This was the ‘proper’ 2023 first week back at work. The kids went back to school on Monday, and I was able to work full time again – woop! I made the most of it on Monday with a productive day dispatching weekend orders and making a double batch (128 bars) of a new addition to the core range – Pineapple. This has twice been a seasonal special and as Sugar Drops and Cucumber are both being discontinued this year, I’ve decided that Pineapple will take their place. It’s a fairly selfish decision, I absolutely love the fragrance and can’t wait to be able to bathe with Pineapples any time time I want to!
Other than making a HUUGE batch of Conditioner Bars on Wednesday, the week was fairly uneventful, and I spent some time taking new photographs for the updated website (coming soon *crosses fingers*) with my fancy new lightbox. I’ve decided to ditch the patterned backgrounds for good, and all product photos will now have a clean white background, like these below. Photography really isn’t my forte but I think they look a lot better than they did. What do you think?
That’s it, I’m not going to waffle on for the sake of writing, maybe I’ll have more to tell you next week, or maybe there’ll be a little ‘non-round up’ post midweek (but don’t hold your breath!). It’s enough, for the time being, for me to get back into the swing of posting regularly, however briefly that may be 😉
It’s been a while. I decided to take a short (!) break from the blog after completing Blogtober in 2021, and never came back. I don’t really know why, I think I just got out of the habit and never got around to setting time aside to write.
Anyway, here I am, in front of my screen, committing to sharing (at least!) a weekly round-up post at the end of every week, most likely on a Sunday evening. I think. Maybe. We’ll see that works out…
I suppose I should really be inserting here a whistle stop catch up of the 14/15 months since I last posted, but I’m not going to. 2022 felt like a bit of plod. A year to get through, rather than a year to grow and enjoy. On a personal level there were definite high points, interspersed with a few health niggles, but business-wise I felt I was chasing my tail for the whole year, trying (and failing) to hit the level of sales of the previous year. The economic climate hasn’t helped of course, but I can’t blame it all on that. I need to up my game, be more organised, work more efficiently and promote the business better. And part of that, is reinvigorating the blog.
Last week was a strange one, work-wise. The kids were still off school, so the first week of the year was a very part-time for me. I had a sale on what was left of the Christmas range (at time of writing there are a still 9 bars of Candy Cane left – at just £3 – in case anyone’s interested :-D) and the Plastic-Free Starter Set was reduced to £25 (still a bargain at £30 now for SEVEN products to start/help you on your plastic free journey.
Coming up this week – a thorough clear up of my workspaces – making studio / office / packaging room, making some/all of the spring specials, doing a little prospecting for new wholesale customers, trying out recipes for a new solid lotion bar (exciting!) and generally restocking. Hopefully that will give me plenty to tell you in next week’s round up post *crosses fingers*
Today’s weekly catch up is going to be an experiment in speedy posting, I’m officially on holiday, but won’t have anything soapy to share next Sunday and I didn’t want to miss two weeks. Every week seems to get busier and busier, but I think this week that had more to do with being off this coming week and wanting to get all orders out and loose ends tied before I go away.
The main thing I wanted to show you before I go away is…. Drumroll please…. the Christmas bars! The theme is ‘Let it Snow’, and there are five in the range:
What do you think?
This week I delivered my first batch of 840 bars to Babipur, a local online company who offer ethical shopping for kids (and the grown ups in their lives). I have many more bars for them ready to be wrapped, yet more curing and more still to be made, so they’re keeping me extremely busy but I’m SO grateful and happy to be working with them to spread the love of handmade soap 😉
I was lucky enough to secure two new stockists this week. Firstly The Eating Gorilla is the areas newest vegan eatery which has had seriously great reviews in the few short months since it opened. The owner Diane was already a customer of mine and she was keen to share her love of my vegan friendly products with her customers
The second, Celyn’s is an independent shop which stocks a fabulous range of locally produced goods for the home and garden. It’s located in Llanbedr, on the west coast of Wales, just south of Harlech:
In addition to all the deliveries I had to get out this week I also had my regular monthly craft fair in Porthmadog on Saturday:
and spent most of Friday night wrapping and labelling stock for that (oh, and a special order for 40 (FORTY :-0) gift sets that were being picked up on Saturday evening – I was wrapping THEM in my sleep Friday night lol, but sadly I forgot to take a quick pic of them before I handed them over).
Finally, because we’re away next week over Halloween, my kids decided to carve their pumpkins early, and I did a bit of seed roasting for the first time. Oh my word how have I never done this before? Home roasted Salted, Spiced and Honey pumpkin seeds are DELICIOUS! And the children agree, so that’s a win 😉
Tomorrow we head off on holiday for five days – taking the children to do the whole sightseeing shebang in London. There’ll be no soapy stuff going on, but hopefully lots of exploring, fun and… walking. Unfortunately I managed to twist BOTH my ankles this week – my right one last Sunday while out with the pup, and then on Wednesday my left one went and I took a dramatic tumble. Ouch 🙁 They’re improving and I’m hoping that all of the walking to come this week won’t make them worse.
Thanks for reading – I’ll be back in a fortnight if not before!
I can’t be the only one who’s incredulous that there’s only a week and a half left of October? They say time flies when you’re having fun so I guess I must be having a whale of a time 😉
I didn’t manage to get a weekly update out last week, I posted the info about the solid conditioner bars (here) and that, it would appear, brought me to the limit of my available blogging time. However, you really didn’t miss much. I made soap. I wrapped soap. I labelled soap. I dispatched soap to retail and wholesale customers. I read about soap and talked about soap soap – in person and online. Oh, I took the dog for a few walks as well.
Seriously though, I am living and breathing soap at the moment (with the odd foray into solid conditioner bars). I’m running out of space in my rented office space (a 20 second commute over the road above the village Tourist Info Shop – I should share some pics sometime), and I definitely need a larger making area at home. It feels like I should be expanding my space, but there isn’t really anywhere local I could move into, and the children are still too small for me to travel too far afield. We’ve talked about the possibility of building a workshop in the garden, which would solve the studio space issue, but I’d still be struggling for curing / wrapping / packing space. It’s one of those things that’s on the back burner, but always there, niggling at me to find a solution, so I’m trying not to fret about it too much during the run up to Christmas, and will give it some more thought in January / February (supposedly my ‘quiet’ time, but it didn’t quite work out that way this year so we’ll see).
