Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How it All Began!

I'm often asked, "How did you end up with a soap business?" started with a big bang! :) Truly, it started with a bomb. A bath bomb that is. But I suppose I should go back further than that. I'd never really been a fan of bath products until I found Lush while living in Sweden.  But anyone who's been in there, knows that their products are outrageously priced, and back then we had very little money so my once a month treat was a bath bomb, a soap or a bubble bar.  Around the same time I discovered The Body Shop and fell in love with their body butter, but at 20 bucks a jar that was an even rarer treat.

I eventually moved back to the States and was ecstatic when I found both a Lush and  Body Shop 3 hours away in Dallas. All that and a basket of Naan...this girl was in heaven! Trips to Dallas became much too frequent and I never left without full shopping bags from both places and an empty wallet. We won't even go into what happened when I discovered Sephora in the same mall! Eek!

Did I ever think of making this stuff on my own? I didn't even know it was possible. Sure, I'd heard of people making soap, but that stuff was made with lard and ashes or something and smelled like ammonia. Did I know that for a fact? No, but Laura Ingalls Wilder fueled my imagination. Homemade bath bombs, I'd heard of, but they could never be as yummy as Lush. And body butter? No one could possibly make that homemade. You needed a lab and a factory and tons of oompa loompas for that.

But one day I was bored and decided to surf the internet. One of my favorite craft sites is Not Martha. My whole marble magnet craze was because of her. So I was browsing around her site and saw an article on bath bombs and thought, "hey I wanna do that!" And as it often happens on the internet, I started at one site then got sucked into the worm hole and ended up in a whole other dimension. I found out Laura Ingalls Wilder lied to me about homemade soap. Okay, well in her defense, soap was a whole different animal back then and did they ever really mention soap in the Little House books? I apologize to you Mrs. Wilder for falsely accusing you. Please don't haunt me. But if you do, please appear as a young snaggletooth Laura as portrayed by the adorably cute Melissa Sue Gilbert. :)

Back to the story....So soon, I had ordered supplies to make homemade soap.  And an obsession was born. A funny thing is, it was months later when I tried my first bath bomb, and have found they are not unlike a hormonal teenager. Some days they're perfect and shiny and other days they are a raving ball of prickly fizz. I also found out that you actually can make body butter at home. Who knew!

So that is how I got started making stuff, but how did I end up with a business? Well to support my expensive habit (yes, it's very expensive!) I knew I would eventually have to start selling my products. It was going to be a someday thing, but then I was invited to a small craft fair and it became a "now" thing. I got my sales tax permit, and insurance and eventually a dba and a bank acct and several festivals later I'm a business owner.

Photo from my festival in Sulphur Springs

In DeQueen where the wind nearly blew us to Kansas.
That's my oldest sister behind the table folding brochures.

Where is this going? My long-term goal is to have my own soap shop. I'd have an area in the front to display my soaps and other products and a large works pace in the back in which to create. My very own hormonal teenager said if he had the money he'd buy me my own soap shop. I was about to thank him for his thoughtfulness until he continued, " I wouldn't have to see your soap stuff in every room of the house!"  And it is pretty much in every room. Sigh.

But I can happily report that I can now walk past both a Lush and a Body Shop store without even crossing the threshold. Although my wallet is still empty since my business is in the baby stages and hasn't learned to walk, talk or make any real money yet. Someday...