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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


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Ideal Home

These craft trends are set to be HUGE for 2018
Ideal Home
2018 will see the rise of new more specialist crafts becoming main stream as the nation gets more adventurous, but what craft trends are falling? Crafting is a great activity to do, especially on rainy days – and it can boost positive mental health ...

and more »

Ways to alleviate stress | Health |
Payson Roundup
Stress affects everyone at some point in their lives and does not discriminate based on gender, nationality, ethnicity, economic status, or age. It can come from many different sources, but.

and more »

Payson Roundup

Tame stress and improve health
Payson Roundup
Socialization: Talking and spending time with friends or family can relieve stress. • Hobbies: Crafts, hobbies and other engaging activities can direct attention away from stress. • Talk therapy: Seeing a therapist may help some people work through ...

Revel x Moda -- a UW Fashion Week Event
Mark your calendar and start planning your outfit: Moda Magazine and Revel are collaborating to host a sophisticated soiree during UW Fashion Week! Join us at Revel's chic downtown space for cocktails, conversation, and fun festivities including: Photo ...

Standard Freeholder

Plenty of events in South Stormont this spring
Standard Freeholder
Also this weekend, the third edition of the Hobbies, Collectibles, Arts and Crafts Show is expected to draw hundreds of people to the community hall in Long Sault on Saturday. The event is being organized by Ray Savard, owner of Seaway Slot Car Racing ...

South China Morning Post

Parents should encourage, not pressure preschoolers into hobbies, Hong Kong educators say
South China Morning Post
Many parents might wonder if their busy preschool children need a hobby. Experienced educators say they do. Children are naturally inquisitive about subjects ranging from music, sports, arts and crafts, to Egyptian mummies or Hong Kong trams. Research ...

Journal Times

Couple hopes to build conference center in Sturtevant
Journal Times
... Kennedy said they are still working on the design, but it is to be a two-story building. An early design submitted to the village showed a 24,400-square-foot structure with a lobby, three conference rooms and spaces for two to four restaurants. But ...

Slow but steady progress
I'm still knitting less, but I'm getting more done, so I am trying to be satisfied with that. But I keep refiguring the math of the sweater, and I'm definitely over-thinking it. The cuff and the transitional border is about 3.5 inches. It starts out at ...

Genius Kitchen (blog)

English Brewery Crafts Royal Beer For Royal Wedding - Genius ...
Genius Kitchen (blog)
And theyll be shipping it, too. Get the full story at Genius Kitchen.

and more »

The Atlantic

The Forgotten Everyday Origins of 'Craft'
The Atlantic
Plenty, according to the historian Steven Gelber, whose book Hobbies: Leisure and the Culture of Work in America chronicles the rise of what he terms “productive leisure.” “Hobbies developed as a category of socially valued leisure activity ... because ...

Google News

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 free online ebooks tips news do it yourself how to articles home remedies  Related Hobbies - Crafts tipsand do it yourself how to articles:

Plastic, Zinc, Brass, Embossing and Marking Stencils
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Do You Really Know What You're Buying?
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a popular gift show in my local area. My purpose in attending this gift show was to scope out my competition and the quality of their soy candles compared to what I offer.

Woodworking Tools: Right Selection And Care Will Save You Money, Part 4
Woodworking: Tools Of The Trade, Part 4 - Tools For Shaping. A civilization's maturity and intelligence is judged, in part, by the diversity and sophistication of its tools. When it comes to woodworking, the human race is quite advanced.

Are You Making Money At Craft Shows?
If you are involved in the crafts business, and are profitable, you are among the rare breed who have successfully combined art with business. If, however, you still have yet to show a profit (or enough profit) after a show, this article may get you going in the right direction.

How to Use Textured Paper and Book Jacket Backgrounds to Give Your Scrapbook Dimension
Textured paper can add extra dimension to your scrapbooking page. Textured paper can be used to highlight focus items on your scrapbook page.