I’ve had a big run on guest bars this last couple of weeks. The guest houses and holiday lets around here continue to be occupied throughout autumn and are always full over Christmas and New Year, so I think everyone’s getting their orders in now to be sure they don’t run out over the festive period. I have 250 of these mini bars to cut and bevel over the next two or three days. Thankfully customers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious and don’t always want them fully wrapped – the ‘naked’ option is becoming more popular, and I always provide a full ingredients list and other mandatory info for the customer to pass on to their guests.
Ooh, and I’ve added a new fragrance to the FO range… During the summer I released four limited edition bars, one of which was Watermelon, which proved to be extraordinarily popular. And justifiably so – it smells utterly delicious. When I dropped Tutti Frutti from the core range I had room for a new regular fragrance and adding Watermelon was a no-brainer. Here’s the very first batch of 60 in the mould:
I said in my last weekly update that I would share a bit more about the Christmas range soon but I’ve STILL not managed to take any photos. I hereby undertake, no, I PROMISE, that I shall reveal the Christmas range in my next update post. *Adds another thing to this week’s to-do list*
I’m still working on my HUGE order that I alluded to back on the 22nd September. The first batch are now all fully cured and are bevelled and ready for wrapping. There are almost 800 bars just in this first delivery to get labelled up with a cigar band wrap, and I’m so grateful that my lovely friend has been willing to come round and help me in return for a cuppa and a chat. Now these are new to me, but I love the way they look, and I’m edging more and more towards doing my own this way. They’re eco-friendly, look great, and are quick to wrap once you get into the swing of them. However my customer is an online only company, so these bars won’t be sitting on a shop shelf for any length of time, whereas mine would be, so I’m not sure whether it would work for my wholesale customers? I think I’m going to give it a go though. Here’s a sneak peek of some we’ve wrapped already:
And finally, here are some pics of cut soap and soap in the mould from the last couple of weeks…
Monday and Tuesday of last week were the big soaping days – this was the result of Monday’s session:
On Tuesday I was mostly speed (read: ‘panic’) making Christmas soaps. I made a load weeks ago, thinking I was really on the ball, but I wasn’t happy with them. AT ALL 🙁
I prevariacated for a while, conscious that time was getting on and that I needed to make a quick decision, and finally this last week I redesigned and made bars that I’m happy with – phew! They’ll be released a little later than I’d hoped, but still in plenty of time for the holiday period. I don’t have any pictures yet, but I’ll share the fragrances next week, and perhaps a photo or two the following week – maybe 😉 In the meatime, here’s a sneaky peek that doesn’t give too much away 😀
A brand new stockist came on board last week, Snowdonia Nurseries in Glan Conwy. They’ve taken a lovely range of soaps for their gift shop, and shared these photos with me over the weekend:
The next bit of excitement last week was the fact that my Cosmetic Product Safety Report finally came through from my solid conditioner bars. It’s illegal to sell any body care / cosmetic product in the UK (well, the EU actually) without one of these reports, which proves that your recipe has been checked by a qualified chemist and is safe to use. So although I’ve had them ready for a while, I’ve not been able to sell them until that report came through. These are some of the ones I made during the formulating / testing process:
They’ll be available in three varieties initially, to match the shampoo bars – Bergamot & Lime, Lemongrass & Spearmint and Unscented – but more varieties will be coming soon. Now I just need to get making! A few people have asked for more information about the ingredients etc so I’ll be writing a dedicated post about the conditioner bars later on this week.
Lastly, I’m giving away a free mini Peppermint Scrub bar with all orders over £10 this week (while stocks last). These are what’s left over when I make the full size peppermint bars – I use the usual amount of soap mix but because there’s so much extra stuff in there (ground apricot stone and oats) there’s far too much to fit my regular moulds and I have plenty left over to make these little ones – a little treat for my valued customers 🙂
I’m clearly not back into the habit of regular posting. It’s 10pm on Monday and I just realised that I haven’t written last week’s roundup post (I would normally do it on Sunday evening if not before). So this will be a short one, forgive me!
I didn’t get half as much soap made this week as last because, as much as I’d like to make soap every day, there is a lot of other stuff that needs to be done when running a business, however small, and it was a lot of that that got done this week ;-D
Monday I spent wrapping, labelling and dispatching retail orders from the weekend, cutting and wrapping guest soaps and putting together wholesale orders.
On Tuesday I travelled to Pwllheli, about half an hour away, to take stock to a new stockist – Oriel Pwlldefaid. I’ve been keen to find a stockist in Pwllheli for a while so I’m thrilled that they agreed to stock my soaps. In the afternoon I made soap – hooray!
Wednesday saw me making more soap again, this time 60 bars of Botanica (Lavender, Lemon & Lime essential oils) and Lavender & Peppermint Shampoo:
See the orange in those bars above? That should be yellow! This soap has always been a white base with drops of purple, yellow and green (lavender, lemon & lime) but I used a different yellow mica this time and POW! Bright orange!! Luckily it morphed back to yellow by the time I cut it.
Thursday and Friday I spent getting ready for my monthly Craft Fair in Porthmadog on Saturday, none of which I took photos of. Saturday’s Fair was a strange one – very quiet in the morning but much much busier late morning and into the afternoon and ended up being a great day.
On Sunday I spent a few hours masterbatching enough oils and butters for 24 loaves, and took the dog for a looooong walk in the late afternoon. (Oh, I’ve just realised that Jac the Border Collie joined our family during my blogging break, so I won’t have introduced him yet – I’ll try to rectify that very soon!) Anyway here’s just one of the photos from my walk through classic Beddgelert weather – clouds, drizzle and a glorious peek of sunshine highlighting the autumn colours on the mountains.
I took very few ‘cut’ pictures this week (another thing I’ve got out of the habit of since taking a break from the blog) but here is the current batch of Eryri (Snowdonia), more of these are on the ‘to make’ list for this week or next…
That’s it for now. Apologies for the rather rushed and superficial post – maybe I just need to get back into the rhythm? I hope so…
Thanks for reading if you got this far, back next week!
Last week I set myself a challenge to make a minimum of 600 bars of soap in seven days with today (Sunday) being the last day. As well as trying to restock after a busy summer season and getting ahead for the festive season, I have a new wholesale customer who has placed a very large (for me) order that I’m steadily, but surely, fulfilling (I’ll share more about them once the first shipment has been delivered in a couple of weeks) and all that means I need to increase my rate of production. This week was a bit of an experiment in masterbatching larger amounts of oils & butters and working out how to work smarter and be more productive. That 600 bars was a fairly arbitrary goal – more than I’d ever made in one week before, but hopefully doable given my proposed new processes.
