Happy Thanksgiving!

stockxpertcom_id440246_size1[1]Happy Thanksgiving! It has been awhile since I had the time to blog. I was so busy that my mind was just not able to focus on topics long enough to put words on the blogosphere.

First, a quick update to catch you up (and be sure to get down to the ‘second’ at the end also!):

I went back to school to learn about Real Estate in June. For the last 4 years the idea of committing to a building on a piece of dirt, with me completely responsible for it, has overwhelmed me. After 35 years living a gypsy lifestyle the military gives you, the idea of owning my own home felt scary, kind of like having a ball and chain on my foot. The idea of not being able to call a landlord to fix the leaking roof, the broken heat pump, or other unexpected repairs was a bit overwhelming, especially after never really having to ever be responsible for such things! Also, the fear that I might change my mind and feel trapped to the location was also frightening. I knew I needed to do something to make sense of my irrational fears, and learning the ‘behind the curtain’ details of Real Estate was the only way I could fathom being able to ever buy a home on my own.

I also needed to see what the business world outside my home office was like. I needed to measure who I was. I have this business degree, yet I have never worked for anyone with it! I have always simply run my own business, fitting it around either a military lifestyle, or my family routines. I’ve set my own hours, and they typically are a moving target … one day I may work 7 am to noon, another week I may be in the studio on a 10 am to 5 pm basis. Another part of the month I may be only working mostly 7 pm to 2 am in the morning. Just depended on what my family needed first. I wanted to see what working in a typical business environment was like. To measure my mettle, to mentally do a cost benefit analysis of my time and worth. I wanted to see the value of my time as a home business consultant and internet based business compared to the 9 to 5 business office lifestyle. I needed to find how my business and business model compared to that of people working for others.

And while I have been an employee before, it has been a long time, and in the teaching profession, not in the business world. It was really important for me to learn if I was using my graduate business education in the most profitable manner, one that I could measure against a tangible standard.

I learned SO MUCH! I learned my business unleashes me from so many constraints that most of my Real Estate professional cohorts or business industry peers are hostage to! I learned the value of my time as well as the ability to be in control of how my time is allocated during the day/week, and how incredibly priceless that is. I will never discount that benefits of being a successful entrepreneur again! I learned how very much I AM indeed the Chief Excitement Officer!

The June through October Real Estate training was money & time well invested, even though I know this is not where I will be focusing my business energies. The training and office/field time has removed my fear of buying my own home! It has taught me the value & power of being in control of my time, and has allowed me to measure my business acumen against something tangible. It has taught me also how MUCH I actually bring to the table as a single woman in areas beyond the business conference room! The education and on the job training was in many ways liberating on more intangible areas than I could ever have imagined. Additionally, I have made fantastic new friends, I’ve gotten to know my community better, and I have a marvelous seasoned business mentor. I learned more than if I had enrolled in a semester of business Real Estate courses at the College of Williams & Mary or VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University).

I am planning to maintain my Real Estate license and use it periodically for friends and family needs, but I don’t see myself pursuing the profession more than on a limited basis or for my own investment purposes.

2015-03-28 09.15.59My passion and heart are still with the soap making and independent bath & body industry. One of the unexpected outcomes from my Real Estate training is that my fear about being  a manufacturer when single and on my own has also disappeared! I am going to restart my soap & body products manufacturing business again!  The Real Estate training took away not only my fear & anxieties of purchasing and owning my own home, but also the fear of manufacturing without that safety net of a Plan A (husband’s primary income as the back up plan)!

The experience matured me, gave me confidence, and increased my excitement to do what I love best!

Second, I have a series of topics planned that I will be publishing on the blog regularly again! All on either soap making, body care products, fragrance, supplies, my new Savon & Bain soap making venture, and well ..just my circumlocutious, saponified life!

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 Fragrances. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20+ year veteran soap maker and supply business owner, consultant, trainer, and supplies wholesale soap for private label as well as Back Bar products for local boutique spas.

PS: We would LOVE to connect with you 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! Look for us on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter as well. We would love for you to join us!

The Studio has new paint!

2015-03-28 09.15.48 2015-03-28 09.15.59 2015-03-28 09.16.25 2015-03-28 09.16.58 2015-03-28 09.17.07I spent last week painting Soapalooza Studio with fun, inspiring paint! We stained the floor, and added vibrant curtains! The lease is locked in for the next 4 years, hurray!

I waited until the lease was locked in to do the redecorating, and then it was a rush to get it all done in time for the Saturday VA Area Soap and Bath & Body Products Meet Up. It was the first meet & greet, so I wanted the Studio to look fantastic.

We had four people show up on this first event, and it was fun! One attendee also had contracted for a Wine Soap Making Class directly after the Meet Up also.

Later in April, a handyman is coming to construct a cabinet and shelf system around the two areas that house mechanical devices for the facility. Can’t move them, so we will encase them so we can show off the space more effectively. Also, an electrician comes and rewires, or ‘tones’ the electrical outlets so we have more places to plug in at! Hurray!

