Monday, July 18, 2016

Fall Soaps Already!




Minnesota is in an Excessive Heat Watch this week so it seems a bit silly to be talking about fall soaps but they are already in the works!  

This year we will have:

Coffee House - Awaken your senses with the invigorating aroma of a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee from full-bodied Colombian Arabica beans.  In this soap you will find notes of coffee beans and freshly brewed coffee accentuated by hints of rum, brandy, brown sugar, and cocoa beans.  I replaced the normal water in my recipe with super strong coffee for an even bigger java kick!

Apple Cinnamon - This one smells just like the yummiest apple you have ever had the privilege of eating and then some. It has hot and spicy notes of cinnamon and cloves and the mellow scent of red apples.

Buttercream & Snickerdoodle - This one is sweet and yummy with rich caramel and cream notes. There are hints of nutmeg and praline as well as base notes of cocoa and vanilla.

Cinnamon Sugar - This one smells just like a hot, sticky, sweet cinnamon bun!  It has notes of warm ginger, cinnamon and cardamom.  Num!  

All this is subject to change of course and if you follow me on social media you have already heard about my soaping disaster using an amazing smelling fragrance called Pumpkin Lager.  Needless to say, I will not be offering a soap scented with that after all!  I may even add another one to the list above!

Don't forget, I have moved away from Etsy and am really hoping I can get all you shoppers on board over on my website.  Please don't forget about me!

Blessings and thank you for all your support!

tracy

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jumping Ship! Yes, I am leaving Etsy.....for now!



I have been giving this a ton of mental energy lately and it has not been an easy decision.

As many of you know, I got my start on Etsy in 2010 and have had great success there.

So why leave?  There are numerous factors but the main one is their fees.  You may not know this but Etsy charges a fee to list an item.  They also charge a percentage when that item sells (they also include postage on that total)!  For me, that means right off the top they are taking .20 to list one bar of soap then they take .54 as their percentage on the back end!  That is .74 per bar of soap that Etsy takes from me!  That is just too much.  On top of all this, each listing is only good for four months.  If an item hasn't sold during that time, it expires unless I spend another .20 to renew it. 

I have had my own website for about three years that I am hoping to get all my Etsy followers to move over to it.  This is actually another reason I am choosing to leave - maintaining two sites with my inventory is driving me nuts!  lol  I am forever having to balance having some product listed on each site and then making sure what I sell at my weekly market or any shows gets accounted for on both sites!  Overselling on something like soap is a problem because it takes at least 4 weeks to cure so I can't just make it & send it off!   I spend way too much time balancing the two sites; having only one site will make my life much easier.    Also, my website has a flat per month fee:  no charges to list, no charges to sell.

Ok.  Maybe I am giving you more info than you really care to know.  Maybe I am being fussy.  Maybe I am shooting myself in the foot by leaving Etsy!  Time will tell.  I will say that this is just a test.  If I get to feeling like it was a mistake, I will go back.

Thank you for all your support!

Blessings,

Tracy

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

....And The Winner Is!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our How Many Licks.....I Mean Showers Will It Take To Use Up A Bar Of Our Soap Contest!
 
I received a wide variety of answers from 25 to 200!  The actual number of showers it took to use up this bar of soap was.........
 
67 Showers!!!!
 
And the winner of the $20 gift certificate to my website is.....  Catherine G.
 
Here is the weekly progression of how the soap looked each week:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
So at 67 showers per bar of soap, that is less than 10 cents per shower!  There is great value in one of our bars of soap as well as them being great for your skin.  Grab a multi-pack of soaps and you will lower that 10 cents even more!
 
Have a fabulous day!
 
Blessings,

Tracy

Friday, April 29, 2016

How Many Licks to Get to the Center??????

Ok - I am not actually talking about Tootsie Pops but I have been testing how many showers it will take to use up an entire bar of Faith, Soaps & Love soap and this made me think of that old commercial!


So, how many showers do YOU think it will take?!  I have decided to turn this into a contest.  All you have to do is email me how many showers you think it will take to use up an entire bar of soap.
 
Here is the bar I started with - Cherry Blossom.  It weighed between 4.75 and 5.00 ounces.
 

 


 
I will take entries though May 15.  Only one entry per email address.  If you enter more than one time, I will take your first entry.
 
THE PRIZE - If you pick the right number of showers, you will win a $20 gift certificate to my website!  If there is more than one person with the correct answer, I will use Random.org to pick a winner.
 
Have a fabulous day!
 
Blessings,

Tracy

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Why Handmade Soap vs Commercial Soap?

I often get asked, "why should I spend so much for a bar of handmade soap when I can go to Wally World and get a dozen bars for $3?"  Well, I am so glad you asked!  Here is a bullet point list of info about soap in general, commercial soap and handcrafted soap.

