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Total beginner - LOTS of questions!

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jeniryan

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Please forgive my ignorance, first off. I really would like to get into soap making, but really, I do not know where to begin! My goal is to make products worthy of marketing. I've read a few threads here regarding CP vs M&P. When marketing, does it matter which method you use? Does one outsell the other? If I were to go with a M&P, which brand/base do you suggest? I'd want to make a variety of products that would appeal to any member of a household..from little ones on up. Can you use the same things clays, FO, EO, herbs, etc in M&P that you can add in CP soaps? When it comes to curing, where/how do you cure yours? ...Told you I had lots of questions.... Once you have a finished product, how do you package it and where do you purchase your packaging? I'm eager to get started, and I KNOW I will have many more questions! Thanks so much ahead of time for the advice/tips!
 

dragonfly princess

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WOW look at all the questions!!! Just kidding! First of all welcome to our forum, we are a happy mix of cp, hp and mp soapers!

I personally do M&P, you can add most of the things to this kind of soap that you can to CP. I have plastic molds that I pour my base into, but I am going to try and purchase one of Soapmaker's log molds to see what kind of result I will get with it. I think it is gonna be totally awsome!!! OH YEAH!!

Anywho, I get my bases from wholesalesuppliesplus.com. They have everything there, really good prices as well. Yes the M&P soaps sell pretty well, in my opinion anyway. I have only done 1 official show but I did pretty well. people love the all natural stuff!!!

As far as appealing to the little ones, Tabitha does absolutely adorable clear soaps with all kinds of fun stuff inside!

I buy my packaging supplies from a wholesale store, I am one of those people that has to "touch" stuff before I buy!

Like I said before, Welcome
 

edco76

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dragonfly princess said:
WOW look at all the questions!!! Just kidding! First of all welcome to our forum, we are a happy mix of cp, hp and mp soapers!

I personally do M&P, you can add most of the things to this kind of soap that you can to CP. I have plastic molds that I pour my base into, but I am going to try and purchase one of Soapmaker's log molds to see what kind of result I will get with it. I think it is gonna be totally awsome!!! OH YEAH!!

Anywho, I get my bases from wholesalesuppliesplus.com. They have everything there, really good prices as well. Yes the M&P soaps sell pretty well, in my opinion anyway. I have only done 1 official show but I did pretty well. people love the all natural stuff!!!

As far as appealing to the little ones, Tabitha does absolutely adorable clear soaps with all kinds of fun stuff inside!

I buy my packaging supplies from a wholesale store, I am one of those people that has to "touch" stuff before I buy!

Like I said before, Welcome
HA! This time you said log!

Ok Back to thread topic. Welcome Jeniryan. I do Cold Process soap and I am pretty green at it. Marketing/Packaging in my opinion is as much a representation of your product as the product itself (can you tell I am a sales rep for a custom packaging company?) If you do a little research you will find that the options are plentiful. I am currently cramming my bars in a Kraft reverse tuck box, and slapping a custom rubberstamp stamp on it and calling it done. I have some corrugated mailing boxes in the unlikely event that I ever sale anything to someone who doesnt come to my Thanksgiving dinner.
 

Tabitha

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Here is my reply to a similar question about a month ago.:

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These questions can not really be answered. There are endless recipes for making CP, so each bar is going to be different. There are many dif M&P manufacturers so they are going to be dif as well. Some have milk, aloe, hemp, etc

Some people prefer M&P over CP, some prefer CP, some can not tell the difference. It's all about personal preference.

The majority of the population does not care if their soap is synthetic, most items on today's market (IE: toothpaste, make-up, cough syrup, etc, etc,etc) are synthetic & they do meet FDA standards and are widely accepted as the norm in the US. There is a market for non synthetic soap but it is very tiny, very similar to the market for veagan soaps, tiny.

Since everyone's skin is dif you can not say if 1 is more moisturizing than the other. That is like saying do boys prefer apples or oranges. It's personal & depends on your skin type as well as your likes & dislikes.

As for the scent issue, that is going to depend on the scent you put in it & not the actual soap it is carried in.

Which is more profitable? You should decide on a standard mark-up for your items & that would be the same if it is M&P, CP, lotion or bunny slippers. Most people go w/ 1 4x mark-up so the profit margin will be the same, it will be 400%.

