Recipe's how many is to many

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shermluge

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I feel I'm almost answering my own question by asking this, but I just wanted to hear others opinions or advice.

I make all my own recipe's, I've never used anyone else's mainly to learn. But at what point is it to many recipe's. I have 43 recipes that I've made into soap (but have probably over 50 total). I've learned much by doing this, but at what point is to many recipes? If I ever sell, what is a good amount of recipes is good to have? There could be many approaches, like more for more choice or just one to keep things simple, etc.

I know these are more opinion based, but just curious, people who sell soaps, how many recipes they commonly use?

Thanks Sherm
 

TheGecko

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I easily have a 100+ recipes, but I am currently using four...Regular, Goat Milk, Salt and Trades. I do have a fifth, custom order soap for someone who has a bunch of allergies.
 

BattleGnome

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The number of recipes you hold onto is up to you. I tried 20 or so before I found my favorite. After I found one I liked I didnt see much of a reason to keep looking (though i do make the occasional new recipe because I ran out of an oil or finally get to a new specialty soap from my experiment list)

in terms of selling: (I don’t sell but I do read selling threads) I’d limit the number of recipes available. The actual number is up to you but you have to consider inventory/ingredient management and customers that have no idea what they want. As a customer I doubt I’d check 30 different recipes then whatever number of scents you have to figure out if the differences are what I want out of soap. I’m more likely to go “this smells pretty,” “this looks pretty,” “this advertised ingredient sounds good.” I save bigger judgements for formulating my own recipes
 

shermluge

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in terms of selling:
Thanks for the advice on that. Because I still don't know if I will sell or not.. I'm currently just giving them away as gifts or to those who need them and can't afford them. It has been interesting learning this type of art and science. I love it.. I do other art, but takes more planing and checking (sometimes a happy accident).
 

Anstarx

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If you are just starting out having many recipes isn't a bad idea. I have about the same recipe as yours but after a year of soaping I've starting to narrow down my selections.
Having many recipes give you the chance to observe how different ratio and oil does to a soap. Like if I have everything the same and only swap sweet almond for avocado will it feel any different? Will it be different enough for me to pay for avocado that's pricer? Things like that.
I agree to BattleBnome, limit your recipe when selling. There was a too many fragrance thread some time before where I said too many choices can actually be scary. Have enough selection so your customer can have the satisfaction of choosing and want to come back to try different things but not too many to scare them away. It also takes a lot of effort to explain to customers what makes this recipe different from the rest so think about that.
 

KiwiMoose

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I sell and i pretty much have 3 base recipes - and one main one (which is one of the three). The main one I use is adjusted for different additives such as coconut cream, oat milk, aloe, or even alcohol - but the oils and percentages remain the same. I have another that is higher in OO for swirls, and I also make @Zany_in_CO's no-slime castile. I did make a high CO salt bar but I don't think I'll make it again. To get to this stage I worked my way though about 20 - 25 different recipes until I found the properties I was looking for. I agree with @Anstarx in that people don't really want to be bogged down with details of recipes, so keep it simple.
 

shunt2011

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I've been selling for years and have 4 recipes. I tried many, many different things but settled on my main recipe and switch it up with different additives, milks (though mostly coconut these days) or beer. I carry about 30 different fragrances at any given time sometimes a bit more. I have a lard soap, vegan soap and salt soap and I also make a very low CO without palm or lard.
 

Susie

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I have made probably in excess of 200 different recipes for bar soap while hunting the best recipe for me. I routinely now make three, depending on availability of ingredients and who the soap is for. One recipe is for someone who requires no lard (don't ask, she pays well). One recipe is my primary one for myself, friends, and family. One recipe is for my hubby, who likes more CO than the rest of us. I will make soap to request for people who are buying a whole 5 lb loaf at the time. I am only selling very small amounts, and depending on who it is for, I just charge the reimbursement fee for the ingredients. If I were selling to the general public, I would have four recipes-"facial" soap, "vegan", "regular", and "low-allergen". But that is the market I am in, and I have done extensive research in my area.
 

ShySoaper

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I sell and i pretty much have 3 base recipes - and one main one (which is one of the three). The main one I use is adjusted for different additives such as coconut cream, oat milk, aloe, or even alcohol - but the oils and percentages remain the same. I have another that is higher in OO for swirls, and I also make @Zany_in_CO's no-slime castile. I did make a high CO salt bar but I don't think I'll make it again. To get to this stage I worked my way though about 20 - 25 different recipes until I found the properties I was looking for. I agree with @Anstarx in that people don't really want to be bogged down with details of recipes, so keep it simple.
Hi kiwiMoose I posted a thread about two days ago asking about if anyone tried alcohol or alcohol based scents in a soap. What process soap you used alcohol in?
 

shunt2011

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Hi kiwiMoose I posted a thread about two days ago asking about if anyone tried alcohol or alcohol based scents in a soap. What process soap you used alcohol in?
No KiwiMoose but I believe she means beer, wine etc......Alcohol based scents will make it seize in CP, maybe not so much in HP but I can't speak to that.
 

