- I don’t have a Modern Soapmaking account, how can I get one?
- I purchased something awesome from Modern Soapmaking, how do I access it?
- My username or password is not working, what do I do?
- I wasn’t happy with something I bought, can I return it or get a refund?
- Do you have any sales, discounts, or coupons?
- How big is Modern Soapmaking’s audience?
- Can we send you a product to review or use in your content?
- Do you offer partnership opportunities or sponsored posts?
- Can I write for Modern Soapmaking, too?
- Is Modern Soapmaking affiliated with any other companies or services?
- Who owns and operates Modern Soapmaking?
- I need help with soapmaking! Can you help me?
- Where do you buy your soapy tools (spatula, bucket, mold, stickblender, etc.)?
- Where can I buy supplies for soapmaking?
- Do you have any recommended books about soapmaking?
- Would you be willing to look over my recipe and help me make it the best ever?
- How can I get started with creating my own recipes from scratch?
- Do you offer formulation services so I can have a reliable formula to start with?
- I’m not sure if I have everything ready for my business, what do I need?
- I need product liability insurance, where can I get it?
- I want to join an industry trade organization, do you have any recommendations?
- I want to wholesale my soap, where do I get started?
- I’m not sure if I’m labeling my products correctly, can you help?
- Your soap photos are beautiful, how can I take great pictures, too?
- I am looking for a graphic designer, do you know anyone?
- I have other questions about business, where do I get answers?
- I’m trying to make one of your tutorials, and I’m having trouble. Where can I get help?
- I don’t have an ingredient listed in a recipe, how can I substitute it?
- I don’t have the mold used in a tutorial, how can I make a recipe to fit my mold?
- I don’t want to use a specific ingredient listed in a recipe, can I leave it out?
- I tried to make a recipe from a tutorial on Modern Soapmaking. Why didn’t it work for me?
- Can I sell products made from recipes or tutorials here on Modern Soapmaking?
- Can I give, share, or sell the recipes or tutorials I found on your website?
- Who writes all the tutorials and recipes for Modern Soapmaking?
- How long have you been making soap?
- What kind of soaps do you make?
- Do you sell your soap?
- What’s your favorite thing about soapmaking?
- What makes you so special?
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself outside of soapmaking?
Questions about Products, Accounts, & the Website
Most products have detailed product descriptions and information, but maybe you have another question. Check below and then get in touch if it’s not answered!
I don’t have a Modern Soapmaking account, how can I get one?
User accounts are created during checkout of any product or service on Modern Soapmaking. User accounts are not created when visitors sign up for the Modern Soapmaking mailing list – sometimes, there is a little confusion there. 😉 You can also register for your account in advance.
I purchased something awesome from Modern Soapmaking, how do I access it?
When you make a purchase on Modern Soapmaking, we drop your content right in your account and shoot you an email with download or access information. Unfortunately, sometimes this email goes to your Spam folder. Whip up a quick search for any emails from modernsoapmaking.com in your inbox.
Occasionally, an email address is entered incorrectly during the order process. If you think your email address may have contained a typo, get in touch and I can get it squared away for you!
If you made a purchase prior to June 1, 2015, we did our very best to port your account to the new system. If you’ve already tried accessing your account and are having difficulty, let us know!
My username or password is not working, what do I do?
If you are positive your account details are correct, please try clearing your web browser’s cache, closing your browser, and trying again. Sometimes, browsers load pages from memory and that gets a little messy. Clearing your cache will load pages on Modern Soapmaking with a fresh face, and usually fixes this issue.
If you have forgotten your password, you aren’t alone. I hate how many dang passwords I need to remember! But never fear, you can request a new one right over here!
I wasn’t happy with XYZ, can I return it?
None of Modern Soapmaking’s products are returnable as they are either digital (where the purchaser may receive and consume the product upon payment completion) or my personal time/advice given (where I may not recover that time or advice). However, I truly hope you will get in touch with me and let me know what you were not satisfied with so that I may work to improve in the future!
Do you have any sales, discounts, or coupons?
I understand that most soapmakers are operating on a tight budget, which is why most Modern Soapmaking offerings and classes are offered at reasonable prices every day of the week!
