Monday, August 30, 2010
A new fragrance oil is coming arriving on Wednesday: BLUE TWILIGHT. Think cool, crisp, with a hint of mist that ever so lightly arouses the senses. A uni-sex scent perfect for soaps, lotions and shower gels. Oh, and did I mention you can use it in candles, too? You're gonna love this one! It has a big thumbs up from me on the soaping end.
1) Assess how you got to where you are today
2) Decide if you are happy with where you are
3) Make choices about future paths
Ever have one of those moments? It can be both enlightening and frightening, especially if you’re taking stock of how you have evolved in your business path or career field. I actually made a list of how I got to where I am today and realized what an amazing journey it has been. There have been highs and there have been some really, really bad lows. But, through it all, it’s been a ride that has taught me that anything is possible if you set your heart to follow your dreams.
Many years ago, I was a single mom wanting to earn an income for my family. Like many other single moms, I worked full time but tried to supplement my earning with additional work. I had always been the crafty type and decided that I would start a mail-order catalog business. Keep in mind this was way before computers, the Internet, and all the other electronic devices we have today. This was back in those “ancient” days when you advertised your catalogs in the back pages of Women’s Day or Good House Keeping magazines. I can remember cutting and pasting pictures and text from a typewriter (yep, a typewriter!) and then assembling each catalog by hand.
My catalog sold doll making supplies since it was during the rage of the Cabbage Patch dolls. Everyone wanted to make doll clothes or purchase supplies to make soft-sculptured dolls. I designed my own patterns for sculpting fabric dolls. My version was called the “Magic Magpins”. I made hundreds of these dolls and sold them at craft shows and through my catalog. I even wrote a story about the dolls and their magical powers and included the story with each doll sale. It was soooo much work. But, when I look back on it, it was fun! I loved what I was doing so it never seemed like work.
Let’s see…. from the mail order days, I went to gift baskets. From there it evolved into making my own bath products for the gift baskets. Then, there was a period where I made all-natural herbal products that included Lavender Dryer Bags which I sold to a “green” company; private label products... wedding favors… pre-made decorative loaf soaps… and the list goes on. While I was exploring all of these creative avenues, I continued to work full time at a major health care facility.
In the end, I finally left the health care field and ventured off into the soaping world. I’ve never looked back. It became a passion. Today, as the owner of GoPlanetEarth and a major soap mold manufacturing company, I am happy with my choices. In the early days, I never dreamed that the Internet could afford someone the opportunity to run a successful online company, nor did I dream that I would one day make my living in the soaping business. As for the future? One never knows. Success is about following your dreams, seeking out opportunities, and knowing that when one door closes another door will open.
I hope that you follow your dreams. Life is full of twists and turns. Trying to determine your path can be hard, but, if you follow your heart you may be surprised where you find yourself. The hard work and sacrifices you make can pay-off. If you are new to this soaping business and feeling frustrated and wondering if it’s worth the headaches, then think again. You won’t know until you try. If you need help or encouragement, just email. I’ll be happy to offer uplifting words to help you live your dreams!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
In the past three years there have been many threatening legislative proposals. The three most recent pieces of federal legislation have been the FDA Globalization Act 2009 (HR 759), Safe Baby Act 2009 (S 925) and The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (HR 5786 – still pending).
Legislative Advocacy Committee
The HSMG Board of Directors has decided that the time has come to strengthen thier policy positions and take an even more pro-active stance in advocating for the handcrafted soap industry, especially since a large portion of the industry makes soap that falls under cosmetic regulations.
To this end, a Legislative Advocacy Committee has been formed and the Board has approved the official Legislative Advocacy Statement, including a clear delineation of advocacy policy and positions. HSMG is now in an active search for a suitable professional advocate (lobbyist) to work on our behalf in Washington.
As the HSMG is supported solely by membership dues, they have established an Advocacy Fund and are seeking donations from both members and non-members to defray the costs associated with hiring a professional advocate and related expenses. All monies donated to the Advocacy Fund will be used solely and only for advocacy related activities.
GoPlanetEarth hopes that HSMG members, non-members, companies and consumers interested in preserving the industry will show their support by making donations. All monies collected will specifically fund the hiring of a professional advocate and related expenses. Make a donation today!
Monday, August 23, 2010
- FREE 1/2 ounce fragrance oil with every $15 of product purchased. Limit of six per order.
- FREE GoPlanetEarth logo zipper cosmetic bag to first 5 customers to place an order of $100 or more in product. We will notify you by email if you are one of the lucky five and include the bag in your shipment (along with some other goodies!)
- 20% off UPS GROUND shipping and 10% off international postal priority shipments. We will take the discount off your shipping total once the order is received. For international customers, we will email your shipping cost for approval (with shipping discount) before processing the order.
- We're giving away two loaf soap miter boxes and straight soap cutters sets- $31 value per set. To qualify for the drawing place an order with us during the customer appreciation days. Drawing will be held on August 29 at 10 am ET. Winners will be notified by email and the prize will ship to the address the winner specifies.
