Musings, chat and news from the sudsy world of Planet Soap.
|Posted on March 16, 2016 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
The Planet Soap Shop has now opened, at 11 King Street, Crieff. Opening hours for Springtime are Thursday til Monday 10 til 5, except 11 til 5 Sunday. Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
We have just been open a few days but it has been lovely and everybody has been very friendly and welcoming. And the weather has been pretty decent into the bargain. We have a range of deliciously fragrant essential oil soaps, shampoo bars, dog soaps, candles, essential oils, shea butter bath bombs (including Easter Egg bombs), nettle soap, himilayan salt lamps, loofahs and other natural accessories.
Pop by and say hello and have a sniff of the products.
Look forward to seeing you.
|Posted on March 8, 2016 at 6:30 PM||comments (0)|
OK well the move is very much in progress. Planet Soap has taken a lovely little shop at the top of King Street Crieff (7 - 11 King Street - beside the car park). At the moment I am up to my eyes in sorting the place out, whilst at the same time keeping up with orders, but we hope to be opening very soon. Business in the Lothians continues as usual, and once we are properly settled into the shop, I will get back to doing the Saturday Farmers Markets in Aberdeen, Dundee and Stirling, with Alexa helping in the shop, and Soap Guy Sam helping with production.
More good news - I am delighted to say that Planet Soap products will still be available in tthe Why Not? most weekends, as Barbara of Kaumaura, a regular trader at the Why Not? has taken them into her range of lovely aromatherapy products.
Planet Soap products are also available in several shops and herbalists - eg Little Thistle in Dundee and Dunfermline, Pretty Pink in Morningside and Napiers Herbalists in Edinburgh have recently taken orders and so are well supplied.
And for those further afield, don't forget you can always order online :-)
Will be back with news on opening in Crieff soon.
|Posted on February 6, 2016 at 3:30 AM||comments (0)|
It was very sad to take down the Planet Soap shoplet in the Why Not? North Berwick last weekend. It has been a good couple of years there, and I have met lots of lovely customers, done good trade, and benefited from having a base for the business outside of the home. I have also enjoyed the company of other retailers, and the Why Not owners and staff. However one of the good things about the Why Not? is that it can help small businesses to establish themselves and sometimes this means moving on to get our own premises. And this is the reason behind the move. I don't want to jinx things by saying too much at this stage, but hope to give you more on this one soon...
Meantime Planet Soap products can still be bought online, in various shops and herbalists (see the stockists page) and at markets and events - watch out for updates to the calendar, and keep an eye on things on our https://www.facebook.com/planetsoapscotland" target="_blank">facebook page. And I will be delighted to continue to supply other businesses - B&Bs etc in the North Berwick area as usual. So its definitely not goodbye, but see you later.
|Posted on January 7, 2014 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
2014 starts with a new venture for Planet Soap, and indeed for North Berwick High St.
The Why Not? opened its doors for the first time in the run-up to Christmas. Planet Soap 'popped up' for a few days during this time, to great success. North Berwick has been good to me before, via Jane Alexander's Artisans Fairs, and so I have taken the plunge and set up a regular shop to be there daily, with a full range of cold process essential oil soaps, bath bombs, fairy dust, essential oils etc, and of course the ever-popular Planet Soap Nettle Soap.
So what's the Why Not? all about?
North Berwick has a busy High St and yet had a large retail unit standing empty for years.
The area is well populated with artists, crafters, makers, bakers and harvesters.
North Berwick is also well populated with lovely residents who like to buy local goods and fresh produce, and visitors who like to take home unique crafts and art works.
Adam and Jenny, local crafters themselves, saw the potential for bringing together the above and providing affordable space for various pop-up shops and permanent trader stands, selling a range of items for locals and visitors alike.
Every time you go in it will be a fresh experience, as different traders pop-up all the time, selling all sorts of goods, from hand baked breads, home-made jams and chutneys, healthy treats for discerning canines, local photography, vintage items, and so much more. There are regular shop stands too - fresh farm produce from Knowes Farm, local foodie treats from Cook's Desire, sports goods and sounds systems from Beat Attack, and beautiful enamel jewellery by Jane Alexander. These early pioneers are now being followed by Planet Soap, and Collins fishmongers, and there is still much more to come.
