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Blufish98

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Hi, my name is Kylie and i'm a senior doing a 20% time project in school, and i picked something that i have been wanting to start up for a few years which is soap making at this point i've made a a batch of CP and laundry soap with a batch of CP that was too brittle (it was pure coconut oil). I've been stressing myself out and I'm trying to find a good way to price my soap to include my oils, equipment , colorants, lye and fragrance together. Please help me :confused:
 

dixiedragon

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What's a 20% project?

When you say "price my soap" do you mean to sell, or is this for the purposes of your project. Here at SMF we have very strong negative feelings about beginners selling their soap. But if you want pricing for the purposes of an academic exercise, we can help you.
 

lenarenee

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Hi Kyle,

Let's see if I understand your situation. Is your school's curriculum project based?

Your project is to simulate starting a business?

So far you made 100% coconut laundry soap? Also a bath soap? One of them was brittle or crumbled.

You also want to know how much to charge customers, based on your expenses for oils, lye, colorants and etc.?
 
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lenarenee

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Kylie, does your school assign mentor or advisors for your 20% time?
 

Soapsavvy

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"Here at SMF we have very strong negative feelings about beginners selling their soap. But if you want pricing for the purposes of an academic exercise, we can help you."

Can someone explain or make any sense out of this response? I don't understand why anyone would be opposed to a beginner or anyone else for that matter coming to a forum designated to learning and tell someone they have VERY negative feelings about helping a person that's interested in selling what they created. How about about inspiring a person new to a craft. If your position is that they don't have enough experience to sell what they created, then let them create the product and let their clients or customers tell them that. It just infuriates me that people would say something so discouraging to someone like that. I have an extremely thick skin, but not everyone does. Sickening!!!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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"Here at SMF we have very strong negative feelings about beginners selling their soap. But if you want pricing for the purposes of an academic exercise, we can help you."

Can someone explain or make any sense out of this response? I don't understand why anyone would be opposed to a beginner or anyone else for that matter coming to a forum designated to learning and tell someone they have VERY negative feelings about helping a person that's interested in selling what they created. How about about inspiring a person new to a craft. If your position is that they don't have enough experience to sell what they created, then let them create the product and let their clients or customers tell them that. It just infuriates me that people would say something so discouraging to someone like that. I have an extremely thick skin, but not everyone does. Sickening!!!

It's simple - the standard position of this forum in general is that, if you don't know what you're doing, people should not be test subjects, more so when they are paying customers. It's not like someone writing a book when people might say "that was utterly awful, I need to read Twilight to actually cleanse my brain of your terrible book" - badly made soap can be dangerous. At best, a bad experience with someone selling a soap that is way below par will put people off of even trying a free bar - Susie has family members who refuse to use her soap because they used a bar from some yahoo and now they are 100% against hand made soap.

Taking this case, if some has made two batches, at least one of which didn't go well, should this person be encouraged to sell, or encouraged to park the idea of selling while they actually learn what they are doing? Personally, I'll take door number two.
 

dixiedragon

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"Here at SMF we have very strong negative feelings about beginners selling their soap. But if you want pricing for the purposes of an academic exercise, we can help you."

Can someone explain or make any sense out of this response? I don't understand why anyone would be opposed to a beginner or anyone else for that matter coming to a forum designated to learning and tell someone they have VERY negative feelings about helping a person that's interested in selling what they created. How about about inspiring a person new to a craft. If your position is that they don't have enough experience to sell what they created, then let them create the product and let their clients or customers tell them that. It just infuriates me that people would say something so discouraging to someone like that. I have an extremely thick skin, but not everyone does. Sickening!!!
Why don't you look up some previous threads on this issue? You will find that my comment was positively gentle and kind.
 

kittensmom

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Hi Kylie. I understand your project and what you are trying and need to present for your class grade with is a major part of your classes credit. I hope my answers will help you and help others to help answer your questions.

First. What a cool project to do and I'm going to guess that there are not anyone else doing this type of project.

