Sunday, June 19, 2016

My husband was right...

It's not often that you'll hear a woman say this... but, my husband was right. (gasp!)

As a working mother and a business owner, I tend to work... A LOT. I work during the day at my store, and sometimes even nights and weekends (especially through the Holiday season). I've been known to work all day at the shop, come home and eat dinner, throw a load of laundry in, spend some time with the kiddos before they head to bed and then head down to the shop again in the middle of the night, while my family sleeps. Just to get product made and on my shelves.

I do this because it is my passion. My business is my baby, and just as with my biological kiddos, I will do anything to help see it thrive. I don't mind putting in the hours or the hard work, because it's just part of what it takes to help this "baby" grow. But, apparently, according to my husband, I've been missing a pretty important piece of it.... 
(we'll get to that in a second) 

Now, I've been working since I was 15 years old. Thanks to my parents, I was instilled with a pretty strong work ethic. No matter what job I held, I always gave it my best. From mucking stalls at a horse stable, to busing tables in a restaurant, to taking care of patients in a doctor's office... I always gave 100%. So why would my husband be telling me that I'm not giving my best to my OWN business? The business I pour my blood, sweat and tears into. He had to be pretty ballsy to put that out there... but, you know what? He was RIGHT.

When I go to work at my shop... I go PREPARED to WORK. Hair pulled back, sleeves rolled up.. ready to do whatever needs to be done. Ready to dig elbow-deep into 5 gallon buckets of oils, mix lye, sling soap batter, scoop bubble truffles, roll solid bubble bars, measure ingredients for bath bombs, seal spa mask packets... WHATEVER it takes!

So, when my husband told me that I wasn't giving my best, I had to take a step back and take a breath (you know, so I wouldn't black his eye). He wasn't being mean or critical, he was being honest in his observations. He had noticed that I wasn't putting my best face forward for my own business, not like I do when I work for someone else.
This is not to say he thought I was slacking or not putting in the same effort I do for others, because that's just not the case. He was, quite literally, talking about my FACE. When I go to my shop, I go to WORK. I have my "maker" hat on and am focused on getting stuff DONE. I am often covered in oils, soap batter and random powders... and, even though I wear an apron, it's maybe not the best look when having to come to the front end and help my customers. (Hair back in a ponytail, no make-up... you get the idea)

When I work for others I am typically wearing make-up, my hair is washed and I'm a little more... for lack of a better term... "put together". So WHY do I skip this part when I am working for myself?!??


Talk about a light bulb moment! I work hard for my business, and should be putting my best face forward. I can still get things done while wearing mascara. 

...and sometimes even a tiara!

I honestly believe that we, as makers, sometimes forget that we are also the face of our companies. We are too busy focusing on doing the dirty work, that we forget that we also get to FACE our customers and take credit for all of that hard work! 

Do yourselves a favor, makers... and remember to put your
Best Face Forward!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 ~ Year in Review..

     2014 has been an amazing year full of trials, tribulations, and triumphs... and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

     When the year started, I had been self-employed for 6 months, running my business from home. As the year progressed, it was clear that I needed to expand and find a brick & mortar store front for myself. My local customers were getting tired of waiting for fairs and shows, and wanted to be able to browse and smell all of my products at their leisure.

     During the summer, I was encouraged to initiate a kickstarter campaign ( to try to source funds to be able to secure a retail space. I started walking down the streets of my town taking note of empty buildings and any potential they could hold for what I was wanting to accomplish. I spoke with numerous property owners and was really surprised to hear that many of them were against tenants remodeling or upgrading their buildings. (Really, I just wanted to get rid of the grody stained carpet and upgrade to laminate flooring... it would have been an improvement to their building)

     My Kickstarter campaign was unsuccessful, but that's okay.. it forced me to get creative with the funds that I already had on-hand. I spoke in front of my local Rotary and continued to build relationships with other business owners in the area, letting them know what I was looking for and what I was planning to do.

     In September I contacted another property owner with the intention of taking a look at the space, but not really financially prepared to take any action. After looking at the property... it was EACTLY what I needed. It had adequate retail space for my products, as well as a large space for manufacturing and teaching classes. The property owners were wonderful people that were interested in working with me to help me get into a space and get my business up and open. I started moving supplies in at the beginning of October.

     After handling some minor repairs, painting the walls, upgrading the flooring and sealing the windows... I was finally putting the finishing touches on the space over Thanksgiving. It was a project that took longer than I would have liked, but the end result is most definitely worth it. The space isn't EXACTLY the way that I envisioned it, but there is room to grow and expand. Displays and minor things can be upgraded and switched out over time, but the doors opened to the public the first week of December.

