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Well, I finally did it!  I finished all of the business details to open my online store on etsy.  The LLC is filed.  Federal I.D. # obtained.  State of Kansas Sales Tax License obtained, etc.

The etsy store (Visit the Great Soap Shop on Etsy) currently features my earliest soap creations.  Since it takes 45 days for soaps to cure, there are many, many, many more on the curing rack in my basement.  My husband says it smells like a “French Whorehouse.”  I’m not sure how he would know.

My custom soap stamp came this week from China.  I’m very excited about it:

This soap is my Wisteria & Lilac Silk soap.  It uses purple Brazilian ay, purple yam powder, alkanet root, Bentonite and Kaolin clays, wakame seaweed and spirulina with each adding natural colors.  Clays are very desirable in soaps for the “slip” they bring to the product.

I’ve been experimenting with a lot of natural colorants lately.  It’s funny how you can use something as brilliantly colored beet root powder but the high pH in the soap making process morphs the color entirely.  It would be nice to use only natural colorants, but it’s impossible to achieve some colors that way.  It turns out that purple yam powder works well.  Wakame seaweed makes a dark green / black.  Of course, many of these kinds of additives also bring natural vitamins and antioxidants to the soap with color being the bonus.

This week I made a Pandan Banana soap with Pandan leaf extract.  If you’ve ever seen pandan desserts at an Asian restaurant, you might expect a neon green.  Here again, the color has muted but is still quite nice.

Great Soap Shop Pandan Banana soap with coconut milk

Great Soap Shop Pandan Banana soap with coconut milk, silk and honey.

I’ve worked on a great many Vegan soap recipes lately.  This involves making soaps with no animal milks, no honey, no silk, no lard.  There is a market for the vegan / vegetarian community who would prefer no animal products.  Personally, I like silk in my soaps, but clay works as a fantastic substitute.

Another Vegan recipe this week has been my Vegan Cool Cucumber with Aloe, made with pureed cucumber, aloe juice, shea butter, castor oil and clays.  The pureed cucumber makes for interesting green speckles in the soap:

Great Soap Shop Cool Cucumber with Aloe

Great Soap Shop Cool Cucumber with Aloe

Of all the bizarre things, I picked a whole bag of dandelions this week to use for colorant and herbal additive.  Look next time for dandelion soap and calendula soaps.