It seems that everyone on the planet has seen endless photos of beautiful, fussy, artistic soap. Multi-color, complex swirls, textured tops, embeds and piped flowers are common.
It might also seem that these soaps are the standard for all who sell soap. These photos might have you saying, “My soap isn’t pretty enough!”
Is it true that unless your soap looks like a work of art, it does not measure up?
While we love to ooh and ahh over the skill and imagination of these beautiful soaps, they are by no means the standard by which every handmade soap sold should be judged. What then, should soap look like?
The answer is, it is up to you what your soap looks like! If you sell soap and want to churn out batches as quickly as possible, piping soap to look like cake will prove a poor strategy for success.
Some designed soaps take more time and skill than their plainer counterparts, but with practice and the right formula, most soapmakers can make soap with colors and designs that delight buyers without increasing labor costs.
Nevertheless, for the most intricate and time-consuming soap, it is important to carefully keep track of the time it takes to prepare colors, work out a design and complete it. Some will say these are not profitable, but like everything, it is a matter of charging enough to compensate for the time it takes to carry out the task. If a batch with piped flowers on top and made up of four layers, each of a separate design is your heart’s desire, consider the special equipment or utensils and time spent in developing techniques. Add up the hours the soap takes and get paid for the work.
Despite this, a great soap is more than a lovely design. In fact, the level of design says nothing about its performance. A desirable soap is a result of formula, not design skill; so even if your soap is more like a Plain Jane, it may be more pleasing to use than a more time-consuming soap.
Become the soapmaker you wish to be, whatever form that takes. Every soap is beautiful . . . well almost any soap, anyway. Therefore, make the soap you want or the soap your customers or friends want. Whether it is a fancy cupcake, a rustic hot process soap or somewhere in between, be confident in the beauty you produce.