Some CP cost .75cents a bar to make, CP w/ more expensive oils can cost $2.00 or more a bar to make. M&P can cost anywhere from 50cents a bar to $2.00 a bar so again, that is like saying how much does it cost to make dinner? Are you making grilled cheese sandwiches or steaks & lobster. You can make plain ol' cheap CP or fancy lux CP and you can make plain ol cheap M&P or fancy lux M&P.

There are too many variables to make any kind of mass assumptions or declarations.

I own a craft mall/artist gallery & it is amazing how some people will not touch CP w/ a 10 foot pole just going on & on about how wonderful M&P glycerin is & how it's the only thing they will use & how much their skin has improved & how they wouldn't bath w/o it. Then the next customer in the door would won't touch CP w/ a ten foot pole & so on.

I suggest you buy a couple bars of each, from several dif makers & just try them for yourself & see which you pref.

In the beginning I made CP but had people asking for M&P, so I began to make both. The M&P greatly out sold the CP w/i my particular customer base, so I now only make M&P, which is ironic because I personally only bath w/ all vegetable CP. Go figure.
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BTW: If you want to make CP but do not wnt to wait 4-6 weeks for the soap to cure, research Hot process or Oven Process soapmaking. It is simlar to CP but the cure time is sped up. I did Oven Process when I made CP soap because I was not patient enough to allow 4-6 weeks cure time :wink: .
 

gbtreasures

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You are right on! It's all about preference. I started out thinking I wanted to craft m&p soap. I had the impression that a lye based soap would be too skin drying. After studying up on both soap types, I then bought and tried out a bar of both soaps. I can honestly say that, for now, I really like the lye based soaps bc of the cleansing qualities. I find it a bit drying, probably bc it was made of lard, water & sodium hydroxide, alone. The m&p soap feels great on my skin, probably due to the additives. I use the lye based soap on a regular basis. My skin has visually improved (I like) however, it will be too dry thru winter months around here (I don't like) so I will purchase lye based soap with additives. Will I be beautiful? Hell no! In the end, I will craft both soaps. Who says you can't be bi- lingsoapiers?
:)
 

Bret

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jeniryan said:
Can you use the same things clays, FO, EO, herbs, etc in M&P that you can add in CP soaps? When it comes to curing, where/how do you cure yours? ...Told you I had lots of questions.... Once you have a finished product, how do you package it and where do you purchase your packaging?
I have my first craft fair tomorrow & Sunday (freaking out, thank you very much!) so I'm not sure yet how mine will sell. I am doing strictly M&P. I personally have no desire to do CP, but I've used some and it's great. I just don't want to mess with it! I do add clays, FO, EO, silk, butters and powders in my M&P. No herbs, I just haven't ordered them yet. I do let mine "cure" for 1-3 days before I wrap it. Just seems better that way. Sometimes it feels a bit "slimy", for lack of a better word, and after drying a few days, it's great. Seems to make it last longer too, but maybe that's just me!
 

gbtreasures

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Dragonfly Princess .. you have a great sense of humor! :D

My curiosity is getting the best of me, but, Bret, how much soap did you prepare for the fair? With this one being your first, what rule of thumb did you use? Hope you let us know how goes it afterwards.

Hope you sell all your soap!!
:)
 

jeniryan

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I've taken the time to check out most of your websites... great products all! Thanks so much for the valuable info. For those that do M&P, on most of the product descriptions I have read, it states not to add things because it can decrease the lather. Have you found this to be true? I almost think I'd like to venture into doing both CP and M&P...why not?! When it comes to CP, even with all of my reading and research, the numbers really confuse me.... I've never been very good with numbers! I hope that isn't an uncommon thing for a beginner... I'm just very excited to get started.
 

gbtreasures

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Thanks, Tabitha.
Brett - Please don't be so hard on yourself. You must feel self satisfaction to some degree. Here you are, taking that absolutely needed, yet dreaded plunge! This is your first show! In a way, you have arrived! You are now in a higher class of soap sophistication compared to a newbie such as myself. My guess is that you will find that the really hard work went into developing your own, special blends of products. One thing will never change, no matter what .... when its gone, its gone! The end. This applies to soap, time, lotions, deadlines, everything. If that happens (and you should be so lucky!), just quietly close up shop, and go home to rest up for the next show.
:)

Please let up know how things went for you!
 

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