     I am SO grateful for all of the help and support I've received from friends and family through the year. Without their encouragement, who knows if I would have actually taken that leap?

     I am absolutely excited and ridiculously terrified... but it's a great feeling to walk into MY store and know that, make it or break it, it's MINE!

     Thank you all for the wonderful  support over the last year! Watch the website for classes to be offered in the shop, as well as contact information for make-and-take parties and events.
2014 has been good, but 2015 is shaping up to have AWESOME potential!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Worries, Doubt and Determination

I love what I do, because I do what I love. I am lucky in that sense, and I do not take it for granted. Not many of us are able to say the same thing, though I don't know why. Maybe people are scared of being happy? Worried that they will not be able to pay the bills? I have those worries, too... even while doing what I love... but it just drives me to work harder, to do better, to sell more, and make sure those bills are paid. I think the World would be a happier place if people weren't scared to follow their heart.

There are times when doubt sneaks in. When I wonder if what I'm doing is right for my family. If I went back to my medical career, we wouldn't have to cancel our cable, or eat Ramen noodles for dinner... but would I be happy? Of course I would! I loved working in medicine, and I enjoy helping people... but I would always have a nagging thought in the back of my mind, "Did I try hard enough?", "What if I stayed at it a little longer?"

So I push all of those negative thoughts aside, and work twice as hard. And when I feel that doubt creep in, I look at what I've accomplished so far... I look at the photos from my customers, and their comments about my products.

"This awesome Birthday Haul is for my partner Grant! Grant loves Tub-Time Treasures Blowing Bubbles and Pomegranate Cider so he gets tons of them for his special day! Renee is so awesome she spoiled me as well with some super humongous chunks of Love Spell and Hello Sweet Thang! Included in the order was a whack of Lip Butters (I think one of them may be for Grant! ) Thank you Renee! Grant will be the best smelling guy in Canada!"
"My child swiped one as soon as I opened the box. We may have to fight over it #mango"
"Vanilla Oak. Wowsa, that is great soap."
"I love Tub-Time Treasures products so much I can't go on vacation without them! They have traveled to the Mayan Riviera with me to keep my skin happy! And the lip butter I chose to take with me...Margarita of course!"
"Even the dog loves Tub-Time Treasures! She was chewing on my lip butter and refused to give it up!"
 Not all of my customers share photos... some just send a comment my way:

" Hi! I got the soap today and it helped cheer me up because I was feeling discouraged and a little sad today. THANK YOU for the extras. I already have the white sage bar in my shower waiting for me...and I love the facial puck!!! You ROCK!"

"I got my box of pure awesome today! Shane loves the Big Black Jack the best! Me, I can't decide yet, they're all awesome!"

" OMG-- I wish my camera was working. I just got some awesome Watermelon soap in the mail today all the way from Oregon. My 9 year daughter, just ran around the house making everyone smell it and then brings it back to me and says, "it smelled so good I licked it!""

These are the types of things that lift my spirit when I am feeling like I am at my wit's end. These comments keep me working hard to continue doing what I love, and chase the doubt far from my mind. My amazing customers are the fuel in my engine to keep going, to make this dream work! If I didn't have my wonderful customers, I wouldn't be in business. Period, end of story.

I am immensely grateful for the constant encouragement and support that my friends and customers show me. I appreciate every single one of you!!

THANK YOU! Thank you all for helping me live my dream!!  

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bidding Farewell to 2013...

