Belly Dancing and Soapmaking … and Swords
We’re always excited about meeting fellow soapers, and after one of our social media team (Hi, Becky!) ran into this soaper at a summer fair (and kept raving about her soap), I was intrigued. You may recognize today’s interviewee from the Gorgeous Geode Soap Tutorial, which originally appeared on the Otion blog. Read on to learn more about Marlona, one of our local soapers and owner of the Little Things Store.
Soap Queen: How did you first start soaping?
Marlona: I saw some small guest soaps in the shape of Easter figures about ten years ago and fell in love with them, and in fact, the lady who gave them to me actually cited Bramble Berry as her source! Years went by and my life changed dramatically with the birth of my daughter. My husband and I sold our home to move to Washington state to be closer to my family — it was time to reinvent our lives and start over. I had waited so long, and was so in love with my little girl that I just couldn’t bare to leave her and return to work. We had to find another way. I thought to myself, ‘what have I always wanted to try?’ Then it came to me…soapmaking! As soon as I made up my mind that’s what I wanted to try, I was determined to find Bramble Berry!
I could have searched the internet for soap supplies, but instead I walked around my home determined to remember the company name. As soon as I remembered Bramble Berry’s name, everything started to happen so fast. I researched everything I could get my hands on and would dream about making the products I wanted step-by-step before I even started. I made my first batch of soap 2.5 years ago and haven’t stopped since!
SQ: What inspires your business and products?
SQ: What is your favorite bath and body product to make?
M: My favorite product to make is glycerin (melt & pour) soaps; I get to express my creative side when making them!
SQ: What is your favorite Soap Queen tutorial and why?
M: My favorite tutorial is the conditioner recipe. It is easy to make, and I love to use it! It’s not slimy like store bought ones, and it rinses away so silky soft!
SQ: When you aren’t soaping, what are you up to?
M: When I’m not soaping, my husband and I are usually preparing to sell our soap at medieval themed events, spending time with friends from the Society for Creative Anachronism (S.C.A) and the Empire of Medieval Pursuits (E.M.P), or preparing for holiday bazaars. We have been reenacting the medieval times for over 20 years, and we enjoy the heavy armored combat, belly dancing, and learning skills such as card weaving and brewing. I absolutely love making things, especially if they are useful.
SQ: We just fell in love with this project you shared with Otion. How did you come up with it?
M: The idea for the geode came from the Everything Soap Making Book, which I actually picked up locally at Otion. Once I read about it, I absolutely fell in love with it and knew that I had to start making these geode soaps.
SQ: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get into soaping?
M: My advice for anyone soaping is to never give up and never be intimidated by another person’s amazing work. Through admiration comes inspiration!
P.S. Marlona gave birth to another baby this summer. Congrats again on your new little boy, he is such a cutie-pie! =) ~A-M