Quantcast

New Year Soaping Goals

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Carolyne Thrasher

Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
156
Reaction score
235
Location
Salem, OR
Hey I thought it would be fun to share some of our goals for sharpening our craft for the year 2020. Here's a few of mine. The biggest thread is CONSISTENCY.

Fine tune our packaging, logo, esthetic
Learn how to use social media more effectively
Get on top of our website
Continue to network with local artisans and find new popup markets
Experiment with different mold shapes. I keep buying molds and am not really using them.
Experiment with clays as additives and learn how to make clay masks
Start using batch #'s and best buy dates on labels
Launch shampoo bar line (my testing phase is done and I'm ready)
Improve record keeping and bookkeeping practices (see batch #s)
Set up an annual calendar so I'm not missing opportunities
Take a design class at a local community college

That's probably enough for this year but I love to research and the rabbit holes go really deep and far in soap making. I think these are the biggest priorities though. I hope this gives some of you inspiration and for those of you like me that can never plan too much tell me what you're hoping to accomplish this year. Now to get back to deep cleaning the studio and inventory.
 

Kcryss

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
663
Reaction score
407
Location
Colorado
Wow, those are amazing items to accomplish. Compared to yours, mine are simple.

Keep making soap and eventually get it right. :)
Learn what the best options are for incorporating my herbs into soap.
Stop finding rabbit holes and circling ... I have the same research problem you have it seems ... research, find new info, deep dive new info, get distracted from original goal due to new info, head down a new path. Circle around and around and around ... eventually find the original path and backup! lol
 

amd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
3,576
Reaction score
4,856
Location
South Dakota
@Carolyne Thrasher should this be in the business forum? Yours looks like a business goals list, so I'm not sure how to answer - as a hobbyist soaper vs a business soaper = completely different goals.

As a soapmaker:
Learn more design techniques - which means continuing to fine tune my recipe/methods to get a slow trace recipe that doesn't develop DOS.
Play with natural colorants

As a business:
Launch a vegan soap line
Stock a broader range of fragrances, but not so many that I overwhelm the customer
More custom orders
More wholesale
Teach soapmaking classes
Offer a broader range of non-soap products that can be made and turned quickly
Develop gift baskets/product sets
 

Marilyn Norgart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
2,005
Reaction score
1,703
Location
Minnesota
the biggest for me is improving record keeping but couldn't hurt to work on all the others too
I want to try and make not as many fragrances cuz it does overwhelm them
I need to learn how to do a better job with the milk soaps
and amd if you come up with sets let me know how it goes--I tried that this winter but they didn't sell--except for the small pkgs I made with a wooden soap rack and a single bar of soap. I really think I just suck at making a nice looking pkg
 

Carolyne Thrasher

Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
156
Reaction score
235
Location
Salem, OR
@Carolyne Thrasher should this be in the business forum? Yours looks like a business goals list, so I'm not sure how to answer - as a hobbyist soaper vs a business soaper = completely different goals.

As a soapmaker:
Learn more design techniques - which means continuing to fine tune my recipe/methods to get a slow trace recipe that doesn't develop DOS.
Play with natural colorants

As a business:
Launch a vegan soap line
Stock a broader range of fragrances, but not so many that I overwhelm the customer
More custom orders
More wholesale
Teach soapmaking classes
Offer a broader range of non-soap products that can be made and turned quickly
Develop gift baskets/product sets

I debated whether to put it in business but I like hearing from hobbyists too. Hobbyists are just as serious about building your craft as those of us who are trying to make money at it.
 

Hawksquill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
101
Reaction score
131
Location
USA
I'm just a hobbyist so mine are much more modest than yours!

-get better at keeping track of batches and logging my observations about how each batch performs over time (and actually writing it down!)

-experiment with going palm free when my current palm oil runs out

-experiment with embeds

-experiment with more additives like oatmeal, honey, coffee, etc.

-master some more complex swirls!

-make Bastille soap (modified version of Zany's Castile) and compare with Castile
 

luluzapcat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
81
Reaction score
122
Another hobbyist here...
My goals, or at least fun plans:
- develop a base recipe I'm happy with, which would be for
- a hard bar with generous creamy lather (don't need big bubbles)
- ingredients I feel are ethical and also economical
- good for swirling and other fun!​
- try making liquid and transparent soap
- make some fun molds!
- set to work on my LONG list of color and pattern ideas, which will have great challenges for me
 

Rsapienza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
228
Reaction score
345
Location
Florida
the biggest for me is improving record keeping but couldn't hurt to work on all the others too
I want to try and make not as many fragrances cuz it does overwhelm them
I need to learn how to do a better job with the milk soaps
and amd if you come up with sets let me know how it goes--I tried that this winter but they didn't sell--except for the small pkgs I made with a wooden soap rack and a single bar of soap. I really think I just suck at making a nice looking pkg
I bought these Xmas tins at the Dollar Tree (2 different sizes). The small one included 1 soap bar, 1 sm. soap dish, a soap saver, and a shower pouf. The large ones had 2 bars, lg. soap dish, soap saver, and a 3 inch or so loofah. They sold pretty well.
 

