Making Homemade Soap - My Story

My journey started in December 1997 with a call from my Mother and the question "What do I think about making homemade soap?".

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Up until that time I hadn't given much thought to using, much less making, natural soap products.

I had read (okay, skimmed) a couple of books about how to make soap but found the thought rather frightening. My Mother, however, was excited so I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

Thank goodness I did! We spent the rest of December 1997 reading all the books about making homemade soap my Mother had purchased (quite a few as she tends to go all out once she sets her mind to it!).

By the time January 1998 rolled around, we were eager to start making our first batch of soap. The creative juices were flowing. The necessary soap making supplies had been purchased.

What type of soap to make? We needed to pick which base oils and essential oils to use and what type of colourant to use.

It didn't take long to decide. With a limited selection of ingredients to choose from, we finally settled on using olive oil, coconut oil and vegetable shortening for the base ingredients.

We scented the batch with lavender and used paprika for colour. Somewhat of an odd combination but what the heck...we were excited and didn't really care.

On January 10,1998 we measured, we melted, we mixed. After 30 minutes of vigorous stirring (we later learned to use a whisk), we witnessed our first trace. Into the plastic molds the soap went.

We then wrapped up our newly created homemade soap in wool blankets to set for the next 18 - 24 hours.

Now what, we thought? We couldn't even look at the soap until the next day (at least that's what we thought at the time). Well....we'll plan the next batch! Great idea!

This of course kept us busy and not too tempted to sneak a peak before it was time. I do suspect that my Mother did look after I had gone home!

Homemade Soap Made for Tradeshow

January 11, 1998. It was time to open up the soap. One look inside the blankets and we were definitely hooked. Hurray! Our first attempt at making homemade soap was a success.

It was a beautiful peach colour and smelled delicately of lavender. Alright, perhaps we used a little too much paprika and not nearly enough essential oil but overall it was a wonderful batch of soap.

By the time May arrived (that's only 4 months) we had made over 30 batches of homemade soap. Each batch is 20 bars. That's over 600 bars of soap!

Now you tell me, how many bars of soap can 2 families possibly use up? Not that many, that's for sure! Looks like we're starting a soapmaking business!

It was so easy to get carried away. Each batch of soap we made gave us ideas for the next batch, and so on.

Since we were making homemade soap in such large quantities, we thought it was time to start going to the local farmer's markets and to apply to some Christmas craft shows.

Over the next 5 years we travelled up and down Vancouver Island going to various craft shows selling our natural soap products. We even ventured over to the mainland a couple of times.

Every trip was a new and exciting adventure. It was a wonderful feeling to have people call you and request a specific type of soap that you had created.

It's now quite a few years later and I'm still making soap. Not quite like I was mind you!!! I might have gotten a little carried away there for awhile but I've finally found my balance and am loving every minute of it.

› Making Homemade Soap - My Story

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