Saturday, January 31, 2009

Animal Fever

So I decided to do a little post on animal soaps today. I really want us to do a whole series of animals one day, so until then ...

I love cows - who doesn't? They look like oversized dalmatians and most of them don't jump on you when you come home.

Our friends at Bramble Berry did these cute little guys. I love how they make them in completely different colors instead of keeping them the same old black and white.

Bear soaps in pastel colors

Hippo Soaps in checkers - very cool!

Frog Soap and Dinosaur Soap - I love how shiny they look. I'm guessing they used a plastic mold.

Frog Glycerine Soap - this shape would be great for a bath bomb.

My favorite - Panda Soap! It takes a lot of time to do this one as you have to let the different layers dry before you do the other ones, but I think it's all worth it. Don't you??

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Global Warming is here people - PREPARE!

So I saw this on one of my all-time fave sites Apartment Therapy and I had to put it on my blog, even though it's not exactly soap related. But then again, when I think about it, this item is for the bathtub and where is the bathtub - the bathroom! And what fabulous item can you find in all bathrooms - SOAP! There I somehow managed to put it all together...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Javits Center Goodies from the NY Gift Show

I spend the day heading to the International Gift Show in the Javits Center for some meetings and a little spying on our competitors :)
I didn't have a chance to see everything, so I'll be back tomorrow, but here are some of my FAVE products from today:

This is from Mangiacotti (if it's so hard to spell, I can imagine how you pronounce it). I don't think the photos do these soaps justice - I saw a live version of them and they are adorable. I love that their little mascott is engraved in their soaps and I think she's adorable. I've never heard of this company before, so I headed to their website to find more info. They're headquartered in MA and they're the creation of a designer who started her company 10 years ago. Pretty cool!

I couldn't leave the K Hall Designs booth - not only did the soaps smell amazing but they also had these really cute tall candles that look like you need 100 years to burn them.

Well, these were 2 of my faves - new pics coming tomorrow!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hotel Guest Soaps

I recently came back from a trip and as much as I loved our hotel - the soaps not so much. And I'm not saying this just because I think ours are the best, but because the soaps that this particular hotel had were extremely dry to the skin and smelled horrible (like a really bad man's cologne). I understand that they probably wanted to keep the scent unisex but this was far from it and in fact I'm pretty sure that most guys would not like it either. So I decided to do my blog on cute guest soaps - I'm not sure if they smell nice but they sure look cute.
PS - Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Oh my lord! How many little soaps can you possibly have room for in your suitcase??

This is from a hotel in Disneyland - how can you not want to go if you can find Mickey even in your bathroom!

I love this cone shaped bottle.

I know it looks like creamers, but I did my research - it's actually liquid soap! I guess it must be good because someone already used up 3 of the containers!

I'm partial to putting up this company since I was born in Bulgaria ;)

Love the containers! I would totally keep them after I finished the soap - how brilliant is that marketing...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

To stamp or not to stamp!

Recently, we have started to stamp our soaps with our logo on them so that our soaps look different than others. Hundreds of years ago this is how everyone made soap - by hand stamping each soap with a metal stamp. Now of course, there are special molds that you can order with your name already on them, but for now I think we'll just do it by ourselves. I really want people that purchase our soaps to know how much work goes into it. There's nothing like truly handmade products, right? Maybe I'll do a blog another day which lists all of our steps into making one of our works of art.

Types of soap stamps:
Rubber - Not the best stamp for a soap unless you use a hammer to secure the design.
Resin (Acrylic) - The best one to use in my opinion. It's not only easy to clean but it also makes the design look very clean (no pun intended :)
Steel - quit expensive but once you get one of these babies it'll pretty much last you forever

Saturday, January 24, 2009

All together now!

So in my last post I had a picture of a French soap factory and I loved it so much that I decided to do another post just on how people make soap.

Wrapping the soap in cellophane bags. We do the same at Uptown Soap and I have to tell you it takes a long time to painstakingly wrap each soap, since we do it all by hand.

Cutting the soap with a knife.

Arranging the soap to be dried. Usually cold processed soaps have to dry for about 4 weeks before they are ready to be packaged. They are the ones that you see in the store without the cellophane bags because the glycerin is inside the soap.

Looks like this is another method of cutting the soap with a special rake.

Letting the soap dry.

Already cut soap ready to be packaged

With some soaps, you have to cut the edges so that they are perfectly round. We do that only for some of our Art Bars, since they have the paintings inside them.

Waiting for the soap to dry. I have never seen soap displayed this way, it is stunning. Maybe we should make walls of soap in our stores ;)

Love the lavender colored soap.

Again, this woman is separating the soaps so that they can dry. This is most likely a cold processed soap, because usually glycerin soaps are left to dry in their molds.

And one of the final products! These are glycerin soaps, since they are transparent. They are very moisturizing and take on color very well.

Soaps from around the world

Okay, so I know I've been gone for a while - there's some really exciting things happening at USC (the company, not the college :) so I've been a little preoccupied. I decided to do my blog today on international soaps. I can't wait to visit these countries some day and get my hands on some of these soaps! Here are some of the most interesting ones I found:

[SWEDEN] Swedish Soaps - I wish that IKEA sold soaps because I would be the first person to buy them. I am in love with their packaging. They always feature whimsical characters and they're just the cutest things I've ever seen. Maybe we'll start working on a similar line soon - I hope!

[SWEDEN] - I think these are soaps from the same company as above. They have stamped them with different phrases like "Good Night" and "Be Nice". I don't know but it seems like the perfect kid soaps, altough I think any adult will also fall in love with them.

[JAPAN] - I have always had a lifelong goal to visit Japan and their soaps make me want to go even more! If you've ever had mochi (little jello type desserts) you'll notice that this packaging resembles theirs a lot. I love how everything in Asian countries is simple and elegant.

[JAPAN] - All right, so these are not Japanese soaps, but they were actually made in the USA, however you have to love fun shaped soaps. I'm getting hungry already!

[RUSSIA] - I thought that Russian soaps might be more colorful or at least their packaging, but then again maybe I didn't do my research too much because I was able to find very few russian soaps. If you guys have any other ones, please email them to me!!!

[AFRICA] - I'm not sure in which country they make these soaps but I thought it was perfect with their continent. It looks so earthy.

[FRANCE] - Well you might have seen these little guys in Anthropologie (My FAVORITE store in the whole wide world). They are imported by a company in San Diego but they make all of their soaps in France. They smell really good, if I may say so myself. I'm a fan of their milk fragrance, but I have to admit I haven't purchased it and might never will - simply because I'm sure I'll get a craving for cookies every time I'm using the soap!

[FRANCE] - I love this picture! If you enlarge it, you'll see that the little yellow dots are actually duck soaps. Adorable!!!

[ENGLAND] - I found that English soaps are very simple, which I think is great. The ones I found usually came in single colors and were stamped with the company name on top (which is how everyone did soaps in the past).

[ENGLAND] - ooohh, I wish I can just smell them! They look like they were just picked from the tree...

[ITALY] - Italian soaps are so elaborate in their packaging. Very fance and elegant.

[ITALY] - how cute! They look like a box of chocolates.

[PORTUGAL] - Portuguese coconut soap. Love the shape.

[PORTUGAL] - These are Claus Porto soaps - you can find them in a lot of stores in the states and especially in Gracious Home in Manhattan.