Ok, I hate for my first post back to be a complaint but...

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Dana89

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I was looking at BrambleBerrys kits, They are not what I would by because they are expensive IMO, but these are beginner kits for first timers, with the oils mixed for you and detailed directions, this is not the Business in a Box that caused so much controversy.
I glanced and the reviews and read this.

ok but...
I was very excited to receive this kit. I followed the directions perfectly because I wanted this soap to be perfect. when I added the essential oil to the mix, some weird yellow chunks started to appear. I tried smashing them with my spatula and mix a little more with the stick blender but they didn't disappear. I unmolded and cut the soap and I can see the ugly chunks I don't even know what they are or if it is safe to use the soap once it cures. On a positive note, the kit has everything you need to start making soap, but maybe only for yourself? I'd like to know why this happened and how I could get my money from soap I can't sell. after I made this soap I went online and found a recipe for a simple coconut and olive oil and that one worked just fine. I made them both on the same day. I just don't know what happened :/
Anne-Marie had someone call her to troubleshoot, but this was this womans first batch and she is angry she cannot recoup her loss because she was going to sell them.:headbanging:
I think in the visible response this woman should be told it is a make your first batch easy kit, not something you should sell. Sorry I have some shopping to do and ran across this and it makes me want to scream. More than likely her oils got to cool, because they sell these with EO's and FO's that are not going seize your batch.
I am willing to bet she is going to sell the olive oil and coconut bar soaps "that turned out fine", which she has no way of knowing until she has been making that recipe and studying that soap for well over six months!
Ok, I just had had to rant, I think businesses that sell these kits so people do not have to think (which is fine for your first few batches) should put up some kind of warning to NOT sell your first batch.
It always makes it harder on us who spend years perfecting our recipes, I have only been soaping 2 1/2 years and only have 2 recipes I am willing to sell because I know the proper cure time, neither of these have yet to get DOS afters 2 years and I know when they are at their lathery best!
OK rant over. Just had to get it off my chest. I know these type of people will always be around, but buying a bad bar from one of us affects all of us.
 
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Susie

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Bad soap affects everyone. It only takes one bad experience for people to think that all hand made soap is bad. And they never try to learn otherwise.
 

CaraBou

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People like that will weed themselves out or learn the hard way. What should BB say -- don't sell your 1st batch, 2nd batch, 20th -- or perhaps 200th? Even one year is arbitrary given that production, common sense, and learning varies among individuals. The fact that BB markets this as a kit (and charges accordingly) suggests that they are attempting to introduce soapmaking to beginners, not facilitate instant selling. It seems far more important for them to stress use of goggles, gloves, and other safe lye handling practices, which from what I have seen, they are diligent about. Also, I think it is possible they did not want to chastise a customer in public. US society apparently wants no part of that from government let alone a small business.

I'm not specifically trying to defend BB, I just think individual responsibility kicks in here. The world is full of cautions, they all can't be labeled.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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That would be all well and good but that can only work if people aren't idiots, which is a shame as common sense is actually quite rare these days. Common sense says that the statement "I want to sell wedding cakes - now give me a good recipe and instructions on how to bake!" is ridiculous, and yet when it comes to soaping many people think it is a perfectly reasonable question. Which says a lot about how people and common sense are drifting apart.

Weeding out bad soap doesn't just mean that a bad experience with soap maker x results in someone buying from soap maker y. It results in someone not buying hand made soap any more and yelling at least 10 people of their experience. Or, even worse, it results in harm to someone.

This isn't someone painting bad pictures and not selling any - this weeding out process is why there is talk of regulation over there now, why some states already make it harder than others - because people have been stupid (and the new sellers copy the idiots because the ideas seem good - sell early, make claims, invest no time to learn (besides, it's complicated and I don't need to know it)) which is a downward spiral with one result.
 

navigator9

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It is sad and scary that there are people out there, that you will NEVER be able to convince not to sell their first batch of soap. I've always tried to educate my customers, encouraging them to ask questions and make sure that whoever they're buying soap from, whether it's me or someone else, is knowledgeable about the process, and has been doing it for a while. Of course, some people will lie, but you should be able to get at least an idea of how much a person knows about their product and the process required to make it.

It's extremely frustrating that if you make soap and sell it, and know what you're doing and are careful to make it well, and label it properly, that you can do nothing about those that throw inferior ingredients together, don't cure it long enough, don't label properly and make all kinds of claims for their soap. You can't stop them or convince them that what they're doing is wrong. That's why I've given up posting on threads trying to convince newbies not to sell. You might as well join that smiley and bang your head against the wall. All you can do is make great soap and educate your customers.
 

LilyJo

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Yep agree with everything Navigator9 says.

In the EU you cannot sell soaps, creams, bath bombs etc without a safety assessment and yet Etsy, Instagram etc is full of people selling loads of items who have never even considered that they may need an assessment or insurance or anything. Not only are they breaking the law they are leaving themselves open to all kinds of legal challenges if something went wrong.

You cannot make and sell candles in the EU either without a proper CLP compliant label and I have lost count of the people I see daily selling candles to raise some money as a hobby or for Christmas without any testing, burn records or CLP/SDS whatsoever. And it seems that there are plenty of bloggers who are happy to promote these businesses without even considering if they are legally compliant!

This is one of the reasons we stopped doing dealings with PR blogs - they were so unwilling to learn the legal requirements that it became a waste of time and I refuse to have my products promoted alongside someone who doesnt have the faintest idea about labeling or safety.

All you can do is concentrate on your business making sure you comply with everything you need to and hope that eventually your persistence will pay off!
 

