Posts Tagged ‘melt and pour soap’

Natural Skincare Products

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

nutberry

1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name NICOLE SMALLS HOLISTICNUTBERRY

What is Holistic Nutberry? I became introduced to holistic healing as a child watching my Great Grandmother make her mixtures from things on her farm. She would have me mix and grind things she needed; and so Holistic Nutberry was born. I use only natural and organic ingredients for my facials, bath soaks etc. My items are custom made to the individuals needs or condition e.g. eczema, blemished skin, cause no one product works for everyone. I am a certified Health Coach & a licensed drugless practitoner and a recent graduate of Intergrative Nutrition. I am currently furthering my education in the realm of Chinese Herbal Medicine. I am constantly researching various natural healing ingredients, there is a world of wealth out there and I intend to use it.

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business? To help people learn to take care of their skin naturally. I was helping my Mom who used medication that dried her hair and skin. I have been in business for 2 ½ years

3.  What products do you make and sell?  I make natural pain linaments and body ointments (good for eczema and dry skin) body and hair oils.

4.  What are your business goals?  To be able to make a career doing what I love making natural products

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  Natures Garden scents & melt and pour soaps

Your Website: www.holisticnutberry.com

Facebook page: holisticnutberry

Twitter:holistinutberry

Soy Candles by Shellie

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

shellie

1. What’s your name & Your Company Name…. Soy Creations By Shellie

2. Why did you decide to go into business? What was your motivation? How long have you been in business?  I love making creations .  My motivation is when everyone tells me they have never had a candle as good as mine and the love that I put into my creations . I’ve been in business since 2009.

3. What products do you make and sell?  I sell unique candle and bath products.

4. What are your business goals?  I would like to open up my own supple store and would love to teach classes on candle making

5. What are some products you use from Naures Garden?   I get 98% of my fragrance oils from natures garden along with all my melt and pour soap base.  My favorite fragrance oils are:  pink sugar, mango papaya fragrance oil, best friends, banana nut bread.  But as of as right now whole wheat bread fragrance oil is my overall favorite scent of all…but to tell you the truth that’s a hard call; they are all good

Facebook page: Soy Creations by Shellie

Melt and Pour Soap Interview

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

photoI started a couple years ago, and I love art and crafts. I have always loved bath products, color, and fragrances. What better than soaps where you get all that! I figured I’d play around making melt and pour, since I didn’t need to experiment with lye, and have the fun of creating. I needed some other things in my hair salon, besides shampoo, and jewelry, plus my customers are always asking me “what’s next? What’s new?” I thought I’d do a few soaps…well, I started ordering fragrances, etc. And I was hooked. And so were my customers. They wouldn’t let me stop making them. I’m now at the point of expanding my soap business, starting with Etsy. So far it’s been fun talking with people from all over!

Wow! What do I most like about your company? That’s a hard one. Besides customer service, wonderful fragrances, and value… I’d have to say the one thing I love love love, is your vanilla stabilizer. I was having a heck of a time with my soaps turning brown from vanilla. This has worked beautifully in my melt and pour soaps. A big “Thank you!”

I don’t have a website, and haven’t really been on Facebook much, but will be. Cindy Tedeschi is my face book name.

I haven’t been on twitter yet… I’m too busy checking out YouTube videos. It’s like having a craft class as often as you like. I have learned so much from so many talented people out there!

I’d like to make my soap business a part time hobby for now, eventually perhaps, more full time. I’ve been a hairdresser for 30 years, and love it. My joints from all the years are starting to get old, and one day, I might not be able to make an income doing hair any longer, and soaps is just a great thing to do!

My store name on Etsy is CLTCRAFTS

My hair salon is Tahoe Hair Co. South lake Tahoe , Ca. Where this soap picture was taken from.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this, and thank you for all you do.

Sincerely, Cindy Tedeschi

Soap Making Safety

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Natures Garden takes safety seriously.  When it comes to crafting soap, protective gear is mandatory.  It is also just as important to have a safe and clean work environment. 

Before even getting started making soap, ensure that you have all of your ingredients in your work area.  Being prepared is one key factor in successful crafting.   Once you get started, it is vital that you stay in your work area.  Leaving certain ingredients such as lye out in the open can lead to very serious and dangerous situations.  While you are prepping your area, it is also important to make sure that you have the proper soaping equipment, and it is in working order.  Be sure to check the batteries on your scales to be certain they do not need changed before beginning the soap making process.

During the soap making process it is very important that you do not rush.  Since soap making is a science, and you will want to ensure that everything is measured out exactly.  Soap recipes are measured by weight units, not volume units.  In other words, if a recipe calls for 8 oz. of coconut oil, you will need to weigh out 8 oz. of coconut oil on your scales.  Take your time and move methodically.  The best way to work is in an organized fashion.  It is also very important that while you are making soap you are able to concentrate and work uninterrupted.

