Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Entrereneurship: Jump in and Make It Work

If someone would have told me ten years ago that I would be in the soap making business and manufacturing molds, I would have laughed. I'm not sure I would have even known what a "soap mold" was, much less it's purpose. I was working in the medical industry (finance area) and, though spinning my wheels in a secure corporate position, I had no plans to dive into any type of risky business venture. But it happened! An opportunity presented itself, and I decided to jump in with both feet and make it work. I was shaking in my shoes when I plunged into something that was outside my comfort zone. To be quite honest, I still shake in my shoes on many days when confronted with business decisions that could affect my future income (and retirement).

OK, let's get back to why all the above really matters to you. BECAUSE, if you are starting a business and are NOT a risk taker, then you need to align yourself and engage in a business relationship with someone who is. There is this sweet balance between questioning everything, being obsessive by nature and having difficulty parting from the norm (that would be me) to partnering yourself with someone who has the attitude "if it works, it works... if it doesn't, I'll try something else". I am lucky to have that partnership. Count your blessings if you find that same business balance.

My mold maker is that balance for me and I couldn't ask for a better partnership. We bounce ideas off each other, have established an alliance, are engaged in a trusting friendship, and genuinely care about the future of the company. It reminds of the type of relationship that was founded by Pixar, the creators of so many 3-D animated movies. Against all odds, this group evolved into one of the biggest movie makers of all times. They started as a high-end computer hardware company and migrated into producing 3-D computer-animated feature films that are now historical. At the time 3-D movies were unheard of. They had no idea that their company would evolve into the billion dollar industry it is today. Of course, I'm not operating a billion dollar business, but the same principles apply to every company regardless of size. You need to partner with someone that shares your dream, someone who can be objective, and, most importantly, someone who is willing to pledge allegiance to your trustworthy...and is a visonary for the long-haul.

So what am I suggesting? FOLLOW YOUR DREAM! You never know where it will take you until you press the gas pedal and drive down the highway.

If you believe the risk or speed is more than you're willing to take, you can put on the brakes. However, if you don't get behind that driver's seat, you'll never know if your dreams are just "couch-potato wishes" or are actual stepping stones that will motivate you to latch onto your deepest desires.

I say, go for it! Snag those dreams and drive that car until it crashes. That's a true entrepreneur and I hope that entrereneur is YOU!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Soap Making 101: How'd Ya Do That?

Here is a recent inquiry from our customer, Cindy H:

I recently bought the doughnut soap mold (Mold Market's) and have already made several bars. However, I do not know how to create the "sprinkles" effect on the soap. Do you have an informational site or sheet that you could share with me that would guide me in creating these effects? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Cindy, it's easier than you think. First join the two doughnut halves.

How to join for a 3-D mold type:

Pour and release soap from mold. Using the same colored soap (or clear soap base) drizzle melted soap onto the flat side of one of the soaps. Join the second half by aligning it to the first soap (the one with the drizzled soap). Gently, press the two halves together and allow and allow the soap to set up until firm. The soap drizzled between the two halves acts as glue and holds the two pieces together for a 3-D soap.

To dress up the doughnut melt and color soap base (you can add fragrance, if desired). Let the soap set up until it's pudding consistency. Then, using a standard kitchen spoon drizzle the soap over the top of the doughnut. Add some sprinkles to the top of the drizzled soap.

In the very top picture, we dipped one side of the doughnut soap into melted soap. If you put the melted soap into a shallow dish, it will be easier to dip the doughnut. You can also use a standard kitchen spoon to coat the top of the doughnut with melted (colored) soap, then immediately apply a layer of food grade sprinkles. Again, you will want the melted soap to be the consistency of pudding or cake batter when you apply, otherwise, the soap will run off the top of the doughnut and you won't get the right effect.

And there you have it! It's really no different than working with a real doughnut. Instead, you're working with soap.

Hope this helps, Cindy.

