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Hey friends. In addition to hosting SMF, I also help run HomebrewSupply.com which sells beer, wine, and cheese making supplies. I thought about the possibility of selling some soap making supplies esp. a "kit" for people interested in trying soap making.

So I thought I would reach out and see what the market is like.

Who do you all order from now? What products do you tend to buy the most often? Any products you want to buy but there aren't good sources/prices?

If I made a "kit" for people interested, what should be in the kit?

Cheers!!!
 

commoncenz

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It depends. Off the top of my head, if you are making it simple for those new to soaping, you might want to have a pre-mixed bottle of oils with instructions as to how much lye/water to use. Of course step-by-step instructions on how to make the soap. Safety glasses, gloves (for your liability), some type of small silicone mold and a small sampling of colors.
 

Susie

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I would make sure that the lye was premeasured, and bottled. The oils could either be masterbatched or separate. Less chance of someone messing it up if it is masterbatched, though, and I would have a lye safe container for that so they can mix the lye/water directly into it. I might also send a lye safe bucket for them to mix the lye and water in. Be sure to include gloves and safety glasses. A mold is necessary. I would have them order the scent/color as a combo-i.e. Tropical Sunset would have orange colorant and pineapple scent.

This is truly an awesome idea, though. My ex got into homebrew by way of a kit, and I would have started soaping that way had I known then what I know now.
 
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Rowan

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I just checked out bramble.... to see what they put in a beginners box. One of the first and cheapest I looked at had CO, PO, Pomace OO and caster oil with lye in a bottle (not pre-mixed), fragrance and a cardboard mould. The mould could be the box it's sent in. She also included her ebook and a copy of a basic procedure. Then there's a list of what basic equipment they would need to buy themselves.

I really like the idea of goggles and gloves etc, but wonder if there were any problems with the equipment, whether you would be liable for it?

I think an instruction leaflet on the process, safety and showing trace, would be great, with suggested links for further reading. I remember stick blending for ever on my first soap, worrying about trace and if I had found it!!

I like the idea of scent and colour combo's, or even just a choice of scents because this is so individual. It's a great idea. I would have loved to get a home brew kit if I lived nearer!
 

commoncenz

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Hey friends. In addition to hosting SMF, I also help run HomebrewSupply.com which sells beer, wine, and cheese making supplies. I thought about the possibility of selling some soap making supplies esp. a "kit" for people interested in trying soap making.

So I thought I would reach out and see what the market is like.

Who do you all order from now? What products do you tend to buy the most often? Any products you want to buy but there aren't good sources/prices?

If I made a "kit" for people interested, what should be in the kit?

Cheers!!!
I saw this part earlier and it didn't sink into my thick skull what you were asking.

Right now I get my supplies from a whole lot of different suppliers. The main thing I'm trying to find right now is a supplier who can supply quality Shea Butter at a price lower than the big suppliers like WSP. I don't really trust the FB/Ebay sellers.

Also, I can never have enough colorants and I've been thinking of trying clays other than Kaolin. I know I'm running on here, but some of the FB groups have fragrance oil co-ops, etc.

In short, if I could get most of my accessory items from one place for a reasonable price and reasonable shipping, that's what I'd do. By accessory items I mean pretty much everything other than lye and base oils.
 

navigator9

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Sorry to be off topic, but I want to make cheese! I checked your site and couldn't find the cheese making supplies anywhere! Did I miss them?
 

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So just trying to create a list of what would go into a starter kit, then what you all buy bulk in online. If I'm missing anything let me know.

Kit Contents

  • Pre-mixed Bottles of Oils
  • Small fragrance assortment
  • Small sampling of colors
  • Instructions
  • Safety glasses (Might not need, can buy at hardware store)
  • Gloves (Might not need, can buy at hardware store)
  • Silicone mold (Might not need, could use the box)

Bulk Ingredients

  • Kaolin
  • Shea Butter
  • Clays
  • Castor Oil
  • Fragrance Oils
  • Digital Scales
  • Soap Tools (Cutter, Planer)
  • Bottles
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
 

snappyllama

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My online buys you didn't mention (some of these are used for B&B instead of soaping):