A little about soap in general:
  •  There are a number of different kinds of handcrafted soaps.  My focus and discussion is about cold process soap.  The basics behind this method are that there is no added heat to the process - it is just a mixture of oils & lye/water.  It is an old fashioned method of making soap and great care needs to be taken while working with lye.
  •  When making soap, there is a chemical reaction between the oils/fats and the water & lye.  This reaction is called saponification which literally means the making of soap.
  • Handcrafted soap is either scented with a fragrance oil or an essential oil.  Essential Oils are a planted based while fragrance oils are man made to be used in soap.  My personal opinion is that essential oils are very expensive, are limited in their variety, and tend to not hold onto their fragrance as long as fragrance oils.   While I make both kinds, the fragrance oil soaps far outsell the essential oil soaps.
  • Let's talk glycerin.  Glycerin is a humectrant, which means that it attracts and retains moisture on your skin.  It is like a natural skin lotion right in the soap!  Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soap making process.  Most commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin from their soap, process it and sell it to other industries.  With handcrafted soap, the glycerin remains in the soap!  The end result is mild, pure soap that gently cleanses your skin without being harsh, irritating or drying.
 A little about commercial soaps:
  •  Commercial soap is manufactured in large factories staffed with anonymous employees.  These factories are often located overseas.  
  •  Commercial soap manufacturers use the most economical ingredients available.
  •  Commercial soap often contains some or all synthetic detergents as well as fillers which dilutes the actual soap content.
  •  Many very popular brands of commercial "soap" are not even soap!  If you read the package, nowhere is the word soap used.  One particular brand calls their bar a "beauty bar".  Why?  Soap is specifically defined as fatty acids that are neutralized by an alkali such as lye.  But D*** is not soap!  It is what is known as a Syndet bar which stands for synthetic detergent.  I don't know about you, but I feel I was duped for many, many years! 
  • As mentioned above, most commercial soap has the glycerin removed.
A little about handcrafted soaps:
  •  Handmade soap is a blend of science and art.
  • Each bar of handmade soap is safe, luxurious and unique.
  • Handcrafted soap is soap in its true and most pure form.

  • Handmade soap is manufactured locally in small batches with the personal oversight and care of the soapmaker.
  • Soapmakers use high-quality ingredients.
  • Soapmakers are able to add special oils and additives to personalize their formulations.  Handcrafted soaps use a wide variety of oils.  I use mainly olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil along with cocoa butter.
  • Handcrafted soaps are different and unique, in terms of ingredients, colors, shapes, and scents. 
  • Handcrafted soap utilize cosmetic grade pigments, botanicals, herbs, spices or other natural ingredients to create color and/or texture.
  • Handcrafted soaps are funcional AND beautiful!  Functional art!

  • A fully cured bar of handmade soap will last a long time!  I am currently testing how long my bars last.  They are about 4.75 ounces each and I have used one bar every day for the past 32 days and there is still a lot of soap left of my bar!  Stay tuned for a future blog post with pictures and a timeline. 
  •  When you use a bar of handcrafted soap, you know it was made with the personal touch of a local soapmaker.
  • By purchasing these soaps you are supporting your local economy and small business. You aren't making some CEO rich.  You may be enabling a small business owner to be home with their children while still being able to held support the household and provide you with an amazing product.  It is a win-win situation!

So there you have it!  A boiled down, bullet point reasoning why you should purchase handcrafted soap!  I sure hope you share this information with others.

Thanks for taking the time to read & I hope to see you shopping soon!


Tracy
Owner
Faith, Soaps & Love

Etsy Shop

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring Sale!



SPRING SALE!

Hop on over to our website and enjoy 20% off through April 16, 2016.

Use code SPRING2016 to receive discount

(Offer not valid with any other offer or on Etsy)







Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Diamonds Out of Dust

God's Making Diamonds Out of Us!
The pressure of life can so easily get to us!  It can come from raising kids (young ones bring less stress than the older ones - trust me on this), your job (or lack thereof) or a bad relationship; it can come from being self employed and sales are way down (ask me how I know this one). 
I hear about people say, 'just give it to God' and I marvel at that!  I pray about things and give thanks for all that I have but I have no idea how to just give it over to God.  How do you 'surrender all'? 
One way I attempt to de-stress is through walking, reading, praying and Christian music.  Hawk Nelson has the most amazing song out right now that really sums up what God is up to!  Here are a few lines of the song:
He's making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining in his timing
He's making diamonds out of us
He's making diamonds out of us!  No wonder there is pressure involved!  The process which brings about a sparkly, shining diamond is a violent and difficult one.  In comparison, God uses some of the most difficult times in our lives, times we don't think we can possibly survive, to make us into a beautiful object of His love.
The process of purification, the pressure, the darkness, the extreme heat, are all the elements that contribute to a divine shaping of us into the diamond He planned all along for us to be.  Don't fight this process in your life.  Trust that God has a plan for you, a hope and a future.  The molding and shaping are often an uncomfortable process but when He is finished with us, how we will shine light into the darkness of this world for Him!  To God Be the Glory!
Here is the video to Hawk Nelson's song Diamonds for you to enjoy.  Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and let his words wash over you.
Have a fabulous day!
Blessings,

Tracy
P.S.  Please enjoy a 10% coupon for my website - use code DIAMONDS at checkout. Coupon good through March 2016.