Safety gear for you from head to toe:

  • Hair should be tied back and away from your face.
  • Protective eye gear or safety goggles should be worn at all times to prevent anything from getting into your eyes.
  • Shirts should be long sleeve.
  • Rubber Gloves should be worn during the whole soaping process.
  • Pants should also be worn.
  • Shoes must be worn.  Nothing that is open toed or leaves any portion of your feet exposed.
  • A facial mask is suggested for the mixing of the water and lye.
  • Always wear an apron.

Safety gear for your work environment:

  • Cover your work area with a protective layer ( like several layers of newspaper, or old towels/blankets)
  • Prepare a Spray bottle filled with vinegar

Equipment:

Once these tools have been designated as your soaping materials and used, they can never be used for anything but soap making.  We advise that you clearly mark everything and keep it separated from your other kitchen utensils.  As a suggestion:  If your work area is in your home, large storage containers with lids work wonderfully for storage.  Using a large storage tote provides you the benefit of having all of your items and equipment in one place, as well as, the capability of removing the storage tote and placing it in a lesser traveled area of your home such as the basement.

  • Proper containers for weighing out recipe (heavy duty plastic or stainless).  Fragrance oils can eat right through certain plastics.  PET and HDPE are the best plastics when working with fragrance and essential oils. NEVER use anything composed of aluminum!
  • Thermometer
  • Towels
  • Stick Blender
  • Mixing utensils (rubber or stainless steel). Wood will break down over time and can eventually leave splinters in your soap batter.
  • Scale
  • Notebook & pen
  • Paper Towels or old rags
  • Mold for soap
  • Freezer paper
  • Spatulas (rubber, silicone works the best)
  • Old blanket or towel for insulation purposes
  • Large containers for the blending of the oils and lye solution (heavy duty plastic or stainless steel).  Never use glass to mix your lye solution; it can crack and break.
  • A permanent black sharpie marker to mark every piece of equipment you use “CAUTION-LYE”.  After you use this equipment to make soap, you will never be able to use them for food-contact again.

Lye:

The most dangerous aspect in the soap making process is Lye; Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) is the lye used for bar soaps, and Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) is the lye used to make liquid soaps.  NaOH is also referred to as caustic soda; while KOH is referred to as Caustic potash. Essential to the saponification process, lye is used with distilled water to make your lye water solution.  It is extremely important that you are in a well ventilated area while working with lye.  If you have small children or pets, you may want to consider doing this portion outside or in a garage.  Regardless of where you choose to mix your lye water solution, it is advisable to remove all pets and children from the area where you will be working with lye.  It is estimated that 5,000 accidental lye ingestions occur each year by children under 5 years of age.

Lye can lead to death if ingested, so it is best not to take any chances.  In fact, ingestion of bases such as NaOH (lye) produce the most significant injuries to our bodies.

If ingested, seek medical help immediately.  Do not induce vomiting unless directed by medical personnel or poison control.  Milk or water may be given to the person unless informed otherwise by medical personnel.  Do not give the person milk or water if they are unconscious, vomiting, having convulsions, or if the person is showing a decreased level of alertness.  Loosen any restricting clothing such as ties, collars, belts, buckles.

The phone number for the National Poison Control Center is 1-800-222-1222 (US only).  The National Poison Control Center can also be contacted in non-emergency situations such as Poison Prevention.  The center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The lye solution is made up of lye and distilled water.  Because the solution is a chemical reaction, it has an exothermal reaction.  This means that heat is given off as the chemical breakdown occurs.  One tip that we learned is to divide the amount of grams of water you need for your recipe between water and ice cubes.  This will help reduce the lye solution temperature so that you are able to begin making soap faster.  The solution, even with ice water, will still be very hot.  Be cautious.

Before you begin the soap making process, be certain that you are wearing protective gear:  Protective safety glasses, a mask, gloves, an apron, shoes, a long sleeve shirt, pants, and shoes that cover your entire feet (nothing open toed).  Have your pets and children away from your soaping area.  Now, let’s get started.

Using two separate, heavy duty plastic containers, weigh out your lye according to your recipe in one of the containers, then weigh out your water in the other container.  Slowly pour the lye into the water.  Never ever pour the water into the lye!  You do not want to pour the entire lye amount directly into the water either.  It is best if you slowly sprinkle the lye into your water and constantly mix until the lye has dissolved in the water.  Your water solution will become cloudy at first, and then you should begin to see the lye dissolving into the water as you mix.  Be extremely careful with this step.  Adding too much lye too fast will cause a volcano/boiling effect, and anything that the mixture touches can be damaged.

Do not mix your lye solution in glass.  Glass can explode leaving your hazardous lye solution everywhere.  Absolutely never use aluminum containers or aluminum tools for lye solution.  Lye reacts with aluminum to produce a highly flammable hydrogen gas.  It is best if you use a stainless steel or a heavy duty plastic container for mixing your lye solution.   Note:  Certain plastics will breakdown after repeated usage.

