Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Soap Seduction - An Interview

If you've been waiting on the answer to Friday's riddle, here goes:

How do you hide money in the house from a 12 year old boy? Put it under a bar of soap!! My son did NOT think this was very funny, however I thought it was quite funny AND accurate!!

So without further ado, I interrupt this Kiva moment to bring you a special interview with Patrice over at The Soap Seduction.Patrice makes lovely, delicious, handmade soaps and other goodies, that she sells through Etsy. I had the opportunity to meet her recently and we exchanged stories. Here's Patrice on soap........

How long have you been making soaps and what inspired you to begin?

I came to make soap as a result of my ashy-prone skin being dried out even more by the commercial detergent bars. Even the so-called "moisture" bars did nothing for me. I also wanted soap in the scents that I like. I'm very partial to food-based fragrances, as I know a lot of people are, and I just couldn't find that commercially. Everything was floral or fruity-floral. Sometimes you want lemon crème pie or chocolate cupcake, ya know?!

Okay, everyone usually has a story behind the name of his or her business; tell us what inspired the name The Soap Seduction?

I just made the name up out of nowhere. I knew I wanted "soap" in the title so there'd be no mistake about what it was I sold. I also wanted something that would be memorable and something a little racy, and nothing says that like "seduction."

What other products do you carry in your shop?

Besides soap, I make bath and body products like delicious, gentle, sugar scrubs, lip balms that I package in these cool, retro tins; a wonderful, moisturizing, multi-purpose stick that I call skin quenchers, perfume solids which are a lifesaver for me because they double as an on the spot cuticle moisturizer, elbow rub, and a heel touch-up. I cannot stand ashy, cracked heels-on anyone! I also make fabulous palm wax candles that are crystalline in appearance.

What do you enjoy most about your Etsy shop and making soaps?

I’ve been on Etsy a little over a year, and while I haven’t sold very much there, the exposure is tremendous. Just mention handmade, and Etsy is the first thing that comes to people’s minds. I’ve also met a lot of good people there and made many endearing contacts. Making soap for me is part fun and part cathartic. The fun is working with melt and pour, “ready-made” soaps. There are no rules and you’re only limited by your imagination. The catharsis is the end result or the unveiling of a new product! There’s nothing more satisfying than a customer who absolutely loves what you do. They keep coming back for more and they tell their friends and family about you!

What inspires your scents or designs? How long does it take for you to come up with the next idea?

Scent actually drives my design process. I know that I like-mainly food-based scents, and that then determine what I’ll make with it. Will it be a cold processed soap? A molded glycerin soap? Or a new body scrub? It doesn’t take me long at all. My mind is constantly racing with ideas. Sometimes I can’t relax because my head is bursting with ideas!

There are so many soaps and candle products available on the market today. What do you have to say to those who have considered homemade soaps, but haven’t purchased yet? What’s the biggest distinction?

Handmade soap is the best soap for your skin bar none (pun intended). It's made with oils and butters that moisturize and nourish. It makes it's own natural glycerin-which by the way, those commercial detergent bars remove so that the "soap" stays hard and lasts longer. They're unique and they are affordable, in that for every detergent bar you buy, you'll need twice as much moisturizer or lotion to combat the dryness your skin will suffer.

Many think handmade soap is too expensive. Well that can pretty much be said about anything that's handmade. “I can get that for much less.” But what are you comparing it too? Wal-Mart or Nordstrom? Goodwill can look too expensive compared to Wal-Mart. The point I'm making is that, just because it has the "handmade" tag attached to it, does not automatically mean it should be inexpensive or cheap!

Olive oil is very expensive. Shea butter is twice as expensive. For a good soap maker, it's about quality-not quantity. I could sell you a bunch of handmade soap made primarily with lard or soybean oil, which are relatively inexpensive compared to olive oil and shea butter, but one: I only make vegan soaps, and two: I care about what I put into my product.

We soap makers don't make a lot of money doing this. We do it for love of soap making. To make a profit, you'd have to sell a lot of soap-like having wholesale clients, doing a lot of shows or maybe sell only or mainly melt and pour like a lot of successful Etsy sellers do. Melt and pour soap is inexpensive relative to buying raw ingredients to make soap. And let's not forget those soap disasters when a batch doesn't come out right-and I mean, completely tanked, unusable soap.

To wrap this all up, if it comes down to having train fare or buying a bar of handmade soap, by all means, buy that fare card and the dollar "soap"! I know times are hard....

Other than soap making, what else are you passionate about?

I‘m passionate about a good read-whether it’s a blog post, a book, or a magazine article. I also love really good music-which to me means a rockin’ beat and tight lyrics with meaning.

Any sales or specials you’d like to share with my readers?

I have an ongoing special available for my blog followers: Follow my blog and save 15% on all your purchases all the time for as long as you follow. It’s called The Soap Seduction Stimulus Package!

Where can my readers find you?

I can be found on Etsy:

Art Fire:

1000 Markets:

Funky Finds:

Well, that wraps it up for another "clean" interview folks. Check out Patrice's blog for updates on her newest creations and visit her at her Etsy shop soon! Thanks Patrice for allowing me and my visitors to get to know you!

Unveiling others,


You can find Dee's handmade jewelry at Runako Designs


Patrice @ The Soap Seduction said...

Thanks for the awesome interview:D

Runako Designs by Dee said...

You are very welcome Patrice, I was amazed at all the soap photos you had on flicker...what talent!

Botanie Soaps said...

I love your designs! The cookies in the box just cracked me up! Making your own soap is such a great business because it is fun, relaxing, and there is a big market. Organic products are even more popular and have a new niche in the soap community. Using only organic ingredients might be more expensive, but you can charge more.

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