I’m so happy that I can finally share these with you, as I’m delighted with how they came out! One of the things keeping me busy in January was an order of wedding favours. The wedding was to have a strong Manx theme, and the names of the soaps were reflected in the table names at the wedding reception, so all the guests who were seated at the Manannan table received the Manannan (sea breeze scented) soap, and so on.
The small triskele shape is fitting, as it’s reminiscent of the Triskelion (the three legs) that appears on the Isle of Man flag. It’s also a nod to the Celtic heritage of the island, and in addition to all of that, it’s just a really pretty shape.
I’m so honoured to have been a tiny part of the couple’s day, it was a privilege to have been involved.
I came across this image the other day, whilst looking for material for the #marchmeetthemaker Instagram challenge. The prompt was “how you started.” For me, it was seeing a friend’s pictures of soap she had made with her son, for his school chemistry project. (She hand-dyes yarn, it’s absolutely gorgeous! Check her work out here: http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FeltFusion)
Anyway, I thought it looked like fun, so I had a go. I chose my ingredients based on what I already had in the house, aside from a couple of bits I could pick up down the road for less than a fiver. So it was largely vegetable oil, which takes ages to come to trace, and I didn’t have a stick blender, so I was stirring for literally hours. I chose to fragrance it with orange essential oil – which I later found out is notorious for not surviving in cold process soap. So after four weeks, I had a completely fragrance free block of scented soap, that was a slightly weird consistency, but once I started using it, and realised how much better for my skin it was, I was hooked! That’s when I started choosing ingredients a bit more carefully, and researching the different properties they would bring to the soap.
The rest is history really, I still dabble with new ingredients and recipes from time to time, and I’m currently testing a few new fragrances, so watch this space to see what’s coming.
I know I said I’d be posting regularly, and it hasn’t really happened… although really, even once a year is regular. Regular and frequent mean different things. I didn’t promise to post frequently! Anyway, I’ve got an excuse. I was assuming that January and February would be pretty quiet, but instead, it’s been nuts!
3FM, a local radio station, interviewed me last week, and even made a little video of me making soap! You can view it on my Facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/308044892865180/posts/851613418508322/ (May as well like the page while you’re there, eh?) I cannot tell you how nervous I was, in the run-up to this! But they did such a great job with the video, I’m absolutely delighted with it!
3FM are also running a promotion from Monday, where you can win a bar of my soap, so listen to Matt’s Soap Box from 8am. Good luck!
I have been making soap, and selling it, and things have
been going quite well actually, but you’d never know it because I’ve been
completely rubbish about website stuff. Now that the festive craziness is done
with, I can tell you a bit about what I’ve been up to in the last <goes off
to check when I last posted – MARCH??? That’s worse than I thought> nine
Wow. Nine months. I’ve been crapper than I thought!
The last time I posted, I told you I was trialling waxed paper wrapping for my soap, so I may as well update you on that first. I’m still using it, I like the look of it, it does the job well, and the feedback from customers has been great. It’s not perfect, but I feel it’s a step in the right direction.
My soaps are now available from more locations around the island: Mostly Manx in Douglas, and Presence of Mann in Laxey, as well as some of the Manx National Heritage sites around the island. Whilst a lot of the Heritage sites close over the winter, the Manx Museum and House of Manannan are open all year round. So if you can’t make it to any of my regular markets, you can still get your soap fix. Manx National Heritage’s website is here: https://manxnationalheritage.im/
I’ve also been involved with a new venture called The Gift Assembly, a group of small independent businesses all based here in the Isle of Man. In the run-up to Christmas we did a series of pop-up markets during lunch times, at out-of-town offices, where staff might struggle to get into town for Christmas shopping. It went very well, and we are now looking at doing some more, throughout the coming year. If this is something you’d like to know more about, or if you think your workplace might like to host us, get in touch via our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thegiftassembly.
Talking of Christmas, I sustained an injury whilst setting up for a market in Douglas. I was taking my boxes of stock from the car to the venue, on my little wheelie trolley thing, when one of the wheels hit a grate cover, and collapsed, sending the heaviest of my boxes crashing straight into my knuckle. It hurt. I may or may not have said a Bad Word. It wasn’t too bad at first, but over the rest of the day it swelled and bruised, so I took off my rings (whilst I still could) and was unable to put them back on until about three days later. I didn’t think there was any permanent damage, but it still hurts when I wake up in the mornings, until I’ve bent and flexed it a few times.
That’s almost it, except I need to tell you about this Mocha
scented soap I made: It contains actual coffee grounds for exfoliation, and the
colour comes entirely from the coffee liquid I used instead of water. It smells
absolutely heavenly! I’m going to give some away when my facebook page gets up
to 500 likes, so if you want to be in with a chance, get on over there and give
the page a Like. May as well share it too while you’re there, eh? Thanks 😊
I promise I will post more! I’m hoping the coming year will be bigger, better, and busier, so I should have lots of exciting things to share.