Mixing these two elements together is crucial to your solution.  If you do not mix it completely, the lye will crystallize at the bottom of your container, and in the next step, your solution will not complete the saponification process of the oils.  As you stir, you will notice two things; the water will become cloudy and get very hot.  You can stop mixing once the lye solution becomes clear.  Note:  Sometimes, there will be pieces of white debris that is floating on top of your lye solution.  These are simply impurities, and can be strained or sieved out before pouring your lye solution into your soaping oils.  They will not hurt your soap.

Stand as far away from the mixture as possible, while still being able to mix it.  Lye can give off fumes during this reaction that are extremely hazardous and should not be inhaled.  Lye will do quite a number on your mucus membranes, irritating your throat and lungs.  It is also mandatory that you wear safety goggles for this step.  You do not want to get any lye or lye water solution in your eyes.  This can lead to serious and permanent damage.

If while mixing your lye solution, any portion spills or splashes in your eyes: Remove any contact lenses.  Start flushing your eyes with cold water immediately.  Repeat this for 15 minutes.  Do not rub your eyes.  Seek medical help.

If while mixing your lye solution, any portion spills or splashes on your skin, start flushing with cold water immediately.  Remove any clothing that may have the lye solution on it.  Keep flushing and rinsing affected skin for 15 minutes.  Spray your skin with vinegar to help neutralize any lye solution that is left on your skin. Seek medical help.  When lye comes in contact with your skin, it literally begins making soap from the natural oils found in your skin.  This is why you will notice that hands that have been exposed to lye solution will feel greasy when washing them.

If you have a serious interaction with the lye solution on your skin:  Wash the affected area of your body immediately with disinfectant soap and water.  Cover the area with anti-bacterial cream.  Seek medical help immediately.

While waiting for your lye solution to cool down, it is important that it is set in a safe place.  Do not put it near anything that is heat sensitive, since many times the temperature of the solution is over 200 degrees.  You will also want to keep a visual on it for several reasons such as accidental ingestion, outside particles coming into contact with it, referencing the degrees, crystallization of lye at the bottom, pets knocking it over, etc.

Having several vinegar spray bottles in your work area, while making soap, is a very smart idea.  If you only have one vinegar spray bottle, you will want to keep it close to you at all times.  Vinegar is one way to neutralize the caustic lye.  If a spill should happen, spray ample amounts of vinegar on contaminated area.  With hot, soapy water, wash area well.  Rinse and repeat.  Use paper towels to dry.

Rubber gloves as well as protective eye gear should be worn through the whole soap making process.  Even after the lye solution has been added to the oils, it is still a caustic mixture.  Spilling or splashing any portion of this on your skin can leave a serious burn.

Melting your oils:

Some of the oils that are used in soap making are hard and need to be melted down into a liquid form before they can be weighed out.  This can be done in various ways such as:  microwave, double boiler, hot water bath, the sun, etc.  It is very important that if you do use heat like the stovetop, that you never leave oils unattended.  If the oils became too hot, you risk burning the oils.  Burnt oils cannot be used for soap making.  Also, another stovetop safety tip:  Always make sure the handles of the pots are pointed away from the edge of the stove.  You do not want someone accidentally knocking your pots over, or even worse, children spilling hot oils on themselves.

The Clean Up:

It is important to keep your gloves, safety goggles, and apron on.  Until the area is completely neutralized and cleaned, you do not want to take any chances.

Since soap making is caustic you will want to ensure that your work area is properly cleaned when you are finished making your soaps.  We recommend that the first step in cleaning is to neutralize the area first with vinegar.  The next step will be to wipe the area down with hot soapy water, then rinse.

When washing your soaping utensils/equipment, you will also want to use hot soapy water.  Since the lye solution will still be caustic you will also want to add vinegar to your soapy water to neutralize this.  Rinse and dry your utensils and equipment.  Store all soaping supplies together and out of the reach of children and pets.

If you have designated rags specifically for soaping, you will want to wash them by hand.  Once you are finished with your soaping rags, place them in a vinegar and water solution to soak.  This will neutralize any active lye.  Once they have soaked for awhile, place the rags in hot soapy water and give them a good jostle, making sure that the soapy water is thoroughly getting all over the rag.  Then let the rags soak a little while longer.  Then, get rid of the soapy water, and rinse the rags out.  You know all of the soap is off once the bubbles stop forming and the water rinsing through the rag is clear.  Wring out any excess water, and hang dry.  Place with other soaping materials when finished.

Disposal of lye solution:

If your work area has a septic tank, you do not want to pour it down the drain or flush it down the toilet.  The best suggestion that we have is to use your lye solution in a “false batter”.  Mix your lye solution with vegetable oil.  You are looking for just the right amount to get trace when you stick blend it.  Once trace is established, simply take your spatula, and dump it right into a garbage bag.  Allow the soap batter to set up, then take it to your trash container and dispose of it.   Do not attempt to dispose of the soap batter while it is still fluid; the bag could break and spill the soap batter all over your garbage container.

Checking your soap for pH safety:

There are various ways to check your cured or curing bars for their safety of use.  You never want to use or sell a bar of soap that has not cured completely.  An uncured bar means that there is still active lye solution in your soap.  Washing with this soap could result in very serious skin irritation and even burns.

