I’ve been making soap and blogging about making soap for about 7 years now. Along the way I’ve made several friends, both in person and over the internet. My life has completely changed and has been completely shaped by the craft of soapmaking.
About a year ago, I quit my full time job to do this full time. To support myself I’ve been selling eBooks and teaching classes.
I taught my first soap class soon after learning the craft. There was a local supplier in Grand Prairie, TX named GL Candle Supply. I used to head up there on the weekends and hangout. I remember there was a round table setup in the showroom and I’d just sit and chat with the owner, David, or anyone else who happened to be hanging around. I loved talking about soap! I learned so much, so fast. I was soon helping people who came in with soapmaking questions.
One day I asked David if he would be interested in me teaching soapmaking classes! I came up with an elaborate plan, because I thought he wouldn’t be interested. I thought I’d have to really sell it. Without even hearing two sentences, he said yes! I taught my first soapmaking class and I remember my first student, Minnie. I LOVED teaching. Soon after I started teaching, I quit selling soap. All I wanted to do was teach.
GL closed down and I went to the other soapmaking supplier in town to ask about teaching classes. I taught classes at Taylored Concepts for awhile until they closed down too.
With no more suppliers in town, I didn’t really know what I was going to do. I remember feeling really bummed. It turned out this was a huge blessing in disguise. I soon setup my own website, rented a room at the local community center and started to market soapmaking classes on my own!
I was filing up classes and then decided to expand down to Austin. I found a ceramic place in Austin that rented me a room and later moved to a yoga studio.
I have had the best students and the best experiences while teaching. I can’t remember ever having a bad class or a bad student. I’ve had some memorable students! I’ve learned so much as a teacher.
So to David, Taylored Concepts, Minnie and all of my students over the years…
This early teaching experience helped me to develop my teaching skills and processes that I use in classes all over the world, teaching for Lovin’ Soap Project! Who knew that teaching would lead me to find my purpose in life!?
Lovin’ Soap Ezine!
My first time publishing an eZine was back in January of 2011.
I wanted to write for Saponifier Magazine and wrote to them several times about contributing. But no one would write me back at that time! So I thought…well shoot…I’ll just do my own publication. And I did! (And I LOVE Saponifier Magazine too! I later was asked to contribute an article.) I was so scared to publish my first eZine and wondered if anyone would buy it. And if they bought it, would they like it? Well, I ended up selling about 100 and people LOVED IT! Was it perfect? No. Did I have some misspellings…probably! But I did the best I could and really tried to provide a fun and creative publication. I ended up doing a few more. You can find them here for free!
And one of the biggest confidence boosts occurred…Anne-Marie with Bramble Berry emailed me saying that she loved it and would like to sell it at Bramble Berry!
So for all of you who bought that first publication…and to Anne-Marie for the huge boost in confidence that helped to propel me forward and led me to where I am today…
You made this soapmaker very happy!
A few years later that first eZine experience led me to having the confidence to publish a new publication to help raise funds for Lovin’ Soap Project.
In 2013 I started Lovin’ Soap Project, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization whose initiative is to empower women through the craft of soapmaking.
Who would have thought that my soapmaking journey would have brought me to this!? I never would have dreamed.
We are now working in Haiti, Uganda, China and India teaching women and empowering them through the craft of soapmaking! My friends in the soapmaking industry, my blog readers and members of my community were some of the first people to make donations and are the people who continue to make donations monthly through Soap Collaborative. Soap Collaborative is a monthly soapmaking magazine that is sent to our monthly donors. If you are not signed up, please sign up here! SC is what keeps us floating, allows us to budget and provides us with the funds needed to do our work and support the soapmakers in Haiti, Uganda, China and India.
To all of our subscribers, who provide support for these women monthly…
I get to do exactly what I have the heart to do. I get to contribute to the soapmaking industry by teaching classes, publishing eBooks, blogging and writing.
I am so grateful for my life and for the flexibility that being an entrepreneur affords me. Today is Labor Day, and I am working. I chose to work because on Wednesday my Mom comes into town and I won’t be working for about 5 days while I spend time with her. I wouldn’t have that flexibility otherwise.
