Summer Workshop & Training Sessions

2015-03-28 09.17.07I am making a promise to myself to start posting to the Soapalooza blog more! Several of my webinar clients had no IDEA that most of my training programs are geared for individual instruction, that I am not a mass training farm. Not to brag, but I am an AMAZNG TEACHER, and a master at my subject material. AND, even more importantly, I LOVE training newcomers to our industry, or helping current members improve their craft. As the retail fragrance division sells down, I will have MORE time to TRAIN! (Most of our fragrances will remain available in the 5, 10, and 25 lb sizes as special order, and at the discounted wholesale size prices).
More & more I am hearing “What? I am the ONLY STUDENT during the session?!! You mean I am the ONLY student during Boot Camp?” Well, I actually prefer to train one on one….. I PREFER small workshop environments. I am a science teacher by profession, and I like making sure my students know what is happening in the soap pot, in their lotion pot, etc. If I have more than two students in a session, I feel it is very hard for me to give the highest quality education in my HANDS ON TRAINING facility. I remove the session dates after a second student signs up.
2015-03-28 09.16.58When you attend one of my studio sessions or one of my Soap or Bath & Body Boot Camps, you have my total attention while YOU are guided in my hands on training modules.You make a LOT of product in my studio, as if you were boot strapping your own business in my facility. You leave with about 35 + lbs of products from our 5 day Fast Track Soap / Bath & Body Boot Camp. You learn how to label, how to wholesale, how to formulate soap and cosmetics. You leave with the formulas we used in class, training manuals, and a committed mentor (me) to guide you along your way.  BONUS : EMAIL ME FOR A $150 coupon on our 5 Day Fast Track Boot Camp, or $50 off our 2 or 3 Day Boot Camps! Email me at bloomkj@msn.com   AND, don’t forget that you only need make the initial Installment Payment to LOCK IN your session date!
SO, I will be using the blog & newsletters to let you see more what is happening in the training sessions in our Hands On Soap Studio. ANd, if you are stil too far away to attend our workshops, boot camps, you can STILL take our Boot Camp by using the DIY Soapalooza Training PDF’s with some consulting time to get the lecture classes from me also.
Last but not least, I have over 25 years experience with independent small business soap making & bath & body formulation.. To include copywriting intellectual property, trademark & branding, wholesale product distribution. My undergraduate is Science Education, and my masters is a MBA. I was an Army wife that had to boot strap and suit case a small business for 18 years… giving me a unique perspective and business growth experience. You can not learn what I teach off the freebie Youtube videos or Blind following the Blind maker forums. What I teach is a hands on experience as if you are making my very own products.
I can help you with the same turn key business plan that I taught my own daughter and many other soap/bath & Body formulations. How to avoid some of the most common micro business building mistakes, to help you make soap like a 20 year veteran in 3 months, and how to work SMART and not just HARD. So, I AM going to toot my own horn a little. I have forgotten more about our business than many out there claiming to know actually do know. Here is your chance to learn from an industry expert on a very one on one, at most ever two on one training experience. I do NOT run boot camps with more than 2 students at a session, which gives YOU a more quality experience. I am told I am the ONLY facility in the USA that offers this low student teacher ratio.

 

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!

Using Pigments & Dyes in Melt & Pour Soap Bases

Would anyonNEONSe here like my method of using DRY Pigments (ultramarines and oxides) and Mica’s with M&P soap? Well, I will share anyway…

Here is the deal… Dyes bleed in M&P soap bases. This is because dyes are water soluble, and “move” through out the hardened soap. Goes back to that old science concept that everything is actually fluid, in a sense. That molecules are just held together. Well, M&P base, when cooled is hard, but it is still considered a ‘liquid’ in the sense that it is a hardened solution.

Dyes (FD&C’s dyes and lakes, etc) are a powder. Most of you can buy them from Bramble Berry in the form of Lab Colors, or the glycerin based dyes at The Chemistry Store, or the liquid dyes at WSP (Whole Sale Supplies Plus). The liquid form in water is also preserved, so you have a long shelf life (so the preservative, as well as the BLEND of dyes used to make the color do get individually included on the soap label for M&P, not for CP, HP).

