Archive for the ‘Thoughts from The Sage’ Category

New Products Review!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

We’ve been having a blast adding some new products to the catalog! I’m so excited to tell you about our newest products and I couldn’t wait for more products to be released! We have two new fragrances and another type of Tamanu Oil. Come on, let’s go talk about the new goodies!

JustForYou2Just for You Fragrance Oil
If you have ever been so lucky to receive a bouquet of flowers that was unexpected and not for a specific special occasion (or apology), then you already have an idea of what this fragrance smells like. Just for You is that big floral arrangement that has the ability to bring a smile to your face every time you walk by the fragrant blossoms. When I smell this fragrance oil, I can smell roses, peonies, lilacs, violets and gardenias. This fragrance is my new favorite floral (and that is saying something as I’m not a floral person!)

Want to make your day a little more cheerful? Make a room spray with this fragrance and I promise you will smile a little more as this happy floral brightens your day! I even have a smile on my face as I write about this fabulous fragrance.


Cabernet3Napa Valley Vineyard Fragrance Oil
A few years ago, I got the chance to tour Napa Valley with Jerry and I’ll have to say that it was an amazing experience. When I got to smell our Napa Valley Vineyard Fragrance for the first time, I was instantly transported back to the beautiful Napa Valley and tasting some of the wines as we sat on sunlit terraces and looked over a vibrant green landscape under a vibrant blue sky. This fragrance has the full-bodied aroma typical of a Cabernet made in Napa Valley.

If you have considered adding a unique fragrance to your product collection, look no further! Worried that you won’t like this fragrance? The name will be the first to draw you in, but the scent will keep you coming back!


300-1361Tamanu Oil, Dewaxed
I love using Tamanu Oil for special skin pampering projects. It is well known for its ability to help skin that has been irritated or inflamed as well as helping soothe very dry skin. I could talk about why Tamanu is one of my favorite oils all day, but that won’t let me tell you about our new type of Tamanu Oil.

Our newest Tamanu Oil has been dewaxed. This means that this oil is clear with a dark yellowish-green color. It can handle cooler temperatures without looking like a semi-solid product or acting like a thick goop. I’ve already been brainstorming about potential uses and I really won’t change how I used this fantastic oil. It just depends on the formula I want to use it in. If you have questions about this oil and which one would be best for your formulation, use the Contact Us form and send a message to our Technical Support Team.


Borage Oil
I know, I know! This isn’t a new product, but I am excited to announce that the Borage Oil is finally back in stock after a long wait. If you were waiting for it to return to the catalog, I’m excited to say “It’s back!”

Which new products do you want to try first? Is there one that jumps out at you and begs to be used?

Andee

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Weekly Recap of Telephone Questions: Colors and Bases vs Raw materials

Friday, July 4th, 2014

QuestionQ) How much of the Amethyst Pink color should I use? I tried this a year ago and it was too much! I don’t want to make that mistake again.

A) Amethyst Pink is a dye. The color is migratory and can move throughout the bar of soap, making this color not a great option when attempting swirl bars. We recommend diluting this colorant into liquid glycerin because the color is very intense when used as a powder and it is far too easy to use too much. The customer had already put a 1/2 oz jar into 16 oz of liquid glycerin and the bottle was capped and shaken. For an 8 lb fat batch of cold process soap, we recommend starting with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for the whole batch. Add until the color is just a bit too dark for the desired soap. Why too dark in the pot? Because soap is translucent in the pot and opaque in bar form so while translucent it appears darker and while opaque it appears lighter. This is why when we add a bit too much it is not nearly so alarming when we look at the soap the next day. Remember, the color should only be a BIT darker in the pot than you desire in the finished soap.

Q) How do I fix a batch of soap where I used too much color?

A) The solution to pollution is dilution. An overly scented bar of soap (I mean OVERLY!) is the same as a brilliantly colored soap – unusable. The best bet to diluting this problem is to either chop or grate the finished soap into shreds or mini cubes then toss them into a new batch that is uncolored or very lightly scented (if at all). I’ve had 2 lbs of fat converted to soap and had the soap maker use 4 ounces of essential oil to scent. That is a polluted bar of soap! Dilute and save the day, and the batch of soap! How do you know if the soap has too much color? Use a white wash cloth and test. You should be able to rinse the cloth completely at the sink and not need a washing machine to finish the job. How do you know if too much scent is used? You can’t smell anything else and when in the tight quarters of a shower your eyes may even burn!

