If you’re like me, you know it’s not a good idea to have candles burning with toddlers running around. With another little one on the way, I sure don’t want to take any chances! To get all the benefits of burning candles without the fire hazard, I decided to try making a few wax tarts. Not only are they super easy to make, you can really dress them up by experimenting with different colors and finding a cute wax tart warmer.
Archives for April 2013
I recently got an email from a long time customer. After I answered it, I realized that many more people would have the same question so I’m answering it for everyone below:
Lately my business has really exploded. I am nearing a thousand orders this month alone. With that amount of orders being turned around in a short time, and it being just myself, and my husband when he can, processing these orders, there have been a few mistakes. We check and double check, but it does happen. There have also been a few people not happy with what they receive.
I always bend over backwards to fix the issue, but it feels sometimes like I am being taken advantage of. If I missed something in the order, I send out a replacement, if I sent the wrong product, they keep it and I send out the correct one. If they have been unhappy due to a perceived problem, I replace, exchange, or refund. I don’t accept returns in general as I don’t want products coming back when people don’t like scent, color, etc. Who knows if they are used and I don’t want to take chances returns being mixed up with new products.
How do you deal with unhappy customers? Especially when it feels like you (or your product, or your business methods, etc) are being attacked. Right now everything feels so personal, and that is hard to deal with.
So, I really could use some advice as I am felling pretty down right now.
After a gorgeous week of weather up here in the Pacific Northwest, celebrating Jamisen’s 2nd birthday (I can’t believe my baby boy is two years old!) and being absolutely exhausted after moving while 8.5 months pregnant, I was happy to take a small little break to look over all the Facebook photos and pick the winner of this weeks Facebook Photo of the Week. Are you ready to check out this fabulous gem I found on Bramble Berry’s Facebook page? Follow along and you can ooh and ahh over the fabulous soap with me!
It’s time for another Sunday Night Spotlight to discuss a product in detail, including fun recipes and in this case, blends. If you have any suggestions for a Sunday Night Spotlight, let me know in the comments below! To read about last weeks spotlight, click here, and learn all about a fun and easy botanical to use in your CP and M&P soaps. Are you ready for this weeks? Read on to learn all about Hungarian Lavender Essential Oil.
Our fun list of social media sites just keeps growing and growing. We’ve got Pins of the week, Tweets of the week and now, Vines of the week! Vine is a super cool app for iPhones that allows you to take 6 second videos. Of course, I had to take a few Vine videos while making my leopard print spots for this week’s Soap Challenge:
This soap is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. With a delectable combination of one of our favorite fragrances Oatmeal, Milk and Honey, paired with Chocolate Espresso Cybilla, this soap is reminiscent of a delightfully sweet mocha. We used a mantra swirl technique to give the finished soap an elegant look, and I think it may even look a bit like fluffy foam or whipped cream (can you tell I’m craving coffee?).
Excitement is building around our offices as the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference quickly approaches. The annual conference draws attendees from around the country, and it’s a great place to learn new techniques, make connections and befriend fellow soapmakers. I’m super disappointed that I can’t attend this year, but it’s for a very good reason: our Bramble Girl is due smack dab in the middle of the conference! To keep everyone in the loop on the fun, we are sending the famously wonderful Kat (see two of her blog posts here and here) to teach an advanced soapmaking class and two Soap Queen guest bloggers to keep us updated with blog posts and photos throughout the conference. Don’t be shy; say hello!
Michele Lang, Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps
“I’m a wife, mother, blogger, and self proclaimed soap nerd living in Lubbock, Texas—a place best known for our expansive horizons, cotton and Buddy Holly.
What began in 2008 as a mere curiosity about the soap making process quickly became an insatiable passion. I fell in love with the intriguing chemical process, the artistic expression, the earthy perfume of essential oils, and the overall connection to the beautiful ingredients. I’m really just a gal who sees handcrafted soap as a beautiful art form. I feel a connection to the ingredients and my goal is to feature them as “the star” of the show.
This recipe brilliant in its simplicity. The skin-loving combination of just three oils makes for a wonderfully-textured and amazingly not-too-greasy option for baby’s skin, plus the use of Oat extract takes the sensitivity of young skin into consideration. Try this oil on dry patches after a bath for maximum benefit.
Happy Earth Day! After a loooonng day of moving (seriously, what crazy hormonal person thought it was a good idea to move at 8.5 months pregnant?!), I thought I’d pop in with three great eco-friendly soaping ideas in honor of the day. Using clean food packaging is a great way to ensure that your products are getting their maximum amount of use before they are headed to the recycling bin; plus many of them make for a super economical mold option for testing out new soap ingredients (so your production/fancy molds aren’t taken up for testing) or an economical trial for a beginner soaper! Just to make the project as easy as it is fun, I’ve used additives and colorants that are easily found in most kitchen cupboards. Plus, you can check out this episode of SoapQueen TV for even more eco-chic ideas!
It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since Jamisen came home and added to our happiness quotient. We had a wonderful time with Jamisen’s birthday party. It was low-key, with family only. I’m guessing this is the last time we’ll get away without any of Jamisen’s little friends at his party.
What a fun week it has been for me here at the Soap Queen blog. Earlier this week, I introduced a brand new weekly blog feature — our Sunday Night Spotlight. This new weekly feature will pick one Bramble Berry product and I’ll go over why I love it so much and a few different recipes that I’ve used it in. Have a suggestion for a spotlight? Leave it in the comments below! There was also the free giveaway from The Saponifier. Did you miss it? It’s here. We also released a new SoapyLove e-zine kit (colorants included). Learn more about it here. After that thrilling recap, I’m betting you are ready for this weeks winner? It was one of my favorites that was posted to Bramble Berry’s Facebook page this last week, and you’ll see why!
“As a teenager you are at the last stage in your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.” – Fran Lebowitz
(Jamisen’s got a few years to go before that stage!)
A great project for kids of all ages (and I’m totally counting myself in this ‘kid’ category), this theme will particularly appeal to those who enjoy their time with a sci-fi edge. Swirling multiple colors of melt and pour base into sphere molds creates a planetary feel while shimmery black mica paired with silver glitter sends the planets on an adventure through a star-filled sky.
This article was originally published in the March/April 2013 issue of Saponifier Magazine. I was so taken by the ingenuity of the tutorial that I asked Saponifier if I could reprint it here on Soap Queen. Enjoy! -Anne-Marie P.S. Election sign season is just a few months away!
Personal Touch: The 15-Minute Soap Mold
by Victoria Donaldson
I was never so glad to see anything end, as I was the 2011 elections. Is it just me, or did it go on forever? While driving, I was inundated with political signs for everything from president to dog catcher. After November 6, I decided it was time for the remaining ones to go, so I started plucking them up. They were destined for my local recycling center, only my trip out there ended in the discovery that my recycling center did not handle them. So I decided they would reside in my utility room until I had the time to discover where to ship them.
Then my neighbor asked for help making yard sale signs. A quick cover of spray paint and some lettering and he was set. A last minute, oddly sized, Christmas gift resulted in a mad hunt for a suitable box, bag—anything! After an unsuccessful search led to the utility room, I was desperate. I thought perhaps I could do something with a piece of corrugated plastic. Voila! It was so easy, who needs a recycling center? Then I had a lightbulb moment: if I could make a box, I could make a mold for soap. After a little experimentation, I discovered that creating several in different sizes wasn’t a problem since it’s free, it folds flat for easy storage, and it’s really, really easy. What more could you ask for? Plus it gives you a little feeling of revenge for all the TV plugs you had to sit through. [Read more…]