Browsing can be thirsty work. With its big tree, strings of lights and hot colours the new Why Not? cafe brings a Mediterranean vibe to the place, and provides a lovely space to sit down and enjoy 'real' tea or coffee and a delicious snack.
You can see pictures on the https://www.facebook.com/whynotnorthberwick" target="_blank">Why Not Facebook Page
The Why Not? is open daily except Tuesdays. You can buy Planet Soap products anytime it's open, and meet the soap-maker (that's me) on most Mondays, Fridays and Sundays.
Opening hours - 10.00am til 5.30pm, and 11am til 5pm on Sundays.
So pop along, why not?
|Posted on February 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
Here’s a new one for all you Fizz Freaks out there – Planet Soap is now making essential oil bathbombs, enriched with organic shea butter!
Personally I have always loved great soap first and foremost, but I surprised myself when I first made and used these bathbombs - they are such a treat for the skin. I was amazed at how silky the bathwater felt and how soft and smooth my skin felt afterwards. And the little explosions of fizz fairly push out the essential oils, so a bath-bomb bath is great for a wee at-home dose of aromatherapy. So now I am a convert. As is the Planet Soap way, I keep the recipe for the bath bombs simple, and use only high quality essential oils for fragrance.
What makes the fizz? – This is the release of carbon dioxide bubbles when the combination of a weak acid (citric acid) and a mild alkali (sodium bicarbonate), hits H2O (your bathwater). The acid and alkali cancel each other out leaving beautifully softened water.
To my bathbombs I add a little cornflour for extra silky soft water, organic shea butter for skin moisturization, a little healing witch hazel, and a gorgeous blend of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. Some bombs are softly coloured with a natural vegetable colour and decorated with botanicals such as rose buds or lavender flowers.
OK. I know there are some hard-core glitter bomb fiends out there, so for you I will concede to one sparkly bomb containing cosmetic glitter. Coming Soon. Well labelled and easily avoided by the glitter-phobes : - )
The first Planet Soap bathbombs come in some of the favourite Planet Soap scents –
• Lemongrass & Lime - uplifting and refreshing
• Lavender – soothing, calming
• Lavender & Lemon – calming and refreshing
• Palmarosa & Lemongrass – balancing and uplifting
• Spiced Orange – warming and stimulating
• Patchouli & Palmarosa - a delicious new combination - relaxing and balancing, good for problem skins.
The bathbombs come in medium sized love-hearts to cater for the romantics, and slightly larger Easter Egg or classic round bath bomb shapes. Little bathbomb eggs (min 50g) will be coming soon in cardboard egg-boxes of six.
As these are new products I am doing a special Buy One Get One Free offer on all of the bathbombs for my site members and Facebook Likers throughout March. They make brilliant presents for Easter and/ or Mothers' Day. So join up/ give Planet Soap a Like and let’s get the bathbombs away!
|Posted on January 25, 2013 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
So, is it too late to say Happy New Year? where did January go to? It’s a funny thing in this business – the run up to Christmas is so frantically mad-busy with SOAP SOAP SOAP that January appears on the horizon like a blissful oasis of peace and tranquillity. That distant window of serenity when I will get done everything that needs doing, at a gentle relaxed pace. But when I get to this oasis of calm I don’t know how to handle it. All those ‘I’ll do it in January when I’ve got TIME’ jobs (sorting, tidying, fixing broken things...) suddenly seem less appealing, but not having done anything with the day makes me edgy too. I soon find myself itching to get busy again.
But I procrastinated my way through most of the month. The workshop still needs a good sort out, and I still have heaps of paper all over the desk. The shelf over the computer still needs fixing. I think the saying is true – ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person’. Or here’s another–‘a tidy house is not a home-based crafter’s home’. OK, I made that one up, but it lets me off the hook nicely.