Pigments are natural occurring mineral substances. The ones we use in soap and cosmetics however are laboratory produced (including Bare Minerals, and yes they are lying about them being “natural”). It is against the US cosmetic safety laws (FD&C Act) to use things we just dig up out of the ground to put into our cosmetics. Black Oxide is easy to find … But it has to be “cosmetic grade” because Black Oxide just dug out of the ground also has Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, etc.. So, it is created in a lab to be safe, or as in the case of Titanium Dioxide, refined.

PigmenAtom-RedSoapts are NOT water soluable… HERe is a fun test.. Make a bath bomb using Dyes and a bath bomb using Red Oxide. Take separate baths, and you will see the dye turn the water the color of the dye and nothing on the tub floor or oil ring on the tub. Do the same with the Red Oxide bath bomb, and you will see all the red oxide either settle on the tub floor or stick to the tub ring.

So, You can buy EXPENSIVE glycerine mixed Pigments (Oxides and ultramarines) from soap and cosmetic suppliers (TKB Trading is the BEST www.TKBtrading.com) or you can purchase the 1/4 – 1 lb containers of the dry pigments for a fraction of the cost.

Mixing them with glycerine and then coloring your soap alters the soap though. Too much glycerine softens the base, and water will will do the same. Makes for soap that weeps too easy, melts too easy at the craft shows in the summer, and attatracts more moisture from the air. That is because Glycerine is a humicident (attracts moisture, and why natural soap IS so good for us. . it puts a shear sheath on the skin that draws moisture from the air and keeps our skin from drying out or getting the ‘itchies” in the winter).

So, what IS the solution? Well, you need something that will EVAPORATE> So using small pill cups (the little disposable ones that are used for food samples… they are PERFECT)…. Put in about 1/8 of a teaspoon of say Blue Ultramarine. Then add about 1 – 2 teaspoons of simple rubbing alcohol. Then using a pippette dropper, add the amount of color to your melted soap mixture, stirring well.

The alcohol will quickly evaporate from the heat, leaving you no added gGelledPeacockTealSoaplycerine or water in your soaps!

Consequently… that same Blue Ultramarine can be used to take the “yellow” out of the clear SFIC bases. I used to distribute this product, and the clear bases tend to run a pale tint of amber to a distinct light yellow. By adding a drop or two of BLue Ultramarine to them, you will have a perfectly water clear base!

Now about the color migration I mentioned earlier…. Dyes will migrate or bleed. Pigments and SOME mica’s will not. Lets talk about Pigments first. Non water soluble as I mentioned already. Make a cookie sheet of soap colored with blue UM. Cut the sheet into stars using a cookie cutter. Melt white soap and do an embed with the blue stars. 1 week later, only the stars will be blue… No movement of color.

melt-n-pourwhitesDo the same thing with a blue dye… make the sheet, cut it into stars, embed in white soap. 1 week later the white soap will be having blue haze around the area where the blue stars touch the white soap. 1 month later the white is all pale blue. 3 months later, the entire soap is all blue with no distinct blue stars. This is called “Bleeding”.

Mica’s are a subtrate that have various dye’s sprayed on them. Just like pigments we can not use naturally occuring mica in soap and cosmetic. Most, not all, but most dyes will bleed. The Lakes are the category of FD&C that will not bleed. TKB trading gives the ingredient list for each colorant, so you can determine if you mica will bleed or not. Also, as M&P soap makers, you will not have to worry about Dye or Mica “morphing” which is the chemical craziness that occurs when some dye come into contact with Alkali (Lye, sodium hydroxide). Some dyes react due to the very base pH of sodium hydroxide, and you get a Moon Man Puke color instead of what you planned, surprise surprise,

More questions… give me a shout out. I’ve a lot of 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!

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!

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!

Spring Fragrance Pre Sell Extravaganza!

Soapalooza Spring Pre Sell Fragrance Extravaganza!

We are excited to start our Spring Pre Sell Fragrance Extravaganza!

We heard you!  More of Kelly’s former Southern Soaper fragrances! We are returning quite a few this year now that we have our warehouse lease locked in for another 4 years! So, celebrate Spring with us as we return many of your former favorites. All these fragrances were developed by Kelly Bloom for her own use with her cold process soap making business (BloomWorks Soap Company) and later sold under her former brand Southern Soapers. Several of the current line up have NEVER been offered before also! Click this SPRING PRE SELL link to see the line up!

