I have exiting news! I went back to school! I have obtained my VA Real Estate license. I am so incredibly excited to embark on this new activity and build it up like any other start up! I just felt now was the right time to start with this, what with the housing market just starting to recover, my son moving into High School, my being a single 50+ boomer, and my needing to expand my Real Life World and prepare for my impending “Empty Nest”.
I will be staying right where I am for the next few years while Nick finishes High School, with Soapalooza running quietly in the background as I slowly build a presence in the real estate industry. The real estate company that I have affiliated with is Long & Foster, where I will be starting out in the Williamsburg market, and gradually adding the Richmond market. In 2018/2019 I will be moving back to Richmond, VA. It is my intention to take Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio to Richmond when that time comes also.
I have raised 5 children for the past 36 years, but have always owned and operated a small business to keep myself engaged, occupied, and financially autonomous. From the time I ran a tiny children’s clothing consignment, to growing & selling garden produce from our backyard (and fruit & pecan trees!), to my D&B Street listed spice company, to my BloomWorks Soap Company, to Southern Soapers Fragrances & Supplies, to the current Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, each venture has been a dream with set goals to accomplish in order to make my life feel most fulfilled. I discharged from active duty Army when my eldest daughter was 4 because I knew I was not capable of being the best soldier I wanted to be, as well as the best mom to my child. I do not regret that decision, but I always needed to fill the void of having that exciting job with my own entrepreneurial ventures! I enjoy the giving as much as the getting when owning and running a business, and I think it helped me be a better mother!
For the last three years Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio has been a labor of love. Situated in a outlying rural area of Williamsburg, VA, my tiny studio has had the pleasure of hosting students from Bejing, Canada, Nigeria, Australia, Mexico, Hong Kong, Indonesia, England, Ireland, and of course… the good old USA… from all sorts of states. I love meeting and training students into high quality soap makers and cosmetic formulators! I love training them with the nuts & bolts of the business of manufacturing natural cold process soap and small independently manufactured, artisan cosmetics. I love teaching them the regulations the FDA and FPLA require of us to stay compliant when manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and distributing our products.
Currently, our Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio training Boot Camps are held on a weekly basis. Yes, weekly… I love it, but it is time for more than a weekend break between sessions! So, starting in 2016 Boot Camps will be held quarterly. We will have assistants to help, and sessions will be held in a larger facility when needed. I am excited!
Our fragrances will still be available, although we may see a little shuffling on some of the lack luster being replaced with what I feel is more ‘current’ trends. That is fun also … always fun to stay abreast of the fragrance trends, even on the manufacturing side!
My other exciting news is that I am hiring my teenage son to work in the warehouse… just like I used to hire my daughters! It is his turn to learn some of the basics of business! I will be conducting all studio events, but he will be assisting in the warehouse.
But now that my youngest child is entering High School, I am embarking on activities that do not tether me so tightly to my home office! Again, Soapalooza is not going to go anywhere… Cold Process soap making fragrance oils, Consulting via Skype, and my Soap Making Boot Camp training sessions will still be available.
I am looking forward to all the upcoming students that are on the class registration from August 10 through November 14 this year. We even have a few slots open for the month of August, several for the month of September and October as well. Check on the Boot Camp registration pages to see what dates are still available… We would LOVE to have you come and train with us! Next year, there will only be FOUR Boot Camp Session weeks!
Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!
Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!
Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20+ year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.
PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!