Creative Crafters for Christmas: The Soap Mine

With Christmas just around the corner I thought it would be great to interview a number of creative crafters that can offer something unique at this time of year. This week I am delighted to feature Vicki and her company The Soap Mine.


The Soap Mine Logo

Hi. For those who don't know you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello!  My name is Vicki, and I make soap. I started as a hobbyist, over six years ago, and soon became obsessed. I now run a small business called The Soap Mine, selling handmade soap and related products. I live with my husband and two kids in the heart of glorious Snowdonia, in the small but quite well known village of Beddgelert. Living where we do we're surrounded by beautiful countryside, and we like little more than heading out to walk the hills with the kids, or in the summer spending lazy days down by the river. I  have a totally unrelated day job - I work part time in the village pre-school, teaching 2 and 3 year olds, and I'm secretary of our Village Hall committee.  In quieter moments, I like to read and I'm trying to teach myself to crochet, but those quiet moments are very few and far between!

Vicki's Colourful Handmade Soap

What sort of creative business do you run?

I make soap the traditional way, from scratch. I take the best oils and butters and combine them with sodium hydroxide (lye) to make beautiful, luxurious soaps which moisturise as much as they cleanse, and the design process - selecting fragrances, colours and patterns - is a very important aspect of the job.  Designing new lines provides a creative outlet that is  largely absent in other areas of my life, and is just one of the reasons I absolutely love what I do!  

When it got to the stage that I, my family and my friends all had more soap than they could ever use in their lifetime I decided it was time to start trying my hand at selling it and today The Soap Mine is going from strength to strength.

Vicki's Gorgeous Green Soap

What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a go themselves?

Soapmaking is a fantastic hobby, and I'd urge anyone to give it a go. There are plenty of books, websites and FB pages/groups out there with a wealth of information for beginners.  You don't need any fancy equipment or ingredients to make your first batch of soap - olive oil and lard (or coconut oil if preferred) make perfectly serviceable soap when mixed with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), which you can buy in most DIY stores.  Just be sure to do your research beforehand, know what you're doing, and ALWAYS put safety first when using sodium hydroxide.  

Vicki's Purple Soap


How do you juggle creative work / life?

With difficulty at the moment!  My youngest won't be in school full-time until next September, and consequently my weekends and evenings are when I do the majority of my work.  I'm lucky to have a very supportive husband who takes on a massive chunk of the parenting duties when he's not working to allow me to grow the business. Come next September I'm hoping that I'll be able to reclaim a little bit of 'me' time in the evenings and find time for a bit of that reading that I'm missing at the moment.

Vicki's Black Soap

Where can we find you?

You can find me on Instagram here, Facebook here, Twitter here and my blog can be found here.

Dear Bear and Beany

Comments

  1. Oh wow, you are clearly a very talented lady. Such beautiful soaps. Would make lovely Christmas stocking fillers #ABloggingGoodTime

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    1. Vicki sure is. Yes the stocking would have to be a luxurious one though right?

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    2. Thank you so much for your kind comments, and apologies for the delay in responding - I've been taking some time out.

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  2. Wow - I have never seen anything like this? I wish you and your beautiful product every success, I would definitely buy that soap! Thanks for linking to #coolmumcub

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  3. amazing! I have a serious thin for handcrafted soaps!

    #picknmix

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  4. Wow I LOVE hand crafted soap, what a fab venture, it all looks amazing! #PoCoLo

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  5. I'm a huge fan of Vicki and follow her on instagram. Lovely interview x #weekendblogshare

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  6. Oh, they look like ice cream! I love them! Thanks for joining in with That Friday Linky #ThatFriday Linky

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  7. These are absolutely fantastic very clever person you are Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

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  8. These are so pretty! I'm always on the lookout for soaps as I'm allergic to a chemical that nearly every branded soap seems to use - it really is so difficult to find soap without it! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

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    1. That must be frustrating. I have a sensitive scalp so can't use hair dyes and use baby shampoo instead of other shampoos.

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    2. Thanks Katy! What's the chemical you can't use? I'm pretty certain it won't be in my soaps :-D

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  9. Ooh these look fab, almost good enough to eat! #kcacols

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    1. Oh don't eat soap - it does look a bit like ice cream though

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  10. Wow the soaps look amazing! Looks like you should be eating them! Thanks for linking to #PickNMix
    Eilidh

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  11. They look amazing! I've always fancied trying to make soap, I even have a kit somewhere, just haven't got round to it yet. Maybe I'll dig it out and give it a go! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x

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    1. They sure do. Do share your experience if you decide to try it out.

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  12. I follow Vicki on Instagram and I LOVE seeing all her colourful soaps - she's a very talented lady! #KCACOLS

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  13. I didn't realise making soap was something you could do yourself! It must be quite therapeutic. Those soaps do look lovely. Thanks for linking to#pocolo lovely! Xx

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    1. I think many crafts can be therapeutic except for knitting in my case

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  14. Oh my, I don't think I've ever seen soap as pretty. It looks more like cake! How fab, thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

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    1. It certainly does. Best not to eat it though.

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  15. Helena, I'm truly sorry for taking so long to come and respond to all these lovely comments. I tried to do so from my phone a while back, and couldn't seem to get my wordpress account to work with Blogspot, and then I took some time off. I'm now on my laptop and plan to go through and reply to every one of those lovely comments. Thank you again for the feature, it was much appreciated!

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    1. Don't worry. Thank you for being a part of the series.

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