Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Packaging, and Disaster In The Garden!

I think I may have finally worked out my labels! They're quite simple, but I think there's a simple elegance about them. I'm going to post photos anyway, so I won't bother describing them first :)

These are the mini bars!

Close up on the mini bar package.

Rose Olive Label

Back of Rose Olive Label

Oatmeal Lavender Label!

Back of Oatmeal Lavender.

I'm very happy with how these turned out! The best part is that they are so easy to design and print with simple software that I have at home. The only thing that I really plan on changing is to shrink wrap them in plastic wrap, but that will be after I purchase a heat gun. There's always something on my wish list! The more I do, the bigger it grows :)

As for the disaster in the garden.... Recently I planted my vegetable garden. So far I have two kinds of lettuce, broccoli, green peppers, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, peas, onions, and tomatoes. I also have some seedlings of spaghetti squash, cucumber and zucchini to transplant, but that requires expanding my garden. That's a lot of manual labor, so I'm putting it off until the next nice weekend. Anyhow, I put in the broccoli over Easter weekend and one of the plants was growing gorgeously, and was already almost two feet high! I got home from work today, only to discover a small male deer quietly munching in the backyard.... I fawned over him for a minute, before I remembered that deer in Victoria are notorious for eating gardens! There are some unmistakable hoof prints in the soil, and a large portion of my broccoli plant and some deer-mouth sized chunks of lettuce are missing..... Not to blame the deer, but considering the evidence I don't think it was the orange cat next door or the husky dog down the street getting into my garden! Needless to say, there will be a fence put in just as soon as my partner Michael can get it in!

What do you think of my packaging? Do you have any tips for deterring deer in the garden? Post them in the comments below!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rose Olive Soap!

New soap announcement! My Rose Olive Soap has emerged from the curing closet, and it is just heavenly. A creamy, light pink shade, gently scented with rose oil and covered in rosebuds on top! It lathers well, but the full size bars look almost too pretty to use!

This is my first soap containing shea butter, as well as the usual vitamin E and sweet almond oil and the high olive oil percentage creates an extra gentle lather. My skin feels so soft and smells so sweet after lathering up with this soap in the shower :)

The full bar right after cutting.

Look at those rosebuds!

Here are the mini soaps!

Mini soap close up.

In other exciting news, I realize I have completely underestimated how quickly my soaps would move! I am completely out of the Camellia Lemongrass and the Cucumber Melon, and I have only one bar of Lavender Oatmeal left. I have a large order for my supplier going in this week, and I can't wait to receive it and start pouring more soaps! There's not much I like more than having my curing closet full of soap.

Which scents and colors do you think I should make next? I'm leaning toward a food-scented one, maybe a coconut lime or vanilla bean or something like that. Please leave your suggestions in the comment section below!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My First Sale!

What exciting news! I haven't started to advertise my soap for sale yet, but I have been giving away (some may call it "forcing") some samples to friends and coworkers. One of the ladies liked it so much that she approached me and asked to buy some! It felt so nice to have someone actually approach me, tell me that they liked my product, and ask to purchase some :) I feel extra good about it because it's my very first sale, so it's kind of a big deal.

The soap was a gift for her mother, so I did some quick wrapping and labeling. It was quite spur-of-the-moment, as I haven't gotten as far as packaging with my business planning yet. I'm pretty happy with it though, I intended to print the labels but as my printer was having issues I decided to write them by hand. I think it's pretty cute and gives it an extra-personal touch.

Cucumber Melon

Camellia Lemongrass

Oatmeal Lavender

I packaged them in a pretty seagrass basket with some pink tissue paper. I'm confident that they will arrive at their destination safely, without any dents or damage from being stepped on by the postman.

Another exciting thing that is happening is that my sister has approached me about making the favors for her upcoming wedding! That would be a huge event for BathingWithChelsea and I'm quite excited to show her some samples and get started on this massive project!

What do you think of my packaging? Do you have any great ideas on wedding favor soaps? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Introducing... Oatmeal Lavender Soap!

Another successful soap! I find it quite exciting to test out the first bar of a new soap! You have to wait soooo long for it to cure, it is definitely some delayed gratification. The one that I tested out today is my Lavender Oatmeal Soap, and as the name implies it contains oatmeal and lavender :)

There is finely ground oatmeal and whole lavender buds throughout the soap, and I added a layer of lavender buds to the top for some visual interest. It smells divine, and I credit that to the lavender-infused olive oil that I infused myself over a weekend in preparation for this soap.

The oatmeal and lavender buds give it a great, somewhat coarse exfoliating quality. I was pleasantly surprised at the bubble factor, it began to lather just being held under the shower.

Lavender Oatmeal Soap

Freshly cut soap bars.

These are mini bars that I pour as sample sizes.

After trying out this soap, I can't wait to test out my next soap, Rose Olive Soap, which should be ready this weekend!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Soap That Grows On Trees?!

I was blown away by this! Apparently there are trees in India and Nepal that grow soapberries. These soapberries naturally contain saponins in their outer shells, and when added to water, the shells release these saponins and act as a natural detergent.

I started looking for them right away and managed to find them at my local grocery store. I instantly replaced my regular laundry detergent with them and have never looked back. You simply put four or five shells into a muslin bag (it should come with one when you buy it) and toss it into your machine. They are said to last 4-5 loads in cold water, or 2-3 in hot water. I don't believe that hot water makes any difference so I always wash in cold. After using them up, they get a bit smooshy and that's when you know it's time to toss them. My favorite part is that you can put them right into your compost bin! Doesn't it feel good to know that you're not washing with harsh chemicals and detergents or polluting the water?

But wait! What about your eczema? Your psoriasis? Or otherwise delicate and sensitive skin? Not a problem! Those conditions are frequently caused by reactions or irritations to the chemicals and additives added to commercial laundry detergents. Soapnuts have a history of being used as an Ayurvedic treatment for eczema and psoriasis.

I haven't been this adventurous (yet, haha) but there are many other uses for soapnuts besides just washing your clothes. They can be used as mosquito repellant, liquid hand some, shampoo, all purpose cleaner, window and glass cleaner, steam cleaning spot treatment, in the dishwasher, cleaning jewelry, and even as a plant wash and pest repellant.

This bag suggests I'll get 80-100 loads, and it only cost me $10.

Like it says, Organic - Antibacterial - Hypoallergenic - Compostable


 Thanks goes to...

Disclaimer: None if this is intended as medical advice of any kind.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Soap That Started It All...

Once upon a time, I lacked a creative outlet. I had always assumed that since I could not paint, draw, sing or sculpt that I was simply not an artistic or creative person. I have always enjoyed baking, but is that really considered to be creative? You bake something delicious, make it look pretty, and before you know it it ends up in someone's belly! Even if you do manage to get creative with it, it has quite a small window of appreciation.

I've been encouraged to open a bakery, but the shelf life of baked goods has always discouraged me. It happened by chance one day that I was searching cupcake images online for inspiration, when I stumbled upon cupcakes made of soap! One thing led to another, and soon the creative juices were flowing and ideas were popping into my head like never before.

These are my very first two soaps that I created. They're not my most creative, but they will always be my favorites because they were my firsts :)

Camellia Lemongrass

Cucumber Melon

I am aware that these are not the cupcake style that first inspired me, but I have found that I prefer the classic loaf style mold much more :)