Here we go

July 19, 2012

We went into production with soap last week, and we’re trying to find our rhythm. I had planned to start soapmaking last week, as well as get going again with school after a five week break. It proved to be too much to start both at once, so I took them one at a time. I made soap four days last week, then we added school this week. As expected, it’s been bumpy. But, I think it’s doable. In time, I think we’ll be able to find a workable rhythm.

One of my concerns has been where we will store the ingredients inside. Turns out my plastic pails of coconut oil and shea butter are just fine sitting beside our shoe bench in the room adjacent to the kitchen. It’s one step away from a counter where I can weigh the oils.

Tins of olive oil sit on a shelf above my stove.

I’ve been making one ten-pound batch of soap a day. As you can see, it takes up a lot of counter space. In order for the work load to be more sustainable, we’re hoping to get more molds so that I can do production one day a week. The challenge is where to store five molds all at once. I should mention that when you make soap, you need to leave it alone after you pour it. It’s also awkward to move this size mold when it’s filled with hot soap batter. I’m married to an engineer. He’s a systems guy who loves to figure out how to do things better. I’m confident we’ll (he’ll) figure it out.

So, what’s on our “to do” list over the next month? My wonderful sister Betsy has been working with our uber talented designer Lora on the logo. While that’s in process, Charlie will be figuring out how to cut the soap consistently. Both of these pieces have to be done in order to do the packaging. Meanwhile, I’ll be making soap five days a week and working to find a homeschooling rhythm . Over the last two weeks, I’ve been making chamomile with calendula, along with plain unscented. I ordered more essential oils and botanicals this week. So, I’ll be making lavender lime, patchouli and sage, along with lemongrass in the coming weeks. After Charlie has figured out how to cut the bars consistently, he’ll go to work on the website. We also need to firm up the pricing.

The plan is to start on Etsy while Charlie and our friend John are working on our website. That should take us to the end of the year. We’ll look at working with retailers next year.

Thanks so much for following our journey.


One Response to “Here we go”

  1. Andy Says:

    Looks great!

    I have the Adobe Creative Suite on my machine here at work and can help with the website and marketing collateral if you need any help.

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