Modern Soapmaking offers two sales every year to get the most bang for your buck. The first sale every year is in mid-February as a celebration of both Modern Soapmaking’s birthday and my own. The second sale every year is held in late November as a celebration of small businesses everywhere. Sale announcements are posted on Modern Soapmaking’s social media and announced early for newsletter subscribers.
Modern Soapmaking does not typically have any discounts or coupons available outside of those two sales, with the exception of special offerings for newsletter subscribers on a rare basis.
How big is Modern Soapmaking’s audience?
On a monthly basis, Modern Soapmaking’s website sees over 60,000 unique visitors. Between Modern Soapmaking’s social media accounts and newsletter subscribers, the regular community of readers is 30,000+ soapmakers strong. Wow!
Modern Soapmaking readers formulate, manufacture, and/or sell soap, bath & body, haircare, cosmetics, makeup, toiletries, and various other personal care products. Most readers are women, ranging in age from 25 to 64 years old, with a majority between the ages of 29 and 44 years old.
Readers range from introductory formulators and soapmakers with very little experience to business owners who have been manufacturing products &/or operating their bath & body business for several years.
Can we send you a product to review or use in your content?
On a very limited basis, Modern Soapmaking may accept products to review, however, I have strict submission policies. As a team, we do not review products or services that will not directly benefit our core audience. In addition, we operate on a basis of full disclosure, transparency, and honesty.
By sending a product for review, you understand that a review will always be 100% honest and runs the risk of being unfavorable to your product, service, or company. It’s important to me that our readers trust our content, and we will never jeopardize that trust to promote a service or product.
To request a product review, please get in touch.
Do you offer partnership opportunities or sponsored posts?
As a general rule, I do not accept partnership opportunities or sponsored posts.
Can I write for Modern Soapmaking, too?
I’m a firm believer that all soapmakers are special and have something to share with the community! As such, I love adding contributors to our writing team on a case-by-case basis. For more information about submitting your work to Modern Soapmaking, please read the submission guidelines.
Is Modern Soapmaking affiliated with any other companies or services?
Sometimes, I use affiliate links, meaning Modern Soapmaking makes a very small commission if you purchase after clicking. Typically, these affiliate links are to products found on Amazon. In no way does an affiliate link cost you anything extra, but they do help keep the website alive and kickin’!
Modern Soapmaking does maintain relationships with many third party vendors, and will often link or recommend their products. We do so after thoroughly using the products ourselves, and would never recommend anything we are not familiar with.
Who owns and operates Modern Soapmaking?
Modern Soapmaking is owned and operated by Kenna (me!), a soapmaker of 10+ years and previous owner of two successful soap companies. I create most of the content and articles on Modern Soapmaking, however, I am blessed by a small team:
- Stephanie of Southern Girl Soapery (Read her introduction right over here)
- Izza of Beetle & Bones Apothecary (Read her articles about cold process, melt and pour, and other bath and body creations)
- Leanna of The Soapy Chef (Read her articles about using food in soapmaking)
- Arianne of La Fille de la Mer, Savonnerie Artisanale (Read her articles about cold process, melt and pour, and other bath and body creations)
- Molly of Ridgeway Soapworks (Read her articles about hot process soapmaking)
- Sharon of The Great Lakes Natural Soap Company (Read her articles about mixing melt and pour with cold process soap)
- Veronica of Veronica Foale Essentials (Read her articles about cold process soapmaking)
- Stephanie of Southern Girl Soapery (Read her reviews about small business tools and software)
- Jo of Skin Trip (Read her articles about using natural colorants and botanicals in soapmaking)
- Akeylah of Halycon Baths (Read her article about using PVC pipe molds)
Modern Soapmaking has also been blessed to work with talented service professionals, such as Gabe Lumby, CPA, who handles Modern Soapmaking’s books and has contributed to content about bookkeeping and accounting.
Questions about Soapmaking
A lot of questions I receive are asking for personalized advice for soapmaking. Here’s to hoping I can answer those questions for you!
I need help with soapmaking! Can you help me?
If you need help with your soapmaking right this minute, it’s best to schedule a mentoring session with me, so I can dive in and help you personally. Unfortunately, I’m not able to answer personal questions or give personal advice via email as there is just too many requests in my inbox!
