Once you start making soap you can’t stop. It’s a lot like that friendship bread that after a few weeks just wouldn’t go away. A co-worker would walk up smiling with a baggy and several people quietly and quickly backed toward the door. I mean, soap making is great and addictive but unless you have hundreds of friends who obsessively bathe, what are you going to do with all that soap?
You sell it. Like hundreds of other soap makers. Which means you need a connection, a good marketing idea, an eye for a soap sleeve design and some basic photography.
I have a connection in Blueberry Thrill Farm in Gibsonville, NC. During their pick your own season, which encompasses berries, pick your own flowers and apples, I offer my soap in their beautiful little farm store. Nan and Rick Langhorne share their lavender with me, I infuse it into oil and make soap to sell on a seasonal basis.When the picking season is over, being the soap addict that I am, I still make soaps. Gift them to friends and family and sell the overage on my Etsy shop, SeasonSoaps. Etsy allows me to go “live” when I want to but allows me to take plenty of time off to do my actual “day job”.
The selling is not easy for me because when I make soap I simply want to make more soap. I don’t want to have to make packaging, write descriptions and to be honest packaging and mailing and hoping everyone loves my soap is a bit like standing on a podium in my pajamas. If you ever saw my pajamas you wouldn’t even ask. Bottom line? It takes effort to finish it off and compete with every other soap maker and there are lots of good soap makers.
So, what to do?
1) Package it. Your package is a big part of that initial sale. Head to Pinterest for ideas.
There are lots of good ones but please make it your own and don’t steal a design that isn’t offered with goodwill for free.
2) Sell local. Is there a beauty salon, spa, local store that sells niche products? Bring in a bar or two with a few samples for the staff.
3) Find local craft fairs, farmer’s markets and flea markets. Again, think display. Use an old suitcase, baskets, offer samples. Be sure to look at your area with the eye of your customer. Is it clean? Pretty? Are you visible and friendly? People buy atmosphere and that would be you.