KeepItSimpleSoap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
62
Reaction score
85
Location
Lickskillet Alabama
A hobbyist for sure.
Goals for 2020
Keep better batch records/designated notebook
Try new things to my plain soap (I currently have a batch setting up that I added Cocoa Powder to, finished pics tomorrow)
Try some batches with fragrances
Build a wire soap cutter
Purchase an outdoor thermometer to track ambient temperature during soaping
Build a 4 pound mold
Finish renovating kitchen in old dwelling to move hobby soaping and (personal use) candle making by Spring
cocoasoap.jpg The picture is of the cocoa swirl soap in the milk carton mold.
Lye/water was poured into the grease at 3:35 p.m. 12-31-19
It kind of looks like a batch of fudge. I will perform an improvised cutting on it in a day or two
 
Last edited:

Carolyne Thrasher

Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
156
Reaction score
235
Location
Salem, OR
I'm just a hobbyist so mine are much more modest than yours!

-get better at keeping track of batches and logging my observations about how each batch performs over time (and actually writing it down!)

-experiment with going palm free when my current palm oil runs out

-experiment with embeds

-experiment with more additives like oatmeal, honey, coffee, etc.

-master some more complex swirls!

-make Bastille soap (modified version of Zany's Castile) and compare with Castile
Zany's Bastille is on my list for January!
 

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,525
Reaction score
3,980
Location
Virginia
Another hobbyist: In 2020, I plan to focus on the finer details of making soap, especially how temperature, lye concentration and additives affect the initial quality of the various recipes I’m making and then how the soaps change over time.
 

Relle

Administrator & Bunny Fanatic
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
11,482
Reaction score
3,870
A hobbyist for sure.
Goals for 2020
Keep better batch records/designated notebook
Try new things to my plain soap (I currently have a batch setting up that I added Cocoa Powder to, finished pics tomorrow)
Try some batches with fragrances
Build a wire soap cutter
Purchase an outdoor thermometer to track ambient temperature during soaping
Build a 4 pound mold
Finish renovating kitchen in old dwelling to move hobby soaping and (personal use) candle making by Spring
View attachment 43195 The picture is of the cocoa swirl soap in the milk carton mold.
Lye/water was poured into the grease at 3:35 p.m. 12-31-19
It kind of looks like a batch of fudge. I will perform an improvised cutting on it in a day or two
Is your soap outside ? If it is I wouldn't leave it out there as it's still caustic and birds and other animals can get into it and harm themselves.
 

Ladka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
253
Reaction score
316
Location
Kranj, Slovenija
Yet another hobyist here:

Identify five scents/scent mixtures that I like most, that do not discolour the batter or seize it and that remain perceptible for more than six months
Find out how to shorten the time-to-trace in lard soap
Get a good mould for a toy car soap for my grandsons
Improve my rendering technique
Develop recipes with mostly lard and tallow
Try to make liquid soap
Record my observations about how a batch performs over time, enter it in the https://www.soapmakingfriend.com sheet
Find easily available colourants
 

MarnieSoapien

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
409
Reaction score
903
Location
Denmark
I've been working on setting goals for the new year as well. So far I've come up with:
- Get 200 more Instagram followers
- Start using EOs and clays for a more "natural" line of soaps
- Make and test Marseille inspired soap
- Decide on fragrances and designs for soaps to be submitted for chemical analysis testing
- Get website up and running
- Find at least one business to sell to wholesale or one retail to have my soaps in
- Continue R&D for things like bath teas, bath milks and shower steamers
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
1,330
Location
Oregon
I started out with the intent to be a hobbyist, then ended up starting a business. But even with a Plan, I got way ahead of myself and off track so my goals are:

1) Inventory....everything. I need to know exactly how much soap I have sitting in my garage and what kind. I need to know what kind of ingredients I have and how much, what colorants, what fragrances, what molds, what equipment.

2) Update my Plan. While I achieved a few of my original goals, I completely lost sight of several others with the result that it will be June before I am ready to start selling soap again. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with my soap recipes (regular or goat milk), it's just that I got off track which what I originally intended and so I need to take a few steps back before I can go forward again.

3) Keep better records (or rather, keep WRITTEN records). You can hand any bar of soap I have made and I can tell it's history...mostly. And therein lies the problem; while I use the same base recipe for all my soaps so that isn't the issue, but when it comes to color and scents, especially color, I don't always measure and I really need to so I have consistency. And GMP (good manufacturing practices aside), I need to keep better notes overall.

