What an AMAZING holiday season! I'm so thankful that everyone put in so many orders and that I got a LOT of positive feedback. I have learned so much about soaping, packaging, organizing, being snarky, and creating bows and stickers, I even conquered the most difficult hurdle of them all: I learned how to cello wrap like a professional! It was harder than the Bar Exam. I'm so happy that people really appreciated the effort and personal touches that I put into everything and also, that they liked my style, colors, and custom fragrances. Most of all, I'm still giddy that so many people LOVED my holiday gift sets. I love what I do, and I want you to love it, too. I truly needed all of this: it's been a rough year for everyone and the last thing I was expecting was a job doing something I love.
BlackSheep Soapery had SUCH GREAT SALES that there is very little soap left. But GUESS WHAT? More is on the way! I'm working feverishly on Valentine's and Anti-Valentine's Day soap creations. Expect snarky. Expect funny. Finally, expect AMAZING GIFTS for the ladies and gents in your life. Considerate gifts for teachers and kids, fancy gifts for your SO, fun gifts for friends, and classy gifts for your parents. I may even turn out some shampoo bars and shaving cream but considering how little soap I have in stock, I should probably focus on my strengths first: soap and awesome packaging..
Most importantly, I learned that I produce a better product when I work one-on-one with a client. I'm inspired by others every day, and getting individualized suggestions and ideas from an interested client as to packaging and soap pairings is like having a guest artist. SO PLEASE email to talk about any dream gifts you might have. And if you really like soap and wine and wearing protective gear and live in the area, i would absolutely love to show you my workshop and help you create some beautiful soap.. The best and most beautiful soaps that I've made were perfect because of the help of my guest artists.
Back to predictable "about me" sort of stuff...
You may want to ask: considering you're a lawyer, why did you start a soap business? Being a lawyer is draining and life-consuming. Your clients are also having difficulties, and I couldn't help but get emotionally involved. But, when you have an auto-immune disease, all of the stress and extended hours cause major cause one-after-another health emergencies that make lawyering impossible. So, after a career-ending 2 years of sickness, I discovered acupuncture and my health improved. All of a sudden, I had energy for hobbies.
The soaping hobby started in July 2020, when everyone was stuck at home due to COVID, My wonderfully talented and creative (almost) step-daughter introduced me to soap-making videos. After we made our first batch, I was hooked. After making ten batches, my friends and family were hooked. Even the most basic of soap recipes creates a bar that blows most of the grocery store brands out of the water. My skin always feels smooth and moisturized. I even gave up my lotion addiction. When I tried to finish up my leftover expensive liquid soaps, I realized how awful they made my skin feel, and I just couldn't use them anymore.
I had a ton of soap, and I knew I needed a light stress job that had flexible hours, so I used my newfound energy to indulge in my love of making soap. When I had too much soap, I realized I had to sell it. So now, I sell soap to pay for my soaping habit.
Being a lawyer was challenging and ever-changing. Those were the qualities of the profession I liked. Similarly, having a one-man soapery is quite a challenge, too. Why? I have discovered that a soaping business requires skill in 4 categories
1) Chemistry: is that lye or harmless table salt? Let's look at what happens when X molecule mixes with Y molecule . Best of all: OMG CHEMICAL FORMULA CHEAT SHEETS ARE ONLINE! Those salty things coming out my otherwise perfect frosting are harmless table salt crystals..
2) Math, including budgeting and pricing and showing myself that I should charge more or be more boring. We're working on a middle of the road solution.
3) Perseverance: in pushing boundaries., perfecting the imperfect, and waiting for WEEKS for the soap to be ready to ship..
4) Creativity, including quick thinking, writing about things that interest me (while acceptomg that most people will skip it while some sneaky outliers will actually dig the double entendres and themes and subtle references and Easter eggs), and SNARK (I'm considering a gift card line...I love making limericks funny and sometimes naughty or evil),
Add in a little uncertainty, danger, and my "super sniffer," and suddenly, we have a fun business that covers my soaping and packaging expenses. It is truly is a labor of love as of today.. But my New Years resolution is to make some spending money! Stay tuned for some upcycling and packaging updates. I''m always searching for local but affordable alternatives to cheap, plastic imports.