Q) How does a person use the bases? I mean like the lotion or body butter.

A) Scenting the body butters, lotions, shampoo and all of these other bases is easy! Add fragrance and color as desired. Most of the fruit, fresh or herbaceous fragrance oils will need 1 fl oz (sometimes less!) for the entire gallon of base. Add a few drops of color and stir until the whole gallon is evenly colored and the fragrance has been added. Using a strong essential oil or fragrance oil? Use our Fragrance Calculator to get the correct amount of scent! You are always ahead by scenting with half the amount of scent today, mixing well, and leaving for tomorrow. A fresh nose and a clear head do wonders for thinking and finishing a project. Because lotions can be used over and over and over throughout the day it is best to scent more subtly because the layers will build upon each other. You still want to a be socially acceptable in an elevator compartment!

Q) Should I start with the bases or the raw materials to make lotions and lip balms? I have a very limited budget.

A) Starting with the bases means your costs are the base, color (if desired), fragrance (if desired) and containers. This means you can get started for less than $50 for your project. If you start with the raw materials you will need a scale and a wide range of supplies. The MMS bases are not economy type products, they are premium, top-notch, and comparable to what you can make on your own. We know you are seeking quality products and we don’t ever cut quality. If you have a budget of at least $500 to play and you want to make lotions, lip balms and similar products then I would suggest you start with the raw material route. Being honest with yourself is very important. There are lots of raw materials you will wish to try and having a quality scale will make your time far more enjoyable. Fighting your scale is never a fun time and this one item can make or break your success with this hobby. I think those who invest in a quality scale at the onset will find their hobby to be more profitable than those who scrimp on this one purchase. If you don’t know about budgets, may I suggest Dave Ramsey?

Tina

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Holiday Shipping Plans – The 4th is here!

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

July4thHowdy folks! The 4th of July is upon us!

The holiday landing on a work day always slows shipping times just a bit. Right now we are shipping almost all orders on the schedule given when the order is placed. Tomorrow we leave early and that means UPS and USPS are shipped early.

If you need anything, please put your order in today! Let us get it out the door before the holiday arrives. If you need a few hours to figure out what supplies are too low in your studio, take this evening and do a search. Put your order in overnight and we will grab it first thing tomorrow morning. Our goal is to get everything shipped by the time our phones go into HOLIDAY ANNOUNCEMENT mode at noon, MDST.

Want a preview of our holiday message? Here it is:

Dear MMS Customers, You rock! We are celebrating the 4th of July right now but we will be back on Monday, July 7. Any orders placed on the website will be processed on Monday and our target is to get everything shipped that day. Have a safe holiday. Enjoy the BBQ, the fireworks, Family and friends, weather and all things we love about the 4th of July. Thank you for celebrating with us. May freedom continue to bring so many people to peace.

Have a great holiday!
Tina

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Wahoo! The Yellow Lip Balm Color is back in stock!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
I am so thrilled to announce that the Yellow Lip Balm Color is back in stock! I have been dying to make a few projects using this color and haven’t been able to get any. I know I haven’t been the only one trying to get some. Well, it is back and waiting for you to put it to work.If you haven’t used this fabulous color before, here are a few projects you can do using this fun product!

Plumberry Spice Celebration Soap
This fabulous soap uses Melt and Pour Soap Base, color and glitter. It is beautiful and simple enough project, you can do it with the kids!

Lemon Poppy Seed Soap
I love lemon poppy seed cookies. They taste so darn good and are wonderful all year long. In summer, in winter, with hot cocoa, coffee or even iced tea. This Cold Process soap was inspired by these fabulous cookies. We even posted the recipe for the cookies! Yummy!

Coffee & Cream Lip Gloss
If you are looking for a scrumptious lip gloss recipe, look no further! This recipe tastes just like a sweet, creamy latte. We even added a little shimmer to this gloss, but remember, shimmer is optional. Just like the whipped cream on top of your morning coffee, you can have it with or without. You have all the power!

Testing Colors – Part 3
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if you added one of the oil soluble colors to cold process or melt & pour soap? Well wonder no longer. We have already done the testing! I highly recommend using the Yellow Lip Balm color is you are looking for bold and stunning yellows. No dingy yellow here!

