Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Dabbling In Soap Again . . .
Alright, let me back up a bit. I used to make cold process, goat milk soap. I had my own Etsy shop and had soooo much fun . . . for a while. Then it just got to be too much. I work full-time outside of the home, and the more the soap business took off, the more I had no time for anything else. Making soap became a chore. I was churning out mindless batches that were becoming sloppy. I never felt my 'basic' soaps could compare to the fancier soaps I see all over the internet. And, I wasn't even using my own soaps. I was making endless batches to sell but I was buying all the pretty things I saw from all the other shops. Why was I doing any of this??
Last summer I made the decision to close my shop and quit making soap. At first I was so happy and relieved, totally at peace with my decision. I had sold or gotten rid of almost all of my tools and things. It was like wiping the slate clean, making a clean break, slamming the door on that part of my life. I had a blast being able to shop guilt-free from other shops. Had time to just sit and do nothing. It was great!
For a while.
After several moths the urge to make soap returned. I easily talked myself out of it. Some time later it came back again. Those early urges were easily pushed aside, but more recently when these urges have struck they have been a lot stronger. A couple months ago I almost came back into it full force. I even contacted Etsy about reopening my shop. I managed to remind myself of all the reasons I had quit, and eventually managed to quiet that urge again, but I think it's my increasing boredom in general that is making this soaping urge come back more often, and stronger each time. I thought I'd just switch my creative energies to other things but after a year I haven't found anything to take the place. All along I have come across things in stores and thought 'Oooh, that would be so cute for soaping!'
People had told me all along to just take a break or scale back how much I was doing. Several people suggested I just do it when I felt like it, a few batches here and there as needed. But I was always like, ohhhh no, I need to be all or nothing. Whenever I would think about coming back to it I would tell myself I know what to expect now, and I'll know how to handle it this time. But the thought of this crazy hobby taking over my kitchen again wasn't thrilling to me. And dealing with the whole tax part of it was depressing and nervewracking.
But last week Friday I saw that Halloween mold and was absolutely overwhelmed by feelings of 'I'm going back to soaping, dammit!' It was so funny and weird. I actually had the mold in my cart for a bit, then talked myself out of it and put it back on the shelf. And laughed at how easy the urge had been silenced this time. Until later that same day when hubby and I met his parents at a local place for Friday night fish dinner. Out of the blue, my father-in-law asked if I had any last bars still laying around, and that he'd really liked my soap and could really use another bar. I told them the story of the Halloween mold and everyone laughed, saying it was all a sign that I need to make soap. Ha, yeah, right.
When we got home I asked hubby if he'd put his dad up to that . . . ?? Hubby has wanted me to make soap all along. He was surprised and assured me that no, that was just his dad. Well, dammit. I wrestled with pro and con thoughts all weekend and eventually decided to just do it. Gah! So yesterday I made a quick trip to town to buy some basics to get me restarted and . . .
I don't have any fragrance oils yet so this batch was just an all natural honey-carrots recipe. I never even got any the last time I made this soap because demand was so high it flew off the shelf. Most of this batch went into the Halloween mold, so the leftovers in the wooden mold will just be cut up into chunks.
As of right now I don't plan on reopening my Etsy shop or doing any heavy selling. Since I've been out of the soap buying urge for quite some time now, I'm thinking it will be easier this time around to just use my own soaps. There are a couple people that I will probably make soap for regularly, but other than that I don't really want to get into like I was and have to worry about taxes and advertising and shipping and work work work work. I feel like this time I'm more open to playing around with formulas and trying different things. And I think I might still be able to satisfy the pretty packaging urges by giving gifts or doing swaps or things like that. So I guess we'll just see how it goes!
I'm actually quite happy and excited to be back at it. :)