This summer, I worked with a great company named Kindling to develop a promotional video featuring my soap making. I met Chase, one of the two great guys behind Kindling, through Zaarly. At the time, Chase was just getting setup on Zaarly, so when we talked about the video, we also talked shop about selling on Zaarly. (If you live in the Kansas City area, or other metropolitan area that Zaarly services, you should really check out all the local offerings!!)
I wanted to focus on the process behind soap making, and why I love it so much. From formulating for the perfect balance of oils in every bar to nailing an essential oil blend down to the very last drop, soap making is an artform that is both functional and creative.
I began soaping in 2004, with my introduction to soap making guided by a lovely local soap maker named Judy, the woman behind Sunrise Soaps. And then there was Kathy Miller’s website. At the time, Kathy’s website was one of the very few online resources for soap making. My first batch was a peppermint scented soap, made with common grocery store oils, from a recipe on Kathy’s website. It was poured in a $2 kitty litter pan I bought at Walmart and lined with a trash bag.
That first batch was perfect – a perfect red and white swirl, the perfect amount of peppermint, smooth sailing from measuring the oils to cutting the final bars. The only problem was, I somehow made an eight pound batch of soap that day – it never occurred to me how MUCH soap I was making in that one batch. So here I was, with 30 something bars of cold process soap. Needless to say, I didn’t make any more soap for awhile.
As the years passed, I came back to soap making as a hobby occasionally. As time went on, I realized it was the only hobby I had that I constantly came back to, that I always learned new things. It was a challenge that gave me a creative outlet, but also resulted in something I could put to work in my every day life. It was consumable and meaningful – a means to an end. Over the years, my passion for soap making developed to where I am today. Every day, I have soap making on the brain. I have so much love for what I do, and I love sharing it with others.
In the past two years alone, my soap making has evolved even more than it has over the last nine and a half years. And even though I am fully immersed in this craft, I still find myself learning new things, testing and trying new ideas, pushing preconceived limits and rules…
Nowadays, you can find a soap maker at almost every Farmer’s Market in the country, with at least a handful in every major city. There are websites and Facebook groups and forums of thousands of soap makers. No longer do I (or any other soap maker!) feel like a lone ranger, pioneering and plugging away alone. Now, we are capable of sharing our craft with each other, and even more so, with our customers. The passion for our work shines in every batch, every bar, every bubble. And that is what I wanted to capture in this video.
Chase and his partner, Cameron, did a fabulous job capturing the spirit and drive of my work, while emphasizing how much of a functional art form soap making really is. I can’t find the words to express how grateful I am for the work Kindling did on this video and how happy I am with the message it conveys. A huge thank you, again, Kindling!