Behind the scenes with a soap maker…

Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to the small (but perfectly formed) coastal studio of local business Bare Bodycare to make my very own soap inspired by my business Bumble & Bloom Media. Having never made soap before, I wasn’t sure what to expect – all I knew was that I’d be following MD of Bare Bodycare, Cath’s favoured cold press method and I got to wear an apron (simple pleasures of course…)

We began by dreaming up our recipe – this batch was just for us to experiment with and enjoy, so because it won’t be on sale and therefore needs to be dermatologically tested, we got to be as creative as we wanted. Deciding upon a honey and lavender infused soap topped with a handful of oatmeal to add that delicious crumbly, homely smell, the rest of our ingredients were simply just four types of natural oils which we melted and mixed in our Bumble & Bloom Media inspired ingredients.

In between bottles and boxes, racks and jars of botanical oils Cath has kept to a simple seaside theme to decorate her studio, using lots of natural wood and white walls to let the natural light flood through. If I could set up my office here, I think I’d be inspired forever?

After waiting for our concoction to cool to the correct temperature, we quickly poured into one of Cath’s pre-made wooden moulds to set. Without realising it, the honey we added turned the oils from a creamy colour to a beautiful golden orange, peppered with specks of dried lavender. The smell was already incredible!

Soon it was time to cover my beautiful Bumble & Bloom soap to set and I returned 48 hours later to help cut and stamp the 1.5kg soap into bars. For Cath, the whole process can be wonderfully restorative at times and exciting when given the chance to experiment with new recipes and ideas. As I soon learned, there’s no feeling quite like cutting soap – not quite yet hard, but still soft enough for the knife to cut through it like butter.

It was incredibly satisfying and the honey, lavender and oatmeal gave off the most amazing warming scent – almost like gingerbread? Thrilled with having my very own Bumble & Bloom Media inspired soap, we split our loot and couldn’t resist heading to the bathroom to wash our hands to test it out.

Fast forward a week or so later, and my first (amateur) cut bars sit in a soap dish beside the kitchen sink for the whole family to use and every time I do, I’m reminded of that wonderful day I got to see inside Cath’s studio and try something new.

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