Maker of the Month: Soaplicious

Patricia with Soaplicious works as an architect, so her day is filled with angles, measurements, and small details. Soap making added something new to her routine - the ability to be truly creative! She started three years ago and now makes bars with bright colors and precise designs. Get to know Patricia below!

soaplicious business owner patricia

How long have you been making DIY bath and body products, and how did you get started?
First, I’d like to express my humble gratitude for being selected Bramble Berry’s Maker of the Month for September! It is truly an honor and I am thankful for this recognition and appreciate all who have helped me get here.

Almost three years ago, I walked into a local craft store and came across a soap making kit that looked fun and offered something totally different from my day-to-day routine as a professional architect. As a person who lives in a world of angles, measurements, and so many details, I quickly embraced this new sense of creativity and relaxation that making soaps gave to me. That was it - I was hooked! I began to read, watch videos, and absorb anything I could to learn about this newfound love.

As I graduated from the soap kit, I took over the kitchen table to make my first batch on my own...and discovered how much of a mess I could make, but also how I could create something so beautiful and fragrant at the same time. That batch was definitely a work in progress and I was persistent to improve my recipe and quality for the next few batches. After a while, my kitchen table just wasn’t enough, so I slowly began to build my first studio in my basement, which offered a lot more room and allowed me my own space to enjoy this new passion. And most recently over the last year, I built my current studio from scratch and began my business, including a website and online store called Soaplicious LLC. So much has happened in such a short amount of time...I’ve learned so much and am thankful every day!

How long have you been selling your products?
Soaplicious has been selling soaps for almost two years but just a little over a year online at www.soap-licious.com.

soaplicious ocean blue soap

Ocean Blue soap

What do you love most about making bath and body products?
I honestly feel free to be truly creative when I make soaps. Life is full of stress and managing it can take its toll on all of us. I enjoy making something that brings a smile to my friends and family, and now to so many new people that I’ve encountered along this amazing new journey. In a small way, I feel like I’m making a difference and can inspire people in different ways.

What inspires you to create?
As an architect, I always feel like I see the world a little differently than most people. All things, like shapes, buildings, sunsets, impact each of us in a unique way but I always see the potential of what something could become or look like in a different way. I use this curiosity to visually express my soaps through colors, designs, and scents that are unique every time. Every batch is a new opportunity to create something that’s never been created before...how cool is that!

soaplicious neroli candy soap

Neroli Candy soap

Your photos are beautiful! Do you have any tips for getting the perfect shot?
Thank you for the compliment! Honestly, I invest so much time planning what I want to convey for each picture to get the best result. My practice is a mix of good props, use of my iPhone and iPad cameras, and also the help of software and apps to create the right lighting and effects for the best picture possible. And it’s always good practice to run your photos, text, and ideas by people you trust to get different perspectives. At the end of the day, you want to deliver the best product you can, so feedback is always helpful.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get started?
Spend some time with great resources like Soap Queen TV, Bramble Berry, and Pure Soapmaking by Anne-Marie. I’ve spent many nights reading and asking questions to learn as much as I can. And don’t underestimate how much YouTube can help as well. Like anything, take one step at a time and make a plan that is attainable and not overwhelming.

Who’s another maker you admire? What do you love about their work?
Anne-Marie for sure! She explains everything so well and that helps to build your confidence. Holly from Missouri River Soap too for her technique and really good tutorials. I also admire Tania from Soapish for her designs and simplicity.

There’s also a lot of other good soap makers out there as well that inspire me.

soaplicious tranquility soap

Tranquility soap

Have you experienced a fail? How did you work through it, and what did you learn?
Glycerin dew! Who wants moisture on their soaps?! This was one of the most frustrating things I dealt with early on and it took a while before I got it right. I spent so much time reading and experimenting to find the right recipe that gave me soap that didn’t have droplets of moisture. Even though glycerin dew is harmless and it’s actually proof that the soap is protecting itself, I still didn’t like the way it looked and certainly didn't want to explain this to customers. I also improved the humidity in my studio to keep the space as dry as possible.

My takeaway from this experience reminded me that there will always be problems to solve and it’s important to use the resources around you to help. We have a great soap making community, so reaching out to them should be the first step.

What plans do you have for your business moving forward?
As many of you know, to have a business is a lot more than just making soaps. In order to create the best product possible, I have to learn about so many different things including marketing, advertising, insurance, tax implications, etc. Most recently, I am taking classes for social media and marketing. I want to develop a great business and make it successful so that I can keep this amazing joy in my life.

soaplicious dragonfruit soap

Cherry Dragonfly soap

Patricia's top Bramble Berry picks

  • Rose Gold Fragrance Oil - I LOVE all of the fragrance oils! My customers always give feedback on the smell of our soaps.
  • Multi-bar cutter - Where would I be without my multi-bar cutter? Love the quality and ease of use.
  • Apple Moss Green Mica - I’d also have to say that Bramble Berry has an amazing variety of colored micas and this helps me create really cool and colorful designs.
  • Customer service - I know this isn't a product but I have to point out how their customer service is EXCELLENT, including support through Instagram. Whenever I have a question, they are always very responsive, courteous, and helpful.

What’s your favorite Bramble Berry project?
My favorite project is definitely the basic tutorials on how to make cold process soap. I think this is a key series for anyone who wants to start soap making and I still go back at times and always learn something new. But in general, all of your tutorials are AMAZING. You are like the academy for handcrafted bath products!

soaplicious layered soap

Blue layered soap

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We're constantly inspired by the DIY bath and body community, so we'll be highlighting a different business owner or hobbyist each month. If you want a chance to be featured, share your photos with #BrambleOn!