My pretty little hand made soap boxes; they took so much time I don’t do them any more.
I don’t even remember when I first made soap, to tell you the truth. Six, seven years ago, I suppose. Darling was smaller than she is now. We went out and bought some of that melt and pour soap from the craft store. It was fun, but it was done so fast that I found myself scouring the online community for larger quantities, wholesale, so that I could make more. Lots more.
Of course, being the tightwad I am, I wanted to find something close by so that I wouldn’t have to pay for shipping. And God in His wisdom provided Bramble Berry. (Do you see the clouds parting and the sun beams streaming down?)
Bottles and bottles of fragrance and essential oils line the shelves.
Bramble Berry and I got along famously. I’d call and ask if I could spend all my husbands hard earned money there each pay day, and they were always so obliging! Sure, they said, come on down and let us know what we can do to help. They allowed me to spend hundred and hundreds of dollars, right there in their warehouse in the alley of downtown Bellingham. It was a beautiful relationship, one that I cherish to this day.
A couple of years into my soap making
addiction habit hobby, Anne Marie opened a retail store. It would seem that Bramble Berry was no longer a well kept local secret and a retail store was needed so that the steady flow of customers to the back door would have a place that was dedicated just to them. And in an effort to draw in an even broader customer base to the retail store, she decided to offer classes on soap and lotion making. But, she’d need instructors.
Soapy beautifulness at Otion’s soap bar.
Now mind you, Anne Marie is known as the soap making queen. I know this because she has a blog that says so. Plus, all the other soap makers say so as well. So when she asked me, yes me, if I’d be willing to teach classes for her I nearly dropped over dead from shock. Me? I thought maybe there was someone behind me that she was talking to, but no, no one was there. Maybe she’s been sniffing too much fragrance oil that day? Whatever it was, I figured I’d better say yes before her head cleared up and she realized what she was doing. And so it was that I went to work for Otion, The Soap Making Bar as an instructor. And if you’re wondering? It rhymes with lotion…
For three years I worked at Otion, teaching classes, developing new classes, eventually working in the retail store. It was a blast. I’ve always enjoyed retail, and I was now being paid to do something I really enjoyed. But after three years I began to burn out. Darling was being home schooled, which really made it difficult to work, so about this time last year I decided to quit. I thought perhaps it would free up more time at home to make soap for my holiday shows and such.
Raw Soap before it gets poured into the mold
But you know, I didn’t make more than a half dozen batches of soap over the year. And hardly any lotion. It was like soap just slipped out of my life. Until this week, that is. I’ve been a soaping fiend! Four batches in one week; that’s nearly as much as I’d done all year! I stopped in at Otion to buy some supplies, and Anne Marie happened to be there. I hadn’t seen her all year long (which of course is because I’ve not been making soap or needing supplies) and it was good to catch up. Next thing you know, I’m being asked if I can come in and teach a class because she’s double booked herself. Would I? Me? No one standing behind me…Yes! I’d love to!
What the heck did I make? I don’t even recall…but I like the photo!
And so there it is. I’m back in the soap making saddle again.