The Fortnight in Soap: 15th May ’17

Good afternoon from a very wet Monday in Snowdonia!  We’ve had some glorious weather recently, but this morning we awoke to pouring rain and it hasn’t let up all day.  Ah well, the gardens will be all the happier for it!

I didn’t post a round up last Sunday, as, to be honest, there wasn’t that much to tell you. I’d made one batch of soap – yet another two loaves of Tutti Frutti (I’m selling out as soon as it’s cured, and I need to get stock levels back up):

Tutti Frutti in the mould

Tutti Frutti in the mould

And last week I only soaped twice – another restock of Welsh Rose:

Welsh Rose in the Mould

Welsh Rose in the Mould

and the second time was some wedding favours for my friend who gets married at the end of June.  I’ll share those in another post as I’ve not got round to photographing them yet.

I’ve been really busy with orders for my mini bars. These are really popular with holiday accommodation owners in the village and the surrounding area.  Three lots have gone out over the weekend, and there’s still more to do.

Welsh Rose Mini Guest Bars

Welsh Rose Mini Guest Bars

I only sell these on a wholesale basis, with the minimum order being 50,  they’re just too fiddly and time consuming to wrap to make them cost effective in smaller amounts.  I’m considering doing a selection pack of one of each of the core range, but I need to think a little more about the practicalities (I’m back to whether or not I can make them cost effective again)

The other big thing taking up my time over the last week or so has been trying to get some quotes for soap boxes.  I currently wrap in cellphane bags, but I’m looking for something a little more professional, and which will give the bars more protection in transit / on shelves. I’d like plain white boxes with a window, so that the soap can be seen (and smelled!) and early indications suggest that they’re not cheap!!  It’s a work in progress, and I’ll keep you updated.

But the main reason I’ve not made soap for a while?  I was all out of Olive Oil, and had been for a week.  I strongly suspect that there’s a shortage at the moment as, although I could buy plenty of Pomace Olive Oil, I’m struggling to get regular olive oil at a good price. I know many soapmakers use pomace without any problems, but I find it accelerates trace compared to regular olive oil, and that’s no good for my drop swirls.  I usually get mine via Amazon’s subscribe and save facility, but they didn’t deliver April’s order, and when I went online to check what was going on,  they’d cancelled the order without so much as an email to let me know ARRGHH   May’s order is still in place so I’m hoping that turns up as planned. Anyway, I ordered some more from another supplier last Monday evening, and it finally arrived today…

Oh, and this blog was featured in Feedspot’s 100 top soap blogs last week. I’ll be honest, Feedspot was new to me, but it appears to be very similar to Bloglovin’.  If you’re interested in soapy blogs (and of course you are, right?!) do have a look through. There I am, right down at No. 62 😀 (and it seems my location is wrong – I’ve not lived in Manchester for over 3 years, so I’ll need to find a way to change that – I’m guessing it’s here in my settings somewhere?)

And don’t forget, if you have a soapy blog yourself then why not join our Soapmaking Bloggers Facebook Group?

Thanks for reading – back soon!

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6 thoughts on “The Fortnight in Soap: 15th May ’17

  1. Ohhhh! Manchester? Did you have to do the assessment to sell soaps there?

    Have you tried looking at aliexpress.com for your boxes? I know a lot of people have success finding their packaging there. I don’t have access too it in China (go figure. It’s a Chinese site but not open to us here! But we have something better. Taobao!)

    Can’t wait to see your packaging!

    • Yep, assessments required all over the EU – they’re expensive but fairly easy to get the paperwork. It’s the delay and expense that bothers me most!! We moved back home to north Wales a few years back,. Haven’t looked at aliexpress as I didn’t think they did custom sizes… Maybe I should check it out- thanks!

      • Who did you go to to get your assessments done with? Everyone is suggesting Scott, but his over week long delays in replying have really put me off his lab. We’ve got a year to two years to get things done, but the issue of response time (and the horror stories I’ve heard of his lab sending the wrong reports to clients) have me wanting to go with someone else.

      • I saw those comments today. I’ve always used Scott to be honest, and I’ve always always been happy with the service EXCEPT the length of time it takes. There are plenty of other options I believe, but I’m used to how Scott works now so I’ll probably stick with him. It helps that I got my soap assessments done pre-2012 and they’re far more wide ranging than those you have to get now. I can use any recipe /fragrance / colour providing I choose from a (very long) list supplied. And I’m not tied to any particular supplier, which you are with some assessments these days. I’ve had to have the new style assessments for my bathbombs though, which is why I currently only offer 8 varieties. It’ll cost me another £280 to get another 8 fragrances approved even though the base recipe is identical to the first 8 and the fragrances already approved for my soap 😔. It’s bonkers and only serves to put people off…

      • Exactly why I wanted/still want to go with Scott. He allows eight variations and right on his page he has a PDF of all the ingredients right there and awesome follow this page for submitting your PIF. My current round of questions I’m waiting on are about emulsified scrubs/lotions/body butters. I understand the needing to have products safe and am happy to do it (but cringe at the price). If this didn’t happen, it’d be like America where too many people believe Vitamin E and GSE can be used as a preservative.

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