To help with your basic outline for the research part of your paper / project.
1. Safety!!!! You will find all types of data on this subject. Don't forget to do your citations :) Many of my students forgot where they found the info

2. After you decide on the ingredients you HAVE to use a soap calculator ! Make sure every things is by weight including the water

3. Have everything ready including forms. Make sure there are no little children or annoying friends that can distract you. You will be working with lye

4. Document document document Even your mistakes but note what you could/would do different

5. Keep track of your coat including your safety equipment as this is part of a business or cost doing business


Ok lots of writing I know I'm being a little vague but I want you to do the research and project. However IF you want please post your recipe of your first batch of soap and ask for professional advise on what might have happened and what could be changed. What a great fun project! Please keep us posted, ask questions and PLEASE let know how your project turned out. Best!!!!
 

kittensmom

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Just a FYI. You have my permission to use my reply for your documentation.
 

dixiedragon

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It's been a longtime since I've done a paper. Before forums were common (if they even existed). Can Kylie cite, for example, "Dixiedragon at Soap Making Forum" as a source? If not, you can PM some of the regulars here who are business owners (many have links to their online shops in their signatures) and ask if you can get their real name and the name of their business, and if you can interview them.

Here is some more info:
https://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/Learning-Library/Business-Resources.aspx

BTW, you will need to include insurance, I think:
http://www.soapguild.org/insurance/insurance-faq.php
 

lsg

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While we, do not encourage a newbie to sell, if this is for a school project, then I am assuming that you have to at least pretend that you are going to sell your soap. Here are a couple of links that discuss how to figure costs.

http://www.modernsoapmaking.com/knowing-real-cost-products/

http://teachsoap.com/2012/03/27/pricing-your-cp-soaps/

http://www.soapqueen.com/business/guest-post-pricing-products/

Here are some spreadsheet cost calculators.

http://www.ziggurat.org/soap/calculators/

Hope all this info. is not too much. Good luck with your project.
 

Soapsavvy

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@ Gentleman, I do agree with you somewhat, but what happened to people learning from their mistakes? There's a way you can convey something to someone without coming across as insensitive or rude. That's all I have to say about this subject!!!
I'm not here to fight other people's battles.
 

Susie

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navigator9

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@ Gentleman, I do agree with you somewhat, but what happened to people learning from their mistakes? There's a way you can convey something to someone without coming across as insensitive or rude. That's all I have to say about this subject!!!
I'm not here to fight other people's battles.
It's one thing to learn from your own mistakes. It's quite another for your customers to learn from your mistakes.
 

Blufish98

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The project is where we take 20% of class time each friday and learn something new and it doesnt have to be about that subject. Examples are learning guitar painting or even making soap. No I am currently not selling soap but yes at one point that would be nice but right now i just needed to show what each bar would cost and how running a business would be. Thank you all for replying it really helps though.

its just academically right now, and its twenty percent of my class time in school on fridays.

I made an olive oil soap and then the second was just coconut oil , ive just kinda been working my way to harder recipes i guess?
 
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penelopejane

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If you have those you might want to try 30% Olive oil, 30% Coconut oil, 30% palm or Lard and 10% Castor oil. It makes a hard bar, a bit drying on the skin for some because of the high CO in it %.
 
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dixiedragon

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The project is where we take 20% of class time each friday and learn something new and it doesnt have to be about that subject. Examples are learning guitar painting or even making soap. No I am currently not selling soap but yes at one point that would be nice but right now i just needed to show what each bar would cost and how running a business would be. Thank you all for replying it really helps though.

its just academically right now, and its twenty percent of my class time in school on fridays.

I made an olive oil soap and then the second was just coconut oil , ive just kinda been working my way to harder recipes i guess?
That sounds really neat!

Using multiple oils isn't really any more difficult than using a single oil. I like to print my recipe (try SoapCalc or Soapee) and then check off each oil as I add it. Here's my starter recipe:

40% lard
20% coconut
5% castor
35% olive

You can buy all of that at Wal-Mart. The castor will be in the pharmacy section with the laxatives. Bottom shelf, blue bottle. If you have a Big Lots near you, they have an olive oil/sunflower oil blend that's about $10 a gallon (at least mine does) that I also really like and is cheaper than the olive oil.

If you want to learn more about the science of soap making:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1935652095/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

For the purposes of pricing, check out:
http://www.soaperschoice.com/cgi-soaperschoice/Web_store/web_store.cgi?query_price_low_range=0

This is where most of us US folks get our oils when we decide to start ordering by the gallon.
 
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