Please know that I read every single email sent my way, but I’m not always able to respond personally. I do craft Modern Soapmaking’s tutorials and articles from questions I receive via email, so you are free to send it in anyways!
Where do you buy your soapy tools (spatula, bucket, mold, stickblender, etc.)?
I keep a running list of all my favorite soapmaking tools and equipment, with links to product pages on Amazon as well as suppliers. When a special piece of equipment is used in a tutorial or recipe, I also try to add links when appropriate.
Where can I buy supplies for soapmaking?
There are hundreds of soapmaking suppliers around the world, and it can be hard to keep up to date on all of them! You can check out the best soapmaking suppliers in the USA, as voted on by almost a thousand soapmakers, right over here.
I’ve also compiled specific lists of suppliers in some articles, like this article about where to buy essential oils or this guide to shipping handmade soap and bath and body products, which features suppliers for packaging, promotional materials, and shipping supplies.
Do you have any recommended books about soapmaking?
I also recommend picking up Soap & Cosmetic Labeling by Marie Gale, Good Manufacturing Practices by Marie Gale, Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless, and Liquid Soapmaking by Jackie Thompson.
Would you be willing to look over my recipe and help me make it the best ever?
I would be happy to evaluate your soapmaking recipe and recommend improvements or changes. Soap recipe consultations are the most common type of consultation sessions I do!
Most recipe consultations require about an hour of time and involve me reviewing the oil choices, super fat, lye solution strength, and the process of soapmaking being used. Completed consultations receive a full PDF overview of the expected performance and examples of recommended changes.
A single formula review is $275 USD and can be booked by scheduling a recipe consultation on my booking calendar. Shortly after you have made your booking, I will personally contact you to obtain your recipe and ask you to fill in a short questionnaire. After finalizing all the details, we’ll hop on a call via Skype or telephone to discuss your recipe. Afterward, you will receive a PDF with the information we discussed.
How can I get started with creating my own recipes from scratch?
Formulating soap recipes from scratch can be challenging for any soapmaker, which is why it’s one of my favorite topics to discuss!
If you are a new soapmaker, this article about how to improve your soap recipe will help you get started on the basics of tweaking your recipes. If you are looking to try different additives in your soapmaking, this experiment is going to be a handy reference tool for you, where several additives were tested in formulas over the course of a year.
Formulating soap recipes at its very basic level requires understanding the fatty acid profiles of the oils you are using in your recipe. This article serves as a great introduction to understanding the fatty acids and what profiles are popular among soapmakers.
If you are using SoapCalc, you might be wondering what the quality numbers really mean, and it all leads back to fatty acids. I explained what each quality number on SoapCalc is and how it’s calculated in this article.
Do you offer formulation services so I can have a reliable formula to start with?
I do offer individualized custom formulation services on a limited basis. Prior to any formulating, I meet with you via teleconference to discuss your needs and create a customized scope for your project. The information and rates below are an average projection of typical formulation services but is not all-inclusive nor guaranteed. Every project is different.
- Soap formulas typically fall in the range of $1,500 to $2,500 USD for a single line of four to six varieties.
- Cosmetic formulas typically fall in the range of $3,000 to $4,500 USD for a single line of four to six varieties.
Completed formulas and their rights are transferred directly to the client – they are never stored in Modern Soapmaking’s formulary or published by Modern Soapmaking in any way. Once formulation services are complete, you are the sole owner and may do what you wish with the formula.
Formulation service clients are limited to 6 to 10 clients per year, roughly 1 to 2 clients bi-monthly. This allows me to focus on your formulas without distractions. To inquire about availability or book formulation services, get in touch.
Questions about Business
I’m not sure if I have everything ready for my business, what do I need?
This is a topic that gets discussed frequently in my classes as well as my content, as I’ve found that most soapmakers dive into starting a business before they are really ready to do so.
Before you start a company, I highly recommend making sure you are fully experienced with soapmaking and able to handle any curve balls the craft can throw your way. This level of experience varies on an individual basis, so I wrote this article to give soapmakers milestones to look for on their journey.
Many soapmakers start a business without proper expectations or prep work, so I dove into ten things a soapmaker should know before they start a soap company of their own in this article. The article talks about proper expectations for formulating, production, business set up, marketing, regulatory compliance, and oh-so-much more.
