Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shocker

John Salvest's tower of soap at Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York City; at Pulse


I have thought about this long and hard and as much as I love to receive soap from people from all around the world, I am just not here to hurt anyone and constructive criticism hurts when so much work has been poured into one's work.

There have been a number of soaps that I have received this year that I found were not review-worthy and yet, it pains me to tell their makers why I can not rave about them. I can get over scents that don't do it for me. Mostly. If a soap is skin loving and lathery, I can try to be separate from the scent unless it's punching me in the face.

I will review soaps as I purchase them for myself if I find them to be most fabulous, but I won't be doing official reviews because I can not stomach ripping anyone's heart out anymore. Again, constructive criticism has worked with some soapers and has been very helpful to some, but I am no guru.

(I love mail and soap gifts, though!)

My focus here will be mostly bringing you the best damn soap porn on the planet, offering tutorials, industry news, guest bloggers, information and openness. I do hope you continue to tell me what you love and if there are issues or matters you'd like me to address, as I am flying solo and without a compass.

Could I be any more literal?


I still love being here and love all of you. Your support since August, 2007 (!) has been amazing and I want to keep this going and keep it real and fresh. Tell me more of what you want to see here. If you aren't comfortable commenting you may email me directly at: jo(at)productbody(dot)com


love, Joanna


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17 comments:

Amy Warden said...

Funny, someone contacted me this week wanting me to review their store/soap and I sent them your way cause I didn't want to do it! Looks like you've already reviewed them anyway...

robiewankenobie said...

if you find that you miss having reviews on the site, i'd be more than happy to do them. we could stick with positive reviews for things that we're positive about.

for those that don't get reviewed (because they aren't "ready for prime time") i have no problem giving people constructive criticism. i'm a nice gal, i know how to give people ideas without tearing them down. i think it would be easier for me since i'm a consumer, not a soap maker.

Joanna said...

robiewan: I did just that, but it was just getting to me.... I felt bad.

So for now....

xo

Marilyn said...

I'm just here for the porn :D

Meghan said...

I'm going to say boo, because I've found a lot of great bath and body companies through this blog, and boo because you were Dreaming Trees very first review ever, and I'm nostalgic. I may be one of the few who soap porn doesn't really interest me, to me it's all about how it works, smells and makes the skin feel... And you don't get that by looking at a bar. Overall I'm sad but I do understand, you are too much a sweetie to give out bad reviews or a lot of harsh constructive critisim.
Still <3 ya though

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Still I will read you and often. New soaper of 6 months I have learned a tone BUT would love to hear a few more of the fine soapers secrets. Like how they get those waves on top really and how to get salt bars to shine and how to trim bars easily. Nuts and bolts. I need nuts and bolts

TeresaR said...

LOL @ and agreeing with what Marilyn said! I mean, I do love everything you post, but the soap porn makes me happy, happy, happy.

misty - fiercelooks said...

I find constructive criticism a gift.

If someone wants to succeed with any endeavor, there's going to be a learning process along the way. Taking part in any career or craft where the public is involved, you have to have a thick skin. Some will like what you do..some will LOVE what you do..and some will puke at what you do...

But if a soaper's goal is to be successful at their craft, i would think they would want to seek out advice, no matter how the critique may seem to them, you are offering solid advice to help...I mean, it's not like you're a mean person..knowing their product is horrible and telling them." keep it up!..sucker!"...

Natty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tiggy said...

To be honest Jo, this blog in my opinion has always been a place where people come together. I've always seen this blog in that way. Sure, the reviews are fab, but personally I prefer the PORN! As a busy soaper, sometimes all I want to do is look at pics. You certainly find the best soap to look at! It's all good!
xx

Joanna said...

Amy: thanks, I'll send them to Cocobong, who is doing a great job with soap reviews!

Marilyn: oh goodie. I can do that!

Meghan: I hear you. And as I said, there will be reviews, just ones I want to do...that I choose to do. That I initiate.

Donna: Nuts and bolts. I have some posts planned. You keep working it, Donna. It's so fun. If you get frustrated, email me. We can work on it together.

Teresa: you are so cute. ;)

Misty: I don't mind giving it when there is one thing that needs improvement but when EVERYTHING is wrong, what does a person say? Oh, this is too "this", and this is too "that" and btw, this should be done like "this" or "that" will happen. ONWARD!

Natty: I'm sad you deleted your post. I thought it was such a great comment!

Tiggy: You and me both. Tired and wrung out from working, but need inspiration and creativity to look at. It's why I love doing it. Scouring the world for beauty and finding it gives me a rush.

LOVE to you all!

Jojo

misty - fiercelooks said...

shut your mouth!! lol, who would send you crap soap to review?? that's like sending Anna Wintour a potato sack dress for Vogue...

btw..i would appreciate feedback..i want to make great soap..you are a master soapcrafter..it would be appreciated...

Joanna said...

Misty: you are funny... some people don't know that their soap is inferior. I have seen so many different types of soap.

It's only now, after years of using handmade soap, that I realize what I love and what's just ok.

That could be my growing into my age, too. Gettin' old. :P

DuhBe said...

I think it's great that you're settling into your groove and finding what works best for your blog. If soap porn is your thing, and soap reviews are not - then more power to you!

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like you might feel worse than the receiver of the bad review. Personally I would prefer to know it all. Sure it may hurt at first, BUT in the end I would hopefully learn something, make the necessary changes and then make the kind of soap that people really want to buy. I want to make great soap. Not just good soap. How am I to know what I am doing wrong if some one isn't willing to be brutally honest with me. I think you are right though in that not everyone is cut out to do just that. I have been fortunate in that I have a few friends who are willing to review my soaps and tell me honestly what they think. I love your soap porn, the reviews and all the information you provide on your website. Thank you!

Regina Boswell-Kosinski said...

Bah that was my first comment and I did not mean to leave it anonymously!

Joanna said...

Regina: I will give you an honest review of your soap if you send it to me. If it is above average, I will post the review on this blog, and if I think your soap "needs work", I will send you constructive criticism via email. I am all good with that as long as you WANT that.

I think some soapers have just sent me soap assuming they will get a rave review, and I don't DO reviews with negative feedback. I don't find that to be good for anyone. People remember "oh, so-n-so has sticky soap that disappears too quickly" - I'm not buying from them. And that sticks permanently. I feel like a soap review can hurt an indie business permanently if it isn't a good one.

That's my opinion.