Is there Lye in soap?
No. Lye is used to make soap, but there is no lye left in the soap once it is made. Simply, mixing the correct amount of lye, with the correct amount of oils, at the correct temperature results in a chemical reaction called saponification. During this reaction the lye breaks down the oils and combines with some of the components. This leaves just soap and glycerin left at the end of the chemical reaction. Most soap makers formulate their recipes so some oil is left behind as well, but there is NEVER any lye left in a properly formulated soap.
Do I belong to any professional organizations?
Yes, I am a proud Advanced Certified member of the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild.
What is my educational background?
I have an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, a Bachelor’s in Theatre Design, and a Bachelor’s in Business Marketing Administration. I am certified with the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild and am pursuing my Master’s certification at this time.
Do I fill special orders or requests?
Yes. I often fill special orders for soaps of a particular fragrance or color that I typically do not carry. There is a 10 bar minimum and the price per bar is determined by the type of fragrance or essential oil you desire and any additional herbal additives. I’ll be happy to quote you a price. If you dream it, I can achieve it.
What else do I do?
Gift baskets, bridal favors, and soap making demonstrations for not-for-profit groups are just a few of the things that I also do.
Do I have a real job?
Why yes, I make soap for a living. My father and I spend on average 150 days per year selling or demonstrating. The rest of the time I spend making soap and performing administrative tasks such as research and development, filling orders, webpage design/maintenance, and accounting tasks. Making a high-quality product and building my business takes lots of time and energy. It is because I concentrate completely on my products and business that I can make my customers happy.
Where do I travel to take part in Arts & Crafts Festivals?
Right now I concentrate on shows within 60 miles of my home. This brings me into New Jersey, and of course, Pennsylvania. I do a few shows outside of this range that I have taken part in for many years. However, I am dedicated to my local economy and to the environment so I try to travel the smallest amount possible. I am always looking for new festivals and am happy to receive information about any, regardless of their location.
Do you take part in Charitable Donations?
Gladly. You can contact me regarding your organization and their needs, but every year I donate dozens of gift baskets to art center fundraisers, charities for the benefits of people with special needs, and charities associated with benefiting animals and their welfare. I prefer to donate to non-profit organizations in my geographic area, but will consider all requests.
Do I sell my products wholesale or via consignment?
Yes. You can request wholesale information through my wholesale web page, which is coming soon. Provided you meet certain qualifications, I will send you free samples, a wholesale mail order form, and a password to be able to order online. My wholesale page explains in more detail my wholesale requirements. I will consign my products under certain circumstances at locations within an hour from my home in Emmaus, PA. Please use the wholesale request form for this purpose as well.
Do I teach soap making classes or consult with/mentor other soap makers or aspiring soap makers?
Right now, no. Unfortunately I currently do not have enough time in the day to build my business and help others build theirs. I hope that someday soon this will change, but for now, I cannot help you. You can feel free to e-mail me and I will try to point you to someone I respect who can be of assistance to you.
Why may my product this year smell stronger/weaker than last year?
The IFRA (International Fragrance Association) generates and releases safety reports for both the raw material used to manufacture fragrance oils, and for essential oils. These reports are based on scientific research conducted by independent scientists. As new research becomes available, new amendments are made. Maximum use rates may change. For example, an essential oil that used to be able to be used at a 5% rate in a formulation, may now only be able to be used at a 3% rate. Each year as these reports and regulations are released, I re-blend fragrances and formulas to reflect these changes. This is why the fragrance may seem different from year to year as I reformulate my recipes to reflect current data.