Soap for the Shy

A coworker and friend started a farm in Gibsonville, North Carolina called Blueberry Thrill. She and her husband offer U-Pick fruit options of blackberry and blueberry and they also have a U-Pick flower garden. One day she brought me a lot of trimmed lavender and asked what I could do with it. “Soap”, I said. Now I am “the soap lady” for the farm for the past two years and we are moving from lavender to her calendula and other flowes and herbs. I love my quiet, behind the scenes soap making and they love the addition to the farm store.

Blueberry Thrill Farm Soaps
And there is an amazing sake brewery in Asheville. After a tour, Mary pointed out the leftover sake mash called sake lees and how it is coveted in beauty products. I asked if I could take some and try my hand at making a soap with the sake lees. And there is the second place that sells my soap.

If I were a competitive type I would try my hand at the booths, the local craft tables and Etsy (“soap” We found 155,777 items!). But honestly? I love making it and for some of us the idea of marketing or being a salesman is a joy breaker.

Sake Soaps
 My advice? Be who you are and if you have a good product there will be a way. Best advice is a collaboration like I was fortunate to find. Incorporate your soap with the herbs from a local farmer. Offer a beer soap using beer from a local craft brew. If they like it, you can continue to do what you love doing without having to wear too many other hats!

I found my creative joy in soap making. The problem with that is the same as those days with Friendship bread. It can become costly and there are only so many people you can continually give soap bars to without them questioning you or their own hygiene.

Selling my soap at a craft table or booth is not something I am equipped for as I am basically shy and I tend to under rate my own products. If I saw them sold in some other booth I would gladly pay the asking price but apparently I can’t believe in my own worth and possible talent so I am not good on my own.

So, my soap sales are a result of being in the right place at the right time, one on one with a person with a like mind. Actually, two people in two completely different places.

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