What brought you to making soap?

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mikvahnrose

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Not so much for beginners, but for everybody to answer!

Why did you want to make soap? Like, did you just want a hobby to do for the weekends or are you trying to reinvent yourself and career? What was the catalyst that you said in your mind, "This is what i'm going to do."

And where do you want to take this and your soap making skills? Do you consider yourself at the level you want to be? :]
~~~
For me i have been a skin therapist for a few years (originally wanted to be a dermatologist but money constraints and health issues didn't help) who as a hobby make soap and love figuring out the balance of skin health.

I make creams and lotions more often but soap is another area i wanted to delve into and I would love to eventually open my own store.

Wbu?
 

Susie

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I had eczema that just would not go away no matter what "soap" I used that was from the grocery store. I was reading a recipe for lip balm, and I saw a further blog post for making soap. I thought I had nothing to lose on trying it. My own soap "cured" my eczema by allowing me to get away from the syndets that were causing it.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I moved from the UK to Austria and my old hobbies weren't so practical, plus I didn't really know the brands of body products over here. Ended up seeing a recipe for soap with coffee as the liquid but wanted to make it with water instead and wound up here. The rest is history
 

artemis

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My third grader decided that he wanted to make peanut oil soap for his George Washington Carver project. We found a small recipe and gave it a try. It was fun, and I was amazed that I had actually made soap! I make for friends and family and laundry. I make mayself balms and deodorant, too, but it's the soap that I most like to make.
 

IrishLass

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For me, it all started with orange blossom perfume. lol I wanted some but couldn't find any, so I searched on Google how to make my own, which led me to a soaping forum that also had a fragrance/perfume-making section (not this forum, though, since it had not come into existence yet).

Anyway, I kept creeping over to the soap-making section of the forum, and it wasn't long before my hobby-oriented mind was piqued enough to the point that I started making M&P, which then led me into making soap from scratch, which really appealed to me more than M&P because I love making all kinds of things from scratch.

It took me a while to actually jump in and make soap from scratch, though, because working with lye frightened me, but once I made my first batch, there was no going back. I was hooked....and still am (it's been 10 years now and counting).

For me, selling/career has absolutely nothing to do with me making soap. I simply love making it for myself and my family for the same reason that I love baking homemade bread or making anything else from scratch for us. Not only is it fun, but there's also the warm glow of pleasure that comes from being able to make things from scratch that my family greatly appreciates. Where soap is concerned, some of my family and friends have had reversal of skin problems from using my soap, which thrills me to no end and keeps me at it.


IrishLass :)
 

Lion Of Judah

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Necessity led me to soap making . Ran out of soap , shampoo, and laundry soap all at the same time and only being able to afford one out of the three cause me to take a good hard look on making soap myself . My sister made M&P but that did not wet my palette , so i dove into research on how soap is made and saw that it can be made at home . Originally "castile liquid soap " was my main goal ( grew up with the abc's of Dr.Bonner ) but the more i researched i kept coming up with CP & HP soap making techniques and after 4 months of reading and researching i tried my own formula straight out of the gate ...... and loved it . So here i am today , hook line and sinker in love with this craft .
i must admit : there was a sister forum that was just as popular as this forum at the time that had great people who was warm , helpful , informative , and encouraging that always nourished the idea that " if you do the research and understand everything involved as well as respect the craft then you too can do it with great results " ..... so i said all of that to say that the members both here and there were very instrumental in me embracing soap making seriously :)
 

gdawgs

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My wife loves going to craft stores, so I end up going with fairly often. Most craft stores don't have much I'm all that interested in, but a few have some soap making stuff. I walked by that section many time, and it always sparked some interest. I stopped and read the books several times, and eventually I bought a book and gave it a whirl. For me it's kind of an ongoing science experiment.
I don't ever intend to sell, I just give a lot away. It's kind of an expensive hobby, but I enjoy doing it.
 

shunt2011

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It all started with a purchased bar of handmade soap.....then it was history. I started researching (4 months or so) then jumped in and made my first batch. Here I am 6 years or so later and still loving it.
