Back to business soon, I am at the moment working hard to twickle my formulation to find something sourced more locally. Back to earth and move toward carbon neutral soaps making.
Well, well, long time ago I didn’t write anything out there. And I really want to expose there my exploration and transition in Bilbao. Easy to undersand why I have been on hold since the Spring ! One month ago, we’ve moved as a family crew from England to Spain, Basque Country. We are a French family, our girl is 4, our boy is 7. Useless to say we are facing big new challenges… another language to get for the kids to sociabilize. A taste of well known situation. 3 years agos, whilst arriving in the UK, kids had no English words coming out from their mouth.. They managed really well. Of course, depending on ages and personalities, things are not the easiest for everyone…
My Slowcraft journey
In the UK, I had my own business of Soaps making, cold process, selling them on my website, I was also runing DIY workshop sessions Actually, I started my journey to run workshop sessions with real people, in real life. It was great. 6 months later, the first lockdown put me hold on. I decided then to go on with online sessions and more important, I deicided at that time to launch my own cosmetics products range. I trained myself, tried lots of formulations, then asked my friends to try, then finalized my formulations to assess them with a toxicologist. It went really well. Really happy of all the people I met during my journey.
Now I am living in Basque Country, Spain, Europe. The last word “Europe” has a massive impact on my business as compling with European regulations is another stuff.
At first I have been thinking “No to complicated to work to fit European rules” but time has run (fast) and now that everything and everyone is well settled in, time to move forward and enjoy new vibes to think different, perhaps better “Why not trying to tackkle this challenge”. After all, I was born European, I should manage the Spanish and Basque cosmetics regulations, which are totally similar than the French ones.
Amazing how we are made. I think whilst arriving I could not just imagine finding the ressources to make it. And now everything seems clear and easy to do…
So I can no longer produce my soaps in my kitchen and have to find a proper lab ith all European regulations checked. The national agency of cosmetics and drugs here in Spain has specific requirements which means lots of money to spend to be legal. To be able to invest, I have find a part time job that I love by the way. Or maybe it’s the way around : in January, as I got my first salary as employee since I create my company in the UK, I suddenly thought, let’s gather as much money as I can to invest in a legal, sustainable and ethical business. My own business of solid cosmetics.
Those last 6 months without making much made me realise how much I deeply love creating. I really love handmade and slowcraft. I really love creation in a carbon neutral focus. Thinking about the items I am making and its impact on our planet our our health. This energize me a lot.
Actually, I fall in soap making and slowcrafts as we fall in love. And I am really happy to share my passion and to develop it as a business.
Carbon Neutral soaps
I am still in the process of thinking, preparing, meeting people that could give me helpful information. I am really modeling my new formulations thinking LOCAL and with a carbon neutral approach to have the best carbon neutral soaps. I really love my 2 first collections of soaps. All the ingredients were selected for their interest for our body, buy the most sustainably possible. But now that I live in a country with light and warmth, I can consider my formulation in a local sourcing focus. That means mainly olive oil and almond oil.
In case you don’t know, a soap made in the traditional cold process may involve hard oil/butter. And, this is hardly impossible to find in Europe. The only way to avoid cocnut oil or shea butter or cocoa butter would be using animal fat. And I am not ready for that !
Appatently it works very well. But I bet a vegan slowcrafted soap is easier to sale than a pig grease slowcrafted soap ! Saying this, I have been using since 2 years now a beef grease soap mixed with Sommière soil as a laundry detergent, to remove stains before going into the washing machine. It works very well indeed.
My challenge is providing my customers the best performance they need in the lighest carbon footprint !
(to be continued…)
I am also still running workshop sessions , DIY cosmetics and house products : More information here : 2 natural cosmetics products making session