I was recently contacted by a staff member at Redfin.com. They asked me to contribute some tips on creating a dedicated soap making space inside your home. Redfin was putting together a blog post on the topic for their popular real estate website. Over the past 24 years my soap space has evolved. I’ve become an expert in utilizing every inch of space available to me.
Here was my practical tidbits of advise I submitted to Ryan, the blogs author. It can be applied to other handicrafts as well like jewelry making, sewing, painting, etc. Instead of trying to hide your supplies away recognize their beauty and display them in a tidy and organized way! [Read the full Redfin.com blog post]
If you don’t have a room in your home to dedicate to soap making, find an area that is currently being underutilized. Maybe you have a nook in your living room, a pantry filled with gadgets you don’t really use or a wall of an office that you can take over. Integrate your soap workshop into the design of the rest of your space.
Last year I created bespoke gift boxes with mom in mind and I nearly sold out! This year I have designed some truly special one-of-a-kind gift boxes with real sentiments attached. Each box will include a card with a unique message such as "You've taught me so much" and "You are more than just a mom to me." After the year we have all had I found myself wanting to create gifts that held all the thoughts and feelings of gratitude I have been feeling. Take a look through the assortment of boxes and sentiments I have curated for you to find the one that uniquely describes your own mom or special lady in your life.
I am so excited to be a featured artist in the April 2021 issue of 518 Profiles. This complementary arts magazine is one of my favorites of its kind. The feature articles and exceptional photography really help this publication stand out. Read all about how I got my start in soap making, quit my job a a librarian and the attention to detail that goes into each Sweet Sprig product. Read the article here.
You did your soul and your skin a favor and made the switch to using all-natural handmade soaps. Taking care of them can be a little different than commercially made soaps. We made this handy little tip sheet to help you on your journey!
1. Use a Soap Lift-Keeping your soap elevated and allowing it to dry in-between uses will make it last twice as long. You can purchase an eco-friendly lift made from biodegradebale corn plastic right on our website.
2. Store out of direct sunlight-We use all-natural colorants which can fade when exposed to too much light. We know you love putting our bars on display before you use them. Try keeping them off the window sill and instead place on a cute decorative shelf in your bathroom. Let them have their moment to shine by being part of your design schema while they wait for their turn in the shower.
3. Allow your soaps to breathe-Don’t store in plastic ziplock bags. Natural soap needs airflow otherwise mold can grow on the botanicals on the tops of your soap. If you are storing in airtight containers open the lids every so often to let in fresh air.
4. Use your soap fresh-Natural soap doesn’t contain any preservatives and uses fresh ingredients like essential oils or plant juices. As a result your soap is best enjoyed within 1 year of purchase. Unlike commercially made soap our bars are not made to survive a nuclear disaster. So what are you waiting for, use those beautiful bars!
5. Cut your bar in half-If you find your bar is too big or you are using it too fast try taking a kitchen knife and cutting it in half. Use smaller pieces at a time to stretch out the life of your bar. Smaller bars of soap are also way easier for kids to wash up with!
I first encountered this idea in Barbora Kurvova's excellent book "52 Nature Craft Projects" In my inspired tutorial below you will have the option to use the jar as a votive holder (place an existing votive candle inside it) or insert a wick and pour wax turning it into a container candle. These candles look so beautiful when lit. The botanicals create a really effective silhouette and I think they are just so darling.
2020 was the year I had been waiting for all of my life. It was the year I was to finally implement my lifelong dream of pursuing my soap making career full-time. No more rushing to the studio on my lunch breaks to pack orders. No more stealing moments from my life that I was never able to pay back to myself.
I quit a job and career I loved in February and had exactly 45 days of bliss until everything came to a halt. Don't worry for me though, honestly everything turned out great in the end. After going through the different phases of grief after seeing all but one of my revenue streams completely dry up, I figured things out just like everyone else. I played and experimented, I invented new products, took pictures, got outside more. I found my groove and my joy.
Eventually my new pandemic and full-time soap life started to balance and as the country began opening up we all had to pivot again. Every step of the way this year you were there with me. In April and May when NY was on lockdown and you were stuck in your homes you thought of me and my new journey. You reached out, checked-in and sent some amazing orders. I think I saw an online order from just about everyone I have ever known in those two months! You thought of me again for your scaled down weddings, baby and bridal showers. You let me hand write the most lovely and heart felt messages on gift boxes that you sent to friends across the country just to bring them a ray of light. You were there for me again this holiday season. Letting me put together gifts for your nana, for your teachers, for your family.
Thank you. Thank you for this year, for all the years past and future. In the two photos above are my Chocolate Anise soaps 13 years ago vs now. One full year of Sweet Sprig under my belt and I am so excited to see what new fun things you will help inspire in 2021.
Our Christmas and Hannukah's will no doubt look a little bit different this year. We may not be able to see our friends and loved ones in the same way we have in past years. Instead of thinking about everything we are losing this year let's think about some new traditions we can start for the 2020 holiday season! Maybe you vow to only support local businesses or to give a thoughtful gift to your postal carrier. There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for this year, though at times it may not seem so.
In order to make your holidays a little less stressful I have put together a thoughtful gift guide to help you select the perfect present for everyone on your list.
All of our gifts can be mailed directly to recipients too. Just be sure to put their contact information in the shipping address field at check-out.
Excellent for boosting the immune system and had been proved to shorten the duration of colds and flus. I collect Echinacea all summer from the gardens of friends and family and hang dry them until I am ready to grind up to turn into tincture in the Autumn. I have found smaller flowers are easier to work with. You can also use the root but that entails digging up the flower.
I first learned how to make my own tincture from a class at the library with Jen from My Healthy Homemade Life.
Ylang Ylang essential oil comes from the star-shaped flowers of the tropical Cananga odorata tree that is native to the lush, tropical rainforests of islands in the South Pacific and Asia. This slightly spicy scented floral oil is one I have used in my bath products since the beginning. The oil is water or steam distilled from the flowers of the tropical Cananga Tree. It is most known for it soothing and calming effects. It is also the base for many popular perfumes including Channel No 5. You can find this exotic scent as a note in our Brouwer House soap as well as our Bath Truffle Boxes.
I have been using comfrey (a leafy shrub) in my bath and body products from the very beginning thanks to the education my mother gave me as a little girl. I first knew comfrey as a favorite treat for our Angora rabbits and to treat bee stings we earned running around barefoot all summer long.
Comfrey contains the compound allantoin, which provides healing and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates new skin cell growth and reduces inflammation.
For my Honeysuckle + Comfrey Soap I create a macerated oil using dried comfrey (still comes from my parent's land) and olive oil. I allow the oil and herb mixture to sit in the south facing window of my studio for about 4 weeks. When completed the olive oil has drawn in the nutrients from the plant and adds to the skin loving properties of this fan favorite soap.