Baby Shower Soap Favors: Business Shout Out

Mold Market Little Princess Soap Mold Here's a business shout out to They offer both the Little Princess and It's a Girl soaps made from our Mold Market line of soap molds. Perfect ready-make soaps for your next baby shower (and very affordable!)

It's A Girl Mold Market Soap Mold
See what other great baby shower soap molds are available at

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Geo Curves Soap Mold: What's Your Color Mix?

This Geo Curve Mold from Mold Market is a favorite. The curved areas readily accept a second color pour and the coloring possiblities are left only to your imagination. The bar fits easily into the palm of the hand and is a generous 5 plus ounces. You can make it work for just about any holiday by varying the colors. In my opinion, you get plenty of bang for your buck with this mold; it's one you want to have on hand for every occasion.

Our girl Sophie poured curved area in the following soaps in these colors:
  • Relay Race Red and Be-Bop Blue (using clear soap base)
  • Bright Neon Green (using white soap base)
  • Lavender (using clear soap base) and Bright Neon Pink (using a half and half mix of white and clear base)
All of the above soap colors are available at GoPlanetEarth. Need help with colorants? Just email. We'll be happy to assist.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Friday Fix: It's Not Always About Soap

Yes, I do have a life apart from soap. And, this particular Friday is going to be a day away from the world of soap making. The only soap & suds happening today is when I jump into the shower. My Friday Fix is spending time with my daughter and grandkids. Pictured above is Miss O with her mommy.

What's not to love about this blue-eyed beauty. She can be a she-devil at times, but wins back your heart with those butterfly kisses and big blue eyes. She looks just like her mommy at this age.

Yes, and then there is our little guy. Giant blue eyes, curly locks and a laugh that is infectious. Take note of the two fisted "binkies". If one is good, two is better. The red thing in his hand is a silkie pillowcase. He doesn't leave home without it (or that dog-gone pacifer). My daughter tells me she must pick and choose her battles... the pacifer is a losing battle at this point.

And there's my Friday Fix (minus their Daddy, who is working today). My daughter, Miss O, Fish (or we sometimes call him Bubba), and big brother Mr. C. Hope you all enjoy your weekend. I'm finishing up some paperwork in my office and then I'm off to enjoy this beautiful sunny day with family.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Soap Making: Fourth of July Celebration Soaps

Can you believe that next week-end is the Fourth of July? The summer is moving at such a fast pace. Here are some soaps to help celebrate this event. How fun to display these soaps in your bath area for your 4th of July party. Or, to pass out as guest favors for those attending your cookout.

We used the following Mold Market molds for this project:

The soap colors used:

Suspension soap base is ideal when you want to suspend something like glitter.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Soap Making 101: A Soap Mold Release Tip

The above photo shows melt and pour soap that has been poured into a plastic mold. In this case, it's Mold Market's star mold (which BTW is pretty cool). As you can see, we did not pour the soap all the way to the top of the mold. There's a reason for this. You need to have some "finger space" to release the soap from the mold. Some of you may be scratching your head and asking, "What's finger space?"

Finger space means you leave room for your fingers to grab the sides of the mold when releasing the soap from the mold. If you pour the soap right to the top, it becomes difficult to release fromt he mold. Fingernails tend to dig into the soap when trying to release. Sometimes, you can smooth out those (fingernail) areas, but not always.

I recommend allowing some head-space for the release process. If you don't pour the soap all the way to the top, you have room for your fingers to pull on the sides of the mold (without digging your nails into the soap). Once air is introduced between the mold and soap, you're home free and the soap will pop right out (without nail imprints) when gentle pressure is applied to the face of the mold.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Oops of Soap Making: Sophie's Learning Curve

In my last couple of posts, I've mentioned my college employee, Sophie. She's been learning soaping basics while working at GoPlanet this summer. It's been a learning curve for her and, thankfully, she's allowed me to show you some of her "Ooops!" This is one of them. Sophie's goal was to pour a series of 4th of July soaps using various molds. This particular soap (the Mold Market Polka Dot mold) got her quite excited. She couldn't wait to fill each dot to make a multi-colored red, white and blue soap.

