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Making a Living Making Soap - Questions to Ask Before You Begin


Soap making can be a wonderful hobby but if you've ever thought of turning your hobby into a business you know how overwhelming the idea can be. Here are some questions to help you think through your decision:

*How much of a business do you want to be? Do you really want to this to be a full-time job? Or would you rather just make a couple hundred bars a year for your church fundraiser? Your answer to this question will determine your next steps.

*Do you really want to be in business? Every day? Seven days a week? Any entrepreneur will tell you that when you own a business it's on your mind every single day.

*Are your sales expectations realistic? As with any other small business, it's going to take 3-5 years for you to start seeing a profit. How will you live in the mean time? Do you have another source of income?

*Do you fully understand the chemistry of soap making? Too many new soap makers focus on the creative aspect of the craft and never really learn the chemistry behind it. Getting a good handle on the basic chemistry frees you to experiment without fear of wasting huge amounts of raw materials. I suggest Dr. Robert McDaniel's book "Essentially Soap".

*What's your niche? It's important you distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other soap makers and avoid falling into the trap of trying to please everyone. Find a niche and work on becoming an expert in it. Are your soaps particularly artistic? Are they especially "natural"?

*Do you really believe that successful soap makers hang out in online chat rooms and message boards? Don't fool yourself into thinking that you're going to learn from the "experts". The people who are really making a living making soap don't have time to post 20 messages a day-they're on the phone with clients or just taking a much-needed coffee break.

*Are you willing to put in several hours a week for recordkeeping? Incorporated businesses require submitting monthly or quarterly reports even during periods of no sales. Even a sole proprietorship has at least some paperwork that must be dealt with regularly.

*Are you going to operate out of your home? Before you get your heart set on working out of your home make sure you're allowed to. Not every community will allow you to operate a business from your residence.

*What are you going to do with your children? What about your pets? I have never made soap in my home and I can't possibly recommend that you do, either. Sodium hydroxide is capable of producing horrible chemical burns, especially if ingested.

*Can you deal with criticism? Honest criticism from a potential customer is one thing but a catty remark from a jealous competitor is something else

If you can answer these questions with a firm "Yes! I want to be in business" you're to be congratulated. You've done more homework than 90 percent of your competition.

Lisa Barger is a traditionally trained naturopath who puts her knowledge of herbal products to work in one of the oldest and most respected personal care companies on the internet. Learn more about Lisa at her website http://www.LisaBarger.com


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Maui Now

2018 Maui Fair Rural Life: Hobbies & Crafts Exhibit
Maui Now
The Hobbies and Crafts Exhibit at the 96th Maui Fair is accepting entries for craft projects. Everyone is invited to participate and show their wares. Applications, rules and regulations, judging criteria and categories to enter are available online ...



Bubbler Artist-in-Residence Open Studio
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Business Insider

Hobby Lobby, the craft store that has been at the center of numerous controversies, is growing across America. Here ...
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Hobby Lobby, the privately owned arts-and-crafts store chain, currently operates 800 stores across 47 states. It plans to open 60 more stores and hire 2,500 new employees in 2018. Hobby Lobby has been at the center of a number of controversies over the ...

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Ancient Earthworks Society Series -- Petroforms with Diane Fox
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Join your AES colleagues and guests at 10:30 AM on Saturday, September 15 at the South Madison Library as researcher Diane Fox introduces us to petroforms (arranged and altered rocks) — an aspect of Wisconsin's ancient record that is both poorly ...



Banner and Card Making for Confetti Foundation!
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Fall Porch Pot Make and Take
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Alicia Ashman Darn Yarn Group
Madison.com
Alicia Ashman Library hosts this club for crocheters, knitters, and other fiber-crafters. This group meets twice a month, on first and third Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the library. It's a great place to meet with other crafters, learn about ...



New York Times

Finding Gear for Teens to Try Out Hobbies
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... testing beginner-friendly equipment and supplies for pursuing hobbies. There's a whole world of hobbies, and here we've focused on entry-level and budget-friendly gear for some popular categories: learning to play a musical instrument, arts and ...



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85TH ANNUAL!
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Exhibit categories includes poultry, rabbits, waterfowl, crops, floriculture, homemaking, home furnishings, quilting, foods, canning, hobbies and crafts. Exhibit registration is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., judging begins at 10 a.m. SPV Fair entry booklets ...


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