 

Dahila

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I thought it is cool to make own soap, and when I had and seen how my skin reacts (atopic dermatatis) I had never go back to commercial soap. My favorite (my skin's) is dandelion with cocoa butter, but looooooooooong cure and Milks with oatmeal. :) After soap came lotions, I had always made salves ......
 

dibbles

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I started with M&P. It was fun, and I loved being able to fragrance my soap to my liking. I even had a business and sold for awhile. A friend started making CP soap, and finally convinced me to give it a try. The process fascinated me, and the creative aspect to CP, for me anyway, seems endless. I am hooked. I am approaching 2 years since my first batch and am still in love with watching the oils and lye become soap batter. Cutting a loaf is like opening 7 gifts (even if they aren't what I wanted). I have no plans to sell.
 

Rusti

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I, don't remember exactly what brought it on strong enough for me to go through with it. My mother always wanted to try making her own soap and had gotten a couple of soap making books for Christmas, but never went through with it. About this time last year I decided I wanted to give it a whirl, even though I was vaguely intimidated by the lye. I was totally entertained that the stuff I made made bubbles under the water.

And I might have a little bit of mad scientist hidden away and it's a good outlet.
 

Kamahido

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I originally wanted to save money making laundry soap. Then I figured I would try my hand at bar soap. The rest is history. :)
 

FNG

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I initially became interested in shave soaps when I tried a few that I really fell in love with and wanted to learn how to somehow make something similar but even better.

I figured while I had all the ingredients in hand anyway, why not try making bath and shampoo bars while I'm at it?

My desire to research, experiment and constantly improve took over from there.
 

MySoapyHeart

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It started out with M&P, did it for 20 years and did a lot of advanced stuff. I never lost the spark for teh bubbles.

Then I started to check out the CP method. I wanted to make soap myself, not from a ready made base.
So I read every speck of information available on the intarwebz, and stayed away from books because the ones I found were not any good at all. Now I have made soap non-stop for well over a year and a half (started early in 2015) and I am not slowing down. Still not tired of teh bubbles.

Now I have a big group of guineapigs that have given me so incredibly valuable feedback. But I didn`t give away soaps in the beginning, it took me a long time to get to that point. I wanted to play it safe. I started with only me, then I asked my husband. Then my sister, brother, parents, and as the feedback just kept being great it spiraled from there. My skin improved, my husband got rid of his itchy skin and neither of us needed bodylotion anymore. I was thrilled.

Even though I have gotten a lot of praise, pat on the backs, very little negative feedback and people wanting me to make this into a business, I am not going there yet.

I absolutely consider myself a newbie, and personally I feel it can be very dangerous to start to think too highly about oneself in this regard, even if what you do goes well and are well received. Even if people push you. I am probably one of those people who are more carefull and like to look at things in a bigger picture, see beyond and not just the here and now, even if it takes longer time. Never been that jump in with both feet, kind of type. This perspective is something that have saved me from so much heartache in life, I feel it is at least something that is working for me. Why fix it if it ain`t broke...

Also, selling... I think it will suck the fun out of it for me if I were to go large, so I`ll keep everything very small and neat. What I probably may do in the future is do a market when available, and find a small shop that could carry some bars. A lot of my friends have said they really want to buy from me on a regular basis (when I will allow them to start bying), because I apparently have "ruined" their relationship with storebought soap. (oh no, how terrible). But for now they get soap for free in exchange for feedback.

I think just by doing things the right order - as in not jumping into a seller mode, but instead doing it with a practice makes perfect mode instead - has made this into a great learning experience for me.

Who knows, it may have saved me from making mistakes that could possible damage my reputation, the reputation of handmade soap, and even damaging people by making inferior products because I wanted to get cash back to pay for this hobby.