Depression Glass Patterns
Collectors of Depression Glass find not only its beautiful colors fascinating, but its patterns, as well. With many glass producers making this type of glass, as you can imagine, many patterns resulted, creating a wide array of pretty, practical, and inexpensive glassware affordable to every American household in that lean era of history and making Depression Glass one of the most collectible items today.

How to Make Sea Shell Candles
Collecting sea shells along the beach is a favorite kids summer activity. Take it one step further by transforming their seaside treasures into beautiful decorations or kids make-and-take party favors.

Scary Halloween Crafts
Looking for some great Halloween crafts for your Halloween party, haunted house, or just for trick-or-treaters? A fun craft is something that can keep you occupied for hours on end especially if you enjoy it. Here are some ideas that will hopefully set you on your way in preparation for your next Halloween.

Step-By-Step Guide For Creating Collages and Other Unique Picture Frames
So you want to make a collage or perhaps you are interested in creating a unique shadow box to hold your valuable photographs and memorabilia. No problem! Whether you want to create lasting memories using cheap picture frames, discount picture frames or even wholesale picture frames, here are some pointers for creating lasting memories right the first time every time.

How to Make Personalized Candle Gifts From Ordinary Candles
If you are looking for a fun gift to make for any occasion, then personalized candle making may be something you would like to consider. There are many ways to make personalized candles, depending on how much time and money you are willing to spend.

Woodworking: Protection When Working With Wood - Ignoring Could Potentially Harm Your Health Or Kill
Woodworking: Basic Safety Tips: Woodworking can be a dangerous undertaking if you are not careful and choose to disregard safety guidelines. A circular saw, router, or other piece of power equipment can disfigure and even kill if not used properly.

Comic Book Supplies, Necessities of the Serious Collector
If you want to keep your comic book collection in tiptop shape, comic book supplies will become part of your collecting life. As soon as a magazine is printed there are natural environmental forces going to work to try and destroy the ink and the paper.

Gemstone Collecting
Personally, I have become fascinated with gemstones (precious and semi-precious stones). I am amazed at the array of colors and properties of these little treasures found in the earth.

How to Make a Childs Handprint on a Ceramic Tile
This is a fun craft to do with a group of moms and their kids, one child per adult works the best. Each mom will need:---One soft brush, any size but 1/2" works the best---One jar of "One-Stroke Ceramic underglaze", either Duncan E-Z Stroke or Gare One-Stroke.

Rubber Stamps and Scrapbooking - Keep Kids Busy with Crafts This Summer
They're out of school and back to torment the neighborhood this summer. You remember the days.

Patterning and Spacing in Your Scrapbooks
How can you arrange your scrapbook page to best show off your mementos and embellishments? You can place everything in the center of your page, place a single focus item in the center, or divide the page into sections adding items to each section. You may also choose to lay the items out in a standard recipe or calendar layout.

Gift Baskets - Create Simple Easy Gifts For the Person Who Has Everything!
Have you ever thought about giving a personalized Gift Basket? Is it just me or do you also get excited when you give a gift to your friends and family and you know they love it! The downside you give a gift and you just know they hate it! Unfortunately you can't always get it right because what seems right and the appropriate gift for you isn't always right and appropriate for the person you are buying for. Take my mother for instance, if you don't buy her a gift say for Mothers Day you will be in the bad books for weeks.

Cleaning Silk Bouquets In 3 Simple Steps
How To Clean A Silk Bouquet: A Silk bouquet can last a lot longer than a bouquet made of real flowers, but it will still droop, and get dusty, over time. Fortunately a little bit of preventive care can go a long way towards keeping your bouquet looking like new.

17 Tips For Getting Balloons to Last Longer in Hot Weather
In warm weather, latex balloons will typically only last outside for a day. As you know, sun, wind and heat will biodegrade the latex.

Robotic Vacuum Cleaners: Perfect for Cleaning Pool Tables
A friend of mine bought a robotic vacuum cleaner as a gag. It's actually pretty fun to watch it semi randomly roaming around the room.

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