Still, now that January is almost over the world is settling back to its rightful state. The shelves are filling up with fresh soaps and the calendar is filling up with a whole new bunch of selling dates. This year I am heading for some new markets as well as old favourites, so over the coming months you will find Planet Soap stalls at Juniper Green Farmers’ Market – starting 26th January; St Mary’s Market (top of Leith Walk, Edinburgh city centre) from 2nd February, the Regent Centre, Kirkintilloch from 8th February, Balerno Farmers’ Market from 9th February, and a new market in Bruntsfield by Market Tree events from 2nd March. Further dates and venues to be confirmed.
A few new soaps are coming out too. Watch out for a new baby soap with oodles of gentle, organic shea butter and a hint of calming lavender. You don’t have to be a baby to enjoy it – it’s a great skin-nourishing soap for all ages when only a very subtle scent is required. But if gorgeous essential oil scent is your thing, during the run-up to Christmas I trialled an amazing combination – Lavender & Lemon. Thank you to Pauline of Kharis, Linlithgow for suggesting it. It shot right up there with the best sellers, alongside another new combination – Lavender and Palmarosa (Lavender Rosa). This one not only smells amazing, but is gently exfoliating with anti-aging red-sandalwood powder which also gives it a deep purple hue, and little lavender flowers through the bar.
These soaps will all be available online soon. And there are some other new and rather different products on the horizon too (tbc). All very exciting, but more on those another time! And no, that’s not more procrastination, it’s a soap cliff-hanger...da da DAAAH...
|Posted on November 16, 2012 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
Mmm...yesterday I made 6k of Patchouli and Orange soap and oh boy, it came out good! It is a slightly more complicated soap to make as I need to mix an orange version (with natural colouring from seeds) and a plain white version and then bring them to trace (the point at which the mix is beginning to saponify, when everything has to happen fast) at exactly at the same time and swirl them together to get the wonderful flame pattern through the soap. I think it's worth the effort though as the soap looks and smells amazing.
Patchouli is a wonderful oil - rejuvenating, and good for balancing sebum production (and so great for dry, oily or combination skin or acne). It is also reputed to have lots of wonderful healing, anti-depressant and even aphrodisiac properties. The plant is native to Malaysia and India. The name comes from Hindustan 'patch' (green) and 'ilai' (leaf).
Apparently Patchouli was used to keep moths from Indian cashmere shawls en route to Victorian England. It is better known for having gained popularity in the 60s and 70s with the hippy trail to India. In my soap I add uplifting Sweet Orange to brighten and lighten the scent just a little. The combination is divine and I love seeing Patchouli fans going into ecstasies over it when they get to my stall. They often say it 'takes them back' and seeing their faces I can almost see where to. What can I say, it seems like a lot of customers had a fantastic time in the 60s and 70s, if their reactions are anything to go by!
|Posted on October 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
When Planet Soap was the featured business with Shop Scotland the following interview took place:
• What is your background?
I’m a veggie-growing, chicken-keeping, fiddle-playing soapmaker, who watched too many episodes of ‘The Good Life’ during her formative years.
• How did the soapmking start out?
I started making soap while off sick and bored after an operation in 2009 and quickly became hooked. The magical cold process soap-making feels close to alchemy and I love blending essential oils and researching their properties. When the soaps started taking over the house, I started selling them at craft fairs, and that was the start of Planet Soap. I still love doing fairs, and watching people breathe in all those different scents. We neglect our olfactory senses so much, and I love watching people rediscover them.
• Where did your business name come from?
I am passionate about the environment and wanted a name that reflects this, without being overly earnest. I hope that the name and the little bathtub and earth-bubble logo will make people smile (and want to buy some environmentally friendly soap).
• What jobs did you have before?
I’ve had lots of different jobs, from trip boat Captain, to residential social worker, to Parliamentary Information Officer. I’ve had lots of great experiences, but I love having my own wee business.
• Can you describe your "typical" working day?
There are soap-making days, wrapping days, website days, selling days, admin days.... I typically work long hours but often in freeing and enjoyable ways. For example, I drafted most of this sitting under birch trees on a sunny afternoon, with my dogs beside me.