Butters: Shea, Mango & Cocoa
Additives: Sodium Lactate, EDTA, Colloidal Oatmeal, Tussah Silk, Aloe Powder, Goat Milk Powder, Coconut Milk Powder, Salts
Botanicals: Various Seeds, Calendula Petals, Lavendar Buds
Oils: Pumpkin Seed, Hemp, Hazelnut, Jojoba, Sweet Almond
Colorants: Micas, Neons, Bath Bomb Colors
Equipment: Nitrile Gloves, Popsicle Sticks, Molds
Lye
B&B: Citric Acid, SLSA, Beeswax, Poly 20, Poly 80, Preservatives, Emulsifying Wax, Packaging, and so many other things...
 

soap1daze

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SLSA at a reasonable price would be nice to carry. With the popularity of bath bombs etc the price is all over the place when checking suppliers. Like one of the other posters I do not trust 3ebay or fb sales.
 

kmarvel

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If you are going totally basic and everything is pre-mixed ready to pour in a cardboard mold, you could cut out the Kaolin, Clays or digital Scales. And if there was a cardboard mold, you could cut out the silicone mold.
 

spacecadetsoaps

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Kit

Problem with putting together a kit is that it's hard to know where to stop. To make a thorough kit, you need to include a stainless pot, mixing spoon, maybe a rubber spatula, a stick blender, a scale...

So, if you put together kits, you may want to make a basic kit and a thorough kit. Also, not everyone wants to make the same soaps, so you could give a list of additives (clays, flower options, various herbs, etc.) and a selection of different fragrances or essentials... plus you could make a VERY basic kit that only involves weighed oils and lye (I'm sure you hit different laws though, that must be checked into, when shipping lye), and does not include essentials or fragrance, because then folks can go to the local store and find what they want by smelling stuff (at least with essential oils).

And to whoever asked about Shea butter, check Jedwards International. They even have Fair Trade if you check at the right time.

Have a blissful day!
Space (Space Cadet Soaps)
 

thecreativechick

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I order most of my supplies online... bottles, molds, colors, scents, other ingredients... I get from several places
 

not_ally

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I would keep it *really* simple. Pre-mixed bag of oils and pre-mixed bottle of lye, enough for one batch. A couple of colors, a couple of well behaved fragrances (you could offer choices, including EO's and FO's). Safety gloves and (cheap but effective) goggles like the ones you get at the dollar store. Rowan's suggestion of using a mailing box that could be used as a mold is awesome. And instructions about how to soap at RT so that they don't need a temp. gauge. Also safety instructions for everything, including what type of containers to use.

That would keep the costs low enough that someone just wanting to try a batch could do so, and then they could branch out from there. I think putting in a bunch of other stuff will make things expensive for you (and, consequently, buyers) and make it more complicated and less marketable.

ETA: I think a kit should really be geared to the very beginning soapmaker, the rest of us already have so much stuff that most/all of the things in it would be duplicative. And people starting out are generally watching their pennies to see if they want to continue or not.
 
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Chandler Soap

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Soap Making Kits

I have sold soap making kits for some time. I teach classes twice a month here in Arizona and use a premade kit for the students. We make one in class and then the students take home a bottle of oils premixed and a bottle of lye premixed. So far over 100 students have never had a failure with the kit.

I sell the basic Olive, Coconut and Palm oil kit with the premixed lye for $11. No colors or scents included. The kit makes a 3# loaf of soap.

I also have a line of soaping supplies from oils to butters, colors, essentials, clays, salts, silk and molds. Drop me a message and I will send you a price list.

Website crashed and most was lost so we are building a new one that will be up in a couple months.
 
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Susie

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My thought on the lye safe bowls/buckets is that it will keep people from using glass or Pyrex measuring cups, and potential shattering. And they should be cheap enough in bulk to get the price down (maybe Alibaba?) Goodness knows the 1 L plastic paint cups from Lowe's are cheap enough at $1.28.

I love the idea of premixed lye and water, but it ups the shipping charges also.

Folks can go to a dollar store and get cheap silicone spatulas and spoons. They can even get a Rubbermaid drawer divider there that serves as a no-line mold.

Since I am only a hobby soaper, the only things I order online are lyes and EOs. But it would be awesome to be able to order those at the same time from the same place to save on shipping.
 

commoncenz

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Being able to buy things pre mixed is always nice. it saves me time and money. Gloves and goggles are silly. They can be purchased anywhere. Pre mixed is what I would be interested in.
They CAN be purchased anywhere. However, you and I both know that there will be "those" people who can't/won't wait to actually "go" anywhere to purchase them before soaping. If they are included in the kit, it's a gentle reminder that they are necessary.
 

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