Blogs RSS



Evolving a Brand: Of Names and Nuance

Designing and producing Aroma Art soap is largely a solitary pursuit, so to share the unicorn rainbow farts-inducing creative magic, I'll sometimes offer a soap-naming contest through Courageous Soap's FaceBook and IG pages. The banter and brainstorming with friends and fans is like, hell yeah. Plus - whoa -  who can resist the honor of naming a soap (and maybe winning a bar)? But while my latest soap-naming competition yielded clever suggestions,  I realized that they didn't fit my actual brand. I don't fault my wonderful soap naming participants for this oversight - frankly, brand evolution sneaks up on me, too. But in the interest of helping you win a bar of my Aroma Art Soap in the future, consider the following:: The essence of Courageous Soap: Start Fresh. Be Bold. Smell Nice.  First, with an art...

Continue reading



Product Photo Hacks: The 15-minute Light Box

 Besides clever copy (and gushing mentions by an industry influencer), an online maker's best friend is fabulous product photos. We solopreneurs have to wear about a bazillion hats: visionary, designer, manufacturer, strategizer, marketer, etc. I'm luckier than most as I went to art school back in the day, so know a little something about basic photographic composition and lighting (as well as how to wield an X-acto knife).  But I relied on natural light for much of my photography - picture quality was dependent on weather/season/time of day. I needed consistency for clean product shots, which meant investing in a light box. Lightboxes range from $20. to $100.+ online, depending on size/complexity. But I needed mine by, like literally, the next day, and didn't feel like paying expedited shipping. Fortunately, I happened upon several tutorials on how to make one. After getting...

Continue reading



Soap Longevity Tips!

Awhile back, I unearthed a plain, white ceramic soap dish from the back of a cabinet, filled it with stones and soap pieces, then set it next to my kitchen sink for post-cooking wash-up. I've been genuinely surprised at the many inquiries about it since.Many people find natural soap care a mystery. The little display I put together - born of a repurposed dish, decorative stones, plus natural soap pieces - was a clever, if unconscious solution: the stones provided both aesthetics and drainage if you are mindful of surface area (more on that, below).Since then, I've observed how many of my customer friends didn't quite know how to store their Aroma Art soap for maximum display and longevity. This post, then, is an educational outreach. Friends, let's first acknowledge that natural, hand-crafted soap - especially Aroma Art - is an...

Continue reading



Rustic Soap Challenge: Ogres Have Layers

WINNER: Blue Ribbon2017 Denver County Fair Amy Warden's Rustic Soap Challenge appears deceptively simple: Create a soap with texture, incorporating some form of the Hot Process (HP) soap-making technique. To mix it up a bit from past soap challenges, the soap wrapping would be relevant - a package deal (get it?).  #trueconfession: I'm a Cold Process (CP) Snob for a reason: CP has more potential for controlling the trace (viscosity) of raw soap, hence endless potential for fancy-schmancy-ness. HP soap's oatmeal-like consistency offers more limited design choices. I'm in it for the art, friends - we know this. Yet HP intrigued me. One big plus? The HP process "cooks" out moisture, hence, needs a much shorter cure time. Cure refers to the typical 4 - 6 week period required for excess water...

Continue reading



Near Miss

Familiar with that famous story about the Indian Elder who shares wisdom with the youngster about the nature of doubt? Paraphrasing, but basically this: Wise elder: “You have two wolves fighting in your mind at all times: the wolf of encouragement and the wolf of doubt.” Naive Youth: “”but grandfather, which will triumph?” Wise Elder: “The one you feed.”   Me and doubt: we’re well acquainted. We have us some junk food in that space.   Late July, 2016:Bleary-eyed, I looked over the entry notification from 2016 Denver County Fair. Deadline: four days away. We had just moved back into our home after months of hotel living, waiting for our gutted kitchen to be repaired from a water line leak. Yay for good homeowner insurance, but...

Continue reading