Honey Flavored a la Lip Crème
Fresh honey right out of the sun warmed jar tastes so good. I grew up trailing my father through the field checking on our beehives and sneaking a bite every time we harvested honey. This delicious lip balm reminds me of those days and that wonderful flavor. If you have ever gotten honey from a local beekeeper, this is the recipe to try. You will love it!

 

 

Taylor

Melt & Pour on the left and Cold Process on the right.

Testing Colors – Part 3

Finished lip gloss.

Coffee & Cream Lip Gloss

Finished Cookies with a Cup of Vanilla Tea

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies with a Cup of Vanilla Tea

Honey Flavored a la Lip Creme

Honey Flavored a la Lip Creme

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GMO – Help!

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Question

OK, folks. I need to lean on your shoulders for something that is really bugging me right now. It is GMO, or more accurately, non-GMO.

I don’t want to discuss whether GMO is right or wrong, what I want to discuss are the terms to describe whether a product is GMO free.

Here is the deal: a customer called me the other day and asked if one of our products (a soy product) is non-GMO or GMO-Free. I couldn’t remember with 100% confidence and offered to look it up. She explained she needed to know if it was one or the other, and I was puzzled. I explained these terms would describe the same thing. She said she has been informed this is not the case. My first reaction was to laugh. Why do marketers have to pretend things are, or are not, something just to market them? In a few days I will share with you my thoughts on marketing people muddying the waters for the consumer.

So, I have done more research and I am still not fully satisfied with the answers I have been given. All vendors I have talked with say there is NO difference between non-GMO and GMO-Free. They say these terms are interchangeable. Are they? What is your experience with either term?

I need all readers in Sage-land to educate me on this item. Send your thoughts through the blog or send them to us privately via email. You are welcome to add more questions to this list and are not obligated to provide answers.

One more thought, there is a product out there that is pretty common but is most often wild-crafted. It is harvested where it grows in abundance and sometimes it is planted in big garden plots for harvesting a commercial crop. This same caller asked if this item is also non-GMO. I admit I am rather confused as to why one would market a mostly wild-crafted product as non-GMO. I expect all products that are mostly non-mass grown to be non-GMO.

Go ahead, I’ve opened this can of worms and I may regret it later but I am hoping that we can have an educated discussion here.
Cheers!
Tina

P.S. The soy product in question is non-GMO, as I suspected it would be. The soy is non-GMO and the product as a whole does not contain any genetically modified materials. Is this the part where the two terms come about? Would the GMO-free mean nothing in a blend is a GMO? My conversation lead me to believe that non-GMO is the favored term and GMO-Free indicated that further processing was done to remove the GMO indicators. The whole time I just kept thinking “WHAT?!” All in the name of making a buck. Confusion in the marketplace! GEEZ!

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Best value: Double check your work

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Question

We all have heard the adage that we should measure twice and cut once, right? Well, let me add a new perspective on measuring twice.

The issue this week has been email addresses that are typed so fast and not verified before sending or submitting that I can not reply to the person who has submitted.

Here are the responses to requests that have no name and an invalid email address:

1) Dry masks made of clay and fragrance do not need a preservative unless the mask will be stored in a hydrated state (after water is added).

2) To pick up your order from our facility requires a will-call appointment. After placing your order online and selecting Pick Up in Nibley please use the confirmation number of the order and call us to make the appointment. We can not make appointments for 10 minutes after your place the order. Please give us adequate time to pull the items from our warehouse to complete your order.

3) In order for us to suggest a preservative for your scrub formulation we must know the full ingredient list. It is not a decision we can make by knowing it is a salt scrub vs a sugar scrub. Preservatives are funny things and we must take into consideration water soluble ingredients, pH of final mixture, difficult to preserve ingredients, and even viscosity. I know you do not want to share your formulation, I completely understand, I can not give advice for something I don’t know anything about. I hope you understand. help

4) Yes, we did receive your order and we processed it on the same day. It left from here on Wednesday. It should arrive today.
The UPS tracking number is 1Z***************. The email on your order shows gamil.com instead of gmail.com as your request is showing. I will send to the corrected email address.

5) The corrected email address does not work. I am sorry, there are too many variations in your email address. One says your_name162@gamil.com and the other shows your_name1962@gmail.com. Neither is a valid email address. help

6) I am sorry, shrink bands do not come in shapes for round objects. Items like hockey pucks will always have excess shrink band material where the corners exist. Your best option is to use a bag and seal the bag into a circular shape before shrinking.