Don’t forget about the current Spring Fragrance Pre Sale… all these fragrances are returning to my fragrance library. The sooner we complete these, the sooner the next batch of my fragrances to return also! The June line up will include several long awaited fragrance oils of mine also! All Pre Sale fragrances are offered at at 15% discount over their regular retail prices, and will NEVER be offered this low again.

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!

KellyJan2014Kelly 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!

 

Recycling Your Amber Glass Bottles

Amber-Glass-BottleIf you make soap, than chances are you have a stash of fragrant, but empty amber glass bottles. Here is a way to clean and deodorize them so that you can use them for fragrance oils that arrive in HDPE plastic bottles.

What you will need:

Dawn Dish Detergent, coarse salt (kosher, sea salt, even regular table salt will work in a pinch), hot water, a regular household dishwasher.

  1. Fill empty amber glass bottles 1/4 full with hot water.
  2. Add several tablespoons of coarse salt to each bottle .
  3. Add approximately 1 teaspoon of Dawn Dish detergent to each bottle.
  4. Cap and shake well for about 15 seconds.
  5. Uncap, finish filling each bottle with hot tap water, leaving 1″ head space. Recap.
  6. Shake well and let these bottles sit overnight.
  7. Rinse well next day. Rinse until water runs clear from each bottle. Set upside down in top rack of dishwasher.
  8. Separate the clear cones from the black caps. Place cap portions in separate sections of the silverware holder in your dishwasher.
  9. Run dishwasher on the hottest setting with the hot dry cycle. This heat will burn off any residual odors and fully sanitize your bottles.
  10. Set cooled bottles right side up to cool and allow any remaining moisture to evaporate. Do not use for several days to ensure any remaining moisture has evaporated.
  11. Set caps and cones on paper towels on a paper plate and allow any residual moisture to also evaporate before putting cones back into caps.

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!

KellyJan2014Kelly 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!

Thank You and Many Thanksgiving Blessings

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Thank all of you for your continued support at Soapalooza! 2014 has been a year of many blessings and abundance here at the Soapalooza Studio and within my own family.

This time last year my grand daughter had just been born, and come home from the hospital with my daughter to stay with me. My daughter and baby Sophia are now happy in the Atlanta area. My daughter & Sophia’s daddy had their own special Thanksgiving this year! I am Thankful that my daughter & son in law are happy, and that I got to help deliver Sophia at the hospital and have my daughter and her with me while they needed my home.

My son came back to live with me after some turmoil at his father & stepmother’s home. It has been wonderful to have him back here. He is in 8th grade now, and taking some High School credit classes, and I am so proud that he made the A/B Honor list for the first marking period! I willingly let his father have the chance to finish raising him, but am so thankful that I get to do this!

My daughter in Colorado has grown her soap business, Nederland Naturals, to a point that she is supporting her business and supplementing her own income! I am so proud of her also. I am so thankful that I could pass on the skill set for her to do this! I am thankful my daughter is strong and resourceful. I am Thankful that Robert, born early at 5.6 lbs, is a happy, healthy, thriving little boy that I adore.

I am Thankful that my daughter in Miami is safe and happy with her boyfriend, and that she is also strong and prevails over the periodic turbulance that occurs in her life also! She is my youngest daughter, and still making her way in the world.

My eldest daughter, up in New York, I am Thankful that she is happy creating the life that she wants.

I am Thankful that my loved ones are safe and healthy. I am Thankful that I am safe, happy, and healthy… I am Thankful that I am able to do all the creative things that pop in my head, create the Soapalooza Studio and curriculum, to share it with others that want to learn from my experience.

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!

KellyValentines14Kelly 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!

Soapalooza Bath & Body Boot Camp, Day 1

BathBodyBootcampYesterday, we got the Soapalooza Bath & Body Boot Camp off to a fast paced start… We started off with a Basic Soapmaking lesson, followed by a more Advanced Soapmaking process using goat milk. Our students learned to weigh, measure, and design their cold process soap formulations.

Afterward, we moved on to using natural botanicals in soapmaking, both in the hot lye solutions as well as directly added to lightly traced cold process soap mixtures.
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We additionally made a Black & Tan soap, including the foam!

And, not to be out done, we made Shiraz Wine Soap with a burgundy flame mica swirl.

While the soap batches were processing (one batch in the refrigerator to be processed in a Low Temperature manner, and another in the oven for Cold Process Oven Process, we prepared our surfaces for the start of Bath & Body Cosmetics manufacturing.

We would be spending most of Day 2 & Day 3 making an onslaught of Bath & Body products.

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Students finished Day 1 with a class on Discounted Water Cold Process, and Master Batch Soapmaking.

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.

Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

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!

New Shipping Option at Soapalooza!