This is our Annual Spring Pre Sell – This means your order for this product will NOT ship until the Presell is completed, approximately April 1, 2015. Fragrances will be ordered and shipped as soon as they arrive in the warehouse.

Take advantage of the great savings of 15% off during the initial Presell these cold process tested fragrances. They will not be discounted this low again! Additionally, don’t forget that we offer a Flat Fee Ship rate of $9.95 for the continental US!

Each week we will be placing an order for several drums of fragrance oil on our Pre Sell line up. At that time, those ordered fragrances will be REMOVED from the Pre Sell line up… So, as the Pre Sell progresses, there will be less on sale to choose from! So ORDER EARLY in the Pre Sell so you get the best selection and the LOWEST PRICES these fragrances will EVER be offered at!

Fresh Linens (returning) Apple Blossoms (returning)
Red Papaya (New!) Carrot Cake (New!)
Chamomile Tea (New!) Coconut & Tahitian Lime (New!)
Chipotle Caramel (New!) Jamaican Plantain & Vanilla (New!)
Masculine Musk (New!) Indonesian Teak (returning)
Linden Vert (returning) Aloe & Yucca (returning)
Guns & Roses (returning) Yuzu Satsuma (returning)
Cherokee Princess (returning) Tuscan Leather (New!)
Apres Apricot (returning) Red Red Wine (returning)
Rosehip Jasmine (returning) Lemon Drop Candy (returning)
Havana Nights (returning) Click this SPRING PRE SELL link to ORDER!

 

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’s HSCG & Indie Business Network Membership Rebate Program

Handmade Soap Makers Guild

Handmade Soap Makers Guild

Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild & Indie Business Network Membership Rebate Program

Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio is very excited to announce the reinstatement of the Business Insurance Rebate Program. This is the same 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.

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!

Thank You and Many Thanksgiving Blessings

stockxpertcom_id440246_size1[1]

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!

Making Clay Masques

MineralClayMasqueBelow is a basic Dry Clay Mask formula/recipe for readers to begin experimenting with. Later this month, we will have a training module in PDF form on the website for purchase. This post here is simply a teaser, as the PDF has much more information, to include wet and dry clay and herbal masques.

This blog post only provides one simple dry clay masque formula, the PDF will include six dry masques, and five WET masques.
Wet Masques require more formulating care, as they can grow bacteria. Dry masques allow you to choose ingredients, package them as an anhydrous product to sell, and let the customer then choose the liquid to hydrate their masque materials. Often the choice of liquid to rehydrate with can compliment their skin type! Dry and Wet Masques, to include clay ones, are just one of the products we teach students to make at the Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio 3 Day Bath & Body Boot Camp. Be sure and check for upcoming Boot Camp dates for both the rest of 2014 and Spring of 2015!

Basic Clay Mask Recipe:

Makes enough for 10 treatments

¼ C. clay of choice (suited for your skin type)
1-2 Tb. milk powders, ground oats, and/or cocoa powder (optional)
1 Tb. total other additions/herbs (optional)(these should be dried and ground fine)
4 drops essential oil (optional)

To Apply:

Makes enough for 1 facial mask

2 tsp. clay mask mix
2 tsp. water or other liquid (milk, aloe vera juice, herbal tea)

Directions:

Mix the dry mask formula and liquid to reach the desired consistency. Pull your hair back and apply evenly to your face. Let it dry for 5 minutes for sensitive skin up to 15 minutes for oily skin. Rinse off with warm water and a washcloth. Apply a homemade moisturizer.

 

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!

The Big Lye (History of Sodium Hydroxide as We Know it Today)

Collage1In 2005 there was a discussion in my former Southern Soapers Yahoo forum about the origins of Lye.  The Lye we use today, in modern soap making, is a synthetic. I was utterly fascinated by the entire Sodium hydroxide history and evolution. Prior to the development of plastics and other non reactive, air tight containers, there was actually no safe way to store sodium hydroxide as it is so incredibly hygroscopic, and violently reactive. There seemed to me no way it could have been stored for use in handy gourds or pottery urns.

