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TwistedSisters

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So my friend and I are going to start a business, Twisted Sisters Soaps and Such. We made our first "test" batch of CP soap, a very basic recipe. Anyhow once trace was achieved we used silicone muffin cups to pour in. I eyeballed about 1/2 full. I did not level off because I thought it might settle. Saponification was reached and I removed them from the molds today. They are terribly uneven.

What can I do next time to make them level without wasting product?

I ordered some bar molds, the big 48 oz kind from amazon so I will want to know how to level it off when we make more soap.

Thanks!

~TwistedSisters (Alycia)
 

snappyllama

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Howdy and welcome to the forum!

We highly discourage considering starting a business making CP or HP soap until you have at least a year of successful batches under your belt. Your products will not be consistently great (sorry, but they won't) there is too much to learn to excel at it, the testing time for any recipe and FO is months, you can injure people with mistakes, etc.

That said, it sounds like your trace was too heavy. CP soap batter doesn't settle. You can even pipe with it. Next time, bring to emulsification or very light trace.
 

TwistedSisters

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Howdy and welcome to the forum!

We highly discourage considering starting a business making CP or HP soap until you have at least a year of successful batches under your belt. Your products will not be consistently great (sorry, but they won't) there is too much to learn to excel at it, the testing time for any recipe and FO is months, you can injure people with mistakes, etc.

That said, it sounds like your trace was too heavy. CP soap batter doesn't settle. You can even pipe with it. Next time, bring to emulsification or very light trace.
Thanks so much for the feedback! I actually specialize in sugar scrubs and I am learning to add to my skills. I had the batter at a light trace and my friend whipped it more. We'll not be so over zealous next time! :)

As for the business, I agree that we should practice, practice, practice. We were only thinking of light business anyway just to move product and cover costs. I looked into a small market and opened my Etsy shop. I also make other handmade things that can help cover costs.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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jst becase someone is new to the form, doesn't make them inexperienced completely


The op explained that they made their first and only batch of cp (after deciding to sell cp, despite never having made it before) and is posting this question about that batch in the beginners section - inexperience is established quite clearly.
 

cmzaha

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jst becase someone is new to the form, doesn't make them inexperienced completely
Yes it does when they state it is their first batch. Does not matter if they are experienced in sugar scrubs, soap is a different animal. Believe me when I say new sellers can kill a market for soapmakers. They sell not so great soap and then the customer is unhappy. Just had one at my booth Friday complaining how drying their handmade soap is. I did not recognize her so I asked if it was one on mine and she said no. Whew...but then I know what my soap is. Newbies think their soap is good, but in a year or so, if they have continued to grow they will find their first soaps were not very good. Selling to soon absolutely hurts the industry. Also I hope the op is really not counting on selling a lot of soap and making easy money. It just does not happen today
Thanks so much for the feedback! I actually specialize in sugar scrubs and I am learning to add to my skills. I had the batter at a light trace and my friend whipped it more. We'll not be so over zealous next time! :)

As for the business, I agree that we should practice, practice, practice. We were only thinking of light business anyway just to move product and cover costs. I looked into a small market and opened my Etsy shop. I also make other handmade things that can help cover costs.
Don't forget you will need insurance before you sell and best even if giving soaps away. Good insurance is not cheap. Unless making whipped soap, which is the only time you want to whip in air, you do not whip it, you stick blend it, mix with a spoon or a whisk
 
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dillsandwitch

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Have you considered adding some Melt & Pour soaps to your line while you learn the art of CP soaps. They dont need a cure so you can sell them right away. also since you purchase the base from a supplier the only thing to learn is the artistic side of soap pouring. Anyway best of luck and welcome to the forums :D
 

Relle

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As for the business, I agree that we should practice, practice, practice. We were only thinking of light business anyway just to move product and cover costs. I looked into a small market and opened my Etsy shop. I also make other handmade things that can help cover costs.
I don't understand what you mean by light business. Business is business.
 

TwistedSisters

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Don't forget you will need insurance before you sell and best even if giving soaps away. Good insurance is not cheap. Unless making whipped soap, which is the only time you want to whip in air, you do not whip it, you stick blend it, mix with a spoon or a whisk
I used bad terminology, we used a stick blender.

I felt melt and pours seemed....like too much work was already done. Are they really moisturizing? i am sensitive and dry out SO easily. I hope to one day (after the curing) have made myself good soap. That's why I want to sell to provide better than retail soap to consumers of all skin types. I know it's not quick money. I do have experience with my scrubs, but they have all been gifts. I am going to use that to generate the income to buy soaping supplies to practice making soap. Seems like such a waste to make whole batches and shouldn't share to friends/family w/o insurance. I def can't afford that yet. My BFF just got us a copy of starting a small business in PA and I have been reading on SBA.gov and mostly just at a researching point. honestly, we will not be able to have a physical shop till finances are better so we are going the Etsy route for now. I will look into everything that was linked to me. There were a LOT of things that I didn't consider. It's a bit overwhelming actually. i think I'd like to talk to a shop owner that is not my local potential competitor to get their take on how they started etc. And I am def open to suggestions here!
 

shunt2011

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You need to do a lot more research and development before you even consider selling CP soap. Soap is not moisturizing....however, it can be less stripping of the natural oils.

As other's suggested you can start with MP until you've learned CP.

As for business names, you need to register your name too. I know there's already a company named Twisted Sister Soap so you may have problems with that one. When I finally decided to sell I had to go to the County Clerk and they did a name search for my business.

