Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that my White Chocolate and Strawberry Gateaux soap, see the picture above, is being featured in the Western Morning News Christmas Gift Guide on Friday 27th November, so be sure to rush out and get your copy!  Dont forget to tell your friends too.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


Whew!!!  What a weekend, I'm so tired I cant tell you that much except to say it went really, really well.  Sold out of a couple of ranges!  Lots of interest, lots of people loving the soaps and lots of sales.....  Guess what I'm going to be doing for the next few days?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Well if you did of course?  This question came to me from Indy News an American site for Independent Cosmetic Businesses that I subscribe to and I thought it was well worth sharing.

Most Indie Business owners don't start a business with the idea that they'll, well, start a business!

Mostly, we find something we love to do and we starting doing it with a passion. Soon, we find that we can't stop ourselves. Whether it's making soap, jewelry or baby blankets, our new hobby absorbs us fully.

Then, we give the products we make away as gifts. It's easy enough since by the time we start unloading everything, our houses are overrun with supplies and something has to give.

Then, the people we give stuff to come back and ask to buy some. After a few months, it dawns on us that we just might have a budding business!

So we coast along for a while in what I call "No Man's Business Land." We are a cross between a hobbyist and a business owner.

We are a hobusiness owner, and we know we've come to a fork in the road.

What to do?

Take it to the next level and start a real business where we have to be profitable, market ourselves, embrace state and federal regulations and more?

Or stay at the hobbyist level where we make things for fun, don't have to worry about insurance or following federal and state regulations and just have a good time?

Id love to hear what you think..........

Question: If you are a business owner, how did you make the move from "hobusiness owner" to real, full-fledged business owner? Are you in the process of deciding? What are you considering?

Monday, 16 November 2009


One of the most popular soaps in the range is the suitably names Dirty Dog soap made with natural oils and including Tea tree and Citronella essential oils.  It smells wonderful, very refreshing with a zingy citrus undertone.  The soap is designed to be an easy, fuss free way of washing your mud magnet dogs, treating them to the same caring bubbles as yourself.  Much easier to use than fiddly bottles of shampoo, just wet the fir, rub the bar all over, lather it up and rinse away for soft, silky fur.  Tea tree is a natural antiseptic, its also great for itchy skin, citronella is renowned for its insect repelling qualities while also combating oily, smelly dog coats.  Dirty Dog soap is also suitable for using yourself for a refreshing, uplifting shower and is great to take away on holiday where you know midges and mossies are a problem, they HATE citronella.

By buying Dirty Dog soap you will also be able to support the great work of the RSPCA as Naturally Made Soaps is donating 10% from the sale of every bar.  You can help by ordering from the Naturally Made Soaps website - click on the link to the right of this article.

Dirty Dog bars are only £3.00 each and make a fantastic gift for Christmas.  Go on, give it a go, let me know what you think of it.  By the way, the illustration above is from the label, drawn by me and is a picture of 'Blue' Naturally Made Soaps own mud magnet!

In September and October I sold 37 bars of Dirty Dog which means I have raised £11.10, Ive topped this up to £15 and a cheque is on its way to the Exeter branch of the RSPCA.  Not an enormous amount but I'm hopeful this will be the start of something bigger.   thanks to all those of you who have bought a bar.  I will let you know about the next donation, watch this space........

Saturday, 14 November 2009


I attended a fundraising day for FORCE the Cancer Charity at Bicton College today, what a fantastic time I had, mingling and meeting some truly lovely women, networking, selling, chatting and generally enjoying the day. It was a day of pampering, pleasure, learning, shopping and fun. There were lots of opportunities to learn more about ways of taking care of our health, our appearance and our stress levels by talking to experts, booking into therapy sessions and taking one of the four mini-workshops. The event was organised by three local women who believe in supporting other women. All the retailers were female-led businesses and were selected to make sure everyone there would be able to do a little Christmas shopping in between the pampering and learning. A well known lifecoach and motivational speaker, Talane Miedener, was there and talked about ... "Ending Emotional Eating: How to Stop Self-Sabotage by Satisfying your Personal and Emotional Needs" - before lunch of course! She was really inspiring.

To find out more about the group who organised the event and to see photos from the day go to
FORCE is an established cancer charity based in Exeter. Their work finances improvements in patient care through research, the purchase of advanced equipment and their new Information and Support Centre located in the grounds of the RD&E Hospital.

I also met a lovely lady today, we were sitting together for the seminar and chatted a lot. one year ago she was a vibrant, happy lady with shoulder length blond hair, everything going for her. She was waiting for a knee replacement operation but doing so patiently, until the worst news possible. She found out she had cancer. She had lots of chemo and radiation treatment, lost all her hair, is still taking strong drugs but has beaten it, and was so thankful to FORCE, she said they were simply wonderful, helping her all the way with lots of support and advice. For that alone, for she was a really lovely person, I was so happy to be there, supporting FORCE.

Cancer brings about change in people's lives. Hearing that you or someone close to you has cancer can be a distressing experience. A diagnosis is often accompanied by a range of different emotions which can prove challenging to face alone.
When you visit the Centre you will find a relaxed and comfortable environment where you can seek information and discuss your needs with our experienced staff. You can meet other Centre users as well as talk with our trained volunteers. You do not need a referral, which means you can call in when it's convenient to you. All services within the Centre are funded by FORCE, so there is no charge to you.