So I had to go do research to satisfy my curiosity about what did folks in the 8th century use to store their lye?  Well, they did not use or even have lye as we know it today!  Lye, as we know and use it (bead or flake form,readily available in 50 pound poly bags), is not something our great, great, great grandmothers used to make soap with. We have it so easy compared to our ancestors soapmaking alkali’s available.

Wikipeidia had some great information on sodium hydroxide and other elements of it’s production and history. From the early 1800’s up until the the 1860’s, the Leblanc Method was used to create sodium hydroxide. Then, the Solvay Method was devised in the 1860’s and outdated the LeBlanc process.

Prior to these two first manufacturing process, sodium hydroxide did not exist in the form we know it today. Calcium carbonate, also known as limestone, then readily available (and very easily stored), was used in a long tedious cooking (the ancient soap boiling method) to expedite the saponification process, with salt water washes of the soap curds used to separate the non water soluable elements out of the soap mass. Yeminte and Arabic records record bits of pieces of this long tedious process, and the Marius Fabre soap company in France still uses it to this day.

How Sodium Hydroxide is produced today:
Sodium hydroxide is produced (along with chlorine and hydrogen) via the chloralkali process. This involves the electrolysis of an aqueous solution of sodium chloride (or, more simply known as salt water). The sodium hydroxide builds up at the cathode, where water is reduced to hydrogen gas and hydroxide ion:

2Na+ + 2H2O + 2e- ? H2 + 2NaOH

To produce NaOH (sodium hydroxide) it is necessary to prevent reaction of the NaOH with the chlorine, this is typically done in one of three ways, of which the membrane cell process is, economically, the most viable.

Membrane cell process –  with a Nafion membrane to separate the cathode and anode reactions. It produces a higher quality of NaOH.

An older method for sodium hydroxide production was the LeBlanc process, which produced sodium carbonate, followed by roasting to create carbon dioxide and sodium oxide. This method is still occasionally used. The LeBlanc method helped to establish sodium hydroxide as an important commodity chemical.  The following article was one I published in 2006, edited slightly for this blog format.

So, one of the biggest lies in soap making, and probably one of the most fiercely debated, is that soap can not be made unless lye (sodium hydroxide) is used.

Sounds heretical to you if you are a cold process soap maker, right?  Here is some history on early soap making, and on the use of sodium hydroxide in manufacturing soap.

In the 1600’s the French king issued an edict that the popular regional soap, Marseilles soap, could only bear that name if it was produced in a very specific manner. Sodium carbonate was the alkali used for saponification then, and is still used in Marius Fabre French soaps today.

If a soaper wants to make soap without lye, it is possible, but not really as practical as using lye (sodium hydroxide). It can be done, but is a  much more complicated and laborious process. Saponification using other alkali’s requires many more steps and ingredients to create the chemical reaction & catalyst than our method of just mixing a strong solution of lye (sodium hydroxide) & water into melted or fluid oils. Salt water rinses, long cooking periods (as many as 10 days), etc.. are not really feasible for most of us, or even warranted anymore. The method of soap making that does not use sodium hydroxide is the ancient, dying art of true soap boiling. It was one of the true soap arts guarded by the medieval soap guilds. No clear European description of how soap was made has survived from the medieval period.

Lye is not a chemical that exists by itself. Prior to 1791 Sodium hydroxide did not exist in any recognizable form. Additionally, the storage capabilities for safe handling of sodium hydroxide on a large manufacturing scale surely did not readily exist as we have today. Plastics and stainless steel were not available for storage protection of the highly reactive sodium hydroxide. But we know there was true soap being manufactured.  So how was this done and what was being used as the alkali catalyst?

First some history on sodium hydroxide, also known as ‘lye’ and NaOH. 

Sodium hydroxide is produced in the chloralkali process, which is the electrolysis of an aqueous solution of sodium chloride (salt and water). It is a by-product from the production of chlorine. Sodium hydroxide is both hygroscopic (attracts and absorbs water from the environment) & highly reactive, producing often violent exothermic reactions. Until 1791 soap making alkali was commonly sodium carbonate and soda lime, then rinsed and washed and cooked with salt water baths. This laborious 10 day process had the effect of creating a strong alkali by product.

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye or caustic soda, is a caustic metallic base used in industry, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of paper, textiles, and detergents. Due to it’s high reactivity, it must be stored properly in air tight, non porous containers to prevent it from absorbing CO2 (carbon monoxide) and H2O (water).

