Monday, August 5, 2013

Vendor of the Month - Amateur Chemistry Lab

Heather is offering the following special all month!

1.  Make your own kits: Buy 3 or more products at one time and get 10% off all products.

2.  Amateur chemistry mistake sale:  Occasionally the amateur chemist makes mistakes, such as using the wrong fragrance or wrong ingredient.  Occasionally, some of the soap is cut at weird angles.  The products are fine and skin safe, but are considered "one offs."  Generally, the amateur chemistry family uses these products at home, but they are starting to stack up!  These products will be sold at cost.

Bio questions:

1.  Please tell us a bit about yourself--your background and what led you to pursue the world of bath products? 

By training, I am an electrical engineer.  In my day job at the lab, I work on spacecraft design, especially aspects about making spacecrafts more reliable.  I've been at the lab and NM for 9 years next month!

I came to bath products during a trip to Taos with my husband.  We were going to walk across the gorge and stopped to by handmade soap from a vendor.  We bought five bars of soap that day.  Unbeknownst to me, we both had the same thought: "How hard could it be to make soap?"  I started first by making sugar scrubs (oil, sugar and essential oils).  It was winter by then and did not realize my skin could feel so soft in the middle of winter!  My husband got me started making soap.  I was reluctant at first, because making soap can be dangerous, if you are not careful.  The first batch did not work out, but the second one was perfect.  After that, I started trying to make all sorts of products -- lip balms, lip scrubs, body scrubs, lotion and liquid soap.  My own skin is kind of funky and I found that making my own skin care products really helped it out. 

At first, I was giving them to friends, because all of the products were starting to pile up.  In late 2012 started selling them at Warm Hearts Yarn.  I am new to producing, packaging and selling products.  I am still working out pricing.  I recently was able to stabilize my costs on the glycerin soap and dropped all of the prices by about 50%.  I am also learning what flavors/scents or colors that interest people. 

2.  What inspires your artistic path the most?

I have been knitting and crocheting for many years.  In comparison, making soap is closer to sculpture.  I like the glycerin-based soaps, because I can more minutely control the shape and color than with cold-process soap.  I am trying in both mediums to try to create interesting, beautiful soaps. 

What are you currently most excited about?  Are there any future happenings you are excited about and would like to share?

I am unveiling new packaging this month.  While there will still be soap bands on the glycerin soap, the cold process soap will be boxed.  I also have bath fizzies that I put in the store last month that are in cute favor boxes that look like Chinese take out boxes.  I am hoping that these new packages will work better for gift packaging, especially with the upcoming holiday season.

I am also have some new soaps.  One of them is a color block soap with green, black and white colored soap combined in each bar.  This soap will be available this month.  The other is a two-color block soap that have been swirled together like an abstract yin/yang symbol.  This soap will be available in a few weeks.

I am also experimenting with mango butter lately.  I am using it in an emulsified salt scrubs, body salves and lip balms.  Mango butter is a great alternative to shea butter!

4.  Favorites: 

I am personally addicted to sugar scrubs.  I like to use body scrubs once a week year round.  Sugar scrubs can be a gentle way to remove dry skin.  Because they can quickly make your shower slippery, I have been making sugar scrubs that will not be dangerous underfoot. 

I am also a big fan of lavender essential oil.  Lately, though, I have been using a lot of summery scents -- creamiscles, peaches, pears.

5.  Contact info:

If people want to talk to me about my bath and body products, feel free to contact me at  If you have any questions, comments, concerns or suggestions, I want to hear them!

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