Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Natural Soap Emporium has its own Website!

I have finally got around to moving with the times and I'm very happy to report I have a real live website now!

The Natural Soap Emporium has its own site, complete with lots of info, lovely pics and even a blog.... yup, a blog. I thought it would be easier to keep everything contained in one area as I kind of have bits here there and everywhere with facebook, etsy and a separate blog.

Soon I will have my online shop up and running on the website too and that will mean its all there in a neat little package :-)

I would love you to pop over to the new site and check it out.... I'll be hanging out there a bit from now on! I'm hoping I can keep the blog updated a little easier, without the blogger issues that happen over here :-/

The Natural Soap Emporium 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Oh goodness time has flown by again!

After my last post I attempted to add the widget that used to be 'follow this blog' .... however it seems google has superseded that with google+ .... oh really I don't like when technology speeds ahead and leaves me behind wondering and floundering! I'll stick to soap making and  pretend I'm keeping up with the changes LOL !

Since my last visit here things are chugging ahead... Leura markets are going well and I have a big event in the pipeline (fingers crossed), a whole weekend market (EEK!) Given that I cure my soaps for min 4 weeks, some taking over 2 months, I need to start preparing and working out how much I am going to need. I feel a list may be in order... I like lists! I've made a lot of sales from my facebook page too, and even etsy has started working for me, things are happening! I'm still not on top of the whole website-thing... remains in the 'too-hard' basket for now!

I've been busy making too - here are a few newbies off the shelves and into my ETSY shop -

Cedarwood, Rosemary & Lemon - Natural Handmade Soap

Oats, Milk & Honey - simply gorgeous!

And this most delicious one.... OH MY, my house smelled like a liquorice factory for a week! Luckily for me, I love liquorice :-) It is scented with Anise essential oil, and the black is activated charcoal. Who knew it was so great for your skin?! And matches the liquorice scent I think quite nicely :-) 

 On the cutting board the day after making..... (yes that really is a cheese cutter I use!)

.... and 4 weeks later, the finished soaps - Liquorice Addiction!

After a break from creating while we had family visit, it was great to get back into it today. As my mother-in-law says - "the happiest people are those who work with their hands". Yep, I can see how that could be true....


Monday, 3 June 2013

I'm over here! (where you can find me....)

Just a quick update on where you can find The Natural Soap Emporium Soaps, as I have another stockist to announce as well as new market news!

My new 'real shop' stockist is the amazing 'Omnia' in Katoomba. Owner/designer Lynne has some amazing treasures in there, a collection of her own creations, fabulous finds from overseas as well as lots of locally made crafts and wares. Very good quality goodies in there!

I have started a regular market spot here in the Blue Mountains too - in Leura. I will be testing the waters at another market later this month, as well as hopefully a couple of very special markets later in the year. News on that later!

For now you can find my handmade soaps and buy from me here:-

My Facebook page
My Etsy Shop
Omnia, Katoomba
Bespoke & Found, Leura
Studio 52, Blackheath
Leura First Sunday markets, first Sunday each month, Leura Public School

And now I will leave you with a little pic of one of my recent creations.... the lovely Lavender Dreams :-)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Mmmm... milky honey biscuits?

If there's anything I love doing more than the creative process of making my soap, it's the following day when I get to turn it out and cut it :-)

I try to make each batch differently, when making natural soaps I think it is important that they don't all become standard size, shape, texture etc. I have already limited myself by not using strong synthetic colouring, as many soapmakers do, to differentiate between their soaps, so texture and form are important to me.

I also enjoy the challenge of finding the perfect 'mold' for each batch - which is very rarely an actual mold, in fact I don't even possess a real soap mold! I use boxes of every shape and size, pipes, tubes, cookware, tins, tubs, cartons... whatever I think may make a 'good' shape.

For this batch I wanted fairly chunky shapes which I could decorate both top and bottom - not an easy task, until I found the perfect box. Now I'm possibly giving away all my secrets here, but that's ok, I know you won't tell :-) I have made this soap before and it sold like hotcakes, so I recreated it only tweaking slightly to add some creamy almond milk to my honey & oats recipe.

The decorative touch.... well you can probably see now how the honey comb effect is achieved! Here is the 'slab' before cutting ----

And about half an hour later, hand cut into generously sized chunks and ready for the drying racks. The Natural Soap Emporium kitchen smelled like a warm honey & milk drink with oaty biscuits!

