Early one September morning years ago, my husband surprised me with a birthday gift. I was going to get to do something that I had wanted to learn for quite awhile. Robert had bought me a private soap making lesson!
With our nine-month-old in tow, we made the 3-hour trek down to a crafting studio in Santa Monica. For the duration of the 90 minute lesson, Robert had a father/son day with our baby while I heated oils, mixed lye, chose scents, and poured my very first batch of soap.
I still remember what it smelled like: apple & spice. I scattered safflower petals throughout the soap, and I cherished every single one of the 9 bars I cut from that first loaf.
After that, I was hooked.
I made soap every chance I could get! (This picture is of me actually teaching an in-home soapmaking class last winter)
After a bit of practice, I began selling my soap in my small hobby business, Tehacha-Bee Farm. With a toddler and another baby on the way, it was a fun way to keep my creative juices flowing.
I dove into the soapmaking world head first.
I learned how to make different types of soap. I used different methods (hot process, cold process, and cold process/oven process). I developed different recipes (facial soap, mechanics soap, salt bars, clay bars…you name it). I even tried my hand at making liquid soap for awhile–quite a different experience from making bar soap!
I loved making soap.
As my experience grew, so did Tehacha-Bee Farm. And so did the demand for soap! My soap almost always sold out as soon as it was cured.
But there was a problem.
When I first started selling my soap, it was before I had learned anything about accurately pricing my products, wholesaling to retailers, or running a profitable business.
My soap was selling like crazy, but I was barely breaking even every week for the amount of time, effort & raw materials I was putting in.
And keeping up with the demand was becoming really difficult–especially since I wasn't making any money off of it!
So, in winter of 2014, I sold my last batch of soap. I thought I would transition to simply making it for myself, but I was so tired that I actually ended up taking a 20 month break from making it.
People kept asking me if I would ever sell my soap again, but I wasn't ready.
Then, one day, I told Robert: "I feel like I want to start making soap again–but I want to do it right this time."
We talked about pricing it so that we could actually make a profit. We talked about time management and scaling strategies if the demand took off. But the most important thing: we talked about aligning it with the mission & purpose of Handcrafted HoneyBee.
We wanted to make sure that:
- It would remind girls and women everywhere that smart is cool!
- It would affirm and encourage smart steps toward their goals.
- It would be made with smart ingredients, like all of our skin care products.
But it needed a visual element to convey all of that to our customers.
And then, we got it.
We'd stamp the soaps with our molecule designs!
I've been totally in love with these designs since our designer Sarah first showed them to us. We stamp all of our boxes with a molecule & include molecule stickers in orders with the designs as well.
I love stamping that molecule on the soap. It's a way to connect a simple household item to our mission of helping smart girls become smart women. And every soap box will come with an explanation about the role of that particular neurotransmitter & why it can play such an important role in our lives!
This first run of soap will all have the serotonin stamp on it. If the soap sells well, we'll expand to our other molecule designs, too.
Each variety of soap has one of the same scents that we use with our deodorant–so if you have a favorite for the deodorant, you can wash with the same scent as well!
I've made a limited amount for this first run. After all, I've learned over the last 5 years that a smart businesswoman always tests her new ideas first! These soaps will be available at our online store starting on June 28th. If they sell well, we'll continue to offer them and expand the molecule designs to our other ones as well!
Stay tuned for announcements via newsletter, social media, and on our main page for availability and purchase details.
I can't wait to share these with you!