4) Tone down the R&D. My original goal was to offer 12 stock soaps...six Regular and six Goat Milk, and a Salt Soap; I got five total of the first and a second fail on the Salt and then went off the rails. That's not to say going off was completely bad, I have a Chocolate Espresso Soap that is to die for, my Lotion Bars are the bomb and the Charcoal & Clay Soap for the December Challenge was pretty decent. BUT...it's not where I am supposed to be.

I was going to make soap today. I got in some new molds yesterday and wanted to try something new and then I saw this thread and it was a major reality check for me. So instead, I'm going to clean up my soap area (my island was used heavily during the holidays) and start on my inventory.
 

Dawni

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Messages
3,185
Reaction score
4,822
Location
Philippines
Get over my uncertainty about CP and make more cold process soaps (other than soleseifes) so I can try those impossible-to-do-in-HP swirls lol

Play around with more EO blends, hand in hand with looking for and investing in quality FOs

Business, short term: first and foremost, logo, and then an easier, quicker and more systematic way of packaging

I also really need an organized space for storage and production, other than my kitchen counters and spare shelves
 

Anstarx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
271
Reaction score
561
Location
China
A list for a hobbyist:
  1. I made a huge soap idea list this year. So far it has over 60+ ideas for soaping. Every time I used an idea I will cross it out. So far I crossed out 6. Hopefully I can cross out at least 30 by the end of 2020.
  2. Most FO I can get in my country are single scent: lavender, vanilla, green tea, etc. If you want a nice blend like island breeze or something you either have to import it or buy from someone who import it. So this year I want to invest in buying as much FO as possible and try to create some blend.
  3. I have an online shop registered for 2 years now and it's always empty. I'm not planning to sell my soaps yet but maybe I can try selling some candles and clay creations I made. So create a logo, design a banner, and hopefully started selling.
  4. Keep making videos. I record my soaping process I post them online. They are not trending but has some views.
  5. Some of my viewers has asked my for a "soap for beginners" video and I've been considering doing a series of short videos explaining different types of soaps (CP, HP, MP, etc.) and process of making them.
  6. Expand my soap skills. So far I've been making either single-color or a simple layer. I want to try swirls, column pours, embeds, high tops, all that jazz.
  7. Create an inventory system. More than once I set up everything to make my soap and realize I'm 50g OO short and have to change the plan.
Not really related to soap, but here we go anyway.
  1. Get my kiln set up and ready to go! I took a training session at the famous ceramic town here in China. I invested in a kiln and other pottery related equipment but I've been sick so didn't have the energy to set them up. so right now I have a kiln sitting in the middle of my living room lol.
  2. Clean and change my living room into a home-studio for pottery and soaping. I have no use for this room any way. If anyone ever come, they can sit on the floor.
  3. Work harder so I can continue to support my expensive hobbies;)
 
Last edited:

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
1,330
Location
Oregon
Create an inventory system. More than once I set up everything to make my soap and realize I'm 50g OO short and have to change the plan.
There are several inventory systems on the market, two that I know of are free (one is online, the other is the 'lite' version) and a third offers (online) offers a 14-day trial. One way to make sure you never run out of ingredients is to always have a 'backup' and when you open it, you reorder.
 

Quilter99755

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
184
Reaction score
288
Location
Idaho
Oh, dear, where to start on this one. Totally hobbyist. Last year it was find a soap that me and my daughters all like that lasts a long time in both climates (Idaho and Hawaii). FYI Idaho gets as much rain in a year that Hawaii gets in a month.

Then I got sidetracked by joining SMF. Every thread was a new rabbit hole to start down. With health issues in the family (brain tumor) it was easier to be sidetracked on the computer than trying to concentrate on creating new formulas. Although I have done a bit of that.

So this year is very similar to last:
1. Work on that elusive formula for a nice and long lasting soap.

2. Try out some of the swirls and other "arty" things I have seen on this forum. And that probably means making more CP since I have only done one batch...am a long time HP'er .

3. I hit some sample sales of FO's last fall as I had never used them (only EO's). After looking up ways to test them, I've finally settled on a method to do it other than going with 1 pound tests for each FO. Then hopefully I would have a few FO's that I could order in larger amounts. But now am noticing that it does make a difference as to which company you get the FO's from and of course who is doing the smelling...so that might be one of my rabbit holes that I go down this year.

4. Try out some single oil soaps...I have already done CO but want to do RBO, OO (probably ZNSC) and lard. I thought I had a source for mega bunches of tallow but that was a no-go. If that comes about this year then I would add tallow to the list. May change that to 80% single oils rather than 100%

I'd love to add a few more but know that I will probably get side tracked with at least one of the rabbit holes I find here on the forum. I also have a list for my other hobby: quilting. So I want to make it a little more reasonable for both.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top