In the past, each soaping session has begun with the mixing of the lye solutions – usually enough for 8 loaves in four separate containers, which were put to one side to cool. I’d then weigh out four separate lots of hard oils & butters and melt them while also weighing out four lots of the liquid oils, ending up with four 5kg capacity buckets each containing enough prepared fats for two loaves (30 bars total) of soap. I would then go ahead and make soap, ending up with two loaves of four different varieties, giving me a total of 120 bars each full soaping session.
This week I decided to get all the oils / butters / lye prepared the night before production, and also to make more, and bigger (four loaf) batches. This gave me far more time the following day to make soap and I was able to get this lovely lot, a total of 632 bars (woop!!) made over three separate days:
So what about temperatures? I read a lot in online soaping groups that temperatures are important in the soapmaking process, but I haven’t used a thermometer since my very early days of soapy experimentation. I generally soap cool anyway, so using lye solution that was mixed the day before isn’t an issue, and I found that I needed to sit the buckets of oils & butters in some hot water in the sink for a little while to remove any granularity from the cooled hard oils. I dream of having a large insulated tank with a heating band in the future, but until then, this works really well – hooray!
Next week I aim to make as much, if not more, again. Keep rooting for me 😀
Thanks for reading, back soon!
PS Thought I’d share this little vase of nasturtiums, freshly picked from the garden today. I have a mass of them at the bottom of the garden where they’ve self seeded and they just keep on coming, in beautiful autumnal colours. Just lovely!
One year. One whole year, exactly. My last post was on 18th September 2018, a year ago. 365 days ago.
Right, well then, erm… Hello! Gosh, this is awkward. How’ve you been? Sorry I didn’t write, or call, or, well, you know… I’ve missed you though. Did you ever think about me? I thought about you a lot, even considered typing a few words a couple of times, then decided it had been too long. Didn’t think I could just jump back in like nothing had happened. Thought you might have found someone new. It would be rude, wouldn’t it? To try to muscle in on your new blog relationships, when I’d deserted you without so much as an au revoir?
Just kidding, obviously. I will ABSOLUTELY muscle in on your new blog relationship 😉
Yes, I’m back. I lost my blogging mojo there for a while, but with the launch of the website on the horizon, forcing me back onto my laptop to write about the benefits of a soap based facial bar, different types of solid shampoo bars and ‘about us (ain’t we just darn peachy)’ pages, I realised that I kinda miss writing.
So, a quick round up of the a last year in one paragraph. Christmas came, it was busy. January was supposed to be quiet, time for a bit of a break. It was busy. Spring came and things picked up, and then summer just went nuts – as did I, I think. Over that time the facial bars have become really popular, and I recently launched a charcoal version. The solid shampoo bars are also now available and are selling well – I’ll write a post all about them very soon. I’ve also submitted the paperwork for a Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CSPR) for solid conditioner bars which I’m hoping will be approved in the next few weeks, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to offer them for sale very soon. What else? I have a few more wholesale customers (more on them in another post), lots more retail customers AND a whizzy new Facebook Group (well, since May new) which now has almost 450 members. Join here.
I’m going to go back to weekly posting, just a round up of what’s been going on, together with ad hoc posts as and when the urge strikes. I hope you’ll forgive my absence and we can enjoy soapy stuff together just like the old days 😉
Here’s a quick pic of the charcoal facial bar in the mould – I promise to include more photos in future posts!!
My first full week back at work after the school holidays flew by SO quickly, but I did finally round to starting the Christmas range (yup, THAT ‘C’ word). I’m a bit later this year than last so I have some catching up to do.
Monday saw me making the first batch of Christmas bars – a reprise of Candy Cane which has gone down so well over the last few holiday periods. I also made some Traeth Craig Du (Black Rock Sands) to restock the shelves. Winter and Summer in one soapy session!
I also made another batch of the facial bar. I need to get to a point where I’ve always got it in stock, rather than selling out, which is what’s happening at the moment!
Tuesday was a wrapping and labelling kind of day. I also spent some time researching more stockist possibilities. I’d like to get a map up on my office wall with all my current stockists marked on there so that I can easily see any obvious gaps in the local area before setting my sights a little further afield…
On Wednesday morning I went to my monthly networking group, Women Working Together. It’s predominantly a women’s group (but men are by no means excluded) and I’m finding it invaluable for so many reasons, not least the fact that it’s really good to take time out every now and then to be sociable (a must when working alone!). The support of others in a similar position, and the wealth of advice and insights that they’re willing to share, are a huge benefit too of course!
I didn’t have much time left in the afternoon before the school pick up but I did manage to unmould and cut the soap that I made on Monday. I only took photos of the freshly cut Candy Cane (I’m not happy with this red by the way – I didn’t use enough red colourant. The next batch will be better)
Thursday was spent in the office again, and writing up the results of the fragrance oil testing I did for Blossom Oils. Friday saw MORE soapmaking! Two soapmaking days in one week – woop! Four loaves, or 60 bars, of Warm Gingerbread (the second of the Christmas bars) and another loaf of the facial bar. Apologies for the rubbish photo ;-D
There was a bit of a first for me over on Instagram last week – this photo here got over 1,000 likes. ONE THOUSAND!! I don’t understand why, but I’m not complaining lol…
And on a personal note, another first – my first brown belt in kickboxing, 20 months after I threw my first punch. It’s going to take even longer to get through all the browns though, but with lots of determination, and a little bit of luck *crosses fingers*, I’ll get there:
The weekend was spent in non-soapy, family pursuits, including the longest bike ride we’ve yet undertaken as Team Hinde – 7km Don’t forget that the little one is only five, with an ungeared little bike, so this was a fair distance for her. She did so well!
Sadly my husband didn’t do quite so well and fell off his bike, injuring himself, right near the beginning. Being the trooper that he is he soldiered on, but probably shouldn’t have, given that he had to be taken to the local hospital the following day, oops! PS see that bridge there? Built in 1798!!!
