Monday, January 26, 2015

Oregon Series

Northwest Homebrew Beer Soap

Painted Hills

Oregon Coast

Forest Park

City of Roses

Oregon Farmers' Market

My family and I are so blessed to live in the beautiful state of Oregon. I am so inspired by the beauty around me, so it only seemed fitting that I create soaps reminiscent of the state that I call home. The lucky thing for me is that Oregon has so many memorable and scenic locations, that I have loads of other soaps that I want to make. Next up is Mt. Hood, Crater Lake and Wine Country. Any other requests?

Here's a cute baby pic too! Miss Rosalie Jane is now 7 months old. Our oldest Leo, is losing his teeth, while she is working on getting her first. :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How Making Soap Changed Everything!

Our cloth diapered Rosalie

This spunky girl loves to make melt and pour soap!

Best Soap seller in the world. A charmer at the local farmers' market.

Baby's Bar, for my baby!
It seems funny that something as simple as soap could change my world, but it has.
I started this glorious adventure as a soap maker after my second child, Somerset was born. I needed a creative outlet. After the first batch was made, I was hooked. Obsessed. Unstoppable.
I researched like a mad woman. I checked out every book I could from the library, watched YouTube videos like they were the latest Downton Abbey, and eventually took a class before I made my first batch solo. I was unfettered by the countless mistakes and botched batches that came with the territory as a newbie. I just kept thinking that it takes "10,000 hours of doing something before you become an expert."
Something else amazing happened. Once I realized how much better my soap was for my family's skin, how I was no longer slathering a "mild detergent", filled with unknowns, I started making other changes. I looked at labels more carefully, started shopping locally and tried to reduce our carbon footprint.
With the birth of our third child, a sweet angel named Rosalie Jane, we made some new parenting choices. She is the first child we have cloth diapered (why didn't we do this before? My husband and I are amazed by how easy this has been). We also have made most of her foods, much of which is organic. We also make out own counter spray. The changes continue.
I can't wait to see what other changes I will make in the future. It all started with soap. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Business Goals for 2015!

With the new year comes inspiration! This is the year of learning every morsel I can about business. I have so many goals for the new year:

1. Join the Indie Business Network and learn everything I can from Donna Maria. I love her podcast that has taught me so much about running a handcrafted business. Donna Marie is a new hero of mine.

2. Read as many business book as I can. I have started with Anne Marie's Business E-book from Bramble Berry, and Lela Barker's book, 155 Words you Need to Know. Anne Marie is still my business hero. I plan to read every business book she has recommended. I have a pile waiting to be picked up from my local library.

3. Start a YouTube channel and record videos. Please watch my first one!!!

How to Make Beer Soap

4. Have my own e-commerce website. I am actually building one now, and it should be launching at the end of this month. This has been a big challenge for me, but I am up for it!

5. Get some wholesale accounts! I have the soap making I need to get out there and meet store owners!

6. Reach out to the media for some publicity opportunities.

7 Reduce my product line to my top sellers.

8 Be more thoughtful about the events I participate in.

9. Join a local business organization. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce.

I am psyched for 2015! I am sure I have more goals, but these are the ones that come to mind.

The following is a sneak peek at the carousel images from my new website, which will launch soon!

What are your goals for 2015?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Upcoming Events!

I have been so busy with the new little one, the 2 bigger kids and preparing for the upcoming holiday season!!!

Here are a list of my upcoming events:

Pop-Up Holiday Boutique 
Thursday, November 13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. and Saturday November 15th, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
2111 NW Jessamine Way, Portland

Lake Oswego Farmer's Market Reunion
Saturday, November 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street

Garden Home Recreation Center Holiday Bazaar
Saturday, December 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
7475 SW Oleson Rd., Portland OR 97223

Double Mint, Spearmint and Peppermint!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Rosalie Jane

I am on a bit of a soap making hiatus for a very good reason. Our beautiful baby girl was born June 20th. She was a little peanut, weighing 6 pounds 3 ounces. We are all in love! wish me luck when Joe goes back to work tomorrow!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Best Time of Year!

Mother's Day

Fresh Ginger Lime

Wedding Shower Favors

Double Mint: Peppermint and Spearmint Essential Oil Soap
I LOVE this time of year! The promise of warm weather ahead, flowers in bloom and my favorite....farmer's markets! I am so blessed to be participating in the Sherwood Saturday Market almost every Saturday this season. It is such a lovely community and gives me the perfect opportunity to connect with local people and sell some soap too. There is even another soap vendor, but we are very friendly, so it has been great.

Even though I am making soap 3-4 times a wekk, I am still in love with the process. I also love the independence of selling my own product, which I am so passionate about. I love what I do!

I am also so excited to met the newest arrival to the Morris family. Our baby girl will be here in less than a month and I can hardly wait. We are all so anxious to learn more about her and see her face. I will tak about a month and a half off, and then she will be coming to the market with me. I am almost certain she will help me sell more soap....who doesn't love a newborn?

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Truth about Florals

Lilac by Bramble Berry
Goodness, was I ever afraid of floras when I first started making soap. The quick acceleration was just somethng I could not handle and I am still afraid of them to a certain extent, but I think I have a good handle on them now.

When I read reviews for Bramble Berry's Lilac, I was terrified. Almost everyone said this accelerated very quickly. One user even said that it should not be used in cp soap.....yikes!!! I have 16 ounces of this stuff and all I make it cp soap. What now?

When I made my 3 batches of Lilac soap, I was well prepared. I colored the majority of the soap purple, before I added the fragrance. I also soaped at 80 degrees and I reserved a small portion for the top, which remained unscented. I hesitantly whisked in the Lilac fragrance oil, terrified that it would seize on me, but all was good. I had plenty of time to put it in the mold without the slightest hint of seizing or accelerating. Whew! I then took my unscented portion, added some pink to it and had a lovely pinkish purple color for the top, which I had plenty of time to play with and make pretty!

So, that is my secret with florals. I leave a portion of the soap batter unscented, and then add that to the top so I can beautify the soap. With my floral soaps, I keep things simple. I always soap around 80 degrees  and whisk in the fragrance. With this method, I am always pleased with the results.