Happy new year to you and yours!
2019 was an exceptional year full of adventures for us. We spent a lot of time working on compliance – who knew that making soap had so much administrative red tape?! – and arranging our workshop in Southend-on-Sea. We developed new recipes, fostered new friendships and collaborative partners, and came up with some crazy new ideas – many of which are due to come to fruition in 2020. Needless to say there were a few downs too – you can’t have experimentation without some degree of failure. We learnt that it is never okay to put earl grey tea leaves into soap (unless you want a brown murky mess that covers the entire shower in brown gloop). Cinnamon Essential Oil, too, is a tricky customers and tends to explode like an erupting volcano if you mix it at too high a temperature.
In many ways, 2019 was for us all about laying the groundwork for exciting new changes which are heading our way. We reigned in the frantic festive season and worked fewer outdoor markets – a huge relief for us to no longer be standing out in snow, sleet and rain selling soap to the brave souls who ventured out at the last minute. While we still attended many events and markets, we were able to pick and choose quite selfishly, and were thrilled with the opportunity to network with other talented makers and artisans. Instead, we used this time to develop new plans, fill out forms, dot the is and cross the ts for our new adventures.
We also made some for some amazing emerging brands, and it’s been an honour to work with their vision and ideas this year, helping those dreams become a tangible reality. There were a lot of late nights cutting, stamping, curing, wrapping and tagging soap! We discovered the best ways to tetris-pack soap into huge boxes without compromising on our no-plastic-packaging ethos, and went through more rolls of paper tape than should be humanly possible. We also changed suppliers for some of our ingredients and packaging, switching to smaller companies with a greener focus and a family attitude.
2020 brings new adventures too. We’ve finally signed the contracts for a new retail space. We’ll be lovingly taking over an existing space and adding soaps to the shelves, whilst having a dedicated space for workshops that we’ll be able to use throughout the year. The minute we have the keys, we’ll be launching the dates online for bookings. We also plan to host private workshops and classes for small groups too, which will be a welcomed addition to our current workshop schedule. We’ve also invited our friends to host workshops as well, and aim to be offering fun workshops such as watercolour flower painting, bees-wax wraps making, introduction to macrame and candle-making.
We’ve also been asked to design two bespoke blends for a leading artisan. It is a slow and considered process, but is truly rewarding and really exciting. Our usual neat work spaces will soon be overloaded with experimental blends, new soap techniques, exciting developmental formulas and lots and lots of soap bubbles. Development is one of the most exciting parts of the job – it’s like a brilliant alchemy lab that combines the best of history, science of magic.
All in all, we can’t wait to see what 2020 brings. We can’t wait to tell you more about our shop. We can’t wait to share exciting new newness with you all! But – all good things who come to those who wait, and wait we must. It is indeed a happy new year.
Image Credit: the amazing Katie Daisy here.