The first and best way to check whether your cp bars are cured is to pH strip them.  Using this method is concrete.  If the number that you get from the pH strip does not fall between the correct range, then, the soap still needs a little more cure time.

The pH scale ranges from 0-14.  The pH scale measures the amount of acidity or alkalinity a substance has.  If the number falls between 0-6, then your substance is an acid.  If the number falls between 8-14, then your substance is a base.  If the number is 7, then it is a neutralized substance.

Soap is a base, because of the lye solution used.  The range that you are seeking to see if your cp bars have cured is 8.5-10.5.  Please note that the 10.5 pH level is for that of industrial strength soap.  8.5 is the typical ph for homemade soap that is used on the body.

The second way to check your soap for active lye is to wash your hands with the soap.  We only advise this if you are sure that the majority of the cure process has already taken place.  If there is any active lye left, you will have a greasy feel on your hands that will seem to not want to wash away.  Even if you wash your hands with another bar of cured soap, the greasy feel will still be there.  Your hands will also tingle or burn.  This is because the active lye from the high pH bar is saponifying the natural oils in your skin.  This soap bar would still need more cure time.

The final way to check if your cp bars are cured is to do a “tongue test”, or a “zap test”.  This involves sticking your tongue on the bar of soap.  If it zaps your tongue (just like a 9V battery does), then your soap still has active lye and needs to complete the curing process.

Natures Garden does not advise the tongue test as a way to check a curing bar of soap.  Lye is extremely caustic and does serious damage to our bodies.   Why take the chance on active lye, when you can use a pH strip and get a safe result?

If you plan to resell your handcrafted soap (after testing for a long time), please follow the FDA guidelines on how to label your product.  We will discuss product labeling in a future class.  In the mean time…Happy Safe Soaping!

Soap Making: Where Do I Start?

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

M&P soap, CP soap, CPOP soap, HP soap, which method is right for you?

For the next few weeks, we at Natures Garden will be writing a series devoted to soap making.  We hope that you find this series informative and that it may help to answer any unresolved questions in your mind when it comes to making soap.

The first decision you need to make before you start making soap is what soap you want to make.

Just so that everyone is starting off on the same base, a general definition for soap is:  an emulsified product of an alkali treated fat yielding a cleansing agent.

There are 4 different types of soap making.  They are M&P (melt and pour), CP (cold process), HP (hot process), and CPOP (cold process oven process).  Each group has its own pros and cons.   Each process differs in varying ways, but there are two similarities that all of the groups share:  Each group’s process has already gone through, or must go through the chemical reaction of saponification.  And, each process results in finished soap.

MP soap

One of the greatest advantages of melt and pour soaps is that the actual soap making chemical process (lye process) has already be completed; technically making this a ready-made product.  When working with M&P, you are dealing with soap that essentially only needs melted, fragranced, colored, and molded.

For precautionary reasons, this is a perfect soap making process for anyone with small children or pets, since the process does not require working with lye.  Melt and pour soap is also a great place to start if you have never made soap before.  The steps are very simple.  Melt the soap, add color, add fragrance, and, place in mold to harden.  That is it!  There is no cure time.  Soap bars are able to be used once they are popped out of the mold.  Coloring M&P soap is also very predictable.  Unlike the other soap making processes, the color that your liquid soap is before you pour it in the mold, will be the same color of your finished bars.  There is no color morphing since that soap has already been saponified.

Melt and Pour soap is also known as glycerin soap.  Glycerin is a natural by-product of the chemical reaction of lye and water.  Having glycerin as a component in your M&P soap is very beneficial because glycerin is not only an emollient keeping the moisture in your skin, but it is also considered a humectant- absorbing the moisture from the air so that the skin does not dry out.  Additives such as herbs and exfoliates can also be added to M&P soap, resulting in bars that can do various things for your skin.

This is a very forgiving soap for error.  If soap hardens too quickly, it can always be re-melted in the microwave or by using a double boiler.  Since M&P is very pliable you can safely handle the soap without the worry of being burned by lye; forming swirls and other shapes.  This process is very cost effective, and allows for you to have a healthier bar of soap for your skin than any store bought brand that has had the glycerin stripped from it.

The cons of M&P soaps are that you do not have direct control of all of the ingredients in your soap.  Melt and Pour soap can also easily burn during the heating process so you will want to watch it closely.  Because glycerin is the most prominent ingredient, your M&P bars are softer and tend to not last as long as the other processed bars of soaps.  This is because glycerin is quick dissolving in water.  Aesthetically speaking, due to its humectant tendencies, this soap is very prone to sweating (or beading).

CP soap

Cold process soap is generally accepted as the most commonly used process by soap crafters.  The term cold process is actually attributed to the fact that there is no outside heating source required for saponification; the lye mixture itself heats and saponifies the oils.

The CP process includes making a lye water mixture, melting your oils, blending the lye water and oils together- bringing it to a very light trace, adding fragrance and/or color, and molding.  For the first 24 hours, your soap molds need to be insulated with towels or blankets.  After 24 hrs, the soap can be cut and laid out to cure.