Eight weeks to the day since my last post. EIGHT WEEKS!! I totally underestimated how difficult the summer holidays would be without any formal childcare in place, and it’s been a bit of a struggle to be honest. I had prepared to a certain extent. I’d hammered the soapmaking in the couple of months before so I had plenty of stock and didn’t have to worry about running out of product (I can’t say the same for the bathbombs – I’ve been skating on thin ice as far as they’re concerned, but more on that in a mo). BUT whilst my working hours were drastically reduced for six weeks, the business demands kept growing (woop!!) and while my ever supportive husband took as much time off as he could to help with the kids, there was precious little ‘family’ time and we were very much tag-teaming most of the summer.
I did manage a couple of sessions of soapmaking (more as therapy than out of necessity if I’m honest lol) but almost every ‘making’ opportunity I had was taken up with bathbomb making. I took my eye off the ball in the run up to the summer break there, and was totally unprepared for how popular these were going to be. The making, wrapping and labelling of mounds of bombs just to keep up with orders had to take priority and THAT needs to be better organised next year!
Needless to say, I now have a list of lessons learnt from this summer, not least of which is to actually put aside, diarise, and actually HAVE holiday time with my family next summer. Don’t misunderstand me, the kids had a whale of a time this summer, didn’t miss out on anything and always had one parent or the other with them. But next year, whether we go away or not, there will be at least a week, if not two, during which nobody works, and we spend the time together, having fun.
I’ve started supplying another four (I think it’s four, it’s at least four anyway) stockists over the summer – in Criccieth, Bala, Dolgellau and another on Anglesey, which I’m thrilled about. They’re all lovely shops, and I want to tell you more about them, so I’m going to write an updated stockists post very soon.
The facial bars were launched last month, and wow, what a response. The first batch was sold out within twenty four hours, and the feedback I’ve been getting is just incredible. People are enthusing about them left right and centre, so again, I’ll be writing a separate post about them in the next week or two.
The mini guest soaps are also seem to be gaining traction, and I’m getting more and more enquiries. I’ve supplied two new customers in the last couple of weeks, and have a couple more in the pipeline.
I also have a post about breast milk soap in the pipeline. Yep, you read that right, breast milk soap 😀 It’s absolutely a thing you guys…
Oh, oh, oh I almost forgot – I have a new soap cutter, a flippin’ multi-wire soap cutter!! I’ve wanted one for a long time, but wasn’t thinking of shelling out for one until the beginning of next year (after I make my millions in the run-up to Christmas lol). But my hand was forced somewhat when I heard my preferred vendor would no longer be making and stocking them, and only had four left. I moved fast, and got one. Phew… There’ll be another post on it’s way about THAT, too (I’ve not yet got round to photographing yet, so can’t even share that much yet!)
On a personal note (as if this isn’t all kinda personal eh? :-D) I took part in the village craft, horticulture and produce show this year again, and did just a little better than last year – I got a trophy! I don’t think I’ve ever won a trophy in my life before (well, maybe at school? If I did I’ve forgotten, but then I do have a terrible memory) My chocolate cake not only won best in its class, but best entry overall in the cookery/preserves section – woop!! I have to admit, it was rather tasty lol….
Finally, a quick heads up about my next post – a review of some fragrance oils I was sent to try by a new (to me) supplier here in the UK. They were sent almost a month ago now, and the soaps were made on the 16 August, so I really need to get my thoughts written down and back to the poor supplier who’s probably thinking I’ve forgotten all about them by now!
So there you go, a quick tour through my crazy summer. The kids have started back at school, I’m slipping gratefully back into my regular routine, and blog posts will return to some semblance of regularity. Thanks for reading, back soon!
This is going to be a quick post – I haven’t made any soap this week, but it’s been a busy week for wholesale and guest bar orders, so most of my time has been spent putting them together.
Wedesday was the exception to the regular routine, and I spent the morning at my monthly networking group, telling them all about my business. I’ve done so many soapmaking demonstrations and talks, but I’ve never had to speak to a room of business people people about MY business. About my struggles and successes, and future development and growth. I was a little nervous to begin with, but soon warmed up, and I even made some sales, which is always a bonus! I joined the group back in January, and although time constraints have meant that I haven’t been able to attend every meet-up, I’m really beginning to really appreciate the benefits of being a member. There was a time, not so long ago, when I would have been rather dismissive of this kind of group. And all the more so because it’s called ‘Women Working Together’. But to be honest the idea of networking was a little daunting, and I’d heard some horror stories of pushy men practicing their sales patter on unsuspecting newbies at networking events. So, I decided to give this group a whirl, and I’m so glad I did. I was welcomed from the beginning, and the advice and support I get from other members, who have far more experience of growing businesses, is invaluable.
I’m really short of soapy pics to share with you this week, but here are a couple of the guest bars that I put together for one of my holiday home orders. These particular ones were for a gorgeous cottage on the Lleyn Peninsula (well worth checking out if you ever fancy a break in this neck of the woods!)
I’ve got some new ceramic soap dishes on the way, made by my talented friend Helen of the Snowdonia Blue Slate Pottery. These are so beautiful, and sell well as part of sets.
And here, just for you, is the very first look at how I’m proposing to package my new facial bars when I launch next month:
There’ll be a tag on the ties (as I have now) and a stamp on the bag with my logo – that’s the plan anyway.
Oh, and I’ve finally taken the plunge and signed up for a card reader, so that I can take card payments at fairs and markets. I don’t think that not having one has caused me to Iose an awful lot of sales in the past, but I know I have lost some. People who say they’ll come back later when they’ve been to the cash-point, but they never do. Perhaps they never meant to do so, but who knows?
Over on Instagram, this was my best performing post of the week – a #throwbackthursday collection of discontinued bars. I still love the all-blues one, and I’m thinking of using that colour scheme to make a nice ‘ice blue’ themed bar for next Christmas:
And this one was my favourite IG post of the week, purely because it combines my two passions of soapmaking and books – a selection of my favourite soaping books. How many of these do you have? I’m open to recommendations too 😉
On a personal note, this week saw the first harvest from the garden – a cucumber and two (TWO lol) beans. This was taken at the beginning of the week, and there have been a further two cucumbers since. Fortunate, as my son absolutely loves them!
This weekend has been pretty active, with an early morning walk with my friend yesterday (Saturday) morning. The sun shone, the birds sang, and I got home in time for breakfast feeling, dare I say it, awesome!!