995ShippingSurprise Surprise Surprise! Soapalooza tested out a flat rate shipping option over the 4th of July holiday weekend.
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/It was such a hit that we have set up a permanent flat rate shipping option. The new $9.95 Flat Rate option is for US customers within the 48 contiguous states. No minimum order is needed. No code is needed. No expiration. Can be used on sale items, prebuy items, and as many times as you desire. Simply select the $9.95 Best Way shipping selection when you checkout in the store.
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/Additionally, you will see what your normal UPS Ground shipping rate would have cost you, and you can actually SEE the genuine savings we are making available. Your order will ship by either UPS Ground or USPS, depending on the flashpoints in your order. We are simply picking up the tab on shipping costs over $9.95 for qualifying orders.
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/Every little bit of savings helps when running a small business, and we want to help you succeed!
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/Also, don’t forget about the $20 Soapalooza Business Insurance Rebate! If you have or plan to join either the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild, or Indie Business Network (formerly Indie Beauty Network), and have purchased your Business & Product Liability Insurance through either of them, let us know! We are offering a $20 Soapalooza Gift Certificate for you to use on products in our webstore for simply supporting either of our two industry trade associations. You can read the details on our website.

Soapmaker Spotlight: Tasha’s Own, VA Beach

Co Owner of Tasha's Own Goat Milk Soap, VA Beach

Co Owner of Tasha’s Own Goat Milk Soap, VA Beach


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/While at the Colonial Williamsburg Second Sunday, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting one of the co owners of Tasha’s Own Goat Milk Soap! I always turn on the “find a soapmaker” radar when I am on day trips, looking for soapmaking and cosmetics manufacturers. I love talking shop and picking up an item or two as a souvenir from our meeting.
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/Tasha’s Own uses the goat milk from their Hearthside Farms concern as the basis of their product line. Hearthside Farms in located in the Pungo area, a little south of Virginia Beach. It is the last bit of rural tract in Va Beach. I used to take my children there to harvest figs, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries in the summer.
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Back Bay Sassafras

Back Bay Sassafras


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/The soap I went away with today is the Back Bay Sassafras… infused with ground sassafras bark, plaintain, and chickweed, as well as essential oils, this bar is everything I would imagine a sassafras soap to smell like. Wonderful. Rustic and heady. Beautifully packaged with a simple calico fabric band and a parchment paper top band with their branding, logo, and ingredients list.
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/Tasha’s Own Goat Milk Soap is also a member of our Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild!

HSCG & IBN Membership Rebate Program

Handmade Soap Makers Guild

Handmade Soap Makers Guild

Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild & Indie Business Network Membership Rebate Program RESTARTS ON APRIL 1, 2013

Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio is very excited to announce the reinstatement of the Business Insurance Rebate Program. This is the same HSMG and IBN business insurance rebate program that I designed when I formerly ran Southern Soapers. Please read the press release below with details:

Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio will reimburse $20 of your new or renewing Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild membership

Indie Beauty Network

Indie Beauty Network

dues. Alternatively, we will reimburse $20 of your new or renewing Indie Business Network membership dues. Simply forward us a copy of your PDF insurance certificate to Kelly@Soapalooza.com

Who is eligible? This Rebate Program is for anyone initially joining or renewing membership with the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild or the Indie Beauty Network. Only one rebate per person or business, either the HSMG or the IBN rebate, not both.

What is the Rebate? Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio will issue a Gift Certificate for $20 of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild membership dues OR a Gift Certificate for $20 of the Indie Business Network membership dues.

Why are we doing this? If you are selling soap, candles, or cosmetics and toiletries than you need Business & Product Liability Insurance. It only takes one customer to spin your world out of control. Please do not take chances with your assets, don’t sell without insurance. The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild insurance policy is the same policy available through the Indie Business Network.

What does it cost to join the HSCG or the IBN? The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild the Independent Business Network have their membership plans posted on their website:

HSMG: http://www.soapguild.org

IBN: http://www.indiebeautynetwork.com

There is a membership that will suit every soapmaker or cosmetic formulator.

Why should I join? Joining a professional trade association in your industry helps keep you aware of regulatory issues and concerns, provides education and business assistance, creates networking opportunities, and raises the level of professionalism as well as creates an esprit de corps among association members. Joining one or both of the preeminent professional trade associations in our industry provide you with tools to help your business thrive. Additionally, you will not likely find as comprehensive or affordable Business & Product Liability Insurance at the non-hobby level.

You can call us at 757-804-0416 for more details.

(This Rebate Program is sponsored solely by Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, formerly Southern Soapers Fragrances. Please do not request your rebate from the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild or the Independent Business Network. This Rebate Program is valid for new and renewing memberships starting April 1, 2013 and until further notice. Not retroactive for memberships already purchased prior to April 1, 2013. Rebate limited to one per person or business per year. Minimum purchase required.

Soapmaker Spotlight: Annette Wilkins & Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffle Soaps, by Annette L. Wilkins

Chocolate Truffle Soaps, by Annette L. Wilkins


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/Take a look at Annette’s soap! They look just like Guerlian Chocolates!
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/This was made using the Southern Soapers Chocolate Truffle fragrance oil.
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/Note: This is a previous blog post from my former Southern Soapers Supplies blog. All copyrighted materials, to include fragrance descriptions, fragrance images, www.southernsoapers.com website content, classroom instructional materials, etc remain the intellectual property of BloomWorks Holdings, LLC and Kelly Bloom. BloomWorks Holdings LLC distributes the former Southern Soapers fragrances and copyrighted materials under the new Soapalooza brand.