2013 saw a lot of growth for my little business, and also some major personal changes. In 2013, Tub-Time Treasures was growing so quickly, that I decided to quit my full-time medical career to dive in wholeheartedly and build my business.
Since July, I have been spending my days at home in the soap studio, creating wonderful skin-loving products to share with the masses. Since I work from home, I have also gotten to spend more quality time with my kiddos. My 10 year old son was able to participate in a team sport for the first time, because I was available to take him to and from practices and games. It was so very nice to be able to do that for him... and to watch him make great strides both physically and socially. He also learned how to ride a bicycle this summer. Not a big accomplishment for most kids... but, for my son, it was pretty awesome... since he hadn't had the chance before. There hadn't been a parent home to teach him. (insert major parental guilt here)
I spent my nights and mornings in the soap studio.. and the afternoons swimming with my kiddos. Toes in the sand, sun on our cheeks.. honestly the BEST summer I've had in a LONG time. I am looking forward to spending more time like that with my boys. It's good for my soul... and theirs!
These last few months have been busy times for the business. Most weekends were taken up with shows, and preparation for the next filled the weeks in-between. The pace gets more and more hectic the closer it gets to the Christmas rush. The boys and I took a week-long break at Thanksgiving and spent some much-needed time visiting family out of state. It was a wonderful break, even though my mind periodically kept wandering back to the soap studio and the ever-growing list of things that needed to be done. It was a great time spent with family, and it recharged my batteries.
That week of focusing on what we are most thankful for, also saw an invitation extended to me from Amanda Griffin. She and Benjamin Aaron asked  if I would be willing to join the Lovin' Soap Project team. Now, if you follow Tub-Time Treasures, you know that I am a HUGE supporter of the Lovin' Soap Project. I couldn't be more honored to join such a wonderful team of awesome people! This invitation is most definitely one of the MAJOR highlights of the past year for me. (If you're not sure what the Lovin' Soap Project is all about, click the link above and take a look)
As far as my business goes... in the last week: I've started making purchases/plans to increase my batch production, I've designed my own website (which will be fully-stocked in the coming days), and I've contacted a local man about possibly opening a store front location. My business is growing.. my heart is full... I'm ready to see the all kinds of awesome that 2014 promises to be!
Thank you for supporting me in my continuing journey. I wish you all a wildly-successful New Year!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My friends and the Lovin' Soap Project

What?? You haven't heard of the Lovin' Soap Project?  For those of you that haven't heard of it, The Lovin’ Soap Project is a  grassroots, hands-on organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through healtheducation, artisan soap making, business planning, and economic development

What this means... is that I have some AMAZING soapy friends, that take time out of their lives to FLY THEMSELVES to Haiti to teach women (most are living in tent camps after the 2010 earthquake) how to make soap. You may ask yourselves, "How does learning how to make soap help anything? It's just SOAP..." Well... it may be "just soap" to you, but to these women, it's a source of income! It becomes a commodity to trade and bargain with... a skill that they can pass down to future generations... a hand-UP instead of a hand-out. (And in some cases.. soap can save lives. There are a number of hygene-preventable diseases in impoverished areas.. Thankfully, most of us will never have to think of it, but in some areas just WASHING YOUR HANDS can save your life)

I am lucky enough to have a bar of soap made by the women of OFEDA, and I cherish it! You can feel the energy and the smiles of the women that worked to create this soap.


 This project is near and dear to my heart, not only because I am a soapmaker, or because my friends are the ones carrying out this wonderful project... but because they are saving lives and empowering women! I worked in the medical field for 15 years. I've seen what disease can do. I am SO honored to know Amanda & Benjamin (I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Kym yet), these are some really amazing people!!

Please take a minute to follow the links and get to know a little more about the fabulous-ness that is: The Lovin' Soap Project. Thank you!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beer, revisited.....

Okay... so it's been a while since I've posted anything. I freely admit that I am not the best blogger in the blogosphere... but it's been brought to my attention that I need to connect with you all a little more frequently.

Lately, I've noticed a trend when it comes to my soap making.... a trend involving beer.
Any guesses as to my favorite go-to brewery??

  I just can't seem to help myself!! The darker, the better! Stouts, Porters... you name it, I'll soap it!

Now, I know that I've posted about beer soaps before, but that was when I had just STARTED soaping with beer... now I can't STOP!

They are just so creamy and smooth (and look like chocolate), they look and smell positively edible!

 I've even had interest from small local breweries to soap their own brews! (And a couple of homebrewer batches for Christmas gifts)

So, if you were wondering what to get for that guy that "Has Everything"... but you really don't want to pick up his bar tab.... get him some Beer Soap! Guaranteed... he'll love it (what guy doesn't love beer?) and smell awesome!


All of these beer soaps (and more) can be found here and you can follow me here if you want to see what else is brewing in the soap pots!

Thanks for looking! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Love is in the air...

Last weekend, I got to spend some time with people I love.... celebrating their love.

Now... my friend has a wonderful sense of humor (DUH! That's why she's MY friend!) and I just knew I had to do something special for her to remember this most fabulous day!
She had chosen a peacock theme for her wedding. Peacock feathers on everything... purples and greens everywhere... and I just KNEW what had to be done!
Of course, she got the mandatory "Soapy gift" with her peacock theme..
... but I decided I would do something else, too.... something FUN!
I snuck "Norm", her ceramic peacock, to the wedding with me as my date. =o)

My friend had no idea Norm was there... and that's what made it PERFECT!

He made the rounds, and had his picture taken with lots of people...
 .... including the clueless Bride!

 I printed out all of the photos, and made them into a scrapbook album for my beautiful friend..
Those are her friends that flew from New Mexico just to cook the reception dinner! AWE-SOME!