As you can see, there was a slight problem when the soap was released from the mold. Some of the dots stayed in the mold. Those stubborn little dots, how dare they defy Sophie! Here's my two-cents worth on what happened (OK, with inflation, it's a nickel's worth).

  1. This has nothing to do with the mold, it's all about you. And probably one of those times when you wished it wasn't all about you.
  2. The dots were perfect but Sophie allowed them to set up too long before pouring the red background.
  3. It's likely that she did not throughly dispersed the rubbing alcohol on the surface of the dots prior to pouring the red color pour. This is critical when pouring soap in layers. That isopropyl alcohol really does help that second pour to adhere to the first. If you miss areas when spraying, the first soap pour may not grab onto the second pour.
  4. When releasing the soap from the mold, allow air to get between the mold and the poured soap. If you don't, it's not uncommon to have layers that stick to the face of the mold (like the dots that were stuck in the mold).

I've been in this business for many years and know that there are those who claim rubbing alcohol is not needed when pouring soap in layers. I say, PISH-POSH!! Not only does it help when pouring layers, it also eliminates any air bubbles on the surface of the soap.

Soap Making: Ribbon Soap Mold Using the Injector Tool

Last week, I made a post on FaceBook about Sophie's cupcake soaps. Yesterday, Sophie experimented with Mold Market's Ribbon Soap mold. This was her first experience using the injector tool found in our Professional Soap Making Tool Kit. The injector allowed her to easily fill white areas with melted soap base.

The key to using the this tool is keeping the soap at a pourable temp and making sure that you have hot water to clean the tool should the tip become clogged. The soap base needs to flow evenly through the tip. If the soap starts to set up inside the injector tool, you could be in trouble. So you need to work quickly with the filled tube and use HOT water to clean the tube should it become clogged. If using more than one color, you may want to have a couple of these injector tools on hand.

Here is an example of how this tool was used for another Mold Market mold. The injector tool was used to fill each dot. It was a whiz and there were no overflow issues.

The above picture shows what can happen once you have filled in the small, detailed area using the injector tool. I warned Sophie that pouring the second soap layer too hot would result in the detailed areas bleeding into her second pour. She quickly learned this lesson. The white soap was poured at too high of a temp and and the red soap melted slightly and merged into the white area.

If you are new to soap making, using a thermometer will help gauge temperature. You can also do the "pinkie test". If you dip your pinkie finger into the soap and it is not a comfortable temp, then it's too hot to pour over that second color.

Visit our Facebook page today and "LIKE" the page. You will then be eligible to recieve the FREE injector tool being offered today. Our Facebook page will give you those details.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Friday Fix

Friday's should begin with a dose of something fun; something that makes us laugh. Donna Maria's blooper video pitch to Oprah was my Friday Fix. It is a reminder that no matter how much we try, we're still human and we may have to do a few retakes in our life to get it right. So to all my loyal customers... know that our company is trying to get it right each and every time, but there's gonna be some bloopers along the way. Enjoy your weekend!

If you have an idea for a show, you can pitch it to Oprah too! The deadline is June 30. Here is the info.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mold Market Cupcake Soap Mold Our new clear cupcake boxes using the Mold Market Cupcake mold. We used the cupcake topper and placed soap frosting on top (using our whipped body butter!). A few sprinkles on top and the cupcake soap was good to go. You can use the whipped soap frosting with or without the cupcake topper. I found that using the Mold Market cupcake topper added more lift to the frosting. Cupcake Soap Mold

Our whipped soap frosting recipe will yield up to 12 frosted cupcakes, but you'll have to work fast. The whipped soap sets up rather quickly. You can reduce the recipe into thirds if you don't want to do as may cupcakes and risk having the frosting setting up. We were able to fill the Decorator Pro with enough frosting to make 4 cupcakes.

Here is the recipe you'll need to make the soap frosting.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Clear Acetate Cupcake Soap Boxes Just Arrived!

