MY MOTHER WON’T USE MY SOAP!

“My Mother won’t use my soap!”

This is a reoccurring complaint from bath and body and candle makers everywhere. Those close to them stash their amazing gifts instead of enjoying them and sometimes even refuse them altogether. Why?

 Naturally, makers want to share their creations with those closest to them, hoping the recipient is as enthusiastic as they are. Yet, to their dismay, not all delight in their soaps, lotions, lotion bars, bath fizzies and bath salts. It is among the most vexing and ego-deflating experiences.

Why, why, why do they not love our creations? Let us look at possible reasons

1. The product is not good. I would just like to get this one out of the way. The possibility is remote, but do not ignore it. The soap is developing brown spots, the lotion is runny or lumpy or the candle flame threatens to reach the ceiling. You are still enamored with your creation, but those you give it to are less likely to feel the same. In this case, you need an honest friend and an open mind. Alternatively, perhaps the product is acceptable, even good, but the packaging belies the quality. It may be a tough sell.

2. Family dynamics. Families are usually supportive and nurturing, but are sometimes unsupportive and even dysfunctional. Sibling rivalry, jealousy and other negative emotions can enter the picture and products are simply pawns in the game. As an adult, you are not a hapless victim. Keep on doing what you love and do it for those who appreciate what you contribute.

3. They are just not that into you . . . err, your product. Not everyone enjoys handmade soap, body butter, bath fizzies or candles. Just as you have preferences, others have them, as well. The fact that the recipients happen to be friends or family does not change that. If you have ever received something handmade that you were not in love with, you know it is true. If you realize that is the case, be merciful and do not expect from them what they cannot offer.

4. They are not your customer. Some of us are downright pushy with our products, foisting them on friends and family; however, they may not want to pay for our goods or cannot afford them. I know. It is shocking, but if you see yourself here, back off.

5. They are just jealous. Yes, it happens. They are jealous of your creativity or success. You cannot control or affect their feelings, so acknowledge the jealousy and move on. That emotion is theirs to deal with, not yours.

If you find yourself discouraged because of opposition to your products, go through the checklist to determine what is going on. Does the product need work? Is it family dynamics? Are they just not interested? They cannot afford you? Jealous? If you can and should do something about it, by all means, do. If not, develop a thicker skin and seek approval where people appreciate what you create.

May your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne For Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles