How did this all happen?
Boxing day 2018 ..... Christmas has come and gone and I find myself sitting here at the computer wondering where on earth the last 2 months have gone.
Naturally Coromandel? Soap making business? Where did this all come from?
Several months ago one of my friends told me she had been on a soap making course. My eyes lit up. I had always wanted to make 'real' soap, and had made soap in the past but the melt and pour sort that just didn't interest me. I really wanted to learn the cold processed soap method and this is where it all began.....
A few batches of soap made and I was hooked. I felt at one with my bowl of oil and lye. It was like it talked to me. I could see and hear the stages it was going through - saponification is the technical term where the molecules of oil bond with the molecules of the lye. When all the molecules are bonded - the soap is ready to pour into the molds.
I made batch after batch and just wanted to try new recipes and new colours and new essential oils and different herbs. After a while I realised that I had more soap than we would use in a life time, so started giving it away to friends and family. Everyone loved it and said they wanted to buy it. I guess these few words sewed the seed in my mind, and early November I created a facebook page, thought of the name Naturally Coromandel and published my page. I didn't' really expect anything to happen but how wrong I was. I got order after order, and soon it was apparent that there was a real gap in this niche market. People really wanted soaps and cosmetics with no chemicals in, and as natural as possible. Naturally Coromandel fitted this demand, and off it went.
Stocks got low, and I was making as much soap as I could possibly make everyday to keep up. With soaps processed the cold method, they need to sit for at least 4 - 6 weeks before use. Soap is like a good red wine, the longer it rests the better it becomes and the harder it becomes. This meant that I couldn't just make a batch and put it out for sale so I learnt to make hot processed soap from a great soaper friend in England via Facebook messenger and this process allows the soap to be ready for use after only a couple of days, and this allowed me to build my stocks back up in a hurry.
I started getting contacted by businesses and organisations to do markets and supply corporate gifts. Naturally Coromandel was really on its way.
With the Christmas rush now over, it is time to sit back and reflect on what has worked, what hasn't worked, what I have enjoyed, what soaps sold well, what didn't and what I can improve and add to for the future.
I am really excited looking ahead to 2019, and have some new products in the 'curing' and 'steeping' stage now so watch this space.
Thank you to everybody that has supported me, and believed in me and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.