Well to finish up the promotion of my trio of new mini prints today I am sharing a cute little kitty with you all.
Thanks for looking! I am always designing new prints so check back again soon!
Oh man, when I first started on this creative business journey was I ever scared about putting my work out there! Crazy right, trying to build a business on my art but being too scared to actually show anyone or talk to anyone about it! I know this is something many creative’s struggle with so I thought I might share a bit of my story with you…
Not so long ago I applied to do my very first craft market, wow, this was going to be fun, hard work , exciting, rewarding all of those things, but mostly it was going to be SCARY!
Oh my, what if people don’t like my work, what if they laugh at me, what if the other stall holders laugh at me! Oh man I can’t do this….. But you know what I did do it, and I have been too many markets since.
But there have been a few tricks that have helped me along the way:
· Be prepared (well I was a Girl Guide); if you are prepared you have less to worry about.
· Invite your friends and family to your markets, they will always say nice things about your work and as an added bonus will hang around your stall and attract others to your stall
· Share your stall with a crafty friend, I do, my friend loves my work and is great at selling it for me! (As an added bonus you have a built in toilet break friend!)
· Talk to the people visiting your stall they were attracted to your stall for a reason, and it’s probably because they like your work.
· Relax, enjoy the show, confidence will come!
Whilst I am getting better with my pre market nerves, I can’t confidently say that I have mastered this fear, so if you have any advice for me I would love for you to share it with me.
I create these fun cards from cut outs of a 1960’s vintage kids magazine, Treasure. Each card is unique featuring Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Tufty and others, I cut and collage each card by hand.
Not very long ago I did something very exciting, I (proudly) held a stall at my very first market, the Belle Bazaar Twilight Markets and on December 10th I will be doing it all again at the brisStyle Indie Designers markets!
What a day! I was a little overwhelmed by it all, the weeks of hard work and preparation leading up to the event, the nerves on the day and finally the excitement of the market. I thought I might share a few of the lessons I learnt along the way.
What have you learnt from your market adventures? I would love to learn from you too…
This week we are taking a sneak peak into the world of soap making thanks to the lovely Margot from Bliss Bars Soap. After seeing Margot’s photos I can understand why her soaps have sometimes been mistaken cakes…they look delicious, in fact they make me want to go out for cheesecake! Thanks for sharing your story with us Margot!
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! My name is Margot.
I live in the inner Northern suburbs of Melbourne (East Brunswick), Australia.
My soapmaking adventures started in 2005, when I loved going to major outlets to smell, touch and read about all the fabulous soaps on display. I’d vaguely think to myself ‘I’d like to learn how to make soap one day.’ I mentioned this to a colleague, who then bought me a VERY basic soapmaking recipe, from an old copy of ‘Earthgarden’ magazine, circa 1985.
I tried this recipe at home – it consisted of coconut oil, cocoa butter and chocolate fragrance. I was instantly hooked!
Since then, I literally haven’t stopped researching, experimenting and developing my soapmaking expertise. I was fortunate enough to find a world-class soapmaking workshop operating a short tram-ride away, which was enough to perfect my skills and get the exact look, feel and smell I wanted.
After having some success selling to friends, family and colleagues, I decided to branch out online. So here I am!
I pour all my creative energies, and love of the basic pleasures of beauty, touch, smell and colour into my soaps.
What is Bliss Bars Soap all about?
Bliss Bars Soap conceives of soap as a ‘treat’ – a little slice of pleasure. The beauty of the swirling/layered colours, the botanicals sprinkled on top, the straight/ridged sides, the aroma, the lather, and the moisturising, skin softening feel. I achieve this feel by using cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil and coconut oil. I want the user to take delight in using these soaps.
On a side note: I’ve had several people genuinely mistake these soaps for cake, which always makes me laugh! Once at the post office by the guy behind the counter (thinking I was mailing cakes), and a few colleagues at work, when I had a little soap display on my desk. I am known to have a sweet tooth, so I can see why they made this assumption
What does handmade mean to you?
To me, handmade means honesty and integrity. The seller can tell you exactly what goes into the product, how it’s made, and the buyer can feel good as they are supporting us ‘little guys’, and getting a superior handcrafted product.
Can you explain your art and craft, the materials you use, your creative process?
I used the cold-process method, which means I make the soap completely from scratch (as opposed to the ‘melt and pour’ method, where you simply melt pre-made soap base, and add colour and fragrance).
My process in a nutshell: I melt the selected oils and butters, then in a seperate bowl I make a water and sodium-hydroxide mix. Once both oils and water mixes reach 30 degrees celsius, I blend them together while adding botanicals, milk, fragrant oil, and colour. Once this mixture reaches a thick soup-like consistency, I pour it into moulds, and cover. After 48 hours (when soap is firm yet still slice-able), I cut it into slices.
I then leave the slices to stand for 4-6 weeks, then they are ready to use!
Who are your products for?
My products are for anyone who cares for their skin, anyone who likes little everyday pleasures, and those who are willing to invest a little more on excellent quality, rather than cheaply produced $1 bars with no beneficial ingredients.
Can you share any helpful lessons that you have learned by experience?
Persistence and passion for your product will keep you going.
Where can we find Bliss Bars Soap, do you have any exciting upcoming events?
**I’ve just created a facebook page: www.facebook.com/blissbars .
‘Like’ my page, and you’ll get a bonus bar with your next order (when ordering, add the word ‘like’ in the ‘note’ section of your order )
**Coming up: new flavours ‘Rose’, ‘Midnight Spice’ and ‘Spiced Apple’
What is your favourite item in your shop right now?
To be honest, I love all my bars as much as each other… but the Citrus and Lavender bars seem to be a customer favourite!