If you are not a patient person, then one downfall of CP soaping is the cure time.  This averages 4-6 weeks before the soap is safe to use.  During the cure time a lot occurs.  Any residual lye is counteracted by saponification. This cure time is needed to make soap milder on your skin.  Any excess water is evaporated out, allowing for a nice hard bar of soap.  The soap bars have to be manually rotated and flipped so that air touches all of the sides.  It is also during this time that soda ashing occurs.  This ash is not harmful, but it can be unsightly, especially if you have decorated the tops of your bars.

The biggest and most rewarding benefit of cold process soap is that you make it completely from scratch.  You control each and every aspect of the soap from beginning to end.  Because cold process soap directly relies on a chemical reaction to occur, ingredients and measurements have to be exact.  Each component of your cold process soap has a specific SAP value.  This value is the amount of lye needed to saponify each oil in your recipe.  Therefore, it is impossible to swap out anything or add anything once your lye water ratio has been figured out.  Adding a little too much lye can result in soap that is lye heavy.  This means that the ph level will be very high, and it could result in burns or irritation to your skin.  On the opposite end, adding too much oil can result in bars that are soft and greasy due to the unreacted oils.   CP recipes usually contain either palm oil or coconut oil, or both.  Their values in any recipe are generally 20-30%.  This is because these oils provide for a bar of soap that is gentle, lathers, and cleans.

With CP soaping it is very important to know how a fragrance oil will affect the mixture.  Some fragrance oils cause soap batter to accelerate trace, rice, discolor, or will seize the batch (become soap-on-a-stick).  Vice versa, there are also fragrance oils that do not adversely affect the soap batter, and allow for plenty of time to decorate.  Swirling is one decoration technique that requires soap batter that is slow to trace.  Trace can be affected by the actual soaping oils used in your recipe, the temperature of your lye solution, the temperature of your soaping oils, and by the fragrance oil you select.  This type of artistry provides an exclusive look that is almost impossible to duplicate again.  Columning and funneling can also be used with cp soap batter for a very unique look.

Since CP soap must undergo the saponification process, color morphing can become an issue.  FD&C or D&C dyes tend to morph (change color) in the presence of lye.  Oxides and ultramarines can withstand the high ph environment of the saponification process, and are much less likely to morph in CP soap.  Depending on the ingredients found in mica pigments, you will find some micas that do not morph in CP soap, and some that do.  To easily test to see if your color choice will morph in CP soap, you can always add a small amount of your color to a small amount of lye mixture and observe any changes.  This will save you the frustration of ruining an entire batch of soap that is colored a color you do not desire.

HP Soap

HP soaping is the second most popular process of crafting soap.  With this process you now have the control of what goes into the soap like CP provides with the ready-to-use-now element of M&P soaps.

Hot Process soap has steps very similar to the CP soap steps, but varies in that you are adding heat to the equation to speed up the saponification process.  The HP process includes: making your lye water mixture, adding your oils to the heat source, blending the lye water and oils together, stir, cook, stir, stir, stir, add fragrance/ additives, stir some more.  With this process, it is not until the soap batter is closer to a solid than a liquid that it is scooped and packed into a mold.  Since the saponification process has already completed from the heat, there is no need to insulate your mold.

This process is done in a crock pot or on a stove top.  Crock pots are recommended over stove tops because a crock pot allows for slow, even heating of the batter and it is less likely to scorch.  The most important key to remember when doing this method is to stir and stir often.  One of the biggest benefits of this heat addition is that it does not require a curing period.  Although, for harder, milder bars that will last longer, Natures Garden suggests that you allow these bars to cure for at least a week before using.

The finished soap bars of the hot process have a very rustic appeal.   The soap bars individually are not completely uniform in shape nor are they completely smooth.  This is due to the scoop and pack method of filling the molds.  Color morphing, like experienced in the CP method, can also be a problem.  Therefore, choosing colorants that can withstand high ph environments is a must when making HP soap. Getting uniform coloring throughout your bars of soap will be more challenging with HP than with CP.

CPOP Soap

Often dubbed as the best of both worlds, CPOP, or cold processed oven processed soap allows for cold processed soap to saponify quicker with the extra step of heat and therefore directly shortens the cure time.   This is a very good method for soap crafters who love to do CP without the long wait of cure time.

The CPOP method includes:  preheating your oven to 170 degrees F, making a lye water mixture, mixing your oils, blending the lye water and oils together- bringing it to a very light trace, adding fragrance and/or color, molding, baking for 1- 2 1/2 hrs, turn off the oven, and let it sit for 24 hours in oven.  Finally, remove, cut, and start the cure time of 4 weeks.  This cure time allows for milder, harder bars of soap that will last longer.

Visually, CPOP soap bars are very close to that of CP bars.  The only slight difference is that the tops of CPOP bars are not as smooth as CP ones.  CPOP soap can appear dry on top, but this can easily be remedied by spraying the tops of the soap with rubbing alcohol.