And then today (Sunday) my husband and I took the children on a walk up into the mountains, to a hidden lake called Llyn (Lake) Idwal:
Kind of an incongruous place to find a beach, but a beach it certainly is – there were even a couple of swimmers. We had a bit of a paddle, and the kids did a load of rock climbing, before we headed back down and home just in time for dinner. My kind of day 😉
I’ve realised this evening that I need to start some kind of daily diary. This blog is supposed to serve as a record of the development of my business, but as I sat down this evening to write, I wasn’t entirely sure what it is I’ve been doing all week 😀 I think it’s the heat, going to my head. It’s been another scorcher, with temperatures around 28-29 degrees every day, and I’m loving it… I have fingers, toes and everything else crossed that it hold up after the schools break up for summer (less than two weeks away now – yey/eek!!) but I’ll confess to being a little pessimistic about the chances…
Back to last week then, and on Monday I took the day off and climbed a mountain. The perfect start to week, despite the oppressive heat. I went with three girlfriends, and we took our time, putting the world to rights as we walked. This is the view back down towards our village from the top:
We got back in time for the school run and then we all headed down to the river for a cooling dip. By the time I got to bed that night I’d clocked up over 28,000 steps on my Fitbit. That’ll do me 🙂
I was back to work on Tuesday, wrapping and labelling stock to replenish what I’d sold at the fair the previous Saturday. I spent a bit of time reorganising my office, and came across these bars that I hadn’t put up for sale because of the partial gel:
It’s great soap (of course!) and has been curing for months so it’s wonderfully hard, but it’s just not perfect, so I wasn’t happy selling it. Anyway, there’s only so much ‘reject’ soap that we can get through at home, so I decided to offer it for half price on my Facebook page. I had absolutely no idea it would prove so popular. I went off to a dentist appointment and forgot about soap for a while, and when I came out my notifications were going crazy and they were all sold no time. Why on earth has it taken me so long to do that?
On Wednesday I sent off my application for the largest Christmas fair around here, the Portmeirion Winter Fair. It’s held on the first weekend of December, and I had a great (and profitable!) time there last year, so fingers crossed I can return this year.
Thursday was soapmaking day – woop! I made 4 loaves (60 bars) of my most time-consuming bar, the seven colour Tutti Frutti, scented with a jelly beans fragrance oil. I also made a batch of my luxury Facial Bar, in my tall ‘n’ skinny mould from The Moulds Shop. Nope, I’m not on commission, I just love their moulds :-D.
(Yes, that’s a permanent kink in the silicone liner 🙁 Entirely my fault, I stored it badly)
Generally I don’t gel my soaps. It’s too difficult to cover my textured tops to insulate them, so I don’t normally bother. Last time I made the facial bars I got a partial gel so this time, when I saw that the batter in the mould was starting to gel, I popped it outside into the (hot!) sunshine and let it do its thing. Because I don’t often get to see the gelling process, I excitedly took a few snaps along the way:
At this point I had to go over to the office and was worried that the batch might overheat if I left it in the sun unattended, so I brought it indoors again. I’m sure it would have been fine, and I kind of wish I’d left it out to finish off, but never mind…
On Friday morning I unmoulded and cut the facial bars:
I am ridiculously, utterly excited about this facial bar. I’ve been using it myself for months, to the exclusion of anything else, and I absolutely LOVE it. I don’t want or need anything else. It’s been tested by many others, and the feedback has been amazing, so this batch is the first that I’ll be offering for sale, probably in mid to late August. It’s got some wonderful ingredients, including evening primrose, sweet almond, jojoba and argan oils, and I’ll be writing a post about it closer to the launch date.
I took Friday afternoon off (yes, more time off lol) and caught up with an old friend, so I was back into the office on Saturday, just briefly, to cut the Tutti Frutti soaps:
The rest of Saturday (or what felt like an awful lot of it anyway) was spent painting our hallway. Not exciting, but very satisfying. Oh, and avoiding the flippin’ football. Apparently England are doing ok? Bah – give me the Tour de France any day 😉
Thanks for reading, have a great week, and I’ll be back soon!
July. JULY guys!! How the hell did that happen? Officially half way through the year, closer to next Christmas than last… Uh oh… Mind you, it couldn’t possibly feel LESS Christmassy here in north Wales; our heat wave continues, very unusual weather for us, and there’s a lot of huffing and puffing and complaints that it’s too hot. Well not for me it ain’t. I’ve been waiting YEARS for this kind of weather, seriously, years. Since the last proper heatwave in 1976 in actual fact (I’m not even kidding). Hands up who thinks it’ll last juuust up until the schools break up for the summer holidays?
We’re lucky enough to have a river run through our village, one that’s swimmable in, and that’s where we’ve been after school every day this past week. I don’t often tend to work past 3pm anyway, as that’s when the kids finish school, but I will occasionally go back to the office after my husband finishes work at 4pm if I have a lot on. There was no chance of that happening this week. Swimmies on, down the river, and a cooling dip was in order every single day – bliss. These are the kind of childhood memories that we dreamt of giving our kids when we left the bright city lights to move back home to the countryside:
It’s been another fairly quiet week on the business front. On Monday I sent out a few orders that had come in over the weekend, and the rest of that day and Tuesday was spent in the office, wrapping and labelling.
On Wednesday I got to make soap again – happy days! 60 bars of Welsh Rose and 60 bars of Scrubby Peppermint:
On Thursday I was back in the office, making sure everything was ready for Saturday’s Craft Fair in Porthmadog. I cut the soap from the day before – I usually wait 48 hours before unmoulding and cutting, but for some reason I thought Thursday was Friday (and I also forgot to steam the tops, so they’re a bit more ashy than usual) This is a quick ‘first look’ snap of both varieties.
Friday was a short day as I had an appointment at the hairdressers. I did take a few photographs though. I still have this crazy idea that I’ll have a live website sometime soon, so I’m still playing with photography ideas. This one is Sugar Drops in its packaging:
Saturday was my first Craft Fair since the end of April:
It was a sweltering hot day, and I wasn’t expecting much, but I ended up having a pretty good day. This was mostly thanks to returning customers which was really gratifying. I was so pleased that Saturday was relatively successful, it raised my spirits somewhat as in all honesty, I’ve been feeling a little downhearted this last 7-10 days. I know there are ups and downs in every business, and while I’ve had an awful lot of ups this year, the downs still have an effect. I’ve contacted a few potential retailers recently with a view to them stocking my products. Of the four most recent, three haven’t even acknowledged my communication, and the one who did, and to whom I sent samples (which were received and described as ‘lovely’) has since cut contact with no explanation. I like to think I’m fairly thick skinned, and I would have no problem whatsoever with a ‘thanks but no thanks’ kind of response, but this made me question my quality of my products (which is patently nonsense given the number of returning customers and glowing testimonials I have). Ah well, onwards and upwards as they say.
