Crafter Interview: DelightfulSuds
Marta Raptis from Ajax, Ontario, is the creator of DelightfulSuds, iCraft store specializing in beautiful handmade soap made with natural oils.
I am a natural soap crafter from Southern Ontario, Canada.
I love to express myself through various forms of art, such as creating special soaps that are healthy for the skin, making hand made jewellery, photography and interior decorating.
My passion for all things natural started with my own sensitive skin. I believe we should all strive for general good health, which includes washing yourself with chemical-free products.
I started making soaps a few months ago at the end of 2011. I quickly fell in love with the process, but most of all with the end result. After testing the finished product myself, I swore I would never buy generic "soap" from the store again. After having done some research on handmade as opposed to commercial soap, I discovered that the bars in stores are not legally allowed to be called soap because they aren't really soap.
They are in fact full of detergents and chemical additives, which dry out your skin and cause irritations. That is why if you look around, you will notice that most of them will use terms like "beauty bar", "body bar", etc.
My handmade soap is a cleanser made with natural simple ingredients that are good for your skin. I combine vegetable based oils with lye and water, resulting reaction creates soap and glycerin. Soap cleanses the skin while glycerin moisturizes it. I also make my soaps unique by creatively adding scented essential oils and herbs to create a great variety of choices.
Natural oils are very gentle on the skin and can greatly improve overall skin condition. Many skin irritations, such as itchiness, flaking and redness are a result of dry skin. In commercial soap making process, the naturally created glycerine from combining oils with lye and water is removed from the soap and sold to other companies, who in turn create more expensive products, such as anti-wrinkle face creams and lotions. Pure soap made with natural oils retains that so good for your skin glycerin. Therefore, using natural oils in soap ensures a high moisture content, making it safe to use on all skin types, even babies. Natural soap gently unclogs pores for a deeper cleanse, which helps with acne breakouts. It can actually accelerate skin's natural healing properties making scars and stretch marks less visible over time, and even helping with eczema.
My inspiration often comes from reading health books and magazines. I frequently study and research the effects of natural ingredients and what combing them does to a finished product. I've always been interested in preserving good health as well as taking part in promoting a better environment. I also find nature to be very inspiring.
When I'm not creating soap, I play with photography. I love taking my camera, going out and taking great photos. I take photos of all my soaps myself. I also make fashion jewellery, which I've been selling at craft shows. My jewellery will be seen for sale on iCraft soon!
Handmade to me means unique and special. It means knowing exactly what goes into a product and what effects it has. It means that someone took the time to create something one of a kind and that it involved passion and love.
Yes, I love the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into handmade items made to stand out. Whenever I travel, I like to get a piece of handmade souvenir from the locals of my travel destinations. They each add something special to the rooms of my house.
Selling online is a bit of a challenge because customers can only view the picture of a product and read the description, which sometimes doesn't do it justice. Selling online is a little bit different in that a person can pick a product right up in their hands and see it in all its glory. Especially with soap, it's nice to be able to let customers pick it up and smell the beautiful aroma, which often is the biggest seller!
I would say, make the best of your photos and use as much description as possible. Since there is a lack of touch, smell and feel in online selling, it is important to describe in detail what your product does, etc.