7) The required by date does not guarantee air services like Next Day Air shipping. If you live in Utah UPS Ground has a guarantee of 1 day in transit. We will only spend your money like it is our own, we would never send Next Day, Second Day or 3 Day Select to Utah. We do have an awesome UPS shipping map. If you would let me know your ZIP code I can generate a custom chart
just for you to show how many days in transit TO you. help

I completely understand typing and clicking SEND/SUBMIT without checking over my work. I’ve done it before and I really would rather not think about doing it again. After getting these emails back I’m going to enter my email address and triple check my double checks.

Have a great weekend folks!
Tina

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Father’s Day!

Monday, June 9th, 2014
Father’s Day is this Sunday and that means it is fast approaching. Ack! Do you have gifts planned out or are you like me and stunned the holiday snuck up on you? Well, I am officially in panic mode. I though it would be good to go back through the archives and find some spectacular (and astonishingly simple) recipes that save time and face. 

Here is a collection of things I will make for my father this coming Father’s Day.

Men’s Aftershave Cream
I recommend this recipe in particular for razor shavers. While razor shavers tend to get a closer shaver, this also means that the delicate skin on their face needs a little extra tender loving care. If you do choose to use Peppermint Essential Oil, keep the usage rate very low. It is better to do an unscented cream than to have a man howling in pain and washing the cream off as fast as he can.

Chocolate Bacon Lip Balm
Now I know that to many of us the combination of chocolate and bacon is stranger than words. It gathers a variety of reactions from distrust to revulsion to absolute adoration. While there may not be a crazier combination in the world of flavors, it has a very loyal following. Within my own circle of friends, every time I make a product containing the Chocolate Bacon Flavor Oil it disappears within 48 hours even faster if the dog has any say in it. Make one for dad this Father’s Day and watch the requests for it roll in.

Mountain Man Cream
This cream is extremely thick but it has a slick, wet feeling to it. I highly recommend this recipe for dry feet, elbows and knees. I also recommend putting it into a wide mouth jar for easy access. It is very thick and stiff but well worth it once rubbed into the skin.

Shower Tablets
Shower tablets are fantastic because they scent the shower, clear sinuses and are extremely easy to use. You can add higher percentages of things like peppermint, eucalyptus or any other scent that is a favorite of dad’s. These may become his favorite all year long!

Red, White and Blue Swirl Soap
I wanted to include a pretty swirled soap for my father. I have quickly discovered my father doesn’t like sparkle but he does like color. He likes that the soap screams to be picked up in the mono-tone cream colored shower. What colors would encourage liberal usage by the man in your life?

 

What are some of the things you might make for your father?
Taylor

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: Kenna of Central Soapers Workshop

Friday, June 6th, 2014

cswThis is my last post about CSW and I saved an incredible entry last! Let me tell you about Kenna Cote of Central Soapers Workshop, Modern Soapmaking.com and Gratitude Soapery.

Kenna put together the Central Soapers Workshop (and I use the term “put together” loosely because events like this are so large, it is impossible to do it by oneself.) When an event like the Central Soapers Workshop is pulled off in such a seamless fashion, you know the responsible party (Kenna) has chosen the very best people as coordinators to make the event happen so smoothly. Kenna’s connections created a great ground team that handled speakers, attendees, vendors and other little (and not so little) details with ease and efficiency.

modern-soapmaking-blueIt takes an extraordinary person with a great idea of how they want a event to turn out to get such a fun event for attendees. Kenna is one of those extraordinary people who got help from the right people to bring her ideas to fruition. Kenna’s ideas had the Central Soapers Workshop turn out to be one of the most enjoyable soap events I’ve ever attended! I enjoyed all of the networking games that Kenna had us playing. If you weren’t there, you really missed out on some of Kenna’s awesome ideas!

It was wonderful to attend such a well-done conference and be able to have so much fun with everyone! We are so happy that we got to attend this year and are already talking about our ideas for next year! If you would like to attend next year or even volunteer as one of Kenna’s great assistants, just keep watching the Central Soapers Workshop website for more details.

gratitude2Kenna not only runs Central Soapers Workshop, but also ModernSoapmaking.com. She shares tutorials, business tips, advice for all sorts of things from being more product, slowing down and improving sales. If you haven’t gotten a chance to visit ModernSoapmaking.com, I would recommend hopping over there right away! It is a good resource for many questions and even inspiration.