Sunday was another very satisfying, if exhausting, day, continuing the saga of taming our garden. It was mostly heavy work – digging, landscaping etc – with nothing spectacular to show at the end, but we GOT STUFF DONE, which always feels good. I do have one single raised bed that I’m particularly happy with though:
In there I have loads of broadbeans, some tomato plants, two courgette plants, a cucumber plant, runner beans, sweetpeas and sunflowers. Not bad for a small plot eh?!
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back again soon. Have a great week everyone!
Last night I had the niggling feeling that I should be doing something. I wouldn’t come to me though, so we spent the evening binge watching Better Call Saul (have you seen it yet? I LOVED Breaking Bad, but didn’t think much to the idea of a spin off so avoided it despite Netflix’s best attempts at drawing me in. Given that it has the same writers, producers and directors I really should have known better, but there we go – Netflix 1, Me 0 Mind you, it has tried to foist some real doozies on me recently – the new Lost in Space remake for one – arrghhh! Anyhow, within three seconds of waking up this morning I remembered just what it was I should have been doing last night – writing this… Guess I’m not quite as firmly back in the saddle as I thought I might be ;-D Now, clearly I realise that nobody is out there desperately refreshing their screen in the hope that a new post from me will pop up, I’d like to maintain some form of regularity, so I apologise!
Well then, what’s been happening in my soapy world over the last week? On Monday I sent out orders that had come in over the weekend, and Tuesday was spent wrapping and labelling. Again. I don’t think I realised when I decided to turn my hobby into a business that, while I would get to make a lot of soap, I would also have to wrap and label a lot more soap too. Ah well, at least I’m not sweeping chimneys!
On Wednesday I had my first big soaping session in about three weeks. I stocked up on Serenity (patchouli, ylang ylang, lemon & sweet orange essential oils) and Bewitched (a dupe of the ‘Love Spell’ designer perfume), 120 bars in total:
Thursday was another day of non-stop wrapping and labelling, oh, and a little bit of photography. I’m still trying to get good shots for my website, and I quite like this one of Traeth Craig Du (Black Rock Sands):
On Friday I cut the batches that I’d made on Wednesday. I took a very quick snap of them just cut, so forgive their rather tatty appearance. I also got a touch of partial gel in the Serenity, which hasn’t happened before – I’m trusting they’ll look fine once they’ve been tidied up and bevelled:
In the afternoon I donned my science coat (not really) and made a few more batches of emulsified sugar scrub. It’s one of the things I’ve been working on whenever I have a spare half day, and I have to say I absolutely love this stuff. I’ve whittled my recipe down to three options, and I’m hoping I can finalise the recipe soon. I have so many things I want to launch this year, but at the very least there’ll be cold process shampoo bars and these sugar scrubs (fragranced with mandarin essential oil in this case) :
So that was it – my work week in soap. This coming week is going to see more soap being made, including shampoo bars, and more work on the sugar scrubs. I’m hoping to be able to send off for my scrub assessments sooner rather than later (as they can take a good few weeks to get done) and in the meantime I’ll have to think about labelling.
Have a great week everyone, and if you’re in the UK, what about this weather eh? Absolutely glorious, although it does mean watering my hanging baskets a lot more often than I’m used to!
Did you think I would make it back again so soon? It wasn’t a given, to be honest. I truly have got out of the habit of blogging, so it came as a bit of a shock to the system this evening when I realised it was Sunday and I really should be pressing ‘publish’ on a blog post at some point… Ah well, I made it, that’s all that matters.
So I guess today’s post really should be titled ‘The Last Three Months in Soap’, but like I said in my last post, I’m not going to give myself palpitations by trying to cover everything that’s gone on since I was last posting regularly, I’m sure it will all come out over time…
Back to this week then. This almost feels like a confession, but it’s been over a fortnight since I made any soap. That’s not strictly true as I did make a small, very special batch for friend a week or so ago (more about that one in a forthcoming post) but soap for the business? Over a fortnight. Fortunately I have over 800 bars cured and ready, and another 400 at various stages of curing, so I’m not too desperate, but I’ve sent out a lot of wholesale orders recently so I want to top up the shelves this coming week (yey!!)
No, the last few weeks have been about wrapping, labelling, and sending out order. Not just soap either. The bathbombs are starting to take off in a big way, and they’re being stocked by quite a few of my soap retailers now, and I’m getting a lot of repeat business. That’s all well and good (great even), but keeping up with demand is becoming an issue. Some of the time I would previously have spent making soap is now being spent making bathbombs, to the extent that I even spent quite a few hours making them today (On Fathers’ Day. Ooops. Well, it did mean that my better half got to spend a lot of the day with the kids – that’s what it’s all about right?? And we did go out for breakfast, en famille, to mark the occasion, so…) I digress, again… Right – bathbombs:
I have a few new wholesale customers since I last updated the blog, but I’m going to save them for future posts and give them the spotlight they deserve. I’ve also sent out my first large order for wedding favours – I’ll be writing a post about that separately too.
On a more personal note, my ankle still isn’t right from when I sprained it three months ago, just before my last update post actually. It didn’t stop me from going to my kickboxing grading last week though – I am now officially a purple belt kickboxer. Hard to believe that I’ll now be working towards a belt with some brown on it!!
Oh, and having just quickly skimmed over that last post, I saw that there was a bit of a teaser at the end about an Instagram giveaway that I’d won? I suppose three months is long enough to keep you in suspense (lol!!) so here’s what I got – a handmade fused glass wave by Pam Peters Design – isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?
I’m going to leave it there for this post. It feels a little disjointed and not particularly informative, but it’s a post – woop! I’ll be back into the swing of things again very soon, I’m sure.
June? June?? JUNE?? Erm… How did that happen exactly? It’s almost two and a half months since I last posted, and if I’m honest, I do know how it happened. There’s been so much going on that I should have written about, but didn’t get round to, and those things just kept building up until I felt I could never get caught up. It’s been a bit of a Catch 22, loads to write about, no time to write, more to write about, even less time to write about it, et cetera, et cetera blah blah blah…
But on Saturday, I got a bit of a kick up the bum. I received notification that this blog had been placed in the top 5 (Ok, at No. 5 ;-D) Soapmaking Blogs in the UK. You can see the post here. The criteria were:
Google reputation and Google search ranking
Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
Quality and consistency of posts.
Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review
And it was that third bullet point that finally got me REALLY wanting to write again. Quality of posts? Well thank you, I’d better crack on. Consistency of posts? Oh, um, yeah, sorry, I seriously DO need to crack on.
So please accept my apologies. There has been a lot going on, and while I’m not promising to give a blow by blow account of the last few months, I am back. I am over my post paralysis, and I will be posting waaaay more regularly from now on.
Oh, and here’s a picture of Sugar Drops, mid-cure, because you know I can’t share a totally image free blog post 😀
Uh oh. I’m a day late posting again. I should have written and shared this yesterday. I had plenty of time to do so, but I was resting a freshly sprained ankle and if I’m honest I was feeling totally unmotivated and a little sorry for myself.
But hey, today’s a new day and I can just about hobble from one place to another, so that means it’s getting better, right? Anyway, my positivity has returned. Woo hoo!
Last Monday was mostly spent doing paperwork and putting together orders, and I had to wait until Tuesday to get any soaping done. Four loaves of Oatmeal, Milk & Honey were the result:
I ran out of the darker brown, so two loaves were made with it, and two loaves without. This is a quick snap I took of the freshly cut bars, just to compare the two colourways. I definitely prefer the version with the darker brown – what do you think?
I got some happy mail on Tuesday too. I’ve long admired the talents of Hayley of Paintbox Soapworks on Instagram, and was thrilled when she agreed to a soap trade. This gorgeous and generous selection is what she sent. I can’t tell you how good it all smells, and I can only hope that one day I can be as accomplished at the hot process technique:
Tuesday night (all night) was spent nursing a poor boy with an ear infection. I got very little sleep, and consequently very little got done on Wednesday. I spent the day in a fugue of tiredness, and pottered about the house doing the bare minimum. Luckily the little fella got some antibiotics and was soon on the mend.
Thursday was spent putting together an order for a brand new customer. All these bars were packed up and dispatched to the wonderful Cwtchicoo, a fellow Welsh business which specialises in baby photography, props and luxurious blankets:
Thursday evening was a toughie. After a few hours of hard work I earned my purple striped belt in kickboxing, and went home battered, bruised and knackered, but happy 😀
Friday was spent in a state of mild anxiety if I’m honest. I was preparing to host my first Bathbomb Making Workshop at the Glosters Creative Hub the following day. Although I was really looking forward to it, and I knew I would be fully prepared, you never really know how it’s going to go. I had to make sure that I had everything I needed for each attendee (ingredients, utensils & sundries such as disposable gloves/aprons etc) plus extra in case of last minute bookings. I also had to be sure that I knew exactly what I was going to cover theory-wise, that I knew what we were going to make, that handouts / recipes were prepared and printed, that my ‘plan’ for the three hours was doable… Lots to plan and consider and I used my usual method of mentally working through the whole session and making notes of requirements as I go along. It was only after going through this process to the VERY end that I realised that I hadn’t considered how the attendees were going to take home their bombs. Boxes were swiftly found and packed!
Saturday morning I was up bright and early and off to run the workshop. Thankfully all the preparation paid off and it was a successful workshop. There were five lovely ladies and an adorable four year old called Dexter:
and look how well they did:
It was a great session, and the attendees all seemed to go home really happy. I could have kicked myself that I hadn’t thought to make up some feedback forms to be completed before they left, but they’re on the list for next time.
Afterwards, as I was loading the car, was when I tripped and sprained my ankle. Right in the middle of the street. Carelessness I guess. A kind passer-by helped me load up the car and I managed to drive home somehow, but as soon as I took my boot off my ankle swelled right up and that was it – no more walking for the rest of the day, or the following one (Sunday) for that matter – it was incredibly sore. By today (Monday) I’m able to weight-bear a little, so I’m hobbling and wobbling about painfully and hoping it continues to improve…
So yesterday was a total waste of a day – I relaxed a bit and read a bit, and generally felt sorry for myself. There were a couple of rays of sunshine though – one was my 4 year old writing me a little get-well note (that blob is a heart, apparently :-D)…
…and the second was finding out that I’d won an Instagram giveaway – the prize being something I’ve genuinely lusted after for quite a while. It should arrive at some point this week so you’ll have wait until my next update to see what it is – sorry! 😀
I normally try to get this weekly round up out on Sunday evening but yesterday was Mothering Sunday here in the UK and there was no way this was going to get written last night. I had a lovely day actually – woken by very excited children at 7am and brought a card, flowers AND chocolate in bed.
A quick 5k run at 8.30 was followed by an extremely good breakfast at a local cafe Caffi Gwynant, a long walk in the hills:
and the day was rounded off with a roast dinner at home with my mum and her partner. A glass of wine turned into a couple more, and while we managed to get the washing up done, writing wasn’t really an option lol…
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. The week started, as it so often does these days, with a soapmaking session… Four loaves of Bewitched:
And I also made two loaves of Castile.
Castile isn’t one of my best sellers, but I have a small (and growing) group of return customers, so I always make sure it’s in stock.
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos worth sharing of the cut of these two yet, but here’s a new photo of Bewitched from a batch that’s just finished curing…
I sent out a couple of wholesale orders last week – one to the shop at Storiel in Bangor, and one to Siop Ogwen in Bethesda (which reminds me I really need to update my stockist list), and I also spent the best part of one whole day wrapping and labelling bathbombs…
On Thursday we woke up to an unexpected dump of snow, and soon after we got notification that the school was closed. The kids were thrilled, me not so much – another day’s work missed, but we baked a couple of Lemon Drizzle Cakes so it wasn’t all bad 😀
Did you see my Happy Mail on Instagram or Twitter? The super generous Terry of Oldways Soap agreed to trade soap with me, and this is what our postie delivered last week:
Aren’t they gorgeous? Five varieties of soap (one of which has already joined me in the shower) PLUS a bunny each for the children (who were utterly thrilled – far more than they ever are with any of my bars lol…) Terry is an expert at the Hot Process method (which I tried for the first time a couple of weeks ago) and she’s given me some hints and tips for my next batch which I’m looking forward to putting into practice soon.
