How to start a soap business and other adventures in goating
I am not a delicate little flower by any stretch of the imagination, just ask any of my friends, but the thought of burning myself so that I am no longer recognizable scared me to death! I have raised goats since 1997, have driven an 18 wheel truck cross country by myself, and have even taught public high school students agriculture, so things like this should not scare me. Nonetheless, it did. Why I waited so long to take the plunge I do not know but boy am I glad that I am doing it now!
This was my husband’s idea of something he could do to make a little extra money out of the copious amounts of milk that was available, but as with all husband ideas, it became my full time occupation. I am glad now to have had the push from him to do this. I love to make soap, and lotion, and shampoo, and liquid soap…. and on and on and on. Our little soap empire has grown to carry so many products and some not with any goat milk in them but all natural just the same.
So how do you get started? First you need to find a recipe; don’t ask someone for theirs. Other than being rude, most of us hard core soapers have worked to refine their recipe to something we like and our customers like as well. Most people that make soap are more than happy to help you get started by telling you what supplies you need to buy, where you can buy them and things NOT to do. After you find an appealing soap recipe, you will need to run it through a soaping calculator to make sure that the recipe will actually work. I use this one but there are many others.
It is helpful to know and understand what each of the oils in your soap actually does for your soap. They do different things such as lather, or conditioning, or even making the bar of soap hard. Also, understanding the process of soap is important. The process is saponification and consists of the combination of the lye and the oils and the reaction that follows. There are lots of websites and books on the procedure and for making soap so find one that you like.
Not only do you have to make a soap that people like you also have to market that soap. Are you just making the soap for friends or are you planning on selling it? Where are you going to sell it? Pricing it as well as packaging is a big deal. The more you know the better you will be able to sell your product. As anyone in marketing knows, “It is easier to sell a product you believe in as opposed to one you don’t.”
I am proud to say that we are doing well and are in several local stores and are doing lots of local markets. In fact, I have to run and make more soap… and lotion…. and shampoo… and liquid soap.
Happy Soaping and Goating!!!!!
Bar soap, Liquid soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, hair masque, body butter, face cream, all natural deodorant, all natural insect repellent, lip balm, muscle rub, etc, etc.
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