The bubble-wrap honeycomb effect is on both the top and bottom surfaces. The soap itself is unscented and made with colloidal oatmeal, honey and almond milk. I am loving the 'rustic and rugged' handmade look of my soaps, and have lots of compliments about their appearance so I will keep on doing what I am doing!

Ah. Loved the cutting process today, now it's just a patient 4 week wait until they are ready to use!

Market Day!

Just a quick post to report my market stall went very well! The weather gods were kind indeed and gave us a crisp but beautifully bright sunny day :-) Lots of interested folk asking about my soaps, lots of sales and generally a very pleasant day!

(apologies for the photo... I will spend a little more time next time!)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Upcoming Market & Arts Trail review

It's official! The Natural Soap Emporium is heading to market!

I will be at Blackheath Community Market this Sunday, 5th May, 9am-1pm.

It's been a couple of years since I have done a market stall, and this is the first time with my soaps. The Blue Mountains have many markets up and down the hill, however I chose this one because it is close-by but also because it has a focus on sustainability, recycling and creative artists.

I had a kind of 'test run' last Sunday during the Blue Mountains Arts Trail - my friend Kara Smith was featured as a local artist and had her open house on the trail. She has a wonderful range of girl's dresses, bags and a new range of cards. Together with another friend of ours - another local Mt Vixen (!) Rachael from Pickle Me Fancy, who had her delicious home made relishes and pickles for tasting and on sale - we had a wonderful set up for the Arts Trail day. I had a range of Natural Emporium soaps for sale, and even had to pop home at one point to replenish my stock! It was a very successful day for us all, and we enjoyed meeting and chatting to lots of new people.

So, if you are wondering what to so this Sunday, head up to Blackheath (which is looking awesome in this glorious autumn weather!) and visit me at The Natural Soap Emporium stall! Kara (Mt Vic & Me) and Rachael (Pickle me Fancy) will also be there with their lovely goodies.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

New soaps and new stockists!

I've been busy creating more new soaps, and the only problem I'm having is that some have been almost selling out before I had a chance to list them online! I'm still a bit in awe of how much this little business has taken off in such a short time :-)
Here are pic of a few soaps I released since my last post :-

The ever popular Coffee & Cinnamon Hand soap, this sold out really quickly first time around, this second batch has only a handful left so its next on the list, hopefully to be made again today.

Coffee & Cinnamon Kitchen hand soap

I have since been assured that my 'kitchen' hand soap is also perfect for gardeners and mechanics! It is a real dirt buster with its grainy texture.

I loved making this Goats Milk soap, I kept it unscented so it would be best suited for sensitive skins, and I just loved the caramel colour it turned out, so creamy looking! It was begging to be cut into large chunks (rather like a caramel slice?!)

Goats Milk Slice (or should that be chunk?!)
It has been noticed that lots of my soaps are somewhat edible looking, 'good enough to eat' is often the comment! I must admit it is probably more of a subconcious decision, but I do love food and soaps! Working with natural ingredients, including herbs, flowers, milks and spices etc it seems inevitable that the soap will end up looking foody :-)

Lastly I was thrilled to receive my first commission last month - a local boutique guest house here in Mount Victoria asked if could make guest soaps that were a little more special than the usual-run-of-the-mill cheap hotel type. After some discussion we both felt lavender was the most widely accepted scent, and would fit perfectly with the style of the old cottages.

I made a large batch of custom smaller size soaps, although still around 30g which is good for quite a few uses. (The usual motel/hotel style soaps are around 15g) they are coloured with natural colouring (naturally!) which is alkanet root powder - an interesting colourant which can vary according to the ph level of the soap!
A sprinkling of lavender flowers finishes them off nicely I think. These will be placed on the guests pillows as a welcome gift.

Guest soaps drying on the rack and boards

And in other exciting news, I now have 2 local stockists for The Natural Soap Emporium. The first was 'Studio 52' which is a fab store and creative hub in Blackheath, selling locally made goods and also running creative workshops.
The second store is 'Bespoke and Found' which is in Leura, another amazing space loaded with the some of the best hand made and local wares I have seen!
I was so happy to secure these two, it is pretty cool to see my creations up there amongst lovely things created by some really talented artists.

I will also be 'out and about' selling at a local market - news soon!

Happy soaping :-)