In summary, the first step to soap making is deciding which type of soap making process is right for you.  Natures Garden will have two different soap making kits that will further help you.  We currently carry a melt and pour soap kit, and very soon a CP soap making kit.  Each of these kits will allow you to experience soap making first hand.  How fun is that!

2012 Color Trends

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Wild Animal Prints, Bold Flowers, Lime & Hot Pink

Every year the corporation Pantone Inc forecasts a color trend.  The headquarters which is located in New Jersey spends countless hours researching through various worldly mainstreams, seeking the next “it” color.  They are quite literally looking for the color that will be a worldwide attention grabber.   The two main things that Pantone looks for is what they think the public will want and need.

The 2012 Pantone Color of the year is Tangerine Tango.   It was selected due to its energizing and encouraging elements.  A huge factor in this year’s selection, as well as the colors selected in previous years is the economy and spending habits.  Knowing that consumers are responsible for reviving the economy, this makes Tangerine Tango a perfect color to call shoppers to action in spending.

Now, although this color is vibrant and screams energy, let’s take the financial gain out of the situation and present to you what we at Natures Garden think is going to be the
hot color trends of the 2012 year.  With so many negative things that are occurring in the world:  violent protests, economic uncertainty, famine, poverty; the list seems to be never ending.  Our focus this year was to find colors and trends that will not only stand out, but will keep the positive energy flowing.

Our 2012 Color choice is Lime.  If lime had to be described in a single word it would be amazing.  Lime is the perfect choice because being of the green color family it is a combination of blue and yellow.  Hues of blue colors are calming, refreshing, and peaceful.  Yellow hues are energizing, hopeful, and happy.  Put these two together and bam… beautiful and breathe taking greens.  What a combo!

The color lime green represents many things.  It is a color of balance through means of the body, mind, and emotion.  It represents both change and growth while still maintaining a youthful and playful tone.  On an interpersonal level, lime signifies an open mind to learning and a non judgmental perception.  The color lime initiates the clearing of negativity and reminds us of hope.  Lime is a natural peacemaker.  A color that evokes a healthy anticipation of possible potential while still allowing for
openness to new ideas without any of the angst associated to demands of outside forces.  Lime is a self respect color.  On a final note, the color lime is a mental signifier of luck.

Another strong color that we believe is going to rock this year is hot pink.  You probably saw that one coming.  The color hot pink is fun and exciting.  It contains qualities that
are both passionate and sensual.  Hot pink is confident.  The color radiates feelings of encouragement and unconditional love.  Hot pink also decreases stress levels and
anger.  Hot pink can be a color that provides for very insightful energies.

This year as well we would like to forecast a theme that will surely remain a constant in the spotlight.  Wild, crazy, savvy… animal prints are HOT.  Let your wild side out, unchain the savage beasts.  This is a trend that cannot be trapped.  Whether it is zebra, leopard, tiger, or giraffe; making a statement with a little fierceness is never going out of style.  Bring on the safari!  If you are not sure which print best suits you, feel free to take this animal print quiz:  http://www.blogthings.com/whatanimalprintareyouquiz 

Not only do we feel that lime and hot pink will be the hot colors for 2012, we also feel that these colors will influence the following markets:  fragrance, candle, soap, and cosmetics.  For many years now, people have used orange scented cleaning products to clean their homes.      Tired of the “same-ole same-ole” scent, we believe consumers will be looking for alternative citrus notes to make their homes smell clean.  Imagine a Pink Grapefruit fragrance infused with fresh Kaffir lime.  This is a perfectly, refreshing, clean smell, and it screams hot pink and lime!  Natures Garden just added this wonderful fragrance to our line, and we call it HOT PINK LIME; any coincidence?   Additionally, we
see sugary lime fragrances becoming hot.  Fragrances like Frozen Margarita, Mojito, Coconut Lime, Agave Lime, and Keylime Pie will be hot in 2012.

Fragrances that focus on hot pink will be equally hot; Hot Pink Pomegranate, Pink Watermelon, Pink Sugar, Fluffy Pink Candy to name a few.

Our conclusion:  2012 is going to be a wild and fun time filled with lots of HOT PINK and Lime.  Embrace it, and have fun with it!

Natures Garden Candle, Soap, Cosmetic Supplies

Creative Bath Company Interview

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Bubble Babez Bath Company Interview

  • Whats your name & Your Company Name (Why Did you choose that name?):

My name is Nicole Davis, My fiance Tristan Jackson and I created Bubble Babez Bath Company LLC. We selected this name because with a two part answer lol, We chose Bubble first because of course we are dealing with soap and I firmly believe that if you dont see bubbles then its not clean. Babez was selected because that is what Tristan and I call each other all the time. So we birthed Bubble Babez Bath Company LLC

  • How did you get into this business?