Clear Acetate Cupcake Soap Box for Mold Market Cupcake Mold
Yes, finally.... they are here!! A clear acetate cupcake box for those Mold Market cupcake soaps. Hmmm... consider using this cupcake mold as a candle. Forget those traditional birthday candles, how about life-size cupcake candles. I like it!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

ECO-Friendly Soap Making: Make the Old Look New

Pictured is a metal deck table and chairs that I've had for years. It was a free gift recieved through points earned via a Spiegel catalog. Throughout the years, I have spray painted the metal to keep it in good condition. This year, however, I decided to step outside the box and spray the table and chairs in three different colors.

LOVE IT! Even my honey-man commented on the colors. When the project was complete, it was just another reminder on how we need to step outside the box when presenting our product. Often, it doesn't take that much effort (or expense) to rework product presentation. It can be as simple as adding a new ribbon to a box or using eco-friendly packaging. Rethinking how you package your products to work with present trends is always your first option; and, considerably less expensive than producing a new product line.

Is Your Business Clinging to a Security Blanket?

My granddaughter, Miss Olivia, has been clinging to her pink, silky blanket since birth. It's tattered, torn, and almost always dirty since she doesn't go anywhere without it. She even kisses the "blankie" and says "I love you blankie, I'll see you later." As you can see in the above photo, she even carries her blanket to the lake house (while playing dress-up bride). BTW, I am saving this photo to display on her wedding day.

This pink blanket has become Miss O's security. It shadows (or should I say, over-shadows) everything she does. The same is true in business. We often cling to security blankets that have become extinct and no longer serve any useful purpose (other than presenting a sense of false security). Occasionally, we need to reassess our business plan and make necessary changes. Yes, saying farewell to our security blanket(s) is difficult, but ultimately it promotes growth. Is it time for your business to kiss those security blankets good-bye? Here are 10 examples to recognize whether you have fallen prey to business security blankets:
  1. I don't need to keep a customer database. If my customer ordered once, they will order again in the future. This may have been true 10 years ago, but not today. If you are selling online, the competition is getting tougher. You're going to have to fight for the repeat business. Determine a way to keep in contact with your customers on a regular basis.
  2. The customer is always "king". Bad customers (and we all have them) do not give us the right to abuse our loyal employees. In most cases, those bad customers just aren't worth the fight. Let them go.
  3. I can run my business by myself. WRONG! You need to surround yourself with amazing people that both encourage, support, and help you achieve your business goals. Even if you can't employee the help of workers, you can still surround yourself with a network of individuals that can help your business grow.
  4. I only want to work a 9-5 job. REALLY! If you run an Internet business, you can't have banker hours. The Net has made us all global. To succeed, you need to rethink your response time to emails and customer service response time.
  5. Believing you have the expertise to deal with all problems. Just as doctors specialize in various aspects of medicine, you should consult with and hire specialists in those areas you find lacking.
  6. Believing that you only need to sell within your country. THINK GLOBAL. Let go of that security blanket that makes you believe that international sales are too complicated and risky.
  7. Failing to explore new business trends and letting go of those business trends or products that do not sell. Explore the market. See what's selling, navigate the Net to determine what is hot. If a product isn't selling....get rid of it!
  8. Failure to see emerging technology as a means for promoting or selling your product.
  9. The attitude of "That's Good Enough".
  10. Failure to identify what needs to be changed and ignoring the consequences of not changing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SPECIAL OFFER>>>>> Receive a quality mold for FREE when you place an order of $40 or more. Key the word MOLD during checkout and we'll include a FREE quality mold valued at over $7. Offer expires June 11, 11:59 PM (ET). Molds are of our selections, but we promise it is quality and value.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Face Book Soap Making Offers...Don't Miss Out

If you haven't been checking out our Face Book site on a regular basis, you are DEFINITELY missing out on some great soap making supply offers. We make randon posts that include FREE items and discount coupons. All you have to do is click the button to "Like" our site. This means you are added to our fans page and will receive updates as soon as they are posted on our FB page.

