So why soap making?
The quick answer: An ease of integration (kind of) in to family life, and by family life I mean crazy ass busy family life.
The longer answer: Sarah and I have two young girls, Sanna (Phoenix) aged almost 2 years and Isla (Beau) aged 5.5 years and like all parents it's these small people whom we do everything for. Soap making isn't (currently) my full time occupation and we have a finite amount of time each day and week that we can commit to our business. We wanted something that we could mould to our home life, something that was non-intrusive, scalable and flexible.
Soap making can be all of these things and so, with that aspect of our brief being satisfied, Phoenix and Beau was born. But that wasn't all he wrote..
They say that the present is the offspring of the past and parent of the future. I like this because prior to arriving at this point in my life (and launching PB in February of this year) I had, outside of my main vocation, explored various business interests with each one incrementally leading me to where I am today. For example, I've learned things such as computer coding (a little bit of HTML and CSS), I've fine tuned my soft communicative skills and my ability to interact and build rapport with my customers.
The most recent area was an exploration in to the world of (non-soap) cosmetics and that taught me a vast amount about my customers (who are awesome), cosmetic regulations (1223/2009), branding, e-commerce, manufacturing methodology, packaging, social media, planning, accounting and product development.
The Learning Curve..
As we assessed our options quietly set against all of this was (and still) is my study of wet shaving and I found that as my understanding of commercial cosmetics grew so did my desire to want to make soap. I think the reason for this was a simple and down right nosiness; how was it made and could I do a better job?
And so I read.
From my days as a signaller in the Army to my current full time role I've always had an inquisitive and analytical mind. If something grabs my imagination I like to understand how it works and truth be told I think I'm a bit of a geek. At least that's what Sarah tells me.. :)
But geeks are cool, right?
Particularly if they're soap making geeks.
Chemistry, cooking and art are, in my opinion, overlapping aspects that are applicable to the making of hot process soap and they all happen to be three things I have a fascination with. Chemistry because of the requirement to understand the process of saponification (and oh my, the variables..). Cooking because that is what I liken soap making to (and I love cooking). Art because that is how I view the finished product that we present and make available to our customers. After all shaving soap, to me at least, is much more than just a means to depilate.
It provides access to an experience that works on a visual, olfactory and tactile level. It builds anticipation and enhances my mood and feeling of well being and that was something I wanted to get involved in.
Thanks for reading,
Kerry, Sarah, Isla and Sanna.