Christine’s big (soap) adventure: Episode 4

Editor’s note: To celebrate Emmet Street Creations’ first anniversary, we’re reposting the series Christine wrote detailing her journey to bring Emmet Street Creations to life. Enjoy!

I enjoyed the time I was investing in my handcrafted soap making sessions. Soon, I wanted to add some challenge to my repertoire. I knew the next step I was interested in taking—making cold process soaps—but I was afraid of taking that step.

I had to reach deep into the reasons why I was attracted to cold process soap making. I liked the idea of being able to control the ingredients. I wanted what I made to be as eco-friendly and skin friendly as it could possibly be.

So, I studied the techniques and read everything I could. I watched countless YouTube tutorials. In spite of all my research, the idea of working with lye still scared me.

As I learned about cold process soap making, I stumbled upon this website that made up my mind to face my fear head on.

In the article, the author addressed the fear of using lye, liking it to the fear one goes through when learning to drive a car. Cars are dangerous and, when used the wrong way, can be deadly. But, the author pointed out, with practice one gets over the fear and, eventually, barely thinks about the danger of speeding down a highway with other cars merely feet away. We’ve got places to go, after all.

I refused to let fear stop me.

Working with lye is dangerous. When used the wrong way, it can be deadly; but, with knowledge, safety precautions and practice, lye can be a useful tool. I purchased a cold process soap making kit and excitedly waited for its arrival.

Me in my protective gear; waiting excitedly.

My first batch of cold process soap was unscented and uncolored. It came out perfect and so did I—I didn’t burn myself with lye! My confidence bloomed. After six weeks of cure time, I handed out samples to friends and coworkers.

I received rave reviews:

“I’ve never felt so clean,” they said.

“I haven’t needed moisturizer, my skin is so soft,” they gushed.

“You should sell this!” they advised.

A few dozen batches later, here I am ready to try my hand at selling the mounds of soap I’ve made. I know it won’t be easy, but nothing worth doing is. I love making soap and sharing my creations with others.

Welcome to Emmet Street, won’t you come sit a spell?

Christine’s big (soap) adventure: Episode 3

Editor’s note: To celebrate Emmet Street Creations’ first anniversary, we’re reposting the series Christine wrote detailing her journey to bring Emmet Street Creations to life. Enjoy!

After the success of my Christmas gift giving, I was inspired to learn more about soap making and building upon the skills I had learned. For two years, I learned everything I could about making melt and pour soap. I tried different techniques and molds, colors and scents.

I searched for pictures of soap online like some people search for porn. In those searches, I ran across pictures of beautiful soaps made using the cold process method of soap making. I was intrigued, but scared. Cold process soaps are made using lye. Lye dissolves skin. Lye blinds people. Make one mistake with lye and it could be your last. So I admired those soaps and soap makers, but only from a distance.

A new chapter begins

Books HD

Image credit: Books HD by Abhi Sharma, on Flickr. CC by 2.0. 

In December of 2011, my mother’s health declined further and in June of 2012, she passed away. During those months, I didn’t think about or make soap. There were more important things going on.

For several months after my mother’s death, I struggled to discover who I was. My identity for the last seven years had been “My Mother’s Caregiver.” I had adjusted my work schedule to have Friday off for “Mom Day.” Now that I didn’t have to keep Friday free for Mom’s appointments or errand running, I didn’t know what to do with myself during my free time.

I didn’t know what to do with the space in my brain that was no longer taken up with worry about her. But, I knew that I didn’t want to fill that space with worries about something else, so I turned back to soap. I figured it would be good to have a hobby. I started making melt and pour soaps again but quickly became bored with the process and wanted to challenge myself.

Christine’s big (soap) adventure: Episode 4

I enjoyed the time I was investing in my handcrafted soap making sessions. Soon, I wanted to add some challenge to my repertoire. I knew the next step I was interested in taking—making cold process soaps—but I was afraid of taking that step.

I had to reach deep into the reasons why I was attracted to cold process soap making. I liked the idea of being able to control the ingredients. I wanted what I made to be as eco-friendly and skin friendly as it could possibly be.

So, I studied the techniques and read everything I could. I watched countless YouTube tutorials. In spite of all my research, the idea of working with lye still scared me.

As I learned about cold process soap making, I stumbled upon this website that made up my mind to face my fear head on.

In the article, the author addressed the fear of using lye, liking it to the fear one goes through when learning to drive a car. Cars are dangerous and, when used the wrong way, can be deadly. But, the author pointed out, with practice one gets over the fear and, eventually, barely thinks about the danger of speeding down a highway with other cars merely feet away. We’ve got places to go, after all.

I refused to let fear stop me.

Working with lye is dangerous. When used the wrong way, it can be deadly; but, with knowledge, safety precautions and practice, lye can be a useful tool. I purchased a cold process soap making kit and excitedly waited for its arrival.

Me in my protective gear; waiting excitedly.

My first batch of cold process soap was unscented and uncolored. It came out perfect and so did I—I didn’t burn myself with lye! My confidence bloomed. After six weeks of cure time, I handed out samples to friends and coworkers.

I received rave reviews:

“I’ve never felt so clean,” they said.

“I haven’t needed moisturizer, my skin is so soft,” they gushed.

“You should sell this!” they advised.

A few dozen batches later, here I am ready to try my hand at selling the mounds of soap I’ve made. I know it won’t be easy, but nothing worth doing is. I love making soap and sharing my creations with others.

Welcome to Emmet Street, won’t you come sit a spell?

Christine’s big (soap) adventure: Episode 3

After the success of my Christmas gift giving, I was inspired to learn more about soap making and building upon the skills I had learned. For two years, I learned everything I could about making melt and pour soap. I tried different techniques and molds, colors and scents.

I searched for pictures of soap online like some people search for porn. In those searches, I ran across pictures of beautiful soaps made using the cold process method of soap making. I was intrigued, but scared. Cold process soaps are made using lye. Lye dissolves skin. Lye blinds people. Make one mistake with lye and it could be your last. So I admired those soaps and soap makers, but only from a distance.

A new chapter begins

Books HD

Image credit: Books HD by Abhi Sharma, on Flickr. CC by 2.0. 

In December of 2011, my mother’s health declined further and in June of 2012, she passed away. During those months, I didn’t think about or make soap. There were more important things going on.

For several months after my mother’s death, I struggled to discover who I was. My identity for the last seven years had been “My Mother’s Caregiver.” I had adjusted my work schedule to have Friday off for “Mom Day.” Now that I didn’t have to keep Friday free for Mom’s appointments or errand running, I didn’t know what to do with myself during my free time.

I didn’t know what to do with the space in my brain that was no longer taken up with worry about her. But, I knew that I didn’t want to fill that space with worries about something else, so I turned back to soap. I figured it would be good to have a hobby. I started making melt and pour soaps again but quickly became bored with the process and wanted to challenge myself.