Since the ready availability of sodium hydroxide, by the Leblanc process in 1791, it is the most financially feasible, and readily available alkali for soap making.

An early soap method was recorded in Yemen (Arabia) The Secrets of Master Alexis of Piedmont, written about 1547. Arabia was making hard soap in the soap boiling method as early as the 8th century, and a document translated reads:

Description of Soap Making

Take two thirds from alkali (al-qily} and one third of un-slaked lime (nura dhakar). Break the lime into small pieces the size of faufal or chestnut. Take a mirkan large vessel} of pottery and cut an outlet (manzil) at its bottom. And seal this outlet tightly with a rag. Take bricks and break them into small pieces, not quite small, and pack them inside the middle of the mirkan.

Place on the broken bricks a piece of khsaf. Throw on the khasafa the alkali and the un-slaked lime. And pour on them an amount of water equal to four or five times the submersion volume. The mirkan should be placed on a high position, and we place under the outlet another empty mirkan so that the liquid will flow into it. If there is no high place you will dig a cavity in the ground at a depth equal to that of the empty mirkan, and it is lowered down the cavity so that it is below the outlet.

Leave it for one day and one night then open the outlet on the second day so that the filtered water of alkali and lime will pour into it. When all the liquid is emptied, return again and pour it above the alkali and lime and leave it for one day and one night. Open the outlet the next morning and empty the whole clear liquid. When the whole liquid ceases flowing divide it into two halves. Put one half aside. Pour [onto the remaining half] an equal amount of sesame oil (shiraj) and beat (agitate) the mixture strongly and repetitively with a wooden beater for one hour until it hardens and thickens.

Leave it for the rest of the day and overnight if you are in a hurry, otherwise leave it for two or three days if you are not in a hurry because the longer it stays the better it ferments. Cool it down and put it in a copper cauldron and set under it a strong fire. Each time it thickens water it with the sharp water from the one half that was put aside as mentioned above.

You will continue kindling the fire and watering with the sharp water until it becomes grainy and ripens. Continue beating (mixing) it so that it will not burn. Put it down and pour it into a mirkan (a large vessel) and beat it and water it little by little, then pour it again into the cauldron and place it on fire, let it be a strong fire, and whenever it tends to become dry, water it with the sharp water little by little while you are stirring so that it will not burn.

Continue like this until the water is consumed and the soap is well cooked and its consistency becomes like that of the shoemakers glue, known as ashras. Make a milban (mould) from wood, similar to the milban of bricks, but larger. Spread a kham cloth {coarse cotton cloth) or a piece of khasf and place the milban (the mould) over it. Pour the soap into the milban. The purpose of the milban (the mould) is to prevent the soap from flowing until it thickens.

Leave it for one night and one day until it solidifies. Then cut it with a knife as is usual. If you want the soap to be perfumed add to it, on the last cooking on fire, choice perfumes and saffron and whatever scents you like then pour it as above mentioned, if God wills.  (source: http://www.gabarin.com

Info on Sodium Hydroxide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_hydroxide

Info on Sodium Carbonate
http://www.inorganics.basf.com/p02/CAPortal/en_GB/portal/Anorganische_Basen_/content/Produktgruppen/Anorganische_Basen_(Laugen)/Produktinformationen/Soda

A really cool science experiment using Sodium Carbonate
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen01/gen01966.htm

Ancient soap methods
http://www.answers.com/topic/soap

Marius Fabre soap caldroun/boiling method
http://www.beautyandstyle.net/store.php?counter=fabre

Solvay method of Sodium carbonate production
http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/Bicarb/SodiumBicarb.html

Chemical process of creating Sodium hydroxide
http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/Cl2&NaOH/Cl2&NaOH.html

More soap history
http://members.tripod.com/~marieainsley/instruction/soap.htm

/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!

© 2006 Kelly Bloom, BloomWorks Holdings, LLC & Soapalooza at http://www.soapalooza.com. Registered with US Library of Congress. If you would like to reprint this material, please contact us at kelly@soapalooza.com for permission. All we require is a link to our published post here on the blog, author credit, etc. We want our materials to be shared, just credit given where credit is due.