Debbie, the founder and driving force behind Soapylove, is a truly gifted glycerin soapmaker and business woman. Besides her ever popular soapsicles, Debbie designs countless other creative soaps, writes two blogs and a bimonthly ezine magazine, Let's Get Soapy, teaches melt and pour classes, raises two young children, and now has a book due to arrive on September 13th, entitled Soapylove.
Debbie has appeared on DIY's Craft Lab and her soaps have been featured in several magazines. Her melt and pour tutorials and soapsicle photos are often featured on fellow soap blogs, so it's quite possible that you have seen Debbie's work or even taken one of her classes. I was dying to get to know this wonderwoman of the melt and pour craft, so I asked her to do an interview with me, and even during her recent move, she found time to provide us with a little insight into her success.
Why soap? How did you get started in the soap making business?
I love making glycerin soap because it's easy and can be used right away, plus there are SO MANY fun design possibilities! It's truly amazing the vast number of looks and styles that can be made.
What do you attribute to the success of your business?
I think my business has been successful because I have focused on the items that are the best sellers - in this case, the soap pops. It has become my niche and I have run with it! The "soda pop girl" photos, for example, take many of the qualities that appeal to people about my soaps and play them up in a really fun, professional, and stylish way (thanks to my sister's great photography and my niece's gorgeous smile!) Also, I try to be really active online to introduce my brand to as many people as I can. This has helped my business grow as well.
(And here I thought her beautiful niece was a professional model!)
Your soapsicles and playful designs are a breath of fresh air. How or where do you find inspiration for your fun designs?
I find inspiration in many places, but since I'm a WAHM, I mostly get ideas from the internet! Fashion and design blogs are my favorite source of inspiration.
You and your soap designs have been featured throughout the media and in multiple mainstream magazines. Were your eye-catching soaps spotted and thrust into the lime light or did you submit and market your work to the media? Can you suggest tips for other soapmakers to receive media attention for their soaps?
Believe it or not, I have not approached any magazines to feature my soaps. Editors and blog writers mostly find me on their own, which I attribute to being online for several years (making my search results good), having a very clean and professional looking website, and very photogenic items. Put a picture of a Soapylove soap pop on your site and readers are bound to say, "CUTE!!" :)
I understand you teach some “soapy” workshops so others can learn how to recreate some of your masterpieces. What types of classes and workshops do you teach? What made you decide to share your talent with others?
Teaching came from my desire to keep playing around with soap, but not wanting to actually list and ship them all of the time. I started writing and selling tutorials, then I appeared on Craft Lab (on the DIY Network), and I have been invited to teach. My classes cover a wide range of techniques. I keep a schedule of classes on my blog (http://www.soapylove.blogspot.com/).
Thank you! This is a huge major deal for me! :) The book has 25 full tutorials, and 12 "variations" which are suggestions on different styles using the same methods. You can find out how to make engraved monogram soaps, soap rockets-on-a-rope, soap tarts, waffle soaps, soap ufos.... there are so many projects. You'll have to check it out!
Ooh... my favorite soap design is the Typography Soap. It's from a modern soap line I have called The Soap Lab (http://www.thesoaplab.com/), and it has been featured by many design blogs that I truly admire. I made a mold by hand and I'm very happy with how it turned out. (shown here)
What plans or dreams do you have for the future of Soapylove?
I'm always dreaming big things for Soapylove but it's hard to commit. I'd love to write another book, teach more, grow The Soap Lab, design a line of modern soap molds... there's always something I'm cooking up!
Yes! For those that would like to try their hand at glycerin soap making, please check out my eZine called Let's Get Soapy. I offer a new issue every 2 months and each one contains inspiration boards, new tutorials, techniques, tips, a full supply directory, and a lot more. It's my baby and I'm very excited to share it with all you crafty types out there! :)
People can also see videos, including tutorials and entertaining soap videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/soapylovevideos
Disclaimer: The Bonnie Bath Co. and Soapylove are not responsible for any damage done to your keyboard, mouse, or other computer components caused by drooling over yummy photos of Soapylove products.
Where can you find Debbie and Soapylove? Follow any of the links below.
Blog: Soapylove Daily Ditties (Upcoming classes and free tutorials are listed here)
Blog: The Soap Lab (Special Soapylove projects)
eZine: Let's Get Soapy (Purchase here)
YouTube: Soapylove Tutorials and Videos
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