I mentioned in this post that I buy soap from other soapmakers. It probably sounds crazy when I make and sell my own soap, so let me defend my craziness.
When I started making soap, I made plain unscented soap in small batches. I was still learning the process and tweaking my own recipe, trying different oils to see what they would bring to the soap. Most of the time I had no problems using unscented soap, but sometimes a girl has a hard day and needs a pretty soap in the shower to make her feel better. I went online in search of pretty soaps to use on bad days. I found a lot of them. I bought them all. *not really, my husband just thinks I did*
When I started making scented soaps, and selling them, I thought that would be the end of my soap buying days. Not true at all. I quickly discovered that no two soapmakers soaps are alike, everyone uses different oils, additives, colors, fragrances… and there was no way I could make them all, but I wanted to try them. I continue to buy soaps in fragrances that I like, but maybe my customers wouldn't enjoy. I buy soaps that use different types of oils because I want to see how those soaps age and how they feel in soap. I buy soaps that use different additives, such as vinegar or sandalwood powder, because I want to know what they feel like. Would my customers enjoy having these ingredients in my soaps? Would they make my soaps better?
While many of my soap purchases are made for research and development, not all of them are put under a microscope. Some soaps I buy because it’s beautiful soap, because I admire a soapmaker, or sometimes because I run across a soapmaker who is just starting out and needs a sales boost – I want to support her passion.
I don’t always buy soaps. I have friends who will gift me soaps because they know my passion for all things soapy. I’ve done swaps with other soapmakers, sending them a few bars of my soap for a few bars of their soap. I’ve had work colleagues who travel bring me back unique local soaps, giving me a soap collection from around the world.
This sounds like a lot of soap – it is! – and I bet you’re wondering, “Sherry, do you ever use your own soap?” Yes, yes I do.
If you come to my house, you’ll find my soaps at every sink in the house and at least one bar in every shower. My shower will have 5-7 soaps at any given time, about half of them being my own creations.
Want to see what goes in my shower? Follow me on Instagram @soapiesandsparkies to see what new soap I’m using. You can also visit my Photo Gallery, where I’ll be taking a more in-depth look at what goes in my shower.
All this to say, I love soap. I love making it, I love using it, I love looking at it. Soap is a functional art that makes my weird heart happy. What makes your weird heart happy?
Stay Soapy, Friends!