Sorry for the lengthy post, I just couldn`t help myself. But then again, you asked... : P
 
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Arimara

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I have less issues with itchy skin when I use soap. I'm also seeing as much now that I'm using a detergent for washing again. You'd think Seventh Generation would be oh so good for skin like they advertise- nope. I'm using the free and clear formula and my itchies are back.
 

cmzaha

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My daughter out of desperation due to losing a company, the economic crash, no work for her hubby, and having severe health issues started making M&P, Body Scrubs, etc talked me into making CP. With her epilepsy and Rheumatoid Arthritis and a toddler it was just not safe for her to work with lye, so along comes Mom...I do sell and still do not tire of making soap. I always loved creating so this was a no brainer for me 6 or 7 yrs later I am still making and selling and still become as excited to cut my soap as I did the first log of soap I made. :)
 

mikvahnrose

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I love all these replies and stories! It's so cool to see what has brought us all here.

I LOVE deconstructing things. Must be the fact i grew up with engineers. Deconstructing food recipes from restaurants i enjoy and (figuring) out how they made it is another past-time i have.

Eventually that obsession took over into my skin care with wondering how soap and creams are made. I would look at the ingredients and just wonder how the hell did someone say "this ingredient would work for this and that"

So i delve into learning all about ingredients and combining them mainly to "mimic" other soaps i have used. But playing around with what i like is what keeps this drive going :D
 

Chefmom

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I suffered for many years with eczema. I had to remove all the harsh detergents and cleansers from the house and still my hands cracked and bled. In the beginning it was a winter issue, but eventually it became year round. My Aunt took a soap making class and passed out soap for Christmas. After using her soap my severe outbreaks didn't happen as often and I wasn't always slathering on products from over the counter or prescriptions.

Even tho the soap helped, it didn't heal. That came later when I started studying about herbs and their healing properties. I eventually did completely heal my eczema and I keep it from returning, but after moving and not being able to get soap from my Aunt I set out to make my own. Back then it was books, if there was anything online I never found it in the beginning. I read the books and made soap. I kept notes about what recipes were better than others, and what oils were preferred. I then started to incorporate things from my herb garden or wild foraging into my soaps as well.

I love the craft, putting together the different oils/fats to get different results. I'm amazed at how soap making has taken off and become the global art right now. There is so much information out there it can easily become overwhelming. Every skin is different, environments are different, and so we all have different opinions, but that is a good thing...it keeps the information flowing.
 

navigator9

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My girlfriend brought me back a bar of olive oil soap from a vacation in Italy or Spain. ( It was over ten years ago, so memory fails me.) It was green and shaped like a rooster, probably meant to be used as kitchen soap. Until then, I'd been using Dove on my face, because it was so dry. It continued to be dry, even with Dove and slathering it with every kind of moisturizer I could find. (Back then, I thought Dove was the good stuff!)

So for some reason, I decided to wash my face with this rooster soap. I heard the angels sing. My skin felt different. Different in a very good way. As the soap got smaller and smaller, I got a little panicky, wondering what I would do when it was gone, So I started reading books and everything I could find on line about soapmaking. I started to think, well if that soap was so good, how good a bar could I make if I was able to control every ingredient that went into it, and those that didn't. A bar specifically to my liking. That thought appealed to me so much, that I finally dared to try my first batch, using a recipe from Anne Watson's book. I found it amazing that soap could really be that good. I've never used a bar of commercial soap from that day on.

You can see a pic of that first batch, made in a milk carton, below. I can still remember taking some little shavings from that batch, as soon as I removed it from the carton, and holding my hands under the warm, running water at the sink, and rubbing them back and forth and seeing bubbles! I still do that with each batch. And it never gets old. And my skin has never felt better.

first batch.jpg
 

CTAnton

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I went to a horticulturally oriented meeting that had a host of demonstrations by some of the vendors at the event. One was a soap maker.I was fascinated. I went to her home for a group class. Then I had time on my hands 2 winters ago and started poking around online. Just the right mix of math, chemistry and , the best part...magic!My skin feels great, my friends love what I bring them, and theres no limits other than time and finances.
 

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