Today was a long day – an intense day with back-to-back classes. I taught Goatsmilk Soapmaking 101, Goatsmilk Lotionmaking 101, Cold Process Soapmaking 201 and Beginning Marketing. All in all, I made four batches of soap and two batches of lotion – all while talking like a highly caffeinated, speed-ridden (“speed”, as in the slang for the drug) hyperactive person.
Every single class was overfilled with standing room only. Many of the classes had up to 25% people sign up the day-of the class, leading to some shortages and quick recipe changes. It was a challenge to stay on top of it all. After seven straight hours of talking, I am exhausted with a scratchy voice and sore throat … but there is no rest for the weary when you’re at a Dairy Goats Convention. These farmers know how to party.
There was an open bar party Thursday night with cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese … and well, you get the picture. Hundreds and hundreds of cheeses made from small micro-business dairies. I had not one but TWO entire HUGE heaping plates of cheese. And then, I took tupperware full of cheese back to the hotel room (shhhhhhh). Seriously, there was that much cheese. This is like the Cheese Mecca of the world (want to come next year? It’s in Buffalo, New York. Head to www.adga.org to find out more. They need a soap judge and a soap teacher. Think you’re qualified? Email me or comment here to be put into the running for the position). Notice my first plate on the left has fruits and vegetables on it. By the 2nd plate, I had given up on all pretense of pretending I was doing anything but shoveling the cheese straight into my mouth, with nary a cracker or fruit break in sight.
Here are me and my Mom, hanging out at the reception. We had a great time, laughing and enjoying the entire atmosphere. It was our first Mother/Daughter week and we enjoyed it to the fullest.
The soap below is the runner up soap that literally won 2nd best in the entire bath and body products competition. I bought this very soap for $45. That’s right – $45 entire dollars for ONE bar of soap (that yes, I could probably make myself).
But, amazingly, this was not the most expensive bar sold this evening. The auction procceds went to a good cause – next year’s bath & body competition costs. Two bars of soap at the auction went for $150 EACH. The winner paid $300 for two bars of soap. Now that is some good soap!
Do you want soap like this? This is Caroline Lawson, a proud Bramble Berry customer and the owner of TLC Farm Soaps. Her soap went for $150 per bar at the auction. You can buy it for the bargain price of $5 per bar here. Jackie won the entire Bath and Body competition in 2007 and was my Mom’s favorite soap for this 2008 competition. TLC Farms won for Best Soap (Fragrance Oil) and 2nd overall Best in Show (2008) for all the categories.
My Mom and I travel back to Washington state today. We have enjoyed sleeping in today (for sure!) after our busy and full workweek. It’s been a delightful time for both of us to be here. I’m thankful to be given the opportunity to teach so many new soap and lotion makers the science, art, and joy of making handmade toiletries.