ShySoaper

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No KiwiMoose but I believe she means beer, wine etc......Alcohol based scents will make it seize in CP, maybe not so much in HP but I can't speak to that.
Shunt2011 my naughty radar is hitting me over the head to try something crazy. Promise I’ll post it if I did it weather it’s a success or mayhem just for our information sake.
 

shermluge

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After doing the math I've come out with the average of 3 recipe's on average (from the input I have on this thread). But with variations of additives which makes sense Like:
The actual number is up to you but you have to consider inventory/ingredient management and customers that have no idea what they want.
And
It also takes a lot of effort to explain to customers what makes this recipe different from the rest so think about that.



Also very good points:
Like if I have everything the same and only swap sweet almond for avocado will it feel any different?
I could not tell the difference personally but I probably need to up from 10% (my normal use of these 2 Oils).



The main one I use is adjusted for different additives such as coconut cream, oat milk, aloe, or even alcohol - but the oils and percentages remain the same.
KiwiMoose, Does this include butters?




Also one mistake I made in asking this is, I should have clarified better. I'm referring to Oils/butters/wax that is saponified.
 

TashaBird

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I have made probably in excess of 200 different recipes for bar soap while hunting the best recipe for me. I routinely now make three, depending on availability of ingredients and who the soap is for. One recipe is for someone who requires no lard (don't ask, she pays well). One recipe is my primary one for myself, friends, and family. One recipe is for my hubby, who likes more CO than the rest of us. I will make soap to request for people who are buying a whole 5 lb loaf at the time. I am only selling very small amounts, and depending on who it is for, I just charge the reimbursement fee for the ingredients. If I were selling to the general public, I would have four recipes-"facial" soap, "vegan", "regular", and "low-allergen". But that is the market I am in, and I have done extensive research in my area.
A little off topic, but I’ve been searching for facial soap recipe ideas. Can you share your basic ingredients?
 

shermluge

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The ingredients I use are Activated Charcoal, sometimes Kaolin Clay and sometimes Bentonite clay with a higher CO oil percentage then normal.
 

cmzaha

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I like Shunt have been selling for years. I have my vegan, non-vegan, salt bar, and a couple of different facial bars. I will vary the additives such as purees such as avocado, powdered milk, charcoal and /or oatmeal and switch the liquid oils depending on what I have in stock at the time. I carry 30-45 different fragrances.

Keep in mind if you have to keep changing your label for each soap if you carry a lot of different recipes. For my labels I only have to make a few changes on each type of label.
 

shunt2011

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A little off topic, but I’ve been searching for facial soap recipe ideas. Can you share your basic ingredients?
This makes a lovely facial soap and body soap very gentle. Everyone's skin is different and what you like I may not. I love salt soap on my old skin a few times a week.

 

amd

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Just to clarify: when I say recipes, I mean base oils only.

When I started making soap... I had about 10 recipes before I found one my skin loved, but even then I kept trying different recipes - especially after opening my business (because I knew if I wanted to keep my prices stable, I would need to change recipes as costs changed, and I wouldn't always have time to test recipes for shelf storage). I think over the 6-7 years I've been soaping, I've probably tried 100 recipes. But in my business, I have...
one vegan
one non-vegan
Castile
pine tar
rebatch mechanic soap

My family has various favorite recipes that I only make for them (hubby loves salt bars, but they have no customer base for me), and a few specialty recipes that I pull out for custom orders.

But generally speaking, for selling you want to keep the recipes as simple as possible. It makes your life 1000x easier for labeling. For example, I have an aloe line that I only make for vegan soaps. When I print my labels, the only thing I need to do is change the scent name and description, check if I added clay to the soap or not (sometimes I do sometimes I don't) and add to the ingredient list and print. I use the same molds for all of my soaps, so my weights are always consistent. Same deal for my OMH line, because I always use the same oils in the same qty, I only need to change the scent name and description, check if I used clay or not, and hit the print button.

The other thing for selling is that customers will expect the soaps to perform the same regardless of the scent. And as a maker who makes a lot of soap, you will eventually lose track of which soaps have the same recipes and it can be time consuming at shows to find the same recipes in different scents. You'll be doing yourself and your customers a huge favor by keeping it as simple as possible. (I have five soap lines... and I'm starting to wonder if that's 3 soap lines too many...)
 

shermluge

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Thank you amd, You had some very good points. I already decided on using the same mold (currently have three of them). I actually did label 43 of them (the different types) with wrap just to see what fun I would have. Yes it was confusing.
 

Zany_in_CO

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... people who sell soaps, how many recipes they commonly use?
I made and sold soap to wholesale customers for 10 years (recently retired). In addition to what others have said, more important than anything else is fragrance & packaging. You can make the best soap ever but if it doesn't smell great and isn't packaged attractively it will likely gather dust on your shelves. JMHO

A case in point is a woman who won on one of the first episodes of Shark Tank. She had just graduated with a Masters Degree in graphic design. For her Thesis she designed a soap box. Same soap but she used 3 different colors for 3 different fragrances. Not only did her soap sell for $12 /bar in a well-known national retail shop, but after hooking up with one of the Sharks, she went international.

Lovely Package - You Smell
 
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