Monday, 2 March 2015

Hi everyone,

Just popping on to say that this blog will eventually be removed as I am currently having one bult into my website so everything is in one place :)

For now - why not pop over to my crowdfunding page (See below) - have a read at what I am upto & see how you can get your business on my brand new shiney blog :)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Exciting News!!

Firstly, apologies for not updating as regular as I would have liked just recently, the days and weeks seem to be flying by!

Well I have some exciting news; my products are now on sale in a local craft shop!  Here is a picture of my display.

The shop is in our little shopping village called 'The Red Lion Yard' in Okehampton.  It is primarily a craft shop selling beads, kits, yarn etc, but they also sell local handmade crafts.  I am lucky enough to have a few sales in the first week of being there, but now my display is as I want it, I am hoping it now looks more attractive to potential customers!

I have had a great couple of weeks and had some brilliant reviews from my customers which you can read on my Facebook page here (scroll down and they are on the left hand side).  I also have reviews left on my website, click on any product and it tells you how many reviews there are and you can read what my customers have said.

Until next time,
Gemma x

Saturday, 5 July 2014

What is Cold Process Soap & How is it made?

There are two types of handmade soaps; 'Melt & Pour' and 'Cold Process' soap, for me there was no competition, I knew from the start I wanted to make the latter!  

"Why"? I hear you ask?  Well that is quite simple,  'Melt and Pour' you simply melt a pre made soap base and pour it into a mould, I didn't want to do this, I wanted the satisfaction of being able to make a bar of soap, totally from scratch with all the raw ingredients! My other reasoning behind making this choice is I have complete control over what goes into my soap, therefore being able to create a luxury bar that will last & not contain any chemicals that lots (not all, but lots) of pre-made soap bases contain.

There are a couple of down sides to Cold Process soap - initially it can be 'dangerous' to me making it (yes, I have to wear very fetching goggles & super long rubber gloves to protect my eyes & skin!) & I have to let it 'cure' for 4-6 weeks after it is made, so patience & planning is needed!  The curing process allows the bar to harden well, therefore making it last longer.

Cold Process soap making is the mixing of oils and butters which forms the soap batter with an alkali (Sodium Hydroxide or Lye).  The result of this is a chemical process called saponification where the soap batter changes with the help of the lye solution, therefore creating a bar of soap.  Saponification happens as soon as the soap batter and Lye is mixed, through this reaction there is no Lye left in the final product.

Out of the two, it is by far the hardest option.  It took me almost 5 months to formulate & become completely happy with my final recipe, as I am sure you can imagine, there were lots of tears, tantrums and 'oh I can't do this' in those 5 months!

Below is a brief snippet of how my soap is made.

Some of the butters & oils in my recipe 

All butters & oils measured & weighed, and melting in the crock pot...

Left:  Butters & Oils, Right:  Lye solution.  At this stage I am waiting for them to get to the same required temperature, a very important factor in Cold Process soap making.

The Soap batter in the mould, ready to be wrapped up for 24 hours!

The final bar of soap, cut & stamped with my branding!

I make my soap in small batches making approx 20 bars of 110g (as pictured) and 10 bars of 80g each time.  My handmade soap is very kind to your skin, Cold process is a traditional method of soap making, th process naturally creates Glycerine which is an added benefit for your skin.  Most, if not all, shop brought soaps do not contain this wonderful ingredient, as it is extracted and sold on as a by product due to its value.

I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into how my soap is made & the benefits of it - to see what I currently have in stock take a look here.

Until next time,
Gemma x

Friday, 4 July 2014

The Launch of The Okie Soapy Soap Shop

The 4th of July is finally here!  After months of making soap, having very un-successful batches, plenty of tantrums, lots of successful batches, hundreds of ideas for scents & packaging, all of my hard work has finally paid off and The Okie Soapy Soap Shop is now live!

I knew from the start I wanted to include the name of where I live into the business name, this initially took lots of thought, lots of ideas (that were scrapped), a huge list of possible ideas and asking opinions of family and friends!  

One day I was out shopping and saw a door mat 'What if the Hokey Cokey is really what it's all about' ?  This got me thinking 'Hokey Cokey' sounds a little like 'Okie Soapy' (Okie being short for Okehampton) and then the name was born 'The Okie Soapy Soap Shop'!  It is a bit of a tongue twister, but also I feel it is quite 'quirky', I actually feel that where I live (Okehampton), is quite a quirky place & I love a bit of quirkiness, so that stuck!

I worked alongside a brilliant designer who did lots of logos for me, I narrowed it down to 2 out of the 10 I had to chose from and this is the logo I own, which is across all of my branding, so if you follow me on my soaping journey you will see this a lot!

To make me stand out a little more, I have had this made into a stamp, which I use to stamp all of my regular bars of soap with!  It's not something I have seen a lot of from other soapers in the UK and it actually makes the soap look very rustic.

Well that is just a little snippet of The Okie Soapy Soap Shop, I will be back soon to tell you a little more about my products & future plans!

For now why not have a look around my website to see what is available and if you like sign upto my  newsletter, of which you may get one or two a month.

Until next time,

Gemma x

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Countdown has started!

Hi everyone,

Well the countdown has now officially started for the launch of 'The Okie Soapy Soap Shop' - the official launch is this Friday (4th July) at 7:30pm.

My website will go live at this time as well as my Facebook page being published & my first official news letter will be sent too!

If you love handmade bath & body products, then this is the place for you! 

Please fill in your email address below if you want to join my mailing list! You will receive a maximum of 2-3 emails a month containing news, special offers, discounts & much more!

Many thanks & look forward to seeing you back here soon!