It is with a heavy heart and tearful eyes that I write this posting. After great consideration, I’ve decided to start winding down my soap business over the course of this summer…
As I’m sure you’ve already gathered, soapmaking is a process that requires a fair amount of time and attention. Making a single batch can take 1-2 hours and then curing takes another six weeks. Soapmaking is essentially like performing a chemistry experiment. You’re creating a chemical reaction while working with a caustic substance. You have to suit up in goggle, gloves, and protective clothing. You have to be focused and pay attention to your work. You cannot have a little one around to distract you.
Until recently, I have been able to soap regularly with the help of my husband. Once or twice a weekend, Jesse would entertain Bug while I crafted my soaps. However, Jesse’s new position at work has come with a lot of extra demands. For the time being, he has been working extremely long hours. He leaves before 630am and doesn’t come home until after 9pm. We are hopeful that he will have a better schedule within a few months, but, as things currently stand, our family is feeling the stress of not having time together. That being said, I haven’t been able to make soap during Jesse’s time-off as I did before. Our two days together are jammed packed with family time, fulfilling obligations, baby doctor appointments, and errand running.
I’ve also had trouble finding time to prep my soaps for sale. Every once in a while, I’m able to print and cut labels while Bug is awake, but he is usually too demanding of my attention to allow me to complete my task. This morning, for example, attempted to update my Facebook page with the soaps that are currently for sale as Bug played outside. I sat on the porch so I could keep my eye on him but within two minutes of me losing focus of him, he had followed the cat deep into the woods and gotten stuck. Needless to say, my work session ended right then.
With a new baby coming this fall, I, unfortunately, don’t see my ability to soap improving. Even if Jesse starts working fewer hours, I imagine his time off will be spent with us adapting to a life with two small children. For this reason, I’ve decided to slow down my business. I just don’t have the resources to keep up with it right now. My goal is to make several batches throughout the summer so there will be soap available to family and friends (and the local spas!). I’ll be making gift bars of soap for my best friend’s wedding in September! Also, as long as I have stock, I will be selling–you can find me on May 10th selling at the Historic Buckingham’s May Day celebration. Overall, however, the business will be slowly shutting down as we prepare for Baby #2.
I can’t help but feel slightly like a failure but I’m focusing on the fact that I managed to keep up with my little business for a full year! For that, I will be proud. And, deep down, I hope that within the next few years circumstances will change and I’ll be able to start creating again. Meanwhile, I will be focusing on my sweet family (and my efforts to become a lactation counselor). A special thank you to everyone who has supported my endeavors.