Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OK, So I Haven't Stepped It Up ....Yet

Remember my post before the holidays saying I was going to step it up?  Well, I posted one video and then I disappeared.  The holidays were crazy and catch up has been taking awhile... Good news, is my company is selling a ton of soap, but I am falling a bit behind, with the changes that are happening

With have some secret things brewing, I can't release the information until these things are ready, but we are pretty pumped about them.  Moving on....

Will I ever upload more videos?  Absolutely!  I just need to get back on track with orders, so I can  have time to make stuff for you....

In the meantime.... here are a few pretty pictures for you to gaze your beautiful eyes upon:

well, it's obvious: Cocobong soap

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Little Pretties. A Soap Porn Post

 "twelve days of crumble"
additives: aussie red clay and orange peel for decoration.
scent: buttery pumpkin, orange and spices.

I love these.  I found them here.  I love this blog.  In fact A Handmade Soap Blog was one of my faves, then she stopped writing for awhile and came back.  I love her soaps!

lemongrass coconut milk soap by the soap market

honey shea butter soap by T and J Soaps
I love the simplicity and class of the soap band and the font.  
And the soaps all look creamy and nummy!

Six Aromatherapy Soaps by red and rio
Nice collection of rustic hand cut cold process soaps.  The blue one catches my eye.  
Would love to try these.

 All of their soap looks tempting...

activated charcoal soap by Pink Parchment Soap
Love the look of all the natural bars they have listed.  Must get.

Was on the lookout for some inspiring soap and the simplicity of these made me feel peaceful, so perhaps going basic is truly inspiring to me.... (the first one wasn't simple, but too pretty not to share  ;)

xo Jo

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fraud Or Friend?

I know everyone has to make a living, but the more I poke around, the more I see new soaps around that are private labeled.  Now, I private label my soap to a few companies, too, which means that I am part of the whole private label industry.  I'm a soapmaker that provides soap to people who can't make it and would like to offer them to their customer base. 

What urks me is that people are creating companies to sell soap and bath and body products, but are just ordering from artisans and wholesale outlets, repackaging the products and claiming they made it all. By hand. That is what makes me nuts.  Why create a company that carries and sells everything that was made by others and claim it's theirs?  Seems like fraud to me.  And dishonest.  One of the problems I see about that is the more "soap companies" or B+B companies that pop up, the more saturated the market becomes, making it harder for real soap makers to make a living.  It's true that some people are better at branding and marketing than others and these people get in there and sell the wares to customers that would have otherwise, perhaps, chosen other indie companies that make them.

I can't compete with certain companies that wholesale their soaps for $1.79.  Raw materials have almost doubled since I started soaping and where is the profit?  How can one make soap and sell it for that and be able to pay for groceries?!  I can't. 

I know that safflower and sunflower oil is cheaper than olive oil and shea butter, etc, but people don't care what it's made of as long as it claims it's organic.  Here is another problem I have.  Organic doesn't mean better.  Organic just means that pesticide wasn't used in producing the products.  That's not always a good thing. Don't insects and other pests carry disease and can be carried through to the food, fruit, oils, etc?  I have had food poisoning on two separate occasions eating organic foods.  Both were "pre-washed" and packaged. 

I have been tempted to call people out, but then it really doesn't matter what I think or who sells what.  We live in a free society with choices, and I honor and support that.  Who am I to say I think it's a double-cross?  I believe in rights, but it still makes me mad.  It's hard to always be telling prospective customers that my ingredients and formulations are of superior quality and that my scents are carefully chosen and blended, just to purchase from the cheaper supplier.  What can I do other than continue making the soap and products that are good and of high quality and stand behind it and hope I get through this recession.  Because it's hard out here.  This isn't my second job. 

This is everything.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sherpa Sherpa?!

We had a little contest over at my company blog: Product Body + Absolute Soap Blog.  We make a creamy, vanilla, amber shea butter soap and before today it was called Ambre de Nepal.  We thought it was a little too hard to say and remember for our customers.  And it didn't "fit" in with our company.
Because of this, we had a contest to see if our readers would help us re-name the soap.  The person whose name we chose to name the soap, would win a bar of the soap.  Well, my husband and business partner, Brad Schmidt, had way too much fun today coming up with names, and one stuck.
 Sherpa Sherpa
we have a winner!
UPDATE: we have a winner: Heather!!!  Sherpa Sherpa was inspired by Matt Stone and Trey Parker's movie Team America -  "Derka Derka!"
 Now, for those who may not know our humor, you may not figure it out.  You also won't figure it out if you haven't seen a particular movie, so... let's just say our inspiration was in the comedy movie genre.  No more hints!
Go to my biz blog and guess away!  The first person who guesses our inspiration/reference will win a bar of Sherpa Sherpa (amber vanilla shea butter bar).
No one has guessed it yet! ;)
Good luck!
xoxo Joanna

Sunday, January 15, 2012

7 Sins Committed Before Heaven

I have had the best experience in the shower lately.  Tiggy of Future Primitive sent me a gift with some soap.  I ordered something (and I can't remember what) on her website and she sent me bubble bars, soap and her Body Whip in Malt N' Milk, which I don't see listed anymore, but here is the photo on her website that makes her such a temptress.

You temptress!

just give me a spoon, ok?

It's nice and thick, creamy and soothing.  I've always preferred the buttery, thick creams, more so than lotion.  It just sinks down deep into the dryness of my hands and arms which are constantly beaten up by water, making soap and always washing washing. It makes me think that I need to reevaluate the products I make.  :P  Why am I not making the buttery ones?  Hmm, more thought on that later.  Back to Future Primitive!

7 SinsThe soap.  It is a complex scent and one that makes me swoon when I sniff it.  The blog describes it like this:  
 Banana cake infused with Ginger, topped with Vanilla Frosting and drizzled with melted Dark Chocolate. Toasted Madagascan Vanilla bean with a dribble of Honey and finished with a scattering of Hot Buttered Popcorn.
I'm not sure I smell the popcorn and the description is too cake-y and sweet for what it really smells like to me.  I have smelled teeth-aching sweetness before and this is not it.  It is much more laid back, tempting the sweetness and bringing a load of heaven up my nose, but it isn't coying, or overly sweet in the least.  The chocolate pulls all of the scents together into a cadence of sorts and in short, a slice of heaven.  Sinfully heavenly...

Honestly, the soap is perfect.  Bubbles, big and wide tapering off to tight bubbles that are cream-like that left my skin quenched.  Clean, moisturized and quenched.  Thank goodness.  The design is lovely, too.  But then, all of Tiggy's soaps are just so pretty to look at.  Here are pictures of 7 Sins soap:

Sadly, I am reviewing this when there is no stock of them on the website, so you may have to wait, but I couldn't wait on my review because I had to share my experience.  I have yet to try the bubble bars.  Who has time to soak in a tub?  I never feel that I have time for much these days, as you can see, I am rarely updating this blog, which I intend on doing more of soon.  I need to spend more time pampering myself and keeping track of my soapie gifts.

A note about Tiggy:  She is a true soaper.  One that really has the passion and determination to create good products and anyone who has ever been in touch with her will tell you she is aces.  She is funny, sweet and honest and above all, dedicated to her craft.

Give a shout to Tigger and tell her I sent you.  Tell her I love her stuff - and her!


Monday, January 9, 2012


Can anyone tell me what this means?

It was a stamp given to us many years ago and I am curious.

Soap review of Tiggy's soap soon.....