2 oz.... 1 oz.... or what?
I make 5-5.5 oz bars and then I cut a few from each batch into thirds. So they are each a bit under 2 oz. My daughter is in school, so when ever there is a class party, we make MP together to give instead of candy. This is another way I get my product out there.


beebiz said:
From what I've seen and read so far, you all seem to be a bunch of kind, warmhearted, willing to help folks!! God bless ya!! :wink:

Robert
Everyone here is great! I was hooked from the first day I found this forum!!
 

mirandazoo

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Even with the health issues we all have, I find it so comforting and I can 'zone out' when I'm creating something new. Have a bad back and only 39! Even with putting the money back into your soap making supplies, I think you'd come out with a little bit extra. Then a nice dinner and a movie (I'm usually on the floor - more comfortable than a chair by the evening), it'll be a day to remember. I even framed my first dollar. I know, I'm nuts.

Guess that's part of being redhead.
 

Tabitha

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I have been selling soap for 7 years now & *finally* am making a profit. Not a huge profit, but enough...

The miller site does not address M&P. I will be back in a sec w/ a couple M&P sites.
 

beebiz

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Lane said:
Tabitha said:
beebiz, as for your question about can you make a side income off soap... I know hundreds of soapers * realistically* they just make enough to keep themselves in supplies for the most part.
Agrees with Tab. I have been making and selling for a little over three yrs now. I don't profit. I put everything back into my business. My son, myself and my brother have really bad sensitivities to synthetics and chemicals, tho mine has gotten a lot better with age...Anything I sell just pads the cost for supplies I need to buy anyway. I put about 6 to 10 hours a day networking and building my website, if you added everything up, I make about $2.00 an hour. I don't mean to discourage!!! I just run my business from a different angle. Plus, any profit that isn't spent on supplies, I donate. I'm truly passionate about this craft and make atleast a pound of soap every weekend to donate every month.
I understand quite well what you are saying. I don't know how many days per week/month you are referring to. But, I do know that $2 per hour is only fifteen cents pre hour more than I made at my first job bagging groceries!! And, that was back in 1976!! By today's standards, that's not much.

But, there are a few things you must understand. First, I'm not looking to get rich overnight... or in any other amount of time! Second, I'm not looking to soap to support my wife and I. Third, since I am disabled and don't work at a public job, I have lots and lots of time on my hands.... time for which I am being paid nothing (I paid for my disability checks when I worked at public jobs)!! Finally, if I could sell enough soap to pay for my supplies, pay for the soap that my wife and I will use, and have $80 to $100 per month left over, that would be wonderful!!!

I know folks who will go out on a Friday or Saturday night and blow $80 to $100 and have nothing more than a few memories to show for it. To them, $80 to $100 extra per month is no big deal... about like a couple of extra sodas would be to me. But, my wife and I have had to learn to squeeze a dollar until George screams!! For us, that little bit of extra money each month would mean a lot. If nothing else, it might mean that we could occasionally go out to eat, occasionally go to a movie, occasionally have a couple of steaks to grill for dinner, I could occasionally get my wife some nice flowers or a nice "just because I love you" gift, a couple of times in the summer we could take our grandkids camping in our pop-up camper, and so on.

So, I guess that I'm like you in that my soap making will be done from a different angle. As far as I am concerned, the $$ per hour won't mean a thing to me. Because those hours would have been spent watching TV, reading on the internet, or in some other non-$$ productive manner anyway!

I still thank you for the reality check!

mirandazoo said:
Even with the health issues we all have, I find it so comforting and I can 'zone out' when I'm creating something new. Have a bad back and only 39! Even with putting the money back into your soap making supplies, I think you'd come out with a little bit extra. Then a nice dinner and a movie (I'm usually on the floor - more comfortable than a chair by the evening), it'll be a day to remember. I even framed my first dollar. I know, I'm nuts.
That is just what I am hoping for! I'd be tickled pink to make enough extra so that my wife and I could get out of the house for a little while and do something we would enjoy!!

mirandazoo said:
Guess that's part of being redhead.
Having known several redheads (including my mother) in my life... I have NO doubt!!! :lol: :lol:

Robert
 

beebiz

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Tabitha said:
I have been selling soap for 7 years now & *finally* am making a profit. Not a huge profit, I made enough during the summer months to buy the kids school clothes & I made enough in the fall for 3 day 2 night stay down at the Texas coast line for my family of 4, so I am just thrilled!

The miller site does not address M&P. I will be back in a sec w/ a couple M&P sites.
Thanks for taking the time to do that Tabitha! If I could make extra money like that... my wife and I would feel like we had hit the lottery!!

Robert
 

beebiz

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Thanks Tabitha! I've read the one on about.com. David Fisher has got a world of good information about soap making.

I couldn't get the second link to work. After searching around on the site, I found this: http://www.fromnaturewithlove.com/libra ... making.asp

Is that the one that you wanted me to see??

Thanks again for your information!

Robert
 
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