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.

amanda

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.

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.

Soapmaking Class at Taylored Concepts

Soapmaking Class at Taylored Concepts

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!

Soap Classes at Community Center in GP

Soap Classes at Community Center in GP

Soap Classes at Community Center in GP

Soap Classes at Community Center in GP

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.

Teaching in Austin

Teaching in Austin

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!ย  I’ve learned so much as a teacher.

So to David, Taylored Concepts, Minnie and all of my students over the years…

THANK YOU!

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!?

Teaching in Haiti

Teaching in Haiti

Lovin’ Soap Ezine!

My first time publishing an eZine was back in January of 2011.

Lovin Soap Ezine Volume 1

Lovin Soap Ezine Volume 1

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…

THANK YOU!

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.

Soap Collaborative

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…

THANK YOU!

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…

THANK YOU!

So what I am I doing during the 5 days that my Mom is in town!?

I’m getting married!

11703045_938798382846952_2082715067012789117_n 11947686_971599876233469_2226710718738981192_n

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?

Happy Soaping!

-Amanda Gail