So other than sending out the usual stream of retail orders for soap and bathbombs, that was my week. This coming week is going to be very busy – I have a bathbomb making workshop on Saturday morning, and then a craft fair on Sunday, both of which I need to prep for. I also have a few wholesale orders to get out this week, I’m making soap tomorrow (Tues) for a change, I have a networking meeting on Wednesday morning, AND my grading for my next kickboxing belt is on Thursday. Plenty to write about next week lol…
Or perhaps, this week, the title should be: Yr Wythnos Mewn Sebon: 4ydd o Fawrth, ’18, because this week, on Wednesday 1st March, we celebrated St. David’s Day, or Dydd Gwyl Dewi as we know it. St David is the patron saint of Wales, and as a good Welsh girl, I felt I really should include a little Welsh language, and some daffodils, in this week’s post 😀
Other than St David’s Day, the most notable thing this week has been the weather. There’s been a LOT of weather. The Beast from the East blew down from Siberia, and, along with Storm Emma, caused chaos and crisis the length and breadth of Britain. We got plenty of snow here in our little corner of Snowdonia, but to be honest weren’t too adversely affected. In fact, the only inconvenience for me was the fact that delivery lorries couldn’t get through so I ran out of sodium hydroxide, despite having ordered it in plenty of time. Ho hum….
On Monday, I made up a big, four loaf batch of Traeth Craig Du (Black Rock Sands) soap. This one’s such a doddle to make as I don’t have to worry too much about keeping the batter fluid for the swirls – it’s just a simple three layer soap. Here it is in the mould:
And freshly cut:
I also made seven dozen bathbombs this week, six large and six small of each fragrance. They’re not huge sellers, but they’re slowly growing in popularity, and I’ve had some wholesale orders through, so I thought it was time to start building up stock levels again. I made, clockwise from top left, Bewitched, Lavender, Clarity, Welsh Rose, Oatmeal, Milk & Honey, Sugar Drops and Serenity (in the middle)
The only other thing of note that I’ve done this week, other than the usual day to day mundane stuff, is make Hot Process soap. I finally got round to getting out that slow-cooker that I bought before Christmas to make up a batch of solid shampoo. I was surprisingly happy with the results, especially for a first attempt:
These bars are half sized, as I’m planning on sending most of them out to friends & family for testing once they’ve cured a while, and I’m looking forward to hearing what people think of them.
I was due to be at a craft fair today (Sunday), but unfortunately it was postponed because of the adverse weather conditions – it’s been rearranged for a couple of weeks time so nothing’s been lost.
Oooh yes, and I finally hit 500 followers on Twitter. It’s been a long time coming but I’ve been putting a bit more effort into it and it seems to be paying off slowly. Very slowly!
As always, thanks for reading. I’m going to try to devote some time to my (not imaginary, I promise) website this coming week, but don’t hold me to it!!
Happy Sunday folks! Hope you’ve had a good week? It’s flown by here – can’t believe it’s Sunday evening once again…
So, as it’s already 8.30pm and I still have a mound of ironing to get through, I’m going to make this fairly brief.
I made another 8 loaves of soap this week. This was on Tuesday, as once again my regular Monday making needed to be postponed as the children didn’t go back to school after their half term break until Tuesday. These are four loaves of Luscious Lavender and four loaves of Blodau (Flowers):
This follows on from the previous week’s enforced trial, and it truly does save a significant amount of time. I was a good 90 minutes faster making those eight loaves this week than it took me a fortnight earlier when I made two loaves each of four different varieties. Now, you know by now don’t you that I LOVE making soap, but when I’m making restocks I just need to get them done as quickly as possible, so this is a big win for me. A couple of close ups of this week’s makes:
I’ve finally hit my goal of having 1000 bars in stock (as I write the exact figure is 1041 bars) but I’ve realised over the last few weeks that it’s not enough, and I need to have at least 100 bars of each variety in the core range made at any one time. I don’t ever want to have to tell a wholesale client that they can’t have a particular bar, and whilst I’m prepared to accept that it may happen occasionally, it’s something I want to avoid if at all possible. Obviously those 100 bars will be at different stages of the curing process, and so I hope that if I do happen to sell out of a variety, it will only be a week or two at the most before the next batch is ready for sale.
I gained a brand new stockist this week. I was contacted by Zip World about supplying soap to their gift shop at Zip World Velocity in Bethesda. If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, do check out that link, you won’t be disappointed!! By last Friday they had received their stock and the bars were already on display. This is a quick snap kindly sent to me by a member of staff…
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were spent fulfilling orders and wrapping and labelling stock. I’ve also been in discussion with another potential new stockist, more of which at a later date, fingers crossed.
This weekend has been a complete work free zone. The weather was dry and bright, and although it was cold, it was the perfect opportunity to get out and tame a bit more of the garden. I use the term ‘garden’ very loosely – it was an overgrown junk heap when we first moved in, and we’re spending an awful lot of time and energy clearing it, but we’ll get there eventually. In the meantime I’m giddy to announce that I have ONE raised bed ready for sowing! Look at this beauty:
Want to know how much work that was? Every single last bit of soil in that raised bed was sieved, by hand, to remove every last bit of glass, stone and rubble, and I couldn’t be more pleased with it (well, until it’s full of edibles anyway!!) If I wasn’t so sore this evening I’d be happy dancing 😀
I have quite a long ‘to-do’ list for this coming week. I was contact recently by Plastic Free Snowdonia who were interested in solid shampoo bars. I’ve not made shampoo bars for quite a while, so that’s top of my list of things to do. I also need to make up bath bombs for a couple of orders, and for the craft fair I’ll be attending next Sunday in Abersoch (for which I also need to make up a load of gift sets – Mothers’ Day is coming dontch know! :-D) Finally, I want to make some shaving soap this week, this is a new one for me – the potassium hydroxide is on order and I can’t wait to start experimenting with recipes!
And I nearly forgot – look at this happy mail I received this week:
This rather suspicious collection of white powders was sent to me all the way from Ireland by Barb of, erm, well… I’m honestly not sure if I’m allowed to say yet as I suspect there may be a big reveal coming soon… Barb if you’re reading this do let me know if I can mention/link your new company name 😀 😀 Anyhow, she and I did a bit of a swap – I sent her some soap and she sent me this awesome selection of cream / gel / lotion making supplies, and these, together with Lisa’s e-book, are going to keep me quiet for a good while 🙂
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