If you have any questions about the soap business, please don’t hesitate to ask Jennifer. Not only is she passionate about what she does, but she is also passionate about inspiring people. 🙂
6. What are your most saleable products?
50 to 60% of what we sell is soap. They all sell pretty well. Maybe our 3 best selling soaps are Orange Poppyseed (Exfoliating), Andaluz (Gentle) and Green Clay (for oilier skin). If a soap doesn’t sell well, we cut it from the line, like for example our Aloe Vera soap was our slowest seller (I believe that is because it is very common, there are already so many on the market) so we cut it, but as it has a fresh, minty essential oil blend, we will bring it back seasonally for the summer. As for moisturizers, our Oliva hand and body cream sells well, as well as our Rosehip cream for the face. Our best selling scrub is Orange poppyseed and our Moisturizing Serums are relatively new but selling well. It often depends on the venue and the time of the year. I keep a very detailed record of every product that sells, where and when it sells and we analyze the data at the end of each month.
7. Personal favourites?
Our Goat Milk soap – I adore the scent, a blend of patchouli and geranium essential oils. I love the creamy lather.
Lavender Rosemary Moisturizing Salve – I use this every night before bed on my hands, legs and feet. It is soothing, moisturizing and so comforting.
Our new Oasis Moisturizing Facial Serum with Rosehip & jojoba oils among others… I love the neroli in the essential oil blend.
8. What is your favourite soap additive? Essential oil?
Soap additive – Essential oils. I am passionate about essential oils. I love researching them, experimenting with them and blending.
Essential oil – I have so many favourites and this also changes. Lavender is probably my all time favourite, I adore Patchouli and Bergamot. I also love Sweet Orange and Vetiver.
9. Soaping tips or tricks you wish you knew early on?
I have loved the whole process of discovery and learning and would not want to have speeded that up. So I don’t think there is anything that I wish I knew early on. I continue to research, learn and discover things. At one point, I ruined an entire batch (100 bars) of our most expensive soap because the lye hadn’t mixed in properly. But in the end, I am glad it happened because it meant we changed the production process and now we always strain the lye mix when pouring into the oils. Most of the time, I find that something great is learned from our mistakes.
10. What advice would you give to soapers thinking of turning their hobby into a business?
– It is possible to make a living from soap making. However, it may mean re-defining what “making a living” means to you and reducing your lifestyle.
– You may wish to consider selling other products as well. For us, unfortunately soap, the product I most love making, is the product with the lowest profit margins. So we introduced other natural skin care products as well.
– It is very important to know how to run a business. Numbers, pricing, organization & prioritizing are keys. Selling is as important for the business as making good soap, so if you want to enjoy running a soap making business, you had better enjoy selling or employ someone who does!
– Don’t waste any negative energy on the competition. Focus more on your own products uniqueness and identity. What makes your product different from others?
– Patience is important. If you have a good product, the clients and sales will come, but it may take time. If you want it to happen quicker, you need to bring them in. Opening a shop or a website does not mean that people will somehow find you, you need to do a lot of work to bring them there, from advertising to markets to fairs, social networking.
Thank you so much for this interview, Jen! May your success continue to grow, and may you always be a source of joy and inspiration to many. 🙂