- Everyday we will annouce a SURPRISE DISCOUNT on our FaceBook page. To receive the discount, simply visit our FB page, "like" it, and then place your order. The daily discount code will be given on our FB post. The discount will apply to the item total (does not apply to shipping/handling, but you will still receive the shipping discount mentioned above). You must key the discount code to receive the discount.
- FREE 6-pack soap color set to the first customer placing an order between 12 pm and 1 pm (Eastern Time) on each day of our Customer Appreciation event. We will notify the winner by email. All orders on our servers are date and time stamped to ensure fairness. Up to a $35 value!
- We're giving away 50 goodie bags throughout Customer Appreciation Days. Ten per day. Orders will be randomly selected based on order numbers being processed for that given day. Even if you place your order at midnight or 3 AM in the morning, you will have a chance at the goodie bags ; )
- 15 TOP-SELLING Mold Market molds will be given away during Customer Appreciation Days. Three molds per day. Drawing for molds is based on order numbers being processed for the given day. Winners will be notified by email that a FREE mold will be included in their order.
And if that isn't enough... every order will include a random discount coupon for use on a future order. Think of it as a scratch-off. One lucky person will get a 50% off discount for use with a future order at GoPlanetEarth. Could it be you?
As the owner, of GoPlanetEarth, I want to thank you for your business. I know you have choices in your suppliers and I hope you continue to choose us for your soaping needs.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Once you've cut the two pieces from the sheet mold, align them and use binder clips to hold in place. I used medium size binder clips, but large clips would work equally well.
You will want the pouring temp of your melt and pour soap to be relatively cool when pouring 3-D molds. You don't want to have the soap seep outside the mold edges. I use my pinkie finger as the gauge. If I can comfortably dip my pinkie finger into the melted soap base, then it's generally safe to pour into the mold.
Once the soap sets up, remove the binder clips. Carefully release the soap from each mold half. The next step will be to remove the pouring channel. This is easily done with a sharp kitchen knife. You will also want to clean up the soap edges. A vegetable peeler or a sharp kitchen knife are your best tools. A little liquid glycerine around the edges of the soap (use your fingers), will give a nice finished eged to the joined pieces.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
What Jennifer doesn't know (but will very shortly) is that GoPlanetEarth will be donating all of the supplies ordered plus the cost of shipping to help with her soaping project. I think what really bent my heart to this organization was my grandson, Carson. He just completed first-grade and one of the project topics in his classroom was Rainforests. He was very intrigued about them and also was very concerned that they were in jeopardy. I am going to make sure that Carson knows his NeeNee made a donation to help save the rainforest in Costa Rica.
If any of you are looking for a way to get your kids involved in a worthy organization, I encourage you to visit KidsSavingTheRainforest.org. This organization offers so many ways to get kids involved so they can make a difference in helping to preserve our environment for generations to come.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
If you have been following my blog and Facebook posts this summer, you know that I've been having our college girl, Sophie, pour up some of our soap samples. I continue to do our tutorials and the more complicated soaps. However, there is a two fold reason for having a novice employee pour soaps.
Note that Sophie did not pour the dots on the back side or the eyes of the lady bug in an opposing color. This would have definitely made a difference in the final appearance of the soap. It looks like Sophie tried to pour one eye in black (the iris part) but it didn't work well. I would like to have seen the dots on the body poured in black and the eyes in white with a drop of black for the iris (or the opposite). I did like how Sophie poured the body of the lady bug in layers of black and red.
Now... this pinwheel pop soap had some issues going on. Quite honestly this is an easy mold to pour in dual color. Whenever you see a separation of colors like this, it's clearly an indication that you waited too long to pour that second color AND may not have used a liberal amount of rubbing alcohol between color layers. Using rubbing alcohol between layers really does make a difference. It helps that next color layer to adhere to your first. The picture below is a better indication of what you would hope to accomplish when using this soap mold.
The cars we own are not made for dirt roads so we rarely get to explore the unknown. There are so many trails and dirt roads in our neck of the woods and we have always been curious where they lead. Now we can explore at our leisure (and at our speed). These scooters don't exceed 30 miles per hour which is perfect for us old-timers.
Monday, August 16, 2010
This year the theme was "finger foods (tapas small plates). It was incredible and everyone contributed the best tapas food ever! I must admit, we did have to use flatware for various dishes. But, what the hey!
Pictured at the very top of this post is a pic of the Key-Lime Pie (from scratch) that I made which was dressed with Kiwi and Strawberries slices. Yummy, yummy! Then for my small plate dish... Coconut Shrimp with a Marmalade sauce. Sure wish I could claim it as my own, but, it was a Paula Dean recipe (thank you, Paula, from a women who NEVER cooks). The shrimp turned out awesome. Here is the link for Paula's coconut shrimp recipe:
A Tip for the Coconut Shrimp: Don't forget to add the eggs!!!! I forgot the eggs, but the recipe still worked. No doubt, the eggs would have made the batter stick much better. Sorry, Miss Paula Dean... I didn't mean to shame you.
