Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday's Featured - The Little Bitty Soap Co.

Yay! It's Friday's Featured Artisan and there's a CONTEST! And I am happy to introduce Gillian of the Little Bitty Soap Co. As you regular followers know, I usually start with a short introduction before delving into the interview portion of the feature.

I start by looking around on the artisan's website trying to get to them a little and understand their business. Well, when I was Gillian's site a stumbled upon her "About" page and nearly fell out of my chair laughing. In stead of my lame introductions, I thought I would use Gillian's own website to introduce her. I have shortened it a little.

One look at her wildly-coloured hair, funky clothes and loud rock and roll blasting from her "Bubble Wagon" as it thumps down the street and you might not think of Gillian DeConto as your typical, "Little House on the Prairie" pioneer gal.... And this fun-loving and funky mama can tan a hide, milk a goat, hunt and fish, grow her own veggies, can and preserve enough food to survive the apocalypse, bake better pies than your grandma, knit, sew, tool leather and even birth a lamb - and have a blast doing it all.

But more than anything else, Gillian makes a mean bar of soap. Gillian DeConto is the only Certified Soapmaker in all of British Columbia, and only one of two in the entire nation of Canada. She knows soap, she loves soap, she lives and breathes soap - she even keeps a favourite bar or two on her desk to feel and smell. And no, she has not sought psychiatric help for this.


All kidding aside, Gillian takes her soap seriously... She loves the smells, the textures and the creative high of combining essential oils and natural ingredients to make beautiful, hand-crafted soaps so yummy and delicious you want to (but really shouldn't) eat them....

Now that's an introduction!

Name of Business: Little Bitty Soap Company
Facebook: Gillian DeConto
Twitter: Soaperchick

Tell us about yourself. My name is Gillian DeConto and I live in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I am a married mother of 4 and live in a very rural area. I have a small ranch, the Little Bitty Ranch,where we raise sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, dogs and cats.


What types of products do you sell? I mostly sell cold process soaps and liquid soaps, although I also make some body products, and love to make lip balm.

Where do you get your inspiration for your work? Inspiration is all around us. I find ideas in the strangest places. For example, I was looking at some pretty summer napkins at a picnic and thought the stripes were so pretty together, that they would make a pretty, striped soap, so I made one and called it "Stripetti".

Are you a member of any related organizations or do you have any special related certifications?
Yes, I am a certified soapmaker and also a member of the Board of Directors for the HSMG. I am currently chairing the Membership Committee. (Gillian did not mention that she also won the Best CP Soap Appearance at the HSMG Conference this year, as well.

What is your favorite product and why? (That you make, of course) That's easy, bar soap, all kinds, I just love making bar soaps.

What do you do outside of work? I really enjoy my veggie garden and am working on some fun rural garden and yard furniture. I enjoy a wide variety of "pioneer" type hobbies, including canning, knitting, hunting, baking bread, spinning wool, gardening, fishing, etc. I am currently very busy with my garden as it is harvest time, so I am processing and preserving lots of veggies right now.


If you could give advice to other bath and body or candle businesses, what would it be?
1. Pay someone to do the jobs that you are not good at and/or detest. For example, I am a horrible procrastinator when it comes to book work. I really despise it. So, I pay someone a modest amount monthly to do my books. I am so much happier and it is money well spent.

2. This industry, Soap and Candle making, is very artistic and creative. Remember to think outside the box and go ahead and create those fun new products and designs.

3. Join a professional Trade organization. The support, information, education, etc. are invaluable to small businesses.

Would you like to offer readers a promotional discount or a contest? I will offer a prize to be drawn from people who comment on this blogpost, randomly drawn. The prize will be one of my designer bar soaps, winner's choice, mailed to winner, postage paid. To have a chance to win, post a comment to this article with the name of the designer soap you wish you could have in your hot little hands from The Little Bitty Soap Co. (that's right, go to the website and have a look around) by 10pm Wednesday, September 16th. Be sure to include your email. I will randomly choose the winner and post it here. And the lovely Gillian, will send you an incredible bar of designer soap.
What are you waiting for? Let's see some entries for this award winning mama's cool soaps!

7 comments:

  1. I would like to try the Green Tea Soap.I have just started getting into Soaps about a month now and there is so much info to read,I have found a mentor and shes been giving me good advice. My email is ntraldzigns@gmail.com

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  2. I would like to try the Apple Butter Soap. It seems a nice scent for fall, and I have to admit that fall is just about here! My email is getsoakedinfo@comcast.net.

    Thanks!
    Michelle

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  3. Gillian, your soaps are absolutely gorgeous, truly artful :) Canada is lucky to have such a hot soaping commodity as yourself!

    As for which gorgeous soap I'd want to try - the Cool Mint. I just love mint scents and your is beautiful to boot! bodyluxe@gmail.com

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  4. Oooo! I love these soaps! The embedding is fabulous! I would want to try the Green Tea soap. amy @ greatcakessoapworks . com

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  5. All of the soaps are truly amazing and beautiful.
    the one that sound the best to me is Satsuma. The scent includes my favorite scents.

    jerseygirl137 at yahoo dot com

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  6. Fabulous stuff Gillian! You're a soap artist! Wish I could think of stuff like that! Lucy

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  7. Thank you, everyone, for the nice comments. I am glad that you all enjoyed my soapy art. Thanks to Erica for doing such a nice feature on my business, you're the best~:o)
    I can't wait to see other featured soapers.

    Gillian

    ReplyDelete

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