Craft Fair Crazy

I’m doing my first craft fair next month. I have a booth at a women’s fair, at a winery that invited me. I’m going to be crazy busy the next week making soap, and after that making things like sugar scrubs. I’m debating if I should put much energy into men’s products like beard oil and beard balm, and my gut instinct is to say yes, have some men’s products available, as women like to shop for the people in their lives and not just themselves. So I will have men’s shampoo bar, and unisex shaving soap, and possibly some men’s scented lotion and body wash. Just a few, though. I don’t plan on having a lot of lotions and body wash, as it’s a pain in the ass to make and a lot of labeling law stuff, but I definitely want to offer it. I really want to focus on soap. SOAP! 

I’m making SO MUCH soap. I wish my husband was home to make me a second soap mold. I could make one, but I need to be making soap or cleaning up from making soap. As it is, I’ve decided that using the PVC column mold may not work for me. All the soaps I’ve made in it have been difficult to cut and ended up with rough edges that almost shatter. I didn’t use sodium lactate, so I can’t blame that on making the soap brittle. 

But as you can see, the soap came out very rough despite my best efforts to make smooth cuts. Also, the rose clay went from the rose color I was expecting to more of a bologna color, prompting several people I know to call this “sausage” soap. As a result, it may be just gifted away or saved for home use-we always need the Gardeners bars-and I will make a new batch using rhassoul clay instead. I also want to be sure to get the fragrance oil in this time. I have this great smelling cedarwood and amber fragrance that is begging to be used in something. This seems perfect. 

My favorite part of making all this soap is getting to plan what every batch will look like. From rainbow swirls with a crisp cotton fragrance, to pooch poo, which has no scent and no colorants so it’s not irritating for dogs, I’m having fun developing the recipes while I impatiently wait for some important ingredients to arrive. Activated charcoal, I’m talking about you! Where ARE you? 

I’m also doing a fundraiser right now. I’m making a batch of Aleppo style soap, and selling it at a fairly high price point for me. All the profit, however, is going to Doctors without Borders. If all 15 bars sell, I should be able to make about a $45 donation. It’s not much, but every dollar helps. And during this crazy time when the feeling of helplessness against the powers that be is occasionally overwhelming, being able to do something, anything, is good. Raising money for a good charity is something proactive. As long as I stay proactive I’m less blue. I only have four bars left to sell before I hit 15 bars. Yeah!

In other news, I’ve checked out Squarespace and Shopify and feel like I could make Shopify work for me. I have a web domain, so now I just need to get the website built and going. But that’s taking a backseat to real-life stuff like getting ready for this craft fair. I will get pics of each soap as I get them made though. That will be a big help. I need to grab some matte posterboard. I think I can figure it out from there. I was going to build a light box, and I might still, but I think with the poster board and some lamps I could get decent pictures. Depressed that the house has such horrible natural lighting. If the weather holds, with posterboard I could snap pics outside on a nice day. Definitely a thought! 

That’s all that’s going on here, business wise. My personal life is chaotic and busy as ever. Baby is getting bigger and more independent, and sassy 5 yr old will be 6 in a few months. They grow up fast. Bug is about to turn 16 and get his learners permit, so watch out on the roads. He’s scared of my car, though, since it’s a stick shift, so I guess I’m teaching him in the van. He’s on varsity bowling this year. Everyone else is doing well. That’s your family update in case you know our family.