Sunday, July 26, 2015

Beaverton Farmer's Market! I love my job!

Me and my stand. I love my business!

Beautiful NW Berries displayed on the 4th of July
Look, she's holding a bar of Farmer's Market Soap. 

Market customer's always get more options at the best prices. This is Caribbean Coconut!
Farmer's Markets are a huge deal in the Pacific Northwest. Oregonians love farm fresh produce and locally made products! Luckily for me, I am now a part of the Beaverton Farmer's Market. which is one of the largest and most visited markets in our state (22,000 visitors a weekend)!!!

Here's a little known secret. The Beaverton Market only allows agricultural products, which means there are no craft vendors at all, only food related vendors. So in other words, high end dog treats are a go, but handmade soaps are out. Luckily for me, the Methodist church that lines up against the market rents out space each week to artists and craters and has created the very lively and interesting ensemble of vendors known as Art Court. It is so seamless and well integrated within the market that no one knows that we aren't "technically" part of the Beaverton Farmer's Market. It is genius and both the vendors and customers love Art Court. 

I love everything about being a part of my city's market. I have grown to love other vendors and the fares they offer. I am neighbors with Denny, who paints beautiful and affordable works of art and Joe Bennett, who creates very geometric glass creations. They are full of wonderful stories and I love seeing them every week.

A shout out to my competition as well,  Peace of Soap. Their soap is lovely and competition is good for the customer and for keeping my standards high.

Every Saturday, May-September, you will know where to find me, and possibly the baby. She draws in customers by waving, smiling and saying "hi." Who could resist seeing her and while they admire the baby, the are introduced to my soap. Win, win!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Swirl within a Swirl and Marbled Tops

Good Day Sunshine

Leo's Lion Heart

Flower Wishes

Farmer's Market

Summer Melon

This summer has been magical. Loads of hard work with the kids and daily soap making. To keep up with my Made in Oregon orders, I have increased production to 150-200 bars of soap a week.

Making large quantities for Made in Oregon has taught me valuable lessons. The most important is consistency. This is difficult! My soaps are very artistic, so having the colors and quality consistent has been very important. I have become much more proficient at keeping the 7 soaps that Made in Oregon stocks consistent, but I still have missteps. Luckily, I have a very fun and successful Beaverton Farmer's Market to sell at as well. When a shade of blue isn't quite right for my Oregon Coast soap, it will be a great soap for the market. I am after all, a soap perfectionist!

I have come to really love the swirl within the swirl technique and use it in many soap. Almost all my soaps use this technique and I almost always use 3 colors per soap, sometimes 4, with white almost always used to add beautiful contrast. I will do a tutorial some day on my method. I first aw this technique used by Missouri River Soap. I love her soaps so much. I have even made a few purchases even though the last thing I need is more soap!!!

I also love the marbled tops. When the consistency is just right, this method is so beautiful, especially when the colors have lots of contrast. I still love my peaked swirled tops, but the marbled tops are my new favotite.

What are your favorite techniques?