How it all began...
It began with a newspaper article about a local lady who had created a promising business by making soap in her home and selling it to nearby shops. The article described colorful, delightfully fragrant soaps lined up in tidy rows, the entire house scented with their sweet perfume.
I read that article over and over. I'd always wanted a business of my own, but had no idea what that business should be. Here was a home-based business that offered an unlimited variety of scents and products to satisfy my raging creative urges. I was fascinated by the magical transformation of oils, lye and water into a luxurious bath product. Surely this must be the business for me!
Totally intrigued, I headed to the library to learn more. Unfortunately our small library had very little to offer on the subject of soapmaking back then. I learned enough to know I didn't know enough and, with my enthusiasm sadly withered, I moved on to other things. I next tried my hand at dried flower arranging and jewelry making but the passion just wasn't there. My longing for a home-based business never died, of course...but it gradually drifted into hibernation.
Nine years later, just weeks after an exhausting move from Ohio to Colorado, I happily stumbled upon a soapmaking supply website. Silly me, I had never thought to look for soapmaking information on the web! My enthusiasm was instantly alive and well and surfing the net! A quick search revealed a wealth of information and feverishly I read everything I could find on the subject of handmade soap.
I discovered a soapmaking board and immediately joined, crossing the threshold into an exciting new world where I found myself surrounded by hundreds of like-minded souls, sage soapmakers who had been making soap for years, as well as neophytes like me...novices who hadn't made our first batch of soap yet, but we would...any day now!
Because I was nurturing a cherished dream I bided my time, devouring information, gathering equipment and scouting out recipes, but resisting the urge to race to the kitchen and whip up a batch of soap. I had already waited 9 long years and now that I was at last venturing down my chosen path I wanted to do things right!
The soapmaking board became my lifeline. For 6 months I read every post, digesting hints and tidbits and asking questions, lots and lots of questions. My mentors were ever patient, and eventually I learned enough to begin answering questions for other newcomers. Finally the day came when I realized it had been a while since I'd read a question I didn't have the answer to. That was the day I took the plunge and made my very first batch of soap.
Of course I did everything wrong in that first attempt. I was so nervous! I forgot to use distilled water, and used tap water instead...a definite no-no. I chose a contrary fragrance and I even added honey to the mix, an ingredient known for being quirky in handmade soap. Despite it all, my very first batch of soap turned out perfectly.
Laughing gleefully I did a victory dance around the kitchen. It had taken me 9 years and 6 months to get there, but at long last I was a SOAPMAKER!!!!!
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