Friday, 13 November 2009



1. Shea Butter, also known as karite butter, is a cream-colored fatty substance made from the nuts of karite nut trees (also called Mangifolia trees) that grow in the savannah regions of West and Central Africa.

2. Shea tress are not cultivated, they only grow in the wild.

3. The shea tree produces its first fruit (which resemble large plums) when it is about 20 years old and reaches its full production when the tree is about 45 years old. It produces nuts for up to 200 years after reaching maturity.

4. The natural fat extracted from the seed of the shea tree by crushing and boiling.

5. In most parts of West Africa, destruction of the shea tree is prohibited because this little nut provides a valuable source of food, medicine, and income for the population.

6. An acclaimed natural butter, Shea butter is widely used in high-end cosmetics and beauty products as a moisturizer and emollient.

7. Shea butter is sometimes referred to as “women’s gold” in Africa, because so many women are employed in the production of shea butter.

8. Shea butter is a particularly effective moisturizer because contains so many fatty acids, which are needed to retain skin moisture and elasticity.

9. Shea butter’s soft, butter-like texture melts readily into the skin without an oily residue.

10. Shea butter is also used in cooking and can be used as a substitute for cocoa butter.

Almost every one of my soap recipes uses Shea butter, I love it.
Let me know what your favourite Shea recipe is.

Monday, 2 November 2009

New website, new blog, new day... need more energy!

Today was a big and very long day. Ive been having problems with my shopping cart on my website, its supposed to link up to Royal Mails live site and calculate shipping costs of my soaps based on weight. Well it doesn't! Ive tried everything including two 40 minute calls (Free I hasten to add) to America to the tech support department at Volusion my web hosts. They are still unsure too. So I decided to do it myself and have created new custom shipping options based on weights and Royal Mail prices lifted from their website. It works!! Well at least it seems to so, I'm going to run a test tonight and then I might just get some orders!

Ive had so much positive feedback its been great, sent out a press release announcing the new site to various publications, local and National and the Western Morning News got back to me immediately. Their Features Editor emailed me to say she loved my soaps and could I send a couple of good quality photos of my White Chocolate and Strawberry Gateaux soap which, thanks to Nigels fantastic photos, I can. Shes going to add them to their Westcountry Made Christmas Gifts Guide, brilliant news. Also..... yes there is more, she wants to do a feature on my and Naturally Made Soaps! how good it that? I'm very pleased.

I have also spent the entire day working on my SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and linking to as many like minded sites and blogs as I can, Ive also joined a huge number of sites that comment on web links like stumbleupon, Digg, BuzzUp, bebo and - the idea is that you highlight a website you like ( of course!) and wait to get feedback from others who go to see it too. A good idea in theory but thinking about the number of sites there are out there Im not sure it will get me far, but hey, got to try everything. Ive also been adding links to this blog - I hope you have noticed - to some of my favorite sites and blogs. Do go and have a look at some of them if you have the time.

So now my eyes are square and out on stalks and its only 9.30pm, got to go to bed now as Im at East Devon all day tomorrow and got lots to do!! Have a great week everyone and thanks for your support.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

The first picture of the new sales person working on Naturally Made Soaps market stall, this one at Budleigh Salterton, (the last Friday of every month 9am - 1pm)
Can you believe it? Little Lola and Aimee taking charge! She was so good and caused quite a stir, talk about an added attraction.

European Directory of Soap & Cosmetics Makers

I have just joined the European Directory of Soap & Cosmetics Makers, a great organisation for both buyers and sellers. I hope it will help me to promote my site and get more visitors. Any other ideas you have, do let me know!

For Buyers


Anyone with their own shop, market stall, or website knows the value of selling high-quality, artisan-made soaps and cosmetics. With the European Directory of Soap and Cosmetics Makers, sourcing exquisite hand-made products for your business is simple.

Likewise, beauty editors and bloggers will find it easy to bring their readers the very latest and best in handmade beauty, cosmetics, candles, and bath and body products, thanks to the Directory's country-by-country or category-by-category listings.

Those listings form an unparalleled Directory of artisans from across Europe, covering a broad range of products including natural soaps and cosmetics, handcrafted candles, artisan soaps, organic bath and body products and handmade personal care items.

For Sellers


Joining the European Directory of Soap and Cosmetics Makers brings clear benefits for your business.

Europe's leading Directory of handmade soaps, candles, cosmetics, and personal care products can bring your products to buyers, businesses, and customers across Europe and beyond.

With basic and premium listings on offer, your work will be on display to gift shops, boutiques, museum shops, stationary stores, interior design shops, and retail buyers. You'll also be on show for fashion editors, spas, B&Bs and hotels, whole foods shops, and beauty bloggers.

Our basic listing puts you into the Directory at no cost, complete with a web link, email link, a company description, and one photograph or image to represent your business or products.

Taking a premium listing at a cost of just £15 per year gives you an even better chance to promote your work, and offers you a place in the Directory with a web link, email link, a company description, and three photographs or images.