Q+A with a CPA: Ready to Outsource Your Bookkeeping? Here’s What You Need to Know

Q+A with a CPA: Outsource Your Bookkeeping

I'm constantly recommending that other folks outsource the parts of their businesses that they aren't the best at, and for a lot of soapmakers, that's bookkeeping! So, today, we're diving into what you should know to outsource your bookkeeping, straight from a CPA's mouth. ;) Over a year and a half ago, I took that very piece of advice and I've come to the conclusion that I can't live … [Read more...]

A Hot Process Soap Tutorial: How to Hot Process Soap in a Crockpot

How to Make Hot Process Soap in a Crock Pot

When I first started making hot process soap, I searched high and low for a definitive set of steps, like a recipe, that would ensure my hot process soap came out perfectly every time. However, once I understood saponification (the chemical reaction that happens when making soap) and was able to identify the stages of saponification, I became a lot more relaxed about hot process soapmaking. The … [Read more...]

Q+A with a CPA: Getting Started with Bookkeeping for Handmade Businesses

Q+A with a CPA: Getting Started with Bookkeeping

Over a year and a half ago, I was tearing my hair out over the mess of bookkeeping records I had kept in Wave Apps for my first year in business with Modern Soapmaking. After staring blankly at my computer screen for hours on end trying to understand why my numbers weren't adding up, I decided to take my own advice: do what you are good at, and outsource the rest. After a little bit of … [Read more...]

Hot Process Soapmaking for Production Soaping

Swirled Hot Process Soap by Ridgeway Soapworks

Like many of you, I learned how to make soap using the cold process method. My soap story actually started with a large jar of coconut oil that I wanted to find a use for, and after a google search of "uses for coconut oil" learned that it is a wonderful oil to use in soap. Needless to say, I found Soap Queen TV and never looked back. After a few batches of basic cold process soaps, I wanted … [Read more...]

10 Surprising Facts About My Soapmaking History & Philosophy

A look back at Kenna's first company, Amathia Soapworks

When I teach soapmaking classes and workshops, I always share little tidbits about my soapmaking that surprise students because they don't tend to follow the norm for soapmakers. I like to share these surprising facts because I think they help soapmakers realize that their path in learning the craft is personal to them, and that other soapmakers' experiences and advice may differ, even mine or any … [Read more...]

An Unfortunate Tale of Intellectual Property Theft: How to Protect Yourself

Emily's photo being used to sell classes without her permission.

Intellectual property theft is a common and unfortunate issue that online business owners deal with, and many don't know how to handle it when they come across their content (whether it's images, written content, or other intellectual property) on other people's websites, online stores, or social media pages. As an online business owner, I also deal with my fair share of intellectual … [Read more...]

Build Your Own Adjustable Wooden Soap Molds for Loaves, Slabs, & Blocks of Soap

Build Your Own Wood Soap Molds

One of the most costly parts of soapmaking is the molds and cutters you use as you grow from making small single batches to wanting to make tons of soap all at once. If the investment of larger molds or silicone molds is off your pocketbook's radar, you can DIY and build your own wood soap molds very inexpensively. ANYONE can build these wooden soap molds, you don't have to be a woodworker … [Read more...]

Using Cosmetic Micas in Cold Process Soap – Colorant Guide

Testing micas for soap stability and color

Cosmetic micas can be used to create beautifully vivid and bold cold process soaps. I'm always asked how I get my colors so bright, and one part of that is using cosmetic micas in cold process soap (and the other part is applying color theory to create beautiful color schemes that contrast and pop!) While mica itself is a natural product, cosmetic micas are coated with other colorants such as … [Read more...]

Updated: Lather Lovers Additive Tests, One Year Later!

In 2013, I retested the samples from the 2012 swap to see how they compared.

In 2012, I participated in the Lather Lover's Additive Testing swap on the Dish Forum, hosted by the fabulous Shannon of Scenter Square. I kept the samples from the testing for a couple years after the initial tests, and ran follow-up lather tests in 2013 and 2014 before I threw away the soaps. Recently, I found my photo archives and notes from the 2013 lather testing, and realized I never wrote a … [Read more...]

Pure Soapmaking is the Perfect Companion for Natural Soapmakers (& I Want to Hand You a Copy!)

The new Pure Soapmaking book by Anne-Marie Faiola

When I found out Anne-Marie Faiola was working on a follow-up to her uber popular soapmaking book, Soapcrafting, I about died from excitement. (I recommend Soapcrafting to beginner soapmakers often, check out my other favorite recommendations over here!) I chatted with Anne-Marie about how the new book was coming along at Central Soapers Workshop last year. I was blown away by how much work was … [Read more...]

Is Craftybase the Inventory Management Answer for Soapmakers in Business?

craftybase-review

It's no secret that I love Soapmaker 3 and have been using it for years, but a lot of soapmakers struggle with the interface, learning curve, and what operating systems Soapmaker 3 will run on. A new web-based application is taking the maker crowd by storm, and it's called Craftybase. Since I don't run a fully functioning soap company anymore, my testing and experience is limited. Luckily, … [Read more...]

Tutorial: Spring Fling Layered Soap with Soap Shred Embeds

Spring Fling Handmade Layered Soap with Soap Shred Embeds

After creating Swatch Mania! and More Swatch Mania!, I had tons and tons of little sample swatches of solid colored soap. Naturally, I shredded them to bits using a Salad Shooter, and stored them for use later on. Most of those shreds became confetti soaps I donated to various organizations. However, I used some of them for tutorials for you! This layered soap uses various shades of pink and … [Read more...]

Video: Rainbow Clyde Slide Soap Recipe & Tutorial

Rainbow Soap with the Clyde Slide Design Technique, featuring new rainbow micas from Bramble Berry

Over the last year, I've fallen behind on all the trendy and new soap design techniques introduced into the soapy wild by talented soapmakers! The clyde slide soap design technique popularized by Clyde of Vibrant Soap is one that I'm tackling today! I love Clyde's approach to soap designs, focusing on color theory and taking artistry to a new level. The clyde slide soap design technique is … [Read more...]

Marketing Made Easy: Help Your Customers Fall in Love (February 2016 Challenge)

Marketing Made Easy Challenge: Help Your Customers Fall in Love

Having a hard time marketing your products to your customers? Want to crank out some easy content to rock your marketing world? Let's spice it up, and add a little incentive with the Marketing Made Easy challenge! Time and time again, the biggest complaint I hear from soapmakers is that they would love to market their products using a blog, social media, or email newsletter, but that … [Read more...]

An Overview of Different Cold Process Soap Design Techniques (& Soapmaking Tutorial Roundup!)

Final-Rainbow-Spiral-Swirl-Soap

Most soapmaking design techniques are combinations of basic techniques, including layering and manipulation of the layers. Once you master controlling your formula rather than letting it control you, you will see a whole world of possibilities with a little bit of patience. Here are some common techniques with variations you can try and tips for success: Soap Design Techniques: Layering & … [Read more...]

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Soap Company with a Partner (Spouse, Sibling, Friend, etc.)

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Soap Company with a Partner

They say two heads are better than one, but in business, is that really true? It's extremely common for soapmakers to consider starting a soap company with a partner - whether it's a friend, spouse, sibling, or other person who has a previous relationship with them. And believe it or not, I talk to soapmakers often who get approached by someone else to enter their established business as a … [Read more...]