The Soap Cabin

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No more Pebble

Sadly I got an email to say that the shop in Watford High Street where we rent a shelf is having to close. We’ve been renting space at Rebel Pebble for about a year now and have only just got to exhibit our new label there. But the climate for a business like this is terrible. We were contemplating pulling out a few months ago, but decided to give it until the end of the year.

As I have said many times, Watford High Street has been ruined by the concentration of a behemoth Tesco Extra at the bottom end, along with Intu (we all know it as the Harlequin) which is now all national chain stores, plus the same old restaurants outside and opposite (Nando’s, GBK, Pizza Express etc), so no real reason to venture any higher up the road. The rents are spiralling out of control and many independents (who are way more interesting) just can’t compete with the big boys, and it’s sad because the council don’t seem to care about the little people.

So we will be going to collect our remaining items at the weekend. It was fun while it lasted ­čÖü

Looking ahead

Our last market was the French market in Rickmansworth High Street, so what have we been doing since then?

Our web orders have increased, and we have also had a few orders from local people following the French Market, which is great!

We are also busy making products for the Autumn fairs we have coming up, and we’re thinking about Christmas, which is going to be extremely busy with┬áSt Clement Danes Craft & Gift Fair┬áand a new one for us this year –┬áBeaconsfield School Christmas Fair.┬áVery excited about that!

We’ve just booked a spot on the new annual Harefield Village Fair in September after we were tweeted by the organisers last week! Although I do want to pace myself, the Harefield fair is a local opportunity not to be missed! This way we can connect with the community on the other side of the canal! My aim was always to become known locally, and this will definitely help. You can’t beat face to face interaction, despite what Facebook may claim!

Harefield Poster 2015

Summer Skincare

I don’t normally buy Oprah Magazine, but this week I did (because the cover was bright and shiny!), so I thought I’d share some summer skincare tips I picked up courtesy of Oprah, mixed in with my own tips:

Breakouts

“In hot weather, your skin’s oil production tends to increase”

Like me you may find you get more spots on your face and body. To counter this, make sure you use a sunscreen. Instead of being tempted to over-wash your face with harsh oil stripping cleansers, I would suggest using the oil cleanse method to balance your skin’s oil production:

You will need a mixture of Castor Oil, Olive Oil (or Sunflower Oil) and Tea Tree Oil and a wash cloth. (Don’t apply neat Tea Tree Oil directly onto the skin).

  • Massage the oil mixture into skin, focusing particularly on areas with spots
  • Place cloth in steamy hot tap water and squeeze out water
  • Place cloth over face to let the pores open
  • Once the cloth has cooled, use it to gently wipe oil from face
  • Rinse cloth and repeat cloth application action a few times
  • If skin feels tight, use a little oil to moisturise

Dry Skin

“It’s usually the result of too much time in the water or chlorine”

You may even find that your skin is generally drier in the summer. Prevention: Try to shower only once a day and exfoliate to allow your moisturiser to penetrate the skin more effectively. Our Shea Body Butters are excellent for moisturising post-scrubbed dry skin. When you get out of the pool, rinse skin with a creamy hydrating cleanser.

Shaving Rash

“Those little red bumps”

You are probably shaving more often, so this can lead to inflammation of the hair follicles. Prevention: Avoid using rich lotions after shaving and cleanse with an antibacterial soap – ┬áI would suggest our Tea Tree & Lime soap bar, which has excellent antibacterial properties. Also make sure you exfoliate regularly.

Hyperpigmentation

“No matter how careful you are with the SPF”

Too much sun exposure can cause uneven skin tone and darker spots, particularly from previous sun exposure. Prevention: Use a sunscreen along with a Vitamin C serum.

Heat Rash

“Things get itchy when sweat glands are blocked”

Blocked sweat glands trap the sweat beneath the skin and cause intense itching. I have actually had this a few times on the face from overheating at night. After this, I stopped sleeping with the duvet over my head!  Prevention: Exfoliate your skin daily with a mild body scrub. A cold compress will help calm the itch followed by a moisturiser containing calendula (such as our Soothing Skin Oil). The other thing I get from overheating is little water blisters on my hands. The only thing that works for me for taking them down is talc, and cooler weather!

From: Oprah Magazine, Jennifer Linder MD, Summer Skincare, July 2015

Rebel Pebble

Unfortunately we are going to be taking our products out of Rebel Pebble in Watford at the end of the month after a year of renting a shelf there. It has been great to have a bit of The Soap Cabin in a shop on the High Street, and we even got some new business out of it, but we haven’t really been making back our shelf rental, so we’ve decided it’s time to pull the plug for now ­čÖü

Watford has a strange High Street. It’s way too long and the footfall is heavily concentrated at the bottom end where you have Intu (formerly known as the Harlequin, as it will always be known by Watfordians!) and the monster-Tesco and other retail parks. Watford Market was also moved higher up the High Street and is now a fraction of the size, but well worth a visit. I ask lots of people if they’ve been to the New Watford Market and most don’t even know where it is or they say “I never walk that far up”. The top end where Rebel Pebble is has tended to be the restaurant, bar and clubbing part of the High Street, so lots of people just don’t wander up there for the purpose of shopping. Also, no-one goes to the library any more!

However, that end, I would argue, is the most interesting! There are lots of independent shops, the New Watford Market, the LP Cafe, a great photography studio, the new-look pond, a great pay-and-display car park and it’s just a short walk to the stunning Cassiobury Park!

We are looking at perhaps renting space at another crafty venue that has better footfall…will keep you posted! I was chatting with a lady at a BBQ the other day who mentioned I might be interested in some shops in Iver, but it turns out she meant empty shops. Not really up for renting an entire shop. *Sigh*

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