A lot of soapmakers start their soap business with a friend, family member, spouse, or other kinds of partner, and it’s rarely discussed what to look for in those cases. If you plan on building your soap company with a partner, please read up on what you should do before you dive in and how to manage the partnership moving forward.
The biggest problem soapmakers in business have is low cash flow, and the number one culprit in creating this problem is when a soapmaker is producing inefficiently or wasting cash flow on supplies or creating new products. As a hobbyist, it’s great to try all the new techniques and designs to crop up in the soapmaking community, but for a business owner, the game changes completely.
I need product liability insurance, where can I get it?
Kudos to you for knowing the importance of obtaining product liability insurance! Here are some of the common recommendations for insurance providers.
- USA: Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, Handmade Artisan Insurance, Indie Business Network, RLI Corp, Veracity
- Canada: Canadian Guild of Soapmakers, Chandlers, & Cosmetic Crafters, Handcrafted Bath & Body Guild of Canada
- Australia: BizCover
Please be aware that if you are teaching soapmaking, you need further insurance coverage known as errors & omissions or professional liability insurance. Some trade organizations offer it as an add-on to their product liability insurance, or you may want to find an independent insurer.
I want to join an industry trade organization, do you have any recommendations?
Of course! I keep a list of trade organizations, conferences, and groups over on this page. If you have an organization, conference, or group to recommend that is not listed, please get in touch!
I want to wholesale my soap, how do I get started?
The first step in approaching wholesale is knowing what exactly wholesale is (and isn’t). Wholesale is the straight sale of the products you make in your product line with your packaging and branding, sold to another entity at a discount for resale at the full retail price. It expands your brand exposure & reach, profits your business directly, and provides an influx of cash flow.
You may want to consider why you would go that route when selling your products. Wholesale is not for everyone, and it’s important that you truly know your product costs and have your pricing down pat.
Before you dive into wholesale, you may want to get familiar with the common terminology used, so you have the upper hand in navigating the waters. There are a couple of steps you’ll need to take to get started wholesaling, and the most difficult for soapmakers tend to be creating a line sheet. I’ve created a simple linesheet template for Microsoft Word that is available in our Resource Library. It has helped quite a few soapmakers get it put together without the huge outlay of a professional designer up front (but a professional is definitely the way to go if you can afford it!)
If you are looking for a few quick tips in masterminding wholesale, this article with five tips is the perfect stepping stone for you.
I’m not sure if I’m labeling my products correctly, can you help?
As Modern Soapmaking is an international resource, that depends on where you are! I’m well-versed in both the regulations in Canada and the United States, but am still studying and learning the regulations in other countries.
In the United States, soap and cosmetic regulation can be confusing for a small business owner, as it can be difficult deciphering what regulations need to be followed.
Soap, which is labeled and sold solely as soap, made of true soap (oils + lye), and makes no claims, should follow the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, among other commerce-based regulations.
Soap, which falls in all the above categories with the exception of making claims of beautifying or smelling good, falls under cosmetic regulations, which can be found in the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act. The FDA offers a variety of resources to help you label correctly. I often recommend that soapmakers and cosmetic formulators read the regulations for themselves at least once, you can do that here.
If you are in Canada, Health Canada provides a wealth of resources and I find that the labeling regulations are quite straightforward in comparison to what we have in the United States.
Please understand that I am not employed or trained by the FDA, Health Canada, or other regulatory bodies and am not a lawyer or attorney – I can’t offer legal advice, but I’m happy to help as much as possible.
I also highly recommend Marie Gale as a resource – her blog and books are full of information! You can also contact a specialized attorney in your local area to check regulatory compliance if you have further questions.
Your soap photos are beautiful, how can I take great pictures, too?
Photography is one of my many passions, and I’ve studied it longer than soapmaking (is that possible!?). I’m a huge advocate of empowering soapmakers to do what they can with what they have and then hitting up the experts as soon as they are able. Afterall, most soapmakers start off bootstrappin’, right?!
Product photography can make or break your online presence, it sells your product for you, plus can help you land press and stockists. If something is beautiful to look at, it’s hard to walk away! I’ve written on the most common photography mistakes soapmakers make, with a few tips on how to fix them. (And if you need to shoot a headshot for your website or other marketing materials, I’ve written about that, too!)
