Sunday, October 5, 2008

Young Soap - Unplugged!!!

I have had so much fun speaking with youngsoap for this interview and I have also had the honor and pleasure of personally working with youngsoap on product placement in some upcoming goodie bags!!! And now I am so excited to share this interiew with you!!!

1.Which part of your work do you most enjoy? Which part do you find hardest?

What I most enjoy is difficult to answer since I like so much of what I do... I think I would have to say designing recipes. I love getting an inspiration from a scent blend idea or a new ingredient I read about or a suggestion from a customer and then formulating a recipe to go perfectly with it. (Lavender & Vanilla w/ Goat's Milk & Lemongrass & Eucalyptus are two of my new ones!) What I find hardest is an easier question... balancing my time! I constantly feel behind on EVERYTHING. :-)

2.Where do you get your inspiration?

I get inspiration from loads of places, and I use it from wherever it comes. Lots of times people give me scent blends that they want, and I work with those. Sometimes I read about an ingredient I hadn't heard of, and I make up a recipe to use it and complement its best properties. Sometimes I start from scratch and play around. Sometimes I read dermatology books and try to combine ingredients good for certain skin types. Sometimes I read ideas from other soapers in a forum I belong to. Sometimes I order an ingredient on sale from one of my suppliers and decide when I get it what it would go well with... really inspiration is endless in soap making because there is SO MUCH you can do with it. And I like it that way. :-)

3.What is your favorite item that you have purchased on Etsy?

I haven't been on etsy very long, and I have only purchased 2 items, and since I haven't received either yet, it's hard to say which is my favorite. But I had a custom stamp done from Tommie77, and some thank you cards from CardsandNotes, - I'm greatly looking forward to both.

4.If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

If I could sell one item in my shop today, it would be one of the variety packs, and the buyer would, for at least one of the bars, tell me a little about their skin and let me help pick them some soap. I LOVE interaction. :-)

5.If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on Etsy to buy, it would be...

Again, I haven't been on etsy very long, so I haven't browsed a lot of shops. But I am OBSESSED with DollCloset. And my favorite outfit is definitely But I don't have a doll or a daughter, so it's a little silly. Maybe for my niece at Christmas? :-)(I actually wrote a blog about this predicament.)

6.What is the best advice you have ever received?

Best advice I've been given... Do you mean etsy advice? I had some people on a BNR that I'm on talk through the whole shipping prices dilemma with me, and that was really helpful to learn how they handle it. But if you mean advice in general, I think I might say something my mentor told me once: "It's foolish to get upset with people for the things they DON'T do, especially if they're not aware they should be doing them." I get fantastic advice all the time, but I know I come back to this a lot.

7.What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

To new artists, my first advice would be to take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm a newbie too! :-) Then my next advice would be to play their own game. There are so many artists - TALENTED artists - on etsy, and it can be intimidating, and it can be tempting to compare sales or pictures or ideas and to figure out what you SHOULD be doing. And while it's great to get ideas and use them to improve, it seems to me that what makes your product most unique is YOU. So you should cater to your own strengths and play your own game... and then my third piece of advice would be to remind the new artist to take what I just said with a grain of salt. :-)

8.How do you promote your work?

So far most of our promotion is local and not web-based. My husband and I sell at farmer's markets every weekend, and we try to make a presence at craft shows that we think will be effective. Every bar of soap comes with a card that gives description and ingredients and doubles as a business card, so if our customer never sees us at market again, they contact us and see our web store. As far as online marketing, I just resurrected my blog ( ), but I have hardly posted and really haven't figured out yet exactly what role it will play. Also I am just beginning to toy with other ideas of marketing my etsy shop. Etsy for me was secondary to local markets and meant to be a support of sorts for them, so marketing my store there on its own is a new concept that I still need to (and want to!) explore.

9.Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I work at a radio ministry (NOT a weird one). I ride my bike wherever I can instead of driving. I listen to Harry Potter books on CD. I play with my two dachshunds, Dora & Winston. I rub my husband's back and really enjoy spending time with him. I rest one day a week. But honestly... the things I DON'T do might be more telling. :-) It seems my to-do list never empties.

10.What led you to start selling on Etsy?

I heard about etsy from a girl who came to the Orlando Farmer's Market one time and made these fabulous pillowcase shirts. I wish I could find her on here! Anyway, since our soap is obviously a consumable and since it's fantastic, we get a LOT of our business from repeat customers. So my goal was to be online in 2008 sometime so that we would be able to keep customers who love our soap but are not local. Etsy was a wonderful way to establish our first web presence since it didn't require the time or money that an independent site would require.

11.How would you describe your shop?

I would describe my shop as a place that sells absolutely amazing soap that is 100% natural, unique, and original... and I really believe that. Our soap is fantastic.

12.Are you working on anything new right now or is there a craft you would like to learn?

I would like to learn to make soda and to make paper. But I'm not seeing the time for learning those at any point in the near future. They're on my bucket list. :-)
*picture shown is courtesy of Young Soap*
A big "Thank you" to Aevan for the use of her awesome and insightful interview questions!!! Check out her Etsy shop here: or check out her own seller interviews on her blog:


Jenni said...

Wow, what an incredible soap maker. I think I will have to get some of that. :-)

Aevan Arts said...

Hi!!! That's a lovely survey :) Fun to read about people! Now it's your turn - You've been tagged by ME!
I hope you play along.