I'm passionate about soapmaking... A couple of years ago, my mom took me to Pat Catan's in Monroeville, PA, and I wandered into the soap section. I didn't leave without two different types of soap base.
For weeks, I experimented lightly with what I could put into them. I started out making oatmeal soaps and simple things like that. Today, I make soaps that heal sunburn, clean and heal tattoos and piercings, fight acne and blemishes, and exfoliate skin. I'd like to share some stories of how I was inspired to make different soaps that now appear in my Etsy shop, Discordia's Apple.
Let's start with my first few listings:
The Dungeon Bar (D20 soap): I'm an avid gamer. I play RIFT and MTG, and I used to play Warhammer Online and World of Warcraft. I found soaps with D20s in them on Think Geek. Unfortunately, they were $10 for two 4oz bars, one that smells like cherry vanilla and one that smells like tangerines. My first thought was "Wow, they look cool!" and my second thought was, "Why do they smell like girly fruits?" I made my soaps in different colors with random D20s that I had bought from my friend Larry's card shop in Sioux Falls, and made them smell like peppermint. My fiance and some of my best friends have gotten to see them and smell them up close and that's when I decided to list them.
Ultimate Oatmeal (Scrubby Soap): This is a tribute to the old oatmeal soaps I used to make exclusively for myself and my mom. I changed the soap base up a bit, and added bigger oats. It's unfragranced because I just love the smell of milk and oatmeal. Soon I'll be making a special batch with peppermint oil... mmm... oatmeal and peppermint!
Peppermint Latte (Wake Up Soap): When winter rolls around, my first thought is "I want to get a nice hot minty latte from Caribou Coffee!" I made peppermint latte with a goat's milk base, real coffee, and some peppermint fragrance. It kept my skin moisturized all winter, and I still find myself using it from time to time when I need to wake up and, well, smell the coffee! It's definitely one of my favorites!
As time has gone on, I've gotten more and more ideas for soaps, from seeing what other soapmakers are making and from seeing what my friends and family want.
I made an anti-acne soap a while ago just for my fiance, since he and his family, even beyond their 20s and into their 60s still get the occasional acne breakout. I made a simpler version first for my Etsy shop, but then I wanted to make some exfoliating versions, one for men and one for women. I definitely love the way they've turned out and the positive response I've gotten from them... I even use the plain version myself to keep breakouts away when I know I've been stressed.
My friends have inspired me and supported me so much since I reopened my shop... it's a great feeling. Some day, I hope I can make a living off of my soaps, but no matter what comes of it, it's always going to be my favorite hobby.