We got into this business because I (Nicole) was looking for an inexpensive way to fill swag bags for Tristan’s Birthday party but still be chic. I didnt want to use cheap items people would never use again, I loved baking so making cupcakes was an option but I wanted to have bath and body products something people could use for a while. I decided to combine the two options to make bath and body products that smelled like cakes, I spent endless hours on the computer and reading trying to figure out how to go about making soaps and lotions. When everyone was down to their last corner of lotion and slither of soap they asked me for more. I had no idea that it would be such a hit with my friends!

I wasn’t too far off of the beaten path because I was am a licensed cosmetologist/makeup artist and was working with cosmetics already. I studied about esthetics, skin, nail and hair care. Tristan joined me because I told her we can do this as a business and she had so much faith in this dream that she left her job working at ESPN to get on board full time and make Bubble Babez grow.

I started off with melt and pour soap and was content for a while, but I really wanted to know what was going into my soap. I researched a whole more because it never stops lol, spent many hours on YouTube looking at soap making videos, to venture into making lye soap. I was a little intimidated in working with the lye because for some reason it has always seemed like a scary thing. But I asked a longtime soapmaker (Kim of Nature’s Art) if she would help me out, I let her know I was going to finally try my hand at it. Such a great teacher she simplified it for me and made me fearless about working with lye and making soap that I just leaped! I made my first batch and that was it I caught the bug! After my 1st batch was made my wonderful teacher said ok let me teach you how to discount the water so you can cut your cure time in half, since I am impatient and I like immediate results. I was successful yet again I was so excited like I really did this. I still look at my soaps in awe that I created this from scratch. From then on I couldn’t stop.

  • What is your favorite part of this business? (PLEASE, take the time to really tell us your story! A Short couple of sentences will not be acceptable, our readers want to know you!)

My favorite part of this business is creating. I am a creative person by nature and I am always thinking of ideas or how to improve on the ideas that I have. My mind is so busy at times I cant sleep wake up in the morning and tell Tristan what I dreamt or was thinking of creating and boom I make it happen. Tristan is usually the one reeling me back in because sometimes one thing has nothing to do with the other lol. She always say focus lol but I am like I have to be different LOL. Tristan’s favorite part of the business is going to the markets and interacting with our customers. She also loves testing the products.

  • Whats the most difficult part?

The most difficult part of the business is funding and finances. Trying to maintain the business and home after a while it starts to get hectic and things just have a snowball effect and it just grows. But, with help, careful budgeting and planning it makes it a bit easier. We started out doing the business and we had 2 incomes plus the business, then we decided to do this full time and then we only had the income of the business and that was uncomfortable. Also sometimes its difficult for on my relationship because my business partner is also my fiance and we tend to get on each others nerves after a while lol. All of our time, energy and soul is poured into the business and it always seems like we are working that we find it rather difficult to spend time with each other and NOT discuss work.

  • Whats your favorite product or aspect of Natures Garden?

My favorite product from Natures Garden used to be the french milled soap omg I loved it! I am a HUGE fan of the fragrance oils! I love that they are swift with shipping and their customer service is great. I also love the interaction with the show and tell it gives the crafters a chance to show off what they are making with the products and let potential customers know how people really feel about the items. Because I know I look at show and tell and see the possibilities of products that I would never have tried before. So I love that!

  • What are your goals for the coming year for your business?

Our goals for the coming year is to get to be organized! I can not stress enough how important it is. We would like to grow and have Oprah, Ellen (cuz I love her!), Whoppi and everyone talking about our products. I don’t like comparing myself to any other company but I would really love to have a cult following and be a household name!

Follow us on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/BubbleBabez
*Guys please spread the word! And share this flyer with all your family and friends!*

Any Info You Have Below-

http://www.bubblebabez.com/

Love of Learning

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

This Valentine’s Day show some love to your creative side.

That’s right folks, it is time to extend our boundaries and experiment with some new products.  I know all too well how exciting it is when Natures Garden carries new fragrance oils, bases, additives, colorants, etc.  Something new, anything new, I love it all!

What is it about change?  Change is good.  Change allows us to hit the refresh button and bask in the glory of new and all its possibilities.  The thought of expanding our knowledge and know how of homemade goodies seems to revitalize everything for the better.  So, as we settled into the New Year let’s welcome the newbies by giving them a try.

In case you missed it, here are some of our newest products at Natures Garden:

Lip Tints:  These are awesome.  With 6 different colors to choose from all things lip just got a whole lot sexier.

Activated Charcoal:  A great way to add a detoxifying agent to your homemade soap.  This additive has a dual purpose as a natural black colorant too.  That’s two, yes two things for the price of one.  I guess that makes it a deal and a steal.  HA!

Vegetable Glycerin:  This has been on my wish list for a long time.  Finally here, this amazing liquid has tons of uses in bath, body, and home.  Once you get your hands on this, you will definitely be coming back for more.

Fractionated Coconut Oil:  Talk about being a multi-purpose, there is almost too much to mention.  Whether you are using it as a carrier or a substitute, in toiletries or cosmetics; the capabilities are endless.  Bonus, this fractionated coconut oil stays a liquid in relatively low temperatures.

Cream of Tartar:  It’s not just for the kitchen anymore!  This is one ingredient needed if you are looking to make fabulous bubble bars.

