Why I Started Making Soap!!!

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AliBx

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Hello All

I'm new here. Just wanted to introduce myself. I've been making soap for a little while now...less than 2 years (LOL). I've learned a lot through the years though. I love making cold process bar soaps. It could also be very relaxing too. How and why did everyone start making soaps here? I started because I was tired of the additives placed in other supermarket soaps. I was getting lots of skin irritation, so I decided to go all natural with my soaps (with the exception of using a strong base for Saponification purposes). How about you? How and why did you get started with soap making?
 
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Hello @AliBx and welcome.
I make Goat Milk Soap and just started this year. I was inspired by a terrific local soaper at my farmers market, and wanted a hobby with less calories than my baking all the time was. I kept talking about it and finally a friend got me a M&P kit, which was fun, and it was a gateway to CP. 🌸
 

MrsZ

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Welcome!

I started making soap because I love old fashioned hobbies. Anything people used to make at home all the time before big box stores changed how we live, I want to try. I enjoy crochet, knitting, seeing, soapmaking and making other skincare products, canning, foraging, and I try my hand at anything else I can at least once. (Pine needle basket making was great, but I don't know if I'll try it again 😁)

Now I make my soap because my skin loves it, it is a creative outlet, and makes great gifts for friends and family.
 
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Welcome!
Cold process soap was on my bucket list for decades because a couple of friends were into it. A few years ago I decided to try and was motivated to do something creative and homemade for that year's Christmas gifts. I was totally unprepared for the dramatic difference in the health of my skin! Dealt with irritating rashes for my entire adult life and now have the rare flare-up. And then discovering lotion bars! Hoo boy, my skin rejoiced.
Have you posted photos yet? hint hint
 
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My daughter started a B&B products company with m&p soaps. She needed a way to make money for her family when her husband could not find a job after they relocated to So Cal due to my mom, long story. She could not make cp soap due to her epilepsy and a toddler, it was not safe for her so she talked me into it. I will mention we started selling my cp soap too early but it did sell well with return customers back then. So I would say it was due to desperation. Of course, I fell in love with the soap, but I also loved her m&p soaps because she purchased quality bases.

ETA: she did support her family back then with her company back then.
 
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I've always had a need to “make.” At different points in my life it’s been baking, canning, painting, or decorating my house. About 8 years ago I started paying attention to natural skin care and essential oils, mostly because the older I get, the more distaste I have for artificial things (and people). A few years ago my daughter, who was in college at the time, told me that she and her friend had made soap to donate to a shelter for abused women, and I was like, “What? Making soap?” She sent me the recipe she’d used, and I decided to try it. I was immediately hooked! At one point I was going to try to sell, and I might still in the future (oh, for it to be my full-time job!) but for now it’s just an antidote to my job. 😁 I keep my mother-in-law very well stocked with soap. 😂

I enjoy crochet, knitting, seeing, soapmaking and making other skincare products, canning, foraging, and I try my hand at anything else I can at least once..
@MrsZ Do you follow The Nerdy Farm Wife? She’s awesome! https://thenerdyfarmwife/
 
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I have always been a “maker.” I sewed when our children were young because I needed to - that became a “wanted to” and I still sew - making clothing/quilts/costumes for Steapunk for me and my husband and Renaissance festivals as well. I cook because I love being in control of my ingredients and because, to me, cooking is one way of showing my love. I began soaping because our son and his family decided to begin growing lavender and had plans to sell lavender-based products. He asked if I thought I could make soap - well, yes - I thought; I cook so I can make soap. It has grown into a wonderful business for me ( I am now retired and this is my “full-time” retirement job). I do two invitation only shows a year and the rest of the time make soaps, body butters, scrubs, lip balms, etc. while the “other” granda makes their jellies. I will say soaping has made be a better cook ( a bonus in my mind) and a more organized person in general - I am eternally grateful to my son for getting me involved with the soaping world!
 
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Hello All

I'm new here. Just wanted to introduce myself. I've been making soap for a little while now...less than 2 years (LOL). I've learned a lot through the years though. I love making cold process bar soaps. It could also be very relaxing too. How and why did everyone start making soaps here? I started because I was tired of the additives placed in other supermarket soaps. I was getting lots of skin irritation, so I decided to go all natural with my soaps (with the exception of using a strong base for Saponification purposes). How about you? How and why did you get started with soap making?
Hello and welcome!

I came to it sideways.

I started out wanting to learn how to make shaving soap nearly seven years ago. I hated paying what amounts to extorsion, as far as I am concerned, for small bits of metal and plastic, aka cartridge razors. I struggled with razor burn and irritation, big time. I discovered artisan shaving soaps and safety razors and it was glorious! Except, I encountered a disparity in the marketplace. Some of the shaving soaps were quite good, others enjoyed a great reputation, but in my estimation were not anything to get excited about.

At first, I was just curious. After doing some research, I started to think maybe I should try my hand at making my own and building a business around it. It took some time to convince my skeptical wife that this wasn't some harebrained idea.

Along the way, I found Soapmaking Forum and devoured everything I could find on shaving soap. I spent several months and no small part of my sanity developing my own HP recipe. After a few iterations, I recruited volunteers to try it, including my brother in-law who head shaves. Version #9 was a hit with the testers, but ultimately it was version #14 that became the product I sell today, with only a couple of minor tweaks in six years. My brother in-law, btw, is a loyal customer to this day.

A few weeks after I started selling shaving soap, a customer emailed me and wanted to know if I was planning on offering bar soaps too. I honestly hadn't given it much thought. I was still using body wash and liquid hand soap. I had seen plenty of threads here and elsewhere about CP soap but hadn't really spent any time reading or watching videos about it.

I started experimenting with a basic CP recipe I saw on a youtube video. Before long I started obsessing on CP soap and spent too many late nights pouring over soapcalc. My goal was to have an easy to manage recipe that overlapped ingredients with my shaving soap recipe where possible. That didn't exactly work out, they only have two oils in common. It was several months and a few soap disasters later before I felt like I had a winner.

When I started selling, I had a 3 lb mold and a single bar cutter. Within a year I moved up to a 20 lb slab mold, a log splitter, and a multi-bar cutter to keep up with demand. 18 months later I added another one. A year later I added a pair of 30 lb slab molds. I started pre-batching fats and oils, trying to stage 3 or 4 batches to cut down on prep time and clean up. Now I am master batching fats and oils and soon lye water as well.

These days, my business is split 70-75% shaving soap to 25-30% CP soap. I am certain I can sell much more CP soap if I can get more variants/scents online, which is what has been driving my scaleup into master batching.

I still read about CP soapmaking and watch videos regularly. I don't color my soap, I am focused on the practical mechanics of making soap and recipes, with a minor fixation on sources of equipment and raw materials.
 

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