As for gifting to friends and family, that's not a problem. However, once it leaves those you know directly you can be held liable and hense, the importance of having insurance. You could loose everything if someone is injured or has a reaction to your soap.

It takes at least a year or longer to develop a good recipe and to test it long term to see if it goes rancid etc. This is not a fly by night get rich quick type of business. Many never make a living off of it. I know I can't and I've been selling for awhile now. I still have a job that pays the bills.

So, as others suggested, take the time to learn the art and make the best you can.

I would have been extremely embarassed to sell my first soaps looking back, glad I didn't. They were okay but not as good as what I have now.
 

cmzaha

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To start with soap is not moisturizing, it cleans. The issue is how stripping is is? Coconut Oil, Babassu, and Palm Kernel are the bubbly, cleansing, oils that can be very good at stripping our natural oils off our body. That is why I mention you need to take the time it requires to figure out how to make a body loving bar and balance the bubbles. Myristic and Lauric are the bubbly cleansing oils.

As for business, you need to spend the year going into the store and see how their business is, it is not always the way to go. In the present economy it would be extremely had to keep a Brick and Mortar going, with insurance, workers comp, utilities, rent, maintenance, then if you make the mistake of incorporating there are more bils and requirements to follow. When incorporated you cannot just shut the doors, and close the business if it is not going well. No peopl,e there is no great protection with a corporation now, used to be not now, do not ask how I know but believe me I know. I have to say I would never never open up a store for B&B, people that go in a store to purchase are mostly people wanting manufactured products are not ones that tend to like handmade. If they go to Lush type stores that is usually where they will continue to go. Do you have the money to back the business, that is a huge biggie. This is why I choose to sell in Farmer Markets, rent is paid if I go and my customers know where to find me or they can call me and make arrangements if they want something delivered. Keep in mind this is a hugely "Over-saturated" business, with to much DIY sites for making your own. We found scrubs sales have steeply dropped off due to customers making their own. I would not depend on Etsy for selling enough to pay for supplies. Paying for our own supplies is something we all have to deal with. I am fortunate my markets do keep my supplies going or I just do not buy whatever I am out of and re-tweak. You can certainly give away without insurance you can even sell without insurance, as long as you are not selling from a Brick & Mortar, or giveaway which is at your risk, but today most Farmer Markets require insurance, at least in California.

What do you really think a shop owner is going to tell you, whether in your type of business or not? I signed a lease, turned on utilities, acquired all permits and business licenses etc etc now I sit and hope someone walks through the door. Do your research. You "Cannot" start up a brick & Mortar on a shoestring, even 5 years worth of money backing will not necessarily keep it going. While I am not trying to discourage, I am trying to point out the realistic side of opening up a store. I did not mention even half the expenses that come with it. I forgot to point out the money you will put into stock sitting on a shelf and you worry about running tiny batches and wasting product. The big up-turn in handmade sales has considerably slowed down, that happend 8-10 years ago. If you cannot afford to back your hobby finacially you certainly Cannot support a business. Soaping is addictive and expensive. Many of us whether sellers or not give away as much as we sell. We all get failures that are not what we want to sell so they go to the local shelter, food bank, Clean the World etc. Point is, there is waste. Dreams are wonderful, but failures are extremely expensive and many small store owners fail. This is just a little more info to chew on
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I often find myself frustrated at the attitude that soap can be sold to feed the habit. For one thing, it makes the market worse for those who actually make a living from it (having a competitor selling an inferior product and/or with inferior back up knowledge at a lower price is not good however you spin it) and also then recycles this idea that soap making as a hobby should generate the cash to keep going.

If making as much soap as you (the general you, not the op specifically) want to make is proving too expensive.........make less soap! I like to smoke cigars, but I can't afford to smoke 10 Romeo y julietta's per day. So I have to either decide that the expense is worth it for my enjoyment, or cut back. I don't decide to monetize my hobby.
 

likeablelady

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Yes it does when they state it is their first batch. Does not matter if they are experienced in sugar scrubs, soap is a different animal. Believe me when I say new sellers can kill a market for soapmakers. They sell not so great soap and then the customer is unhappy. Just had one at my booth Friday complaining how drying their handmade soap is. I did not recognize her so I asked if it was one on mine and she said no. Whew...but then I know what my soap is. Newbies think their soap is good, but in a year or so, if they have continued to grow they will find their first soaps were not very good. Selling to soon absolutely hurts the industry. Also I hope the op is really not counting on selling a lot of soap and making easy money. It just does not happen today


Don't forget you will need insurance before you sell and best even if giving soaps away. Good insurance is not cheap. Unless making whipped soap, which is the only time you want to whip in air, you do not whip it, you stick blend it, mix with a spoon or a whisk
I apologize. Apparently did not read the post correctly.
 

Arimara

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<hiding under a table>
*Sitting on the table, playing music*

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n041M5FnqA"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n041M5FnqA[/ame]


"Dreams only get you so far. After that, you need cash". That seems to be the theme. B&B as a market is oversaturated. You have to be able to stand out and back your products 100%. If you are only 99.99% sure of your product, you're still not ready to sell anything. Carolyn and the others gave solid advice and even though I'm not interested in selling what I make as a whole, it's good advice to keep me anchored in my decision and it gives perspective in just how dangerous amateurs are to any field. I don't mean anything negative but I do feel you and your friend need to have a nice long think and evaluate your plans for a business. It's no joke once you make your first few dollars. If something goes wrong, can you honestly back your products 100% and be ready to prove their safety, even right down to how you make them?
 
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