Fun Soap Colorants:  Although these colorants are super Fun… I refer to them as blast in a bottle!  These non-bleeding vivid colors will make a bold statement in your M&P or CP soap line.   If you are looking to add a little wow factor to your soap products, this is an excellent item to start with.   PS… No color morphing!

Titanium Dioxide Oil Dispersible Powder:  This natural mineral is an excellent whitener; perfect for soaps, toiletries, and so much more.

White Beeswax Pastilles:  Straight from the honeycomb, this naturally bleached beeswax is a splendid addition for everyone’s line.

Cookie Cutters:  Whether you are looking to bake some cookies, make hanging air fresheners, or get cleverly creative, these cookie cutters are a must have.  They are just too cute to pass up!

Finally, I do have an honorable mention to the new products.

Welcome Back Mica Pigment:  Oh how I missed you while you were gone.  If there is one thing that is never going to go out of style, it is shimmer!  This product is a love it, gotta have it in both colors diamond and 24K gold!  Bling me up Scotty!

So everyone, let’s get a little messy, broaden our horizons, and test some new products.

I was given some wise advice when I was younger.  Although then, I didn’t quite understand it, now I find that it applies to almost everything I do.   I am now going to pass this wisdom onto you: “Don’t sit on the sidelines and let life pass you by.  Get out there, make mistakes, and take chances; for this is the process of learning.  With age comes wisdom, and what is the purpose of your life if you don’t live, laugh, and love.”

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

 

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

 

Sparkles!!! Nicole

 

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

 

www.naturesgardencandles.com

 

 

Love Day Baskets

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Cupid is Coming…

 

As we all know Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It is a day meant to be filled with love and appreciation for one another. Typically, this is considered a lovers holiday. This very special day is filled with flowers, chocolates, cards, and romantic evenings. So, since we are all business minded, it goes without saying that we are all super busy making our loved themed products in preparation for this big occasion.

 

This is our time to shine.

 

No one knows the female market better than we do.  We also know that many men shop for this day last minute with little to no thought behind their purchases.  So, let’s take these two factors, and solve the problem.

 

What do women want?  This question has plagued man since the beginning of time.  We are such wonderfully complex beings; it is hard for men to understand.   I know that I do not have to elaborate on this topic.  To make a quick generalization, we want everything and nothing at the same time.  It is this very tangled web that men cannot grasp.  But hey, there is nothing sexier than a little mystery.  Women know this.

 

So, how do we correlate this into a suitable gift?  Well, as they say, “You can lead a horse to water…”

 

If you have read any of my earlier posts, you know that I am a huge homemade gift basket advocator.  If you haven’t, you do now.  I’ve done a little research and coupled that with some out of the box thinking to come up with some unique ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts.  My main objective when compiling this list was to take the uncertainty out of present purchasing for men, while still satisfying the wants of women.

 

Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts:

Now he can have everything he needs to show her he cares, with very little thinking involved!

 

  1. A “Snuggle and Cuddle Basket” containing a handmade fleece tie blanket, romantic movie, microwave popcorn, and candles or tea lights scented with Endlessly in Love fragrance.  Perfect for a night in together.
  2. A “Dinner is on Me Basket” containing all of the items and ingredients to make a delicious meal.  Along with these items, include two pillar candles scented with Aphrodisiac to set the mood.  Now, he can cook like a pro.  A little FYI for everyone:  According to my research, the most loved and appreciated gift that men did for women on Valentine’s Day last year was cook them a dinner for a romantic evening in.  By selling a basket with all of the items that a man would need to make dinner, not only are you providing a one stop shop, but you are also preventing them from having to go to no man’s land… aka the supermarket.
  3. A “Bath time Butler Basket” containing soap, Ritzy bath gel, and soap dipped rose petals all scented in Magic Potion.  Don’t forget to add the sponge, or loofah.  Everything he needs to give her a relaxing bubble bath.
  4.  An “Undying Love Vase” filled with aroma buds scented with NG Beautiful Type.  Unlike the 200 million stems of roses that will be sold near Valentine’s Day, her roses won’t be expiring any time soon.
  5. A “Capture our Love Basket” including a disposable camera, 3 x 5 photo album, love stickers, and red and black sharpie markers.  This way, whatever way they choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, he can give her the memories to keep forever.

 

These are some really great basket ideas for increasing your sales as we approach the anticipated Love Day.

 

Remember…Love can mean many different things to many different people.  As always, there are various factors that feed into this equation too.  The most important thing to remember is feeling special and loved on Valentine’s Day is great, but feeling special and loved the other 364 days of the year is one gift that is in everybody’s price range and doesn’t need a gift receipt.

 

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

 

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

 

Sparkles!!! Nicole

 

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

 

www.naturesgardencandles.com

 

 

Free Love Coupons

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

We had our graphic artist create these Free Love coupons that you guys are welcome to use.

Print them by visiting the link below:

FREE LOVE COUPONS

 

Deborah Ward

Natures Garden Candle & Soap Supplies