I know alot of people are doing this for fun. But does anyone really know anyone that makes a good living by selling soap they have made? Just curious.. I would love to do it. I guess I am just skeptical.
we have an number of people in our area. Southern WI that make a small living selling soap... one said she grosses about 25,000 in sales a year. not sure what that comes out to in actual income but she told us it covers the months when her husband isnt bringing in $ from his CSA business
Well, it's no get rich quick scheme but I do pretty good
I have been making soap for over twenty years but didn't turn it into a business until about 7 years ago. If you want to make money you have to make excellent quality soap and be really good at marketing.
Depends on what you mean by "good living". Most soapers I know do it for the love of soaping. I make a small profit above the costs of my supplies, but no way do I come close to paying for the time I put in to ordering supplies, making soap, labeling, and packaging. A few do it as a source of income, but they have to do a lot of traveling (to shows), a lot of marketing (to local retailers), and have a fantastic web-site. They have to order hugh quanties of supplies (and pay up front)to get decent price breaks. It also involves making or buying displays, a tent, insurance, and a LOT of commitment.
I have know of dozens of soapers who thought it was a "get rich quick" enterprise, but sadly that is not the case. But it you have perfected your recipe, done lots of testing, and want to give it a try, go for it. You will not get rich overnight, but it will be a labor of love, and if you have a knack for marketing, over time, you might do very well.
For me, soapmaking is a part time job that pays better than average, and is lot more enjoyable. I do one or two events a month, plus a few more in the spring and fall. A friend sells my soap at her farmer's market stand. I've got a few wholesale customers, but no time to pursue more without soapmaking becoming less fun than it is now.
Developing my business took several year, and investments in ingredients, molds, displays, canopy, and so on. I think it might be hard to take soapmaking from a hobby to a successful looking business on a shoestring.
Agree, Di. Just the cost of making it a successful looking business may be over whelming.
To make a 'living' out of it, you will need to perfect your soap recipe(s), then do a LOT of marketing. I've found the molds, displays etc to be expensive but they do pay off over the years. The marketing of your business ... way more expensive. It is the JOB part of soapmaking. You have to stay on top of it and expose your product to a lot of venues. Having a Great soap recipe (and I'm not talking about the usual Palm, Olive, Coconut) is especially important to differenciate yourself from your competitors. Equally important if 'curing' your soap (be it CP or HP) for longer than 4 weeks before it is sold.
It is a lot more than grabbing a soap recipe off the internet and trying to sell it.
I make a living....but I also basically work full time (plus) at it. During the summer I do 3-5 farmers markets a week, I have online sales and I wholesale to retailers. I bootstapped it to this point but the turning point is when you order supplies in large quantities and streamline your work. I don't make a batch of anything less than 25 pounds, its just not worth my time. Same with ordering supplies- last EO orders were 3 kilo drums. I am next investing in larger equipment, pot tipper, larger scales...it does seem never ending somedays
You can make a living at it, although you won't be getting rich very fast. The trick is to know your product inside and out. Why are you using such & such ingredients etc? Find your niche market and promote yourself within that market where ever you can. Streamline your biz down to the bare bones. I'm another one of those soapers that doesn't make a soap batch under 25# unless it's a special order that is pre-paid.
I've been in the business for going on 11 years now and have seen multitudes of newbie soapers come and go with their business'. All they see is that $6.00 a bar price tag and none of the dang hard work that goes behind it.
If you plan on going into the business make sure you have $$$ stashed away for about 9 months to a years worth of living expenses...to start with. This really isn't an overnight get -rich- quick scene.
If you google soap, you'll get about 58,100,000 results. Most of these are soap sellers, although some are soap supply sites and tutorial sites. How many of those are making an actual living with soapmaking their day job? Probably very few, to tell you the truth. I've been selling my soap for many years and if I had to keep the roof over my head with just my soap, I'd probably be living on the street. My soap brings people in to my booth at my farmers markets, but then they see that I make herbal products like tea blends, balms and salves, tinctures, all kinds of herbal remedies. I make about 1/2 my income on my products and half with my teaching. I take people up in the mountains to teach them about wild plants.
To make a living just selling soap, you'd have to be very committed to being a big business. I know a gal who makes soap for high end spas and hotel chains. She makes 400 pound batches and has to be very precise on size, cutting, packaging, etc. She has been doing this as long as I have, but just soap. Every time I see her, she asks me if I want to buy a soap business. I tell her, after 21 years of making soap, the last thing I want to do is make soap in that volume. I'd much rather be up in the mountains with my apprentices digging up roots.