Do you prefer to make a small number of products all of the time, or do you often want to try something new?
You might be the type who, once you make a product and are satisfied with it, be it soap, candles or cosmetics, you like making it over and over. You enjoy making it more efficiently or faster each time or simply prefer the ease and predictability of making what you are familiar with.
Alternatively, you might be the type who wants to try every new idea you come across. Every batch of soap is different. When you see lovely bath bombs, you want to make bath bombs. If you see a photo of cupcake soaps, you want to try cupcakes.
Both types have their virtues. Making the same products frequently, streamlining one’s product line and concentrating on efficiency and speed are good goals to attain, especially for those limited on space or those in business. And, let us be honest here, it saves money when we get more efficient and purchase larger quantities of fewer ingredients and packaging.
On the other hand, attempting new creations keeps us on our toes. We learn more about the ingredients we use and about formulating. We give our creative urges room to blossom. Our innovations keep our friends, family and customers interested, as well.
The trick, as I see it, is in balancing the two facets. The most regimented person needs to try something new now and then and needs to keep abreast of trends. The most creative person needs to reign herself in and focus on perfecting a product, developing a cohesive line or simply to avoid overwhelming herself and her space with constant changes in direction, while allowing herself the freedom to do what makes her happy.
The specifics of attaining that balance are personal, but smart is the artisan who knows his strengths and weaknesses and works at attaining balance.
Making Soap Magazine features techniques we hope will get you thinking about something new. If you are not yet a subscriber, come join the family!
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Cosmetics and Candles