I am looking for a graphic or web designer, do you know anyone?
Of course! Here are some of my top recommendations: Braizen, Cherish Driskell, Cormier Creative, Curio Electro, Eco-Office Gals, I Killed The Joneses, Sara Berkes Creative, Spirit + Haven, The Languid Lion, The Petite Co., The Wonder Jam, & Wallnut Studio.
If you are looking for other biz recommendations, I keep a list of my favorite tools and services over here.
I have other questions about business, where do I get answers?
The community forum! 🙂 There are tons of other soapmakers within the walls of the Community forum, and we’d love to have one more!
You can also take a deep dive into my business articles or try searching for the topic or keywords of what you are looking for in the search form (the tippity-top right-hand side of every page!)
Questions about Recipes & Tutorials
A lot of questions about recipes and tutorials come in through email as well as in the comments on specific recipes and tutorials. I hope to answer them for you here!
I’m trying to make one of your tutorials, and I’m having trouble. Where can I get help?
If you have a question about a specific tutorial or article here on Modern Soapmaking, it’s best to read the comments on the tutorial or article itself. If you don’t see another user with your question, hit up the Community forum and ask for help!
The Modern Soapmaking community is very friendly and helpful and tends to also respond to comments when they can!
I don’t have an ingredient listed in a recipe, how can I substitute it?
You can learn how to substitute oils in a soapmaking recipe right here. If you aren’t sure if you’ve made the right choice, ask our Community.
I don’t have the mold used in a tutorial, how can I make a recipe to fit my mold?
I don’t want to use a specific ingredient listed in a recipe, can I leave it out?
It depends on the ingredient! Some ingredients are included for fun and others are functional ingredients. If it’s a colorant or a fragrance, there’s no harm in leaving it out. If you aren’t sure, ask our Community.
I tried to make a recipe from a tutorial on Modern Soapmaking, but it didn’t work out. Why didn’t it work for me?
Oh, no! I’m sorry to hear that. We thoroughly test recipes and tutorials before debuting them on Modern Soapmaking, so we’re always bummed to hear this.
First, read back over the tutorial and verify that you followed the directions. Unfortunately, when substitutions are made or changes to the process are made, it can stuff up your results.
Next, verify that your scale is accurate. More often than not, soapmakers forget that their scale is a vital and important tool that needs maintenance and upkeep. You may need to calibrate your scale to get it working correctly or replace it.
Last but certainly not least, ask our Community for help!
Can I sell products made from recipes or tutorials here on Modern Soapmaking?
Yessum! You are completely allowed to create soap and cosmetic products from our recipes and tutorials and sell the finished product. That’s why we publish them!
Can I give, share, or sell the recipes or tutorials I found on your website?
No. While we’re happy to share our recipes and tutorials, they still belong to us and no one is authorized to give them away or sell them. If you wish to share them, please share the link to the recipe or tutorial on our website.
Who writes all the tutorials and recipes for Modern Soapmaking?
Myself and a wonderful group of contributors!
Questions about Kenna
How long have you been soaping?
I have been soaping since 2004. 🙂 And I’m still learning. I don’t think it’s possible to ever know everything there is to know about soapmaking.
What kind of soaps do you make?
I primarily work with cold process soapmaking, with some limited experience with hot process and melt and pour. Nothing strikes my fancy more than a well-formulated beautiful bar of cold process soap.
Are you just a hobbyist or do you own a company?
In 2010, I started working on opening Amathia Soapworks, which remained a full-fledged vegan soap company until 2013. In late 2013, I founded Gratitude Soapery, which I subsequently gave away during my Give Gratitude project.
What’s your favorite thing about soapmaking?
That it is nearly limitless. There is always something new to do. There are always more experiments to be had. It’s a proverbial playground for someone who enjoys testing boundaries and pushing extremes.
What makes you so special?
Me? Special? Silly talk! I’m a run of the mill soapmaker, just like you. I take immense pride in our industry and am eternally grateful for the support and help I’ve received from the community as a whole. I’m always baffled when I receive emails or comments claiming I have some kind of celebrity status or that someone was afraid to contact me. Truly, I’m just a normal person, and there’s nothing special going on here. (Yanno, unless you want to talk about my mild obsessive-compulsive tendencies….)