Lee242

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Dana
Listen to the people here and make a few batches and ask questions of those here a lot of them have been doing this for a long time and will be willing to help you along the way.
I haven't been doing this for long and the info you get here will be priceless if you stick with it.
Good luck with it.
 

cerelife

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Weeding out bad soap doesn't just mean that a bad experience with soap maker x results in someone buying from soap maker y. It results in someone not buying hand made soap any more and yelling at least 10 people of their experience. Or, even worse, it results in harm to someone.
YES!! One of my best friends is a Master Herbalist and when she opened a shop many years ago she expanded her line to include candles, soaps, bath teas, etc. She touted her soaps as 'all-natural' and 'organic', listing why natural handmade soap was better for your skin and the benefits of the herbs and EO's she used in each soap. I had never used handmade soap before, but I was intrigued with the concept so I bought one of each.
Dear Lord, this stuff was awful! It was soft and slimy when the water hit it; had zero bubbles; and would give an alligator a bad case of dry skin! In my ignorance, I thought this was just the norm for handmade soap and avoided it like the plague for over 10 years! It wasn't until I came across a vendor in NOLA's French Market who had a soap that smelled so good that I didn't care if it felt like crap that I bought another bar of handmade soap! What a revelation...this stuff was awesome and I quickly became an addict!!
Fast-forward to many years later when SHE started using MY soap:
Her: You're a lot better at this than me - after those first batches I just gave up!
Me: You sold your FIRST batches??? Kitten Love were you thinking??
AND THEN she told me she measured her ingredients in cups - NOT by weight!! She said: "You use a scale? It's just soap." I told her that if she was standing in front of me right then I might just punch her in the throat...
Not really, but I WAS beyond aggravated with her :twisted:
However, her crappy soap has probably made me a better soapmaker and vendor. I'm hyper aware that one bad soap can put someone off ALL handmade soap for literally YEARS!!
For instance, I make lovely castile soap with the proper 10-12 month cure, but I feel the need to explain to my customers that while these are very gentle and soothing to the skin, they are going to feel quite different from my other soaps and totally different from commercial soap. They are 'supposed' to lather like that and for some it's an acquired taste!
 

Dahila

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All the reasons above, I make a very small samples so people can try it, 50% of people come back to buy my soap, I also have a half bar, saying to them that if they never used handcrafted soap maybe half of bar is good idea, They buy it, then come back for more. The booth beside me sells (3-4 weeks cure with 80 % of co) People got discouraged and talk about it, then my samples are available. I changed a lot of people perception on handmade soaps.
 

CaraBou

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Dana
Listen to the people here and make a few batches and ask questions of those here a lot of them have been doing this for a long time and will be willing to help you along the way.
I haven't been doing this for long and the info you get here will be priceless if you stick with it.
Good luck with it.
Dana isn't new to soapmaking. She just took a break from the forum for awhile and this is one of her first posts since she's been back. I suspect she was looking at the kits out of general curiosity, not as a way to learn. But that is nice of you to encourage her (or anyone) to stick around :)
 

Dana89

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I agree there is not much we can do about it other than talk to our customers.
This has frustrated everyone at one time or another.

From an "all natural" label, to healing claims, to people who know better and do it anyway.

Remember that shop that made fresh soap daily and sold salve with Cocoa Butter for 90 dollars?

I have even had that thought about soy candles. I have only bought homemade soy candles once and they burned out of control.
I am guessing it was the F.O. I know nothing about candlemaking but soy candles can't be all so popular is they burned like the ones I bought.
So I will give another candle maker a chance.
It will probably always concern me not just because of our businesses but for the general public who could buy lye heavy soap and injure themselves or their children.
This is not an easy business, or a way to make a quick buck. I think it should start as a labor of love and obession or facination with soapmaking.
I know when a lot of us first started we could not get our hands on enough books, or get off this forum.
I have a great deal of respect for those who started without the internet, forums, lye calculators and beautiful soap pics to browse through.
I could not have continued if it had not been for my 911 help threads, as well as others. I learned a lot from other peoples mistakes on here as well as mine.
I just wish new soapers all knew they had a goldmine of information here and how much there is to learn.
 

LilyJo

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I agree there is not much we can do about it other than talk to our customers.
This has frustrated everyone at one time or another.

From an "all natural" label, to healing claims, to people who know better and do it anyway.

Remember that shop that made fresh soap daily and sold salve with Cocoa Butter for 90 dollars?

I have even had that thought about soy candles. I have only bought homemade soy candles once and they burned out of control.
I am guessing it was the F.O. I know nothing about candlemaking but soy candles can't be all so popular is they burned like the ones I bought.
So I will give another candle maker a chance.
It will probably always concern me not just because of our businesses but for the general public who could buy lye heavy soap and injure themselves or their children.
This is not an easy business, or a way to make a quick buck. I think it should start as a labor of love and obession or facination with soapmaking.
I know when a lot of us first started we could not get our hands on enough books, or get off this forum.
I have a great deal of respect for those who started without the internet, forums, lye calculators and beautiful soap pics to browse through.
I could not have continued if it had not been for my 911 help threads, as well as others. I learned a lot from other peoples mistakes on here as well as mine.
I just wish new soapers all knew they had a goldmine of information here and how much there is to learn.

Candle making suffers in the same way as soap making in that people think they have made a candle and it looked ok so hey why not go into business selling them?

There are so many problems with making candles properly from the FO and percentages to the correct size wick to suitable containers to testing and recording keeping and thats without starting on the legal labelling now required.

And no, a soy candle shouldnt burn out of control, it should have a nice even slow burn. If it burns out of control its not a well made candle!!!
 
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