Maker of the Month: Sweet Home Soaps

This maker started with bath bombs, and then made her first batch of cold process soap using her own recipe and our Lye Calculator. Now she loves matching scents with designs in her handmade soap. Meet Mandy!

Mandy from Sweet Gome Soaps


How long have you been making soap, and how did you get started?

I made my first batch of soap in December of 2018. I was researching bath bombs over the summer and stumbled on Soap Queen videos...which led me down a rabbit hole of soapmaking videos. I had a friend over 10 years ago who had a successful hot process soapmaking business from her home and found the process interesting. I was terrible at bath bombs, but I thought I could probably make some soap. I made a recipe from scratch using the Bramble Berry Lye calculator and I was hooked from the first batch!

How long have you been selling your products? 

I've had a website since May 2019. I had gifted some soaps to friends and family, and one of my good friends encouraged me to start selling.

Cranberry Orange Soap from Sweet Home Soaps

What do you love most about making bath and body products? 

My favorite thing about making soap is matching colors and designs with the fragrance. I can smell a new fragrance and usually see colors in my head. For instance, the Bramble Berry fragrance is purple. Some fragrances are easy, and some I have to sit with a bit to get a sense of what it wants to be. But perusing color palettes and finding a fragrance to match those colors is definitely my favorite part.

What inspires you to create? 

Sometimes it's just the world around me. I'll see something and think, "Wouldn't that make a pretty soap?!" I do love looking through color palettes or watching artists work on IG Reels. As a business owner, I have to think about seasonality and what people will be wanting to purchase months from now. I have a list of designs I want to do for the season, but sometimes I just have to go rogue, lol! I made a lemonade inspired design last week when I should have been making that Halloween soap I've been putting off. I have always been creative. I learned to crochet at a very young age, then I taught myself to knit nearly 20 years ago, then I became interested in photography, I love to bake and cook, and now- soap. I don't feel like myself unless I am creating.

Cat Soap from Sweet Home Soaps

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get started? 

Learn the ins and outs of making soap before buying the first supply. It's not hard to make soap, but the process needs to be treated with respect. Learn about lye safety, the properties that different oils bring to the table, how to use a lye calculator, what a "water discount" is and what role water plays in a formula. Learning how to spot emulsion and trace is important as well. Once you are ready to make your first batch, have everything you will need ready because once you introduce the lye solution to the oils, the clock is ticking! And a little piece of don't need to stick blend as much as you think you do. Most new soap makers blend way more than necessary. That's why spotting emulsion is so important.

Who’s another maker you admire? 

What do you love about their work? I could name 30 people in this spot. I am so grateful to Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks for her wonderful, detailed tutorials of all the steps in the process. Her soapmaking process is so precise and mathematical and I identify with that. I love how she plays with design and breaks it down into manageable steps. Marina with Creamy Obsession is another maker I admire. Her designs are so artistic and she is always thinking outside the box. She is such a neat and tidy soapmaker and I aspire to be like her when I grow up (I am old enough to be her mother 😂 ).

Peach Bath Bomb from Sweet Home Soaps

Have you experienced a failure? How did you work through it, and what did you learn? 

Are you a real soapmaker if you've never experienced a failure? I once added sugar to my lye solution AFTER the lye was already dissolved resulting in sugar crystals through the soap. I tossed some of those bars and used some myself, but I never did that again! I've had many design failures, but thankfully no one knows what was in your brain. They just appreciate the soap for what it is. 

What plans do you have for your business moving forward? 

My goal is to move out of my family's dining room (that is also home to our extensive collection of homeschool curricula and my youngest's art supplies). I'd love to have more space to cure my soaps and store the supplies. I'd also like to have a dedicated shipping station since the vast majority of my business is online. I do think my biggest next step is to design soap boxes. With soap boxes, my soaps will be better protected when going to markets and I would feel safer about putting them on store shelves. That has been holding me back from accepting opportunities. 

Bali Breeze Soap from Sweet Home Soaps

What are your 4 must-have Bramble Berry products? Why are they your favorite? 

This one is hard! I love the bursting beads - especially gold! I use them in sugar scrubs and to add something special to soap tops. 

Rose Gold Fragrance Oil is my all time favorite fragrance. It's not rose forward, but it smells creamy if that makes sense. It's just so good in soap, lotion, scrubs, and perfume. 

I love so many of the individual cavity molds, but I think my favorite mold is the Silicone Column Mold. I have used it in other soaps as a sun, moon, an orange; I've used it to make round dish soap, and to make a kaleidoscope pull-through design. I really appreciate the rigidity of the silicone. 

And lastly, Electric Bubble Gum Colorant. It can make any shade of pink, from the most delicate pastel to a vibrant neon. A little goes a long way!

What’s your favorite Bramble Berry project/What’s the first project you tried? 

The very first project I tried was the Pumpkin Spice Bath Truffles Project. These smelled absolutely wonderful and performed fantastically well in my jetted tub. I have pictures of the tub overflowing with bubbles! My favorite is a tie between the Orange Grove Soap Project and the Ray of Sunshine Soap Project. I made both of these multiple times and they are show stoppers for sure!

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DIY Bath Bomb Kits