FAQ Friday: Clays, Classes, and Chaos

FAQ Friday – September 7th 2018

What’s up, Sudsers! As I mentioned on Sunday, I am restarting the old blog thang. No word on how long it will last, but I have high hopes that I will last at least a week longer. Kidding! Kinda.

Anyway, FAQ Friday is where we discuss the most frequently asked questions that get thrown my way. From process and design to sales and shipments, there are lots of questions that I get to answer every day. Which is awesome, because I really dig when Sudsers are interested in the behind the scenes madness of this soapy game. Some questions get asked more often than others, so this is where I will drop those queries for future reference and all that.

Today we are discussing the “clay” in Soap & Clay, the classes offered at the shop, and managing the chaos of running a business with an active family. Ready? Let’s go!

So, where does the “clay” come from?

benefits of clay soap bentonite soap activated charcoal soap kaolin soap red clay in soapExcellent question – glad you asked! Soap  & Clay was formed following the death of my grandmother. The original intent was to bring three members of my family together (my mother, brother and myself) and allow us to productively use the hobbies and interests we had found while my grandmother was ill while spending time with each other. Kind of like healing without having to talk to each other about what the loss of grandma meant to us. So the clay piece was my mother’s piece – she has been playing with clay for a number of years. The original plan was to have some of her pieces for sale alongside the soaps. That evolved into an interactive clay studio with classes and a paint your own pottery component. As the clay side has been slow to start (I promise – soon!) and the business had already been named, I needed to insert clay into the soaps somehow. So I literally inserted it. Into the soaps. And created a mess of super awe

some soaps in the process.

What is the benefit of clay soap?

There are lots of benefits to clay soaps over standard artisan bars. The lather is instant – some artisan bars you really need to work at to get that lather going. The clays also aide in detoxifying the skin and balancing your pH – two pretty cool things. From an economic standpoint, a clay soap produces a harder bar with a longer shower life, so it’s basically a win all around.

Each clay brings a different set of benefits to a soap batch; kaolin clay is very gentle and soothing and moisturizing, while bentonite clay is great for oiler skin. Activated charcoal purges pores and balances the skin’s acid mantle. And these are just three of the clays that I use!

What classes are offered at your shop? Do you have online options?

make your own bath bombs

I have yet to meet a class I don’t like. Soaps, scrubs, bombs, lotions, face oils and serums, glycerin soaps – we’ve done several types of classes in the past year and I have fun every time. I put a monthly schedule in the window of the shop and on the Facebook page, so if you’d like to find a class that you’re interested in that’s where to look! If you don’t find a class or time, I’m happy to host private parties. Workshops for company team building, birthday parties, or just a night out with friends are easily arranged and always a lot of fun.

I don’t have any options for online classes yet, unfortunately. I did create the bath bomb kits that can be purchased through the website and come with detailed instructions for the home maker, but videos and classes online are not a reality yet.

How do you manage everything you have going on?

Honestly? Not well. And for the days that I somehow manage to get everything done, I’ve relied heavily on a great support system to do it. Mr. Soap & Clay builds things and collects babies before classes, my senior apprentices build bath bombs and collect the loose ends of my partially finished thoughts and projects and tie them up. Sudsers that come into the soap shop never know exactly what they’re walking into, but they are almost guaranteed to find me chasing the Soap & Clay kidlets around the shop (we play zombies a lot) or elbow deep in five different batches of products at various stages of completion, or even in the middle of an epic cornstarch fight (that just happened the one time. Let’s go with that). It’s chaotic and messy and full of laughter and fun.

And honestly? So is your life. I don’t work any harder than any of you – you are all moms and dads and professionals and friends and humans with busy lives and busy schedules and busy things. And I’m grateful when you take a bit of time out of your day to stop in and say hi, or to chat on the social media pages, or read blog posts like this. Thanks for including me in your life – my life is certainly enriched because I include you in mine!

Happy Sudsing!

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