This flexibility is imperative for running our not-for-profit, Lovin’ Soap Project. When needed, I can take a month off to travel and teach women soapmaking to empower their lives and better their situations! I couldn’t do that with a regular 8-5 job with two weeks vacation off a year.
So for those of you that help to support me by purchasing eBooks and taking classes…
So what I am I doing during the 5 days that my Mom is in town!?
I’m getting married!
Besides all of the things above, soapmaking has also led me to find my partner in life, Benjamin Aaron. This Saturday I get to marry my best friend!
I am overflowing today with gratitude for this crazy craft that I fell in love with 7 years ago. Benjamin and I share a studio in Downtown Lee’s Summit, MO. I write, teach, blog and run Lovin’ Soap Project. Benjamin writes, blogs, runs his business Imperial Drifter and runs Lovin’ Soap Project with me.
Life is good.
Where has soapmaking led you?
I’m so excited for you. Have a great and exciting life together.
I am thrilled for you to hear the happy news! Thank you for sharing with us. It is almost like we are there with you!
All the best Amanda and Benjamin! Have a wonderful “happily ever after!”
Hi Amanda. What a wonderful post. As one of your students (I am in the class in GP community center, 2nd pic), I want to thank you. I am still soaping all here years later and still use the techniques I learned from you. Thank you for your posts. Keep on soapin
I married my best friend 48 years ago – it’s a great way to begin a marriage. Wishing you two many years of soapy love!
Dearest Amanda ,
Congratulations ! Have a wonderful wedding !
Congratulations Amana. Your blog has been truly inspirational and iI used to feel bummed icouldn’t attend any of your classes (ilive in West Africa) so was super happy when you started selling ebooks.
Marrying your best friend is a smart move …… And the fact that you’re both so passionate about soap making makes it easy to share good times, which is what every marriage needs after all!
Wow! You are so inspiring!! I absolutely love reading your articles ?. I start about a year and a half ago making soap just for fun. Now I am selling quite a bit. My desire is to be able to quit my full time job and just sell homemade health and beauty products. You inspire me to try a little harder and realize I really can do it!!!
Congratulations on your happiness!! I wish you both all the joy your hearts can possibly hold.
omygosh, I forgot to express my happy happy congrats to you and Ben for making this joyful commitment to ,and for, each other.
I’ve been thinking so much about you and Benjamin during the last few years. Both of you are such confident, moving forward people. The people we are honored to come across in our lives. I am a very back seat kind of person, having come to soaping as a hobby, observer and experimenter several years ago. The people in this discipline fascinate me , such wonderful stories to observe…but the grit and joy you bring to your purpose delight me. I am so sure your moms are both so grateful for your hard work at living !!! ha, I’m getting carried away.
This last several weeks, your letters, challenges and bloggings have amazed and reawakened me. I was getting bogged down by life, and stressing instead of doing. But boy howdy, I started making whatever you blogged about for 30 days and I am back on track baby !! You have no idea how many lives you affect, until someone tells you …and I am telling you. Your generosity and your witness to us here is energizing and uplifting and I am so grateful for the nudge to think out of my own narrow box and overflow…Thank you so much !
laurie, in st louis
Congratulations to you both! Hope you have an awesome time and a wonderful future ahead of you 🙂
Congratulations to you and Benjamin! Wishing you a wonderful life together. And, much success with your business endeavors.
Congratulations to you both!!! ? I am so happy for you!!!
Thank you, Lauri! We’re happy too! 🙂
Congratulations Amanda and Benjamin! Have a wonderful wedding day and a beautiful life together!
Thank you, Judy!
Oh my gosh, I remember Tailored Concepts!! I always bought my Blueberry Muffin FO from them. Your journey is awesome, Amanda! I’m so glad to count you among my soapy friends! <3 xoxo
Do you, Katie?!?! I would be up there EVERY weekend spending my paycheck on supplies! 🙂 <3
You are such an inspiration!!! I’m slowly honing my skills and planning to teach soap making in the near future here in the desert outside Los Angeles. You’re book inspired me. You are so down to Earth and easy to read I feel like you’re right there with me. Thank you !! And a big congratulations to you!!! How exciting! Keep soaping, we love you!!!!
Thank you, Karen! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book! 🙂
Have fun teaching classes and spreading the soapy love!