..and had the scrapbook sitting on her desk Monday morning, with Norm sitting on top.

It was a fun way to spend a weekend! Running around a wedding, taking umpteen photos, trying to keep Norm from being seen by the bride! And so totally ME! (I love surprising people!)

I am happy to say that the "Norm Album" was a hit!!
The photo that undid my friend, and brought her to hysterical laughter, complete with tears??
(drumroll please) 

 Our employer... feeding Norm salsa...

Thenk yew.... thenk yew vurry mush! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bathing with beer....

So here we are... almost to the end of July, with summer just starting to come into full swing. (At least in my neck of the woods)

And in my neck of the woods, summertime is usually equated with BBQs and beer, backyard get-togethers with friends, camping, pool parties, and well.... more beer.

Seeing as how I'm not much of a beer drinker (anymore) and, thankfully, neither is my hubby (much)... I decided I'd make soap with it for my drunken friends. I also came to find out, that when I do purchase beer for making soap, I should simmer it right away and let it go flat (husbands are NOT to be trusted).

I have decided that I LOVE using stout in soap! It gives the soap a wonderful chocolatey color that makes it just look like you could dive in with a spoon!

This is not fudge... it really IS soap!

 So far, I've made 2 soaps with different stouts, one Oatmeal Stout and one Espresso Stout... and one soap with an IPA (India Pale Ale).... and I am addicted. Yes, I admit it. I will now join the 30,000 other people in the county in purchasing beer on the weekends.

The only difference, is that I won't be drinking mine. Ha! I'll be bathing in it, instead!

Can't get better than that, can it?? ;-)

Espresso Stout

I'm totally loving this soaping with beer thing. Seriously, I have to hold myself back from licking the stick blender... they look and smell THAT good!


Watershed IPA

So, even if you're not a beer drinker..... you can always be a beer bather! ;-)

Enjoy your summer! Cheers!

See you on Facebook!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer-Time Ramp Up

It's that time of year again!! SUMMERTIME!!

This is the time of year when I tend to get really busy. Weekdays are filled with day-job, kids, household chores, and making products.... while the weekends tend to be taken up with Craft Fairs, Open Air Markets and Summer Festivals.

I LOVE this time of year!!!!

I enjoy the hectic pace of making sure there is enough product for shows, the linens are cleaned for the booth, and foraging for enough snacks/water to keep me going throughout the day. (Not to mention, making friends with the neighboring booths so that I can take a restroom break!)

My  busy season runs from August through December... and while I enjoy doing the shows... the only drawback, for me, is missing out on time with my kiddos.
What are your favorite things of summer?? Favorite gatherings? Favorite family events? Favorite scents and sounds?

To me, it's watching while my boys run through the sprinkler, ice clinking in my glass of sweet tea... the smell of a campfire and crackle of the logs.... Memorial Day Family Reunion with my husband's family... Camping in the woods.... Time spent with good friends.... and Making SOAP!

Here's wishing you a wonderful kick-off to Summer!

Get out there and enjoy it!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Soap Challenge Accepted!! (week 6)

So Amy Warden (of Great Cakes Soapworks) has been issuing a weekly challenge to soapers far and wide. Last week's challenge was to create a soap using the Faux Funnel Pour technique. 

You basically divide your soap batch into different colors and then pour one after the other into the same spot in your soap mold, creating a neat pattern. (She has a video on her blog post for the challenge)

I had never done a Funnel Pour before, not to mention a Faux Funnel Pour, so...... Challenge ACCEPTED!!

Since I was new to this technique, and not sure how much time I would need to get all of the colors into the mold.... I decided that I would use a tried and true fragrance oil that I KNEW wasn't going to accelerate on me, or cause me any issues. "Energy" was the perfect choice for this challenge. Because of it's citrus-y notes, I wanted to do bright fun colors. Something with pizzaz!

in the mold

I also wanted to liven things up a bit with more than just color. Let there be GLITTER!!!!!
Now, I've done glitter on the tops of soaps before, but I really wanted to change things up and try something new. So, I added ultrafine iridescent glitter to just the white part of the soap... right IN the soap batter itself.
I have to admit, I wasn't sure what it was going to look like once I unwrapped it...

You just never know what you're going to get until you slice it open and take a look at the inside.

OoOohh!! Glitter!

 I have to admit, I am quite pleased with how these turned out! Though now I'm sure I'll be asked to do them in the team colors of the Universities (since this one has the green and yellow of the Oregon Ducks, it's already become a prized possession of Duck fans that I know)

  Thanks for taking the time to look! Happy soaping!

Be sure to head over to my FB fan page to see more!