Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The times, they are a-busying!


I haven’t mentioned this before, but I am starting up a soap business with my husband. An unshakable creative beast, I am constantly trying to force Rick to try new things. New foods, new music, new art projects, new shows, new books, new facial hair, new everything. I take his staunch perpetually-the-same mountain and chip away at it until he agrees to try whatever I think he should experience. Sometimes this is a beautiful bonding experience, and sometimes it gives him a nightmare or two. On rare occasion, he’s been greatly upset and taken the indignant “how could you do that to me?!” stance.

You see, he has difficulty with the “looking stupid” aspect of newly honing a skill. Whereas I don’t generally care how moronic I sound for asking 7,367,231,846 questions, or doing rather goofy shit while I’m getting my feet wet… my husband? Not so much. Rick wants to know, he wants to know NOW, and he wants to have been expert level approximately fifteen years ago. I dance around and occasionally sing in public. Rick would rather die. He’s getting better, though. Nowhere to go from rock bottom… except up!

So there was a moment when we were in Michael’s and I suggested that I’d teach Rick how to make soaps. I started checking out the inventory of melt-and-pour kits, Dahlia quietly (but passionately) singing to herself, and offered my knowledge of the aesthetic approach, rather than the technical aspect. I wasn’t so much interested in making SOAPS, so much as I wanted to convince my unwashed husband to make something pretty that would also be handy when scrubbing a layer of crud and cheese off of his underberries and other assorted limb-y, appendage-y things. Something he could be proud of, that would also make him potentially smell dandy.

I was shocked at his response: “this is ridiculous. A waste of money. I bet we could make soap for much cheaper than this melt-and-pour shit. This is CHEATING!” I cocked my head, volunteered that I had no knowledge of how to make soap from scratch, and I even sort of vaguely-yet-noncommittally noted that because I had no idea, it was probably the sort of thing better left to factories. Factories that produced melt-and-pour soap, duh. No human has ever made soap with their HANDS. What is this? The paleolithic era? Do we have to start washing our loincloths by the Euphrates? Husband, are you drunk?

But then he used the Almighty Google Machine (even with a bad signal, because Michaels is a signal-sucking vortex for some reason, get WIFI already!) and found a recipe. He announced that it only took a few ingredients, and that we could do it. Fine. Go ahead. Try to get all socialist-uprising and try to take back the production/manufacturing world better left to machines! GO AHEAD, DURRUTI. Rebuild your pile of ashes, with the help of pure, unadulterated spite. So I conceded (simply because he challenged me, and you should know I turn into a monster when challenged) we began to buy all the things, and embarked on the beginning of quite a journey.

And I’m serious when I call it a journey. At this point, we’re only a month and a half into making soap, and we’re already laying the groundwork for a great business. We’ve found out all kinds of neat/horrifying/crazy/anomalous information about cosmetics and detergents, from carcinogens in hand soap to shea butter’s weird anti-aging properties. Did you know coconut oil gets rid of lice? I mean, really, doesn’t it have better things to do with its time? We’ve discovered that everyone we know (only 15% exaggeration) has skin ailments, afflictions, and conditions. Today we met an herbalist named “Shoebocks” (pronounced “shoebox”). My husband’s pored over legal codes and policies for retailers and I’ve decided to re-teach myself ACCOUNTING. Now, I’m by no means an idiot, but I can’t keep the numbers 4 and 7 straight, so I would like to say, again – into the microphone – this is quite an interesting journey.

And it keeps getting cooler, and more (eu)stressful, and it’s really fun to watch it develop.

If you want to buy some, check out our blog, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook, here’s the information!

Three points of congratulation if you can possibly guess what our business is called…
(I know it will be very difficult to do so.)
Open-mouthed smile

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