WINNER of the CYA Team's Autumn Contest!
Many congratulations to Janelle for winning our very first contest! People fell in love with her beautiful Sweet Pumpkin Spice soap. Here's your chance to get to know the lady behind the beautiful soap!
"The first time I made soap was in high school, though it was the MP kits you could buy at the craft stores," Janelle said. "I've always enjoyed making gift baskets and fun things like that as gifts for friends and family... so that was my first experience with making soap, per say. After that, I tried candle making and a long list of many other crafts. Sifting through pretty glass beads has always been something i've loved to do as well, hence the reason I make jewelry, but anymore... I can't really say I'm primarily a jewelry maker. I'm starting to love soap making just as much, and can't wait until we get into a bigger house (*bigger*kitchen*cough*cough*) so I can try new recipes and have more room to explore all the fun things we can do with soap."
What about soaping (or B&B in general) intrigues you the most? What scares you? What is it about soaping that is all yours - something no one else does but you?
Gosh, there are so many things I love about soap making. Primarily, my interest comes from having sensitive skin and using all natural products. But I have to say too, that I'm just as much enjoying the soap making side of things, as I am the packaging and presentation side of things. When it comes down to it, it's hard to really do something 'that' much different from everyone else, so I don't stress myself over that. Instead, I try to just reflect my own personality and style into my soaps. They seem to be taking on this chic boutique style lately, which has been fun, because being more or less a tom-boy growing up, I didn't really know I had such a girly side!
If they made a movie about soap, who would play you? What kind of movie would it be?
Hmm... well, let's see. I think I'd be one of the main characters, but perhaps there would be a small handful of us. Maybe me and a couple girlfriends, and our story of being artists and entrepreneurs. Sharing the joys and the trials and errors with each other, and having of course, a very happy ending where we find peace and balance both with our goals as small business owners, but also with life too. ♥
If you had a million dollars to spend on soap stuff, what would you buy?
Well, first I'd buy a modest house with a mother-in-law set up, so I could have my own studio space with a kitchen in it. And then I'd buy all the supplies and oils and things I'd need to learn how to make HP and CP soaps. Then I'd have to hire someone to come over and teach me how to make them. I'm kind of afraid of lye, so I really would like to have someone show me the proper way to make soap, than try it on my own. I dunno what else though. I wouldn't really know what to do with myself if I had that kind of money!
What is your best advice for someone just starting out in the soaping/B&B field?
Don't be afraid to try new things and find your own style, as with any craft. Try not to stress so much on being an individual, because I think the less you worry about it, the more naturally it comes together. I think you have to also really love what you do. It's so much easier to sell a product to the public when you're excited about it, and can't wait to share it with people.
What is one thing you'd like to learn?
Someday I want to learn how to make HP and CP soaps. I think I'll always have a preference for MP because I like playing with different molds, and having decorative soaps as much as functional ones. But I think it's important to really understand what soap is, how it's made and what each of the ingredients do for your skin. I really want to fully understand all of that. I think the more I learn, and the more I know, the more I can apply those ideas to making a better product.
What is your favorite thing you've ever created? The least-favorite thing?
Favorite would my Tea Tree Olive Oil Soap. It's nothing special, just an olive oil base with Tea Tree EO in it. But it really has cleared up my skin amazingly, and my husband uses it almost exclusively too. And least favorite would probably be the Strawberry Lemonade soap I made last summer. I sold a ton of bars, but I couldn't stand the smell of the fragrance when it was warm. I always had to open the windows and leave the room as that one cooled, because I just couldn't get over the smell it would leave in the air.
If you could read minds, what would you want to know?
What's the next hot thing? Considering etsy is my day job, and my primary market, I'm always trying to keep an eye on what's selling, and what's not. Both in my own shop as well as in others I admire. But it's a hard thing to be first in a new idea, and come up with something that really sells well. Things like this seem to come more naturally to others, than they do to me. haha. ♥