On top of the Central Soapers Workshop and Modern Soapmaking.com, Kenna still has her soap company, Gratitude Soapery. She started Gratitude Soapery when she realized her previous company, Amathia Soapworks, hadn’t been feeding her soul. It all started when she participated in a 30 Day Happiness Challenge and found her happiness came from helping others! Gratitude Soapery makes some adorable soaps with fantastic descriptions! (If you don’t believe me, check them out!)

Kenna, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to come do the Soap Lab. We had so much fun this year! It was wonderful to laugh and talk with you!

Andee

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: Tanya of Baby Duck Soap Co

Friday, May 30th, 2014

cswThis is my second to last post about CSW! Let me tell you about Tanya Rasley from Baby Duck Soap Co.

Tanya held some demonstrations in the Soap Lab and she gave her demonstrations with a smile and didn’t let our little rustles of box folding distract her or her students. She just kept plugging away! Her demonstrations not only inspired many of us to try new things, but also were shared with some wonderful humor.

The adorable Baby Duck Soap Co logo!

The adorable Baby Duck Soap Co logo!

Tanya told us about her move from Tennessee to Oregon and we were impressed! It takes a lot to pick up and move a family AND a business across the country with hopes that the move will make things better for you, your family and your business. I’m still stunned by the fact she drove across the USA in January during a nasty snowstorm and I’m from an area that gets snow! I’m happy to report that she is settling in her new home and even has a special soapy lab/basement/dungeon of her own!

Mimosa Lip Balm from Baby Duck Soap Co.

Mimosa Lip Balm from Baby Duck Soap Co.

Tanya also shared with us the struggles of soapmakers who are looking at opening retail spaces for their soap shops. She told us about how she handled various markets and what she wanted to take from her experiences at markets and to apply to a physical retail space. I loved listening to Tanya describe her ideal location, some decor ideas and how she wanted the space to operate!

When we first met Tanya, she gave each one of us a Mimosa flavored lip balm. Taylor and I both loved ours, but Tina was very impressed!

FruitSoapia by Baby Duck Soap Co.

FruitSoapia by Baby Duck Soap Co.

Tina told me, “I was WOWed by Tanya’s lip balm and it was the first lip balm in a long while that I’ve sampled with a flavor that wasn’t so strong that I wanted to wipe off the lip balm immediately after applying! This light flavor was made just for people like me. People who use Kid’s Crest Sparkle Toothpaste because regular adult toothpaste is too strong!”

Shortly after we got back from CSW, Tina received a box of goodies from Tanya. There were a couple of different soaps, Whipped Shea Body Butter, an Emulsified Scrub and even some yummy food treats from the Oregon Coast! We adored the box and have had a fun time trying the different goodies. After trying the goodies in the box, I would recommend trying some of Tanya’s products!

Tanya, thank you for all the giggles, Kansas City BBQ, and great stories you shared with us! We also want to say thanks for the box! We had fun with you in Kansas and after with all the treats!

Andee

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: Ranea and JaRee of Natural Textures

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

cswI’m almost done talking about CSW! Let me tell you about the hilarious mother and daughter we met at CSW, Ranea Underwood and JaRee Carey from Natural Textures.

Deep Hair Conditioner from Natural Textures.

Deep Hair Conditioner from Natural Textures.

This mother/daughter pair had us rolling with laughter as we listened to their good-natured banter. JaRee helped us fold boxes for the Soap Lab as she sat and propped up her leg to allow her knee to heal from recent surgery. We had plenty of boxes thanks to JaRee’s folding! She was so persistent about just moving along despite any pain she was feeling and the friendly teasing she received from all of us, including her mother. I was so impressed with how she never stopped smiling or going! Just like the Energizer Bunny!

The several times we got to talk to Ranea and JaRee, they helped us understand more about the issues AND strengths associated with what the cosmetics industry terms “ethnic hair” or hair that differs genetically from hair that traces its genes to Western Europe. They were so helpful to us and I found I walked away from our discussions with a stuffed brain!

Ranea and JaRee, thank you for all your help in the Soap Lab as well as all the giggles you shared with us!

Andee

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