Sunday, February 24, 2013

Me and Stuff

My journey in the soap world has been a wild roller coaster, to say the least.  As some of you know, I started this blog as a way to give soap makers of handmade soap exposure to the world.  I started reviews and it just took off.  At the time, there were no soap blogs doing this that I could find.  A whole world of soap opened up to me and shortly after I began, other soap blogs popped up and handcrafted soap seemed to be everywhere.  I am so happy I tapped into that world, because I soon became part of it. 

My readers...YOU.... encouraged me to try my hand at soaping and when I finally pulled the trigger, the addiction began for me.  I loved it!  Now my business is almost all soap and I'm so happy with the direction my company is taking.  I work tirelessly at making my soaps better, my designs unique and using some of the best ingredients to the table.  It took years before I could say I am truly proud of my final product.  In the beginning, I made good soap, but the years of trial and error and endless researching, I can say I have a solid bar that I am pleased with.

I guess I knew it would take years of learning, doing, failing, loving....

I have let my blog writing fall to the wayside for a while now and I apologize to you all.  I have been focusing my energies elsewhere and I am sorry I have let you down. I want to bring you soap porn, reviews, tutorials, new ideas and business musings.  I'm not sure if my experiences will help anyone else, but perhaps I just need to share them and let you all take what you need and fly with it. 

Please leave comments on this post about what you want to get out of this blog and I will try to address them.  I can not promise I will post all the time, but I can try to be much better about it.  I do need your help.  If you are interested in sharing something here that you think others may be interested in, please email me and let me know you'd be interested in guest blogging.  I am open to any ideas.  This blog gets about 10,000 unique visitors a month, and my guess is that a big percent of those visitors are soap makers looking for inspiration, learning tools and a feeling a sense of community.

I am looking forward to being a part of The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild annual conference this May in Raleigh, North Carolina.  I will get to meet a bunch of you.  Please seek me out and come introduce yourself.  I will be doing a demo on soap making with milks and I am nervous as heck.  I do not consider myself a public speaker and I loathe being the center of attention, but I want to do this and I know I will grow as a person having done it. 

Thank you for continuing to be a part of this blog, the active group on facebook, and general supporter of my vision.  Thank you.  Let's continue to grow together.  Here...hold my hand.

hugs, jo


56 Magpies said...

I'm so happy to read this post. Your blog is one of the things that inspired me to give soap making a 'proper' go, instead of the occasional dabble, and has provided me with soapspiration galore since then. So thank you, and thank you for this announcement!

As to what I'd love to see in future... well, it's got to be more soap porn, hasn't it?! Tutorials are always great - in fact I originally found this blog via a tutorial - particularly for soap tops. Features on some of the other products soapers make would also be fantastic; lotion, massage bars, body butters, balms, bath bombs, etc.

But really, I find value in everything you've posted thus far, I'm sure whatever you choose to feature in the future will be just as inspirational and drool-worthy!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you blogging again. I've been blogging for over 12 years and the community you have built here is outstanding. I would like to see some content about protecting a small soap business, specifically trademarking, and any other paperwork that we forget / neglect which can damage a business.

Thanks, Zaidy

Peggy Lineberry said...

Been making goats milk soap for years but keep learning new things and making it better. Love your blog and helpful information! Live in Fayetteville and didn't even know about the soap thing in Raleigh! Look forward to reading, learning, and enjoying your blog.

Teresa Robeson said...

Jo, I love anything you post, really! Soap porn is always love, but even if you just post to tell us what you made recently and how you're feeling, that'd be delightful too :)

While you may not think you're a good public speaker, I'll bet you'll do an amazing job at THSG conference! Wish I were there to attend and cheer you on!

Anonymous said...

I understand completely how other parts of your life/business can take so much time that blogging starts to take a back seat. It's hard to keep up a blog! But I will read anything you write about. And I love the soap photos that you find!
I will be sure to find you at the HSMG conference and finally meet in person. It's a warm, friendly group and I'm sure your talk will be great! -Ruth

Celine Blacow said...

I know how you feel, I'm not blogging so much these days and I really need to do it again ... there's too much to do isn't there!

What would I like to see... I like the reviews, what about extending them to discussions with other soapers, something like that? Tutorials are always great too. Can't think of anything else but it's Sunday night and I've had a busy weekend LOL.

You'll do great at the Conference, I'd kill to go to one but it'd just be too expensive for me, sadly. One of these days though, one of these days! I know you're gonna be great, and people will love it!

Celine x

Mossy Creek Soap said...

I always enjoy reading your blog- Can't wait to see what you come up with next! I can so identify with you on the public speaking--yikes!! I am not a social butterfly either, I leave that up to my husband (he's better at it than me! LOL! so I drag him to every meeting). Looking forward to meeting you and seeing your demo-- we can be nervous together! LOL!

Danielle (The Soap Distillery) said...

I agree with Celine: the reviews are awesome and it's good to see them. The good and the not so good. It's important for soapers to get honest feedback so that we can grow and improve things that we may not even know needs to be improved.

With that aside, having a full time life and adding soap making, marketing, designing, blogging, etc on top of it is not easy! However, amidst all of that you have been able to upkeep a blog that is one of the main things that inspired me to begin soaping in the first place. Watching you grow as a soap maker, seeing your mistakes that you made and shared, and viewing the growth that came from it helps me continue doing what I do, even though I'm far away from the perfection that I want for my soaps. This blog is amazing and so different from anything else out there; it's very much appreciated.

I also wish I could go to the conference, but you'll all have to have fun without me!

Anonymous said...

I'm so appreciative of your blog. Without your blog, I wouldn't have found all the wonderful people on Soaper's Retreat or seen what's possible with soap. It gives me something to aspire to.

Anonymous said...

Keep on blogging! Love it!
Would love to attend the soapmakers conference to see your demo on making soap with milk, but alas, not this year.
Thank you for doing what you do and for sharing with others. MUCH appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I have recently looked through your blog, although I had put it on my favorite list for some times.
I really like your honest and sincere opinion and comments about soap.
Since I am living in Sweden(I'm a Japanese), and making soaps all alone without any friends to discuss.
So your blog and FB group which I have recently joined, inspired me a lot.
Thank you so much for your enthusiasm.

Rodries Sumner said...

These are some great soaps. Do you happen to know of a good soap store like