Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Things First - A Not-So-Brief Introduction

Before we get into the whole "Guiltless Indulgence" thing, I wanted to introduce myself. Here's a brief introduction as to who I am and how I shocked myself and became totally addicted to creative soaping...

My name is Denise and I'm 40 years old (my birthday was just recently so this is the first time I get to see it in writing - yikes!). I'm a full time working, married mom of two young children (with the husband, that makes three). I decided one day to develop a hobby for the very little spare time that I actually had - I needed some "me" time - desperately! I paid a visit to the local crafts store and decided I would experiment with a soap making kit and a candle making kit. I was so excited to make the beautiful, perfect candles and soaps that were shown on the boxes. This should be so easy - it says so right on the box!

Well, the candles were not the beautiful, artistic candles I expected to be able to make after shelling out a fortune for this stupid kit. I think what was supposed to be a butterfly looked like a butterfly that was squashed by a truck. It was the ugliest mound of wax I had ever seen. After a long cleanup, and cussing under my breath that I would never do this again, I decided that crafting wasn't for me. I didn't have the patience, the creativity, and the love of cleaning up to do it. I took the soap kit and buried it in the linen closet - expecting to never see it again...

Months later, while looking for my daughter's Disney Princess towel (that she remembered she had last seen 6 months ago, but she can't remember when it's time to go pee), I was hit in the foot by something that felt like a hammer. My first thought was that I was going to kill my husband for leaving the toolbox unlocked..Then I looked down and saw that dreaded soap making kit! I forgot all about that stupid thing!

I don't know what came over me, but I decided to give it a try. The box contained a few plastic molds, and these strange, ugly looking slabs of soap. I read the directions twice just to make sure I didn't have a replay of the candle disaster. I followed the directions to a tee - I made sure everything was measured and poured at the right temperature....I added my coloring and my fragrance....Too flowery for my taste, but it was all I had and I needed to start somewhere, right? Well, a few hours later, I popped out of the square mold (a very, VERY plain mold) a solid, very ugly bar of soap. But, even though it was the color of pea soup, it was mine! I was so proud. I ran to show my husband, who tried so hard to not laugh..."What is that thing?" He asked.....When I told him it was soap, he said "really? You're kidding, right?"....So much for enthusiastic support!

Needless to say, I was still proud of my little ugly soap. I actually did something creative! I carefully place the soap in "my" bathroom (our second, smaller bathroom is where I run every day to hop on the scale to pray that it moves in the right direction (sometimes more than once a day - that's yet another addiction that you'll learn about with me). I figured I could look at my little soap everyday and learn to appreciate it's hidden beauty, and maybe learn to like the smell of a flowers from a funeral home flower piece....

One morning, while going on my morning scale run, I noticed an obvious difference in the room. The smell of flowers was no longer lingering, choking me as I walked in. I looked over at my little soap and I was stunned - IT WAS GONE! Before I could even accuse my 7 year old son of taking it to play with his Lego's, the phone rang. It was my husband calling from work. I really couldn't tell you what we discussed because my mind was still on the missing soap (I have my priorities). Before we hung up though, he said "Oh, and by the way, your soap was terrible - and I smell like my grandmother". AH HA! He took the soap! I told him to expect my wrath when he got home, and went to the bathroom to look for any remainder of my little creation. As I walked in, I knew that familiar, overpowering scent. I found, next to the tub, a small piece left, looking pitiful in a puddle of water. How could he say it was terrible? I made it myself! - Oh, he's a man, what does he know about soap? I ran the soap under warm water in the bathroom sink and rolled it around in my hands, expecting this to be the ultimate luxury...What's the perfect word that came to mind - TERRIBLE!

My little homely bar was not only ugly; it was a slimy, latherless waxy mess. I hated it! I was so disappointed - all my effort and this is what I got? I followed the directions to the letter. Well, this bothered me for the longest time - I had seen so many pretty examples of handmade soap, and I knew this just couldn't be what everyone was raving about. I decided to investigate....

I spent some time searching the net for soap making sites and found so many creative and talented people out there. Their soaps were beautiful, and everyone raved about them. There were no "terrible" descriptions for any of them. I then realized it wasn't my fault - the quality of the soap I had used was terrible - I needed the "real" soap, the kind that lathered when you used it, and held its color and fragrance perfectly. I realized before I could judge soap making, I needed quality products to try, so I bought some top quality soap bases, fragrances, and colors to test. Voila! What a difference! As soon as I got my first compliment (my husband saying "wow, that is cool! Can I use it tonight?") I was hooked!

So now that I gave you that whole long, drawn out story of how I became addicted to soaping, I'm hoping I grabbed your interest just a little, so you'll be willing to follow me along this journey. I have so much fun with this, and I love branching out and trying new, creative ideas. I want to represent products that are unique, and that make people say "wow, I've never seen that before!" I want you to be able to choose unique party favors that will have your guests saying "Oh wow, these are so cool! Where on earth did you get these?" No more giving party favors that get thrown in the back of the drawer to be forgotten - these will stand out from any others and have people remember your special occasion.

My "Guiltless Indulgence" soap line represents all the good stuff in the world that I love; and that keeps me jumping on the scale several times a day. But, at least with my products, there's no need to fear the scale! (and no, they aren't sugar free candies either as they've been mistaken for in the past!)

I have some products up for sale on eBay, and have found that there's nothing more rewarding than Positive Feedback from my customers with the words, "absolutely incredible". It's so fulfilling.

This blog is just in the beginning stage; what I foresee is really getting to know my customers, and potential friends. I want to post ideas for you to see and get your honest feedback. Sometimes I will ask for volunteers to try my new products BEFORE they go on sale. I will post stories that make you laugh, and hopefully have you wanting to read more and really get to know me. I am open to any suggestions that you can think of to make this a fun place for us all.

And, not that I'm looking to sell here, but I will give links to my items listed in my eBay store. I want honest feedback, and welcome any suggestions and input you give. Want to try something you see and aren't sure about? Let me know and I'll happily send you a sample. Again, it's all about hearing the "it's awesome" comment! And if it isn't awesome, tell me and we will make it so.

And don't worry so much about the soap number counts in my items - I tend to forget how to count and add more to your order ;)

Thanks for joining me - hope to see you soon!
Have a Guiltlessly Indulgent day!

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