Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Night Market

Here is the night market I have been at for the month of August, 5 nights a week, from 8pm to approximately 1am. It is across from the Hotel Zimbali, on Vera Playa if anyone wishes to come visit!

Some of the stands...

Leanne at her book stand

Tina, Jewllery maker. Hers are the only earrings I wear! http://bluetinajewellery.blogspot.com/

Me, excited for the night to begin!

I have a system that works well for me when it comes to selling at markets. I say hello or good evening to anyone passing by whose eye I can catch. I try to make eye contact with everyone I can. If they slow down to look, I give out free samples, small centimer squares of my best smelling soaps. Then I get chatting if they have time to listen. I tell them about the soaps in general, that I make them with natural and local ingredients. I explain the different properties of each one. Sometimes they purchase right away. Often, they return to purchase after once around the market. Other times, they return another day after trying the sample.

I find that if I don't make personal contact with them, I don't sell that well. Once I have met them and they have purchased from me, they often get in contact by email or through my site to purchase more.

So, I love being on the front line and meeting the potential customers. I love when they return after sampling...

I may be taking more pictures of some of the other artisans stands and posting.

Happy Summer Soaping!!


Friday, 12 August 2011

Great Shampoo Bar Exchange – Great Cakes Soapworks

The first shampoo bar, other than my own, that I have tried for the Shampoo Bar Exchange was the lighter soap sent to me by Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks. It is called “The Original Opus”.

Impressions before using it – beautiful natural colour & texture,nice size and I LOOOOOOVE the scent.

The ingredients list: Saponified Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Lard, rice Bran Oil, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Beer, Aloe Vera Juice and Essential Oils of Lemongrass, Lavender, Rosemary and Peppermint.

When I began using it, I was sooooo surprised at just how different it was from mine. It lathered instantly and abundantly. Wonderful, thick, sudsy lather. I just kept washing & lathering and lathering... like I didn’t want it to end!! I also adore the scent. It smells wonderful dry but even better when washing!

I used a simple Vinegar rinse (1 part Apple Cidar Vinegar to 10 parts water) after each wash.

My hair combed through very nicely after Amy’s shampoo. Not like the slick chemical & silicone-loaded commercial shampoo and conditioner comb-throughs... but much nicer that with my shampoo bar.

So, for the first few times I used this shampoo bar... I was in love!

Unfortunately, it didn’t last as my hair started getting greasy after about 5 days, then on day 7, I washed with it for the last time as the whole back of my hair was greasy.

What factors are involved? The four of us - Becky from The Soap Sister, Amy from Great Cakes Soapworks, Michele from Tierra Verde and I - have all agreed that we think there may be many factors that affect the Shampoo bar when using - Water type, hair type, scalp type, and rinse or conditioner type.

I have extremely hard water - full of Calcium. Most people here have dry itchy scalp dandruff because of the water. I have medium thick, totally dyed hair. (I wish I could get away from dying my hair as I know it is not good for it, but I am not prepared to leave it grey...) My dandruff has gone away since I began using shampoo bars about a year ago, and for the most part, my scalp isn't itchy any more.

So, as for Amy's bar:

The good? The Abundant Suds, the Awesome Scent, the Wonderful Comb-Through.
The not-so-good? The greasy hair. Unfortunately this is a biggy - and I can't continue using this bar. Could this be improved by simply lowering the superfat?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Great Shampoo Bar Exchange

Rosemary Nettle Shampoo Bar, with Basil and Green Clay

Beer Honey Shampoo Bar

Carrot and Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar

A few months ago, when several of these soapers with blogs that I follow began posting about their Shampoo Bar experiments, I got an idea....

A SHAMPOO BAR EXCHANGE!!!! This way, I would get to try out some different shampoo bars, get feedback on my shampoo bars and do a soap experimental exchange/ challenge which I have been dying to do since I began soaping.

So I contacted:

Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps http://tierraverdesoaps.blogspot.com/

Great Cakes Soapworks http://www.greatcakessoapworks.com/handmade-soap-blog/

The Soap Sister http://thesoapsister.blogspot.com/

and invited them to participate. They all agreed! It took a couple of months to get things ready for shipping and recently we all shipped off our shampoo bars!

We are now going to be using one soapers bar at the same time and blogging about them...

Can't wait!!

Please forgive the repeat photos. The photos in the blog are the shampoo bars I sent, and I don't have new photos as I don't have my camera back yet!!

Leg update: I am walking better and better and enjoying physio-therapy! Leg, foot and ankle still get pretty swollen, so I put the leg up for rest sometimes as well....

Happy Soaping and Shampooing to everyone!