#useitchallenge: Diving In/Surfacing

The (partial) contents of a supply drawer:

Rediscovered treasure

Yeah. Ridiculous.

Between my #useitchallenge + general Konmari-ing of life, I've been attempting to get a handle on my soaping supplies. Time to wrangle the natural colorants, exfoliants, infusion herbs + detailing botanicals bursting from tight drawers and overflowing boxes.

When I first got into artisan soaping, I "didn't know what I didn't know", so took a deep dive, ordering large sampler sets of natural colors and other plant-based additives to test drive options. My unbridled jump may have originated from my Dad's example - he's an ultra curious, creative soul who's enthusiasm for shiny objects outshines mine. But yikes - what a job culling through that stuff during his and Mom's latest move (hence: #useitchallenge.)

For the record, we creatives love an orgasmic mix of plenty. And maybe there's a a touch of FOMO - just...maybe. But once my mind feels as cluttered as my supply drawers, overwhelm replaces excitement. I'm no longer using my materials, just storing them.

To be fair, some samples matched my evolving style perfectly and I've happily reordered those. But, the next rabbit hole: how much to order? Ordering bulk is more economical. But I'm not a large scale manufacturer. And I get bored if I make the same thing the same way too many times (perhaps you've noticed my design evolution). I'm still left overstocked with botanical bounty. 

Other types of the plant-based abundance were more suited to rustic products, which, I've found after some experimenting, isn't my design thang. I'm not big on exfoliation additives, either (no offense meant to "robust scrub" fans).

Still, after recovering from the overwhelm and spreading everything out, a number of hidden treasures surfaced ("Finishing" salts! Cranberry seeds! Indigo!). After researching the uses of certain colorant samples I never got around to trying, I'm now planning products based on those. You'll see them featured over the next few months. 

Honestly, this is how I roll. I still like having a lot of options, I like brainstorming different ways to assemble things. It's more a matter of using my treasures vs perpetually squirreling them away, and releasing what I don't need without that fear of "what if I need it later?!?" I mean - really? How hard is it to reorder dandelion root powder if I change my mind?

So I'll "Konmari-thank" my extra plant-based supplies, package them up with a few of my favorite natural colors into sampler packs to pass on to my soaping students and others interested in trying new materials without investing in large quantities. Tree-huggers, rejoice!

mini sample bagsOver the next few weeks, I'll post a link to the product page for different sets

A usage page link is also in the works with info that covers options re: colors to add in powdered form at trace, as base oil infusions, or at the lye stage. I'll also share  thoughts on using plant-based exfoliants, detailing, and Tussa silk.

Have you been following my #useitchallenge? What hidden treasures have surfaced, even if not soap related? Are you using them or Konmari-ing them out (with a heart-felt thanks, of course)?

Lemme know in the comments below!

Thanks, pal!


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