The Soap Cabin

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Rickmansworth French & Little Fox Market – Sunday 28th June 2015

Sunday was the very first (I think) French Market with added Little Fox Market in Rickmansworth High Street! We arrived at 8.30ish to set up our gazebo (Little Blu) and table and before we knew it, it was 10 o’Clock.

It was a really busy and fun day, with LOADS of visitors. Most were local residents, some of whom didn’t even realise the market was happening, and plenty of people from further afield. We did well at our table and of course, we spoke to many people with various skin complaints, some of whom invested in a pot of Soothing Skin Balm.

Lots of people were asking if the market would be there every week, or every month. I really hope this is the start of good things to come with regards to Ricky High Street, which has gradually lost its interesting, independent shops (e.g gift shops, homeware, carpets, hairdressers) and gained many (many) estate agents, charity shops and even empty shops 🙁

Let’s hope Little Fox Market can be a regular occurrence outdoors and bring some atmosphere back to what is a lovely little town 🙂

The Diary

We’re excited to have booked all of our Little Fox Market dates for the year, starting with Saturday 18th April (check out our Events Page), and we are also doing the Woodoaks Festival in Maple Cross and the Courtlands Residents Association Family Fun Day in Watford the Summer!

Our aim in 2013-2014 was not to be running all over the UK doing markets, but to concentrate on our regular Little Fox, along with a choice few Summer festivals, but even more so this year so as not to over-stretch ourselves as we do need to keep our shelf at Rebel Pebble stocked and exciting, plus we have some other projects in the background (like you do), plus online sales have picked up in the last six months, which is fantastic.

Being at an event is great for getting your name out there and meeting people. (I love chatting to people about skin!) However, a market takes out the entire day, plus the prep time beforehand, which although we really enjoy, can also be exhausting, so we don’t want to be occupied in that way every weekend when we also need to distribute our time amongst making products, the behind the scenes admin and of course coming up with new ideas! I know some business owners who rely solely on markets, so they need to be at everything, and perhaps their production is not as intensive as ours (not always the case!), but as much as we love them, we don’t want markets to be our main thing, if you get my gist.

Anyway, see you in Ricky on the 18th of April!

 

Soap Snobbery

Here at the Soap Cabin, we craft our soaps using a vegetable glycerin soap base. I first got into Soap making because I happened to purchase one of these kits in Cornwall and enjoyed that I could customise the soap base as I wished, and could do crazy things with it, like stacking up layers to create different colour stripes, or have an opaque shape suspended within a clear bar, and that I could experiment in a small space without the threat of chemical burns!????????????????????????

I am hoping to book onto a Cold Process Soap Making workshop at G Baldwin & Co this year (London’s Oldest Apothecary) because I really want to learn how to make it from scratch, but I get slightly irritated with the Cold Process snobs who believe that using a soap base is a cop-out and claim that there is no skill or effort involved. I met such a snob at the Queen’s Road Summer Market in Watford a few years back who was selling other products, but had a small collection of cold process soaps. When I explained that mine were not, she seemed to peer at me with great suspicion. Working out of a small flat was no excuse, because she made hers in an even smaller flat. There was no thought that I might actually enjoy my craft! Besides that, we make all our other skin products from scratch.

Although I have purchased cold processed soap bars in the past (and do every now and then) my skin actually prefers the texture of glycerin soap and I love the vast range of looks we can create with melt & pour…which is why we make them. There is also the fact that nearly all of the soap makers I come across make Cold Process soaps, and I find it hard to see a unique selling point between them (not that I don’t appreciate the art and creativity that goes into them). There are also some fairly large soap makers who only do glycerin soaps and do very well. Perhaps the different types appeal to different markets.cropped-mango-passionfruit.jpg

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing!

And….relax

Well, the Christmas rush is finally over for us here at The Soap Cabin, so we can kind of relax now until it all starts again next year! It has been a crazy few weeks getting our stock ready for the Christmas fairs and Rebel Pebble, as well as all the orders that started to trickle through website. We sold out of a few of our popular items, such as Lemongrass & Lime soap, the body butters and our new Soothing Skin Balm, which has been very popular among eczema sufferers.

As we have been able to slow down a bit, we managed to get along to the Rickmansworth Christmas Evening and the fabulous Carols by Batchworth Lock, which were lots of fun, and it’s great when you spot familiar faces around town. The Soap Cabin Christmas Meal took place this year at The Pennsylvanian in Rickmansworth…again. We also managed to get some Wooden Soap Cutting guide blocks made by the skilled Barry Lawrence of Crafty Ideas (a Little Fox regular) so that we can start to cut our soaps straight (!) and more evenly… Time to start booking in next year’s markets.

We hope you have a great Christmas and see you in 2015!

St Clement Danes School Food & Gift Fair

Today we did St Clement Danes School Christmas Fair in Chorleywood from 11-3. Despite feeling slightly worn out from getting everything ready over the last few weeks, I was still really looking forward to it! The fair was really well attended and we were very busy on our stall. We sold out of Lemongrass & Lime soaps by 2.30, which included getting some out of our gift sets that we hadn’t sold (I must make sure I make enough for next weekend). Our Kelp Spa bars were popular in the morning and the Soothing Skin Balm was another favourite. Customers were also pleased to know that we are local and that we make everything ourselves!

The fair finished at 3pm and we were packed up and ready to go by 3.20pm!
Got home and realised I hadn’t finished my breakfast…

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