Starting A Handmade Soap Business
For many people, soapmaking starts out as a hobby. And then over time once you have built an excessive amount of soap, the idea might creep in that this is a possible viable business. You can tailor all of the soap you want with ingredients that you like.
You might choose to have organic soap, vegan soup, or you might be aiming for something that is rish and luxurious but needs a specific set of chemicals.
Many people are opting for handmade soaps rather than commercial soaps. Many commercial soaps are made batches of multiple thousands rather than 50 to 100 with lower quality ingredients and a steep mark-up.
It is also more likely that handmade soap will have fewer ingredients on it.
One of the greatest things about soap is that it is a product that is used daily multiple times by multiple people within a household. Which means if they like your product, they will come back and buy more.
Meaning that soapmaking business is one area in which you can really capitalise on brand loyalty.
Let’s talk about turning your handmade soap hobby into a handmade soap business.
The first step will obviously be to learn to make soap. Which if you have been doing it as a hobby for some time, you’re probably pretty good at it. But you need to decide if you feel like your soap making skills are sales worthy.
For argument’s sake will say they are and you’re ready to turn it into a business.
There are several different ways that you can make soap, and you’ll have to decide which is the best for you and your business. Melt and pour soap, cold process, and hot process are methods you have to explore. You can use a mix of these to have a more fully rounded product line.
There are pros and cons to each type of soap, so you’ll have to really think about what is best for you.
You need to have a designated space within your home to make the soaps. It should be somewhere that is clean and has adequate shelving for your soap storage. You’ll need to have proper airflow and make sure that they can cure well. And that you can fit all of your supplies in that space.
Think about who you want to sell to. Will you be going for creamy, luxurious soaps that are suitable for babies and children, or will you be doing something vegan? Or only producing beautiful soaps with great high-quality ingredients that sit firmly in the high-end price bracket?
Here are several niche soaps that you can include.
- Aloe vera based soaps
- Castile or olive oil soaps
- Organic ingredients
- Eczema safe soaps
- Pet soaps
- Spiritual and magical
- Homegrown herb soap
As your business grows, you will probably find a number of these fit what you enjoy doing.
Supplies and Supplier
You’re going to have to source several supplies. From plastic jugs and silicone moulds, to stainless steel metal bowls, the right oils, lye, fragrances, buttons, micas, and a reliable sodium gluconate manufacturer if you’re going to use that within your soaps.
Initially, when you test out some of the recipes, you’re going to have to be very selective. And order smaller quantities from a range of suppliers. When you have found the suppliers that work for you, with the quality of ingredients that you need – stick with them.
Your packing materials are what gives the customer the whole experience. There should be a business card with all of your details on, the soap should be well packaged in an airtight container, but also protected enough so that it won’t break or smash. If you have opted to go down the organic and vegan route, you’re going to need to source eco-friendly and sustainable options or your packaging.
E-commerce and Selling
Many people opt to set up a Shopify, Amazon or an Etsy store. You could also set up your own website to sell online. You’ll need to learn about how to market your products and how to maximise your online presence. You can also choose to sell at trade shows and craft shows, farmers markets and other street fairs too.
It should be noted that there might be some requirements in your local area for insurances and the right licenses plus cosmetic and soap labelling requirements. And, that you should ensure that you have registered your business name correctly and make sure that there is nobody else trading under that name.
And consider if you want to put soap in your business as this can limit your options later if you’re going to expand into lip balms, creams, potions and lotions and other items.
Those are just the first few steps into launching your soap making business, but will give you the right foundations for your business future.
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