Take a peek at today's SPECIAL offer. Facebook Soap Supplies Offer

Monday, June 07, 2010

Enter to win 2 quality Mold Market soap molds (our selection) and one zippered GoPlanet cosmetic bag. Total value of $21.50.

To enter, type the word GIVEAWAY along with a brief comment on what you like about GoPlanetEarth products or service in the comment section during checkout. Giveaway ends Friday, June 11, 2010 at midnight ET. Winner will be notified by email on June 12. Valid to US shipping addresses only. If you live outside the US, you will need to provide us with a US shipping address should you win.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Live FREE or Die. Or is it, NEVER Do Anything, Then You Die?

When I lived in New Hampshire, the license plate slogan at the time read "Live Free or Die". Quite honestly, it wasn't until years later that I completely understood the message. In this age of technology and everyone wanting everything within seconds, I'm feeling that the "Live Free"part should read, "Live free from technology or you're gonna die". I have become so perplexed about everyone twittering, texting, posting FB messages about this whole social media thing. God love all of you, but at some point, I want a LIFE!!!!!

If I could create a license's plate slogan it would read, "Never do anything (for yourself), and die UNHAPPY." If I died tomorrow, certainly not one of my customers is going to remember me for texting, twittering, posting on FB, or even the perfect shipment they received from the company. I want to live my life doing things that make me happy, not just my customers. If I'm not doing anything to make myself happy, then what? I die?

My wake up call was this AM when I received a customer email all in a fluff because they didn't get their order in a timely manner. Come on, guys... it was a holiday weekend. This customer placed the order on Sunday, we don't work on Fridays during the summer months and the order shipped within 2 days. YES>>>> within 2 days. Let's take into consideration that this was a holiday weekend, and not just for us, but everyone else. Oh, and did I mention, this customer provided an invalid email address so we couldn't send tracking info. Talk about accountability, why didn't this customer read the info posted on our web site about turn-around times AND the posted holiday hours.

OK>>>>OK>>>>OK>>>>, Yes, I'm venting and rightfully so. I feel I have grown this company to where I should be able to have fun, take some vacations and enjoy my family. Isn't that what you all are working for in your business? In the grand scheme of life, no one is going to die, lose their company, or have a nervous breakdown because our company doesn't get an order out the next day. I believe our employees go beyond the norm to get orders shipped promptly. However, we all have families and I will never expect my employees to be married to this company. They should be married to life. So...if your order is delayed by a day due to a holiday, invalid payment information or order typos, be patient.

Perhaps we should all step back and realize that if we don't do anything but work (meaning, take no time to enjoy life) then we die. We die never knowing what it was like to smell the roses, jump in a cold lake, swing from a rope over a river, snuggle with grandkids, watch our kids perform in their first play, or spend time with our dying parents.

For those of you who are so quick to complain, give these comments some thought. To the rest of my wonderful customers who are so quick to praise, THANK YOU!!

Oh, and the pic displayed above is letting you all know that I'm taking time with my family July 9 through 17 in the Traverse City Area of Michigan. I have minimal staff taking care of business during this down-time, but we'll do our best to service your soaping needs during this closure.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Having fun is one way to relieve stress and make us more productive. The problem is, we don't do enough of that fun stuff once we become big people. There is a reason why schools have recess periods (besides giving the teachers a break!). Research shows that kids who participate in a brief recess, perform better. So why don't we big people take note? That's a good question.

Keeping our employees happy and healthy should be part of the overall spectrum of the work day. Allowing employees to get out of the office for a brief 10 minute recess a few times during the day may just prove to boost productivity. How about an outdoor water balloon toss, a game of crochet or bocce ball, playing a game of Apples to Apples, hop-scotch, or even an egg tossing contest.

My husband has always said, "Happy Wife, Happy Life". The same is true for a business owner and his or her employees. Happy workers translates into
  • fewer errors
  • better attitudes
  • employee longevity
  • willingness to go that extra mile
  • more resilient to stress
  • fewer sick and call-off days

GoPlanetEarth is dedicated to providing recess time to our employees. In the end, it works in the favor of our customers. Do you have a recess plan in place for your business?