• What do you enjoy most about your work and being self employed?
Making the soap, being my own boss, working from home, and the variety in the work.
• What have you found to be the hardest parts about running your own business?
Clearing up after myself. I would love to be tidy but am naturally messy, and I hate having to sort out the chaos I create every day. And I am not a fan of tax returns.
• Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Usually I let my nose lead the way, or sometimes people suggest ideas to me. And sometimes I think of the name of the soap first and then try out the oils. I made the Lemongrass & Lime soap this way and it is a great hit. Doesn’t always work though. Birch & Heather sounds lovely, but smelt more like Burke and Hare. Bottle of birch oil anyone? Going cheap...
• What are your greatest business achievements to date?
I think for anyone just now, staying in business and growing your business is a great achievement. Hats off to all the independent makers and small businesses out there doing just that.
• What are your goals for the coming year?
Keep going, keep growing, keep making lots of amazing soap.
• What are the most effective ways you have promoted your business?
An attractive and user-friendly website has helped bring in business contacts as well as direct customers. Getting out and about and meeting people is important too – eg via the craft fairs and markets. Faceboook is great for further interactivity with customers.
• With hindsight?
I’d say – Be brave, go for it. What kept you so long?
|Posted on March 19, 2012 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
Planning a wedding reception can be overwhelming at times. Venue, check; dinner, check; drinks, check; flowers, check; invitations, check; placecards, check; favours...favours?
Wedding favours - a pretty little gift to thank your guests and grace your wedding tables. Why not give them something a bit different, that they can use and enjoy? At Planet Soap I make a range of wedding favours that can be adapted according to your wedding theme and colours, personal style and budget.
I can keep things simple and rustic with a pretty little soap in a raffia ribbon, or add a touch of vintage style glam to your table with a soap wrapped with sparkle, bows, and feathers.I'm proud to say that my lavender wrapped soaps were chosen to grace the top table at the Blue Thistle Wedding Fayre in Ballathie House, Perthshire this year. These had a rustic look, - classic Planet Soap, but dressed up for a wedding with little lavender and white sprigs.
The soaps come in a range of fresh, citrussy, floral or woody fragrances to suit men and women. Whatever style and scent /s you decide to go with, your guests will be delighted with a natural soap that is beautifully presented, fragrant, and kind on the skin. As an added bonus, the tables will smell lovely, with a hint of natural essential oils mingling perfectly with the scent of your flowers.
If you can, please contact me a good six weeks in advance, so I can meet your specific needs. But if you forgot about your favours and the big day is looming, don't panic, get in touch via the Contact Us page and I'm sure we can sort something out, to send your guests home with a little piece of luxury to remind them of your special day.
|Posted on July 12, 2011 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
I was interested to see a large number of hits on the Planet Soap website coming from a recent Mumsnet chat, so I thought I'd take a little look. The conversation was largely reminiscing about soaps of our childhood, where have all the bar soaps gone, and comments for and against liquid versus bar soaps. And included this comment - 'I do like Lush or this indulgent lot - www.planetsoap.co.uk '
That made me smile - not just the free advertising, or the mention alongside a rather major soap business, but I was amused to be referred to as a 'lot' - I don't think the poster had any idea that it's just me stirring my pots and pans and talking to myself in what I once used to refer to as the living room!
The word 'indulgent' also made me smile. We all need a bit of indulgence in our lives, whether that's a glass of wine after a hard day at work, watching a DVD in bed, or enjoying a long soak in the bath, with a favourite, luxuriously fragrant soap. I'm happy to be adding to the choice of little 'don't-break-the-bank' indulgences out there. It's a simple thing, but it gives me a warm glow
And thinking about the importance of doing more of what feels good, I came to the conclusion that I should indulge in a bit more chat and communication with my customers. Hence this new blog, for soapy news and musings. Also a new Facebook page for Planet Soap - hopefully incorporating the blog if I can get my head around the technology. I hope you will 'Like' the Facebook page join in the chat on the page and the blog. I do need to look up from those pots and pans now and then, and stop talking to myself quite so much.
So go on, indulge me.