SIDEBAR: OK, most of you don't know that I'm a horrible cook. My husband does all the cooking. This is a rather humorous side to this post. When I was writing the ingredients for the shrimp recipe (from the TV show), I scribbled that "bacon powder" was needed. When my husband reviewed my shopping list, he asked, "What is bacon powder, I've never heard of that". Well.... it was baking powder! Miss Paula Dean, you've got to get that Southern accent down to something I understand :)
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Pictured above are two of Mold Market's newest soap molds, the oval rim bar and the guest size swirl. The little swirl soaps are just adorable and perfected sized for personal use. They're ideal for placing in a soap bowl by the sink or bag them up in a cello bag and tie off with pretty ribbon. You could even drizzle the swirls with a little bit of melted soap so it looks like icing on top.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
We used the injector tool found in our Professional Soap Kit to fill in the mosaic squares and heart dots.
You'll want to be sure to let the heart soaps fully set-up. Otherwise, you could lose a dot or two when releasing the soap from the mold. Also, it is best if you inject the colored dots, let them set up until nearly firm and immediately pour the base color. DO NOT pour the base color at too high of a temp or you will melt your little dots!
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Friday, August 06, 2010
The above soap was birthed while reading a ghost storybook to my grand kids. Hmmm... how easy would it be to make a ghost template? Then, use that template on a sheet of poured soap? There would be plenty of fine tuning, but once the idea was conceptualized I was able to reassess better ways to accomplish this soaping goal.
Isn't this just like running or starting a new business? We have all these grand ideas of how we want the business plan to play out. We want to create the biggest and best company ever and, if like me, you have had many sleepless nights visualizing and planning how to accomplish those goals. In the course of implementing our ideas and visions, we find that some ideas work, other's do not. So what do you do? Give up? Certainly not! You pick yourself up by the shoulders, dust off the disappointment and head in a new direction. It is part of the learning curve. If at first you don't succeed, then map out a new course.
I am going to keep working on that darn ghost soap until I get it right. And, when I do, I will be sure to share it with you. In the meantime, I am back to the drawing board. Just like you, I have my fair share of "screw-ups" and failures. But what separates the best from the rest is ones willingness to move forward even when things don't go as planned. Gee... doesn't that sound like life? If everything went as planned, how could we truly enjoy those sweet moments of success?
Thursday, August 05, 2010
The front and back side of the mold come on one plastic sheet. We will be offering a cutting template so that you can cut out the two pieces. We used scissors to cut out the mold using our paper template. Once the front and back sides are cut out, you will need to trim the pour spout to enable you to pour the melted soap into the mold AND to insert the wooden pop stick. We used a small hand held Stanley hacksaw cutting saw that we purchased from Home Depot (for about $8.48). It's a worthwhile tool for your handyman or handywoman toolbox, so we didn't feel it was any wasted money.
The two pieces were secured together using standard "blue" painter's tape. Easy to apply and easy to remove. The most important part about working with this 3-D mold is making sure that the front and back sides are aligned. It's really not that difficult. We propped our taped 3-D mold between two coffee cups to keep it in an upright position. The wooden pop stick was inserted and held in place with two soap clips.
The one thing I would do differently: Don't insert the wooden pop stick into the mold quite as far as I did. I think it would be better to have the wooden stick to extend out about 1 3/4 inches from the popsicle. Our popsicle was just a bit top heavy because our stick was inserted too deeply into the mold.
It may seem like a lot of work to prep the mold. However, once you have the mold cut out and the pour spout trimmed, it won't have to be done again. This two-piece mold will be ready to go and other than taping the two pieces together, you will be good to go. You can use the mold repeatedly with no additional cutting.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
- First pour the cupcake base using Mold Market's Original Cupcake Soap Mold. We used clear soap base with GoPlanet's black oxide liquid gel color. Scent as desired.
- Next, pour the golf ball halves using white soap base.
- The third step is to melt clear soap base adding a few drops of GoPlanet's bright neon green liquid gel colorant
- Once the green soap base has set up, shave it using a standard kitchen cheese/vegetable shredder
- Remove the cupcake bases from the mold and sprinkle a layer of the shredded green soap onto the cupcake base
- Firmly seat the golf ball on top of the shredded green soap
Here is how it will work. When we receive a qualifying Canadian order, we will manually apply the $10 flat rate brokerage fee. Once your package arrives in customs, no additional brokerage fee is due. It would be nice if our shopping cart could determine who qualifies for the flat rate brokerage fee, but it can't. For now, we will have to manually add the cost to your order. The final E-sales receipt that we send to you will reflect this charge.
If you have questions about this new program, please do not hesitate to email or call. We'll be happy to answer any questions.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Now, don't jump the gun here. You must wait until you see the Phlox fragrance posted on our web site before you can place an order to receive the FREE sample. We will have the fragrance posted on this page of our web site once it is in stock. This link will be invalid once the ten fragrance oils have been given away.
Good Luck! Hope you're one of the lucky ten.