Is it really you!?

Yeah, it is really me. Finally. I know you are going to find this hard to believe but I have been sick this whole time. I am just now feeling a bit better. Not great. Better. Though it might not have been the opportune time to decide weighty matters, I did it anyway. I am shutting the doors completely on my little business. Not to say I will never open it again. Or some form of it. Burnout is an understatement. After long phone conversations with Husband, and him finally convincing me that he will not be disappointed in me and think me a quitter, I have come to this conclusion. In fact not only does he not think me a quitter, he is relieved. Happy even. What started out as therapy and a hobby 20+ years ago has taken over three rooms of a very small cottage. Soapmaking is something my BonDon (my dad’s mom) taught me. Her handwritten recipe is framed, along with a picture of her, and sits on my kitchen cabinet. After she passed, I found the recipe in her cookbook, that I also have, and decided to make it again. I was coming off a LONG run catering for the public and was tired, had a 10 month old and needed a change or two.

Long story short, the hobby/therapy snowballed. At my busiest I have made upwards of 2500 bars of soap a month and not had enough. I rocked along for 15 years not ever even considering product insurance because anyone I called had never insured a soaper and would have to get back to me…and never did. But as more and more soapers came out of the woodwork, and they have, it became necessary. And available. And expensive – if you are not doing a great volume. And I guess it all boils down to this: I dont want to do the volume I have to do to justify paying what I would have to pay for insurance. There I said it.

A year ago March I sold the internet part of my business and kept Farmgirl Clean™ products and planned to make products specifically for MaryJanesFarm. I have told them of my decision and am confident that they will quickly find someone to do these things for them. To those of you who have been faithful customers for all these years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And never fear there is homemade soap out the ying-yang out there. Every store, every farmer’s market, ALL OVER the internet…its there. You will find some you love just as much, if not more than, mine.

I have sold some ingredients that have a shelf life, some containers and I am keeping just enough here to make a batch or two for family every now and then. I am putting the rest in storage. I am keeping my website The Soap Maven and will eventually put a tutorial or two up there for all of you who care to give soapmaking a whirl. In fact I hope to eventually make it a pretty comprehensive “learning” website complete with recipes, tutorials for all kinds of soaps, lotions etc. I will let that me my contribution to the world of soap. My etsy shoppe…thinking about what all I want to do there. But it will be a while. I am going to enjoy my Summer and lesson plans and such done for next fall.

Well, having been sick now for going on 5 weeks, I have so much to do in the next couple of days. Husband is supposed to be home Thursday but I hear it might be later in the week…maybe even weekend. Some flight mix ups and such. I would sit and cry like I want to but it wont make him come home any sooner and my nose is already stuffy enough. So instead I will try to use my time wisely and get all this soap stuff to the storage building and get the house spotless and bake him an Italian Cream cake.

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Bummer, big fat bummer! You are all we use in this house (you know that)! I’m glad however that you are feeling better and that hubby is coming home. Take this time to do what you want to do! I still have 3 weeks to wait until HL is home. Bummer as well. Will talk soon.


Susan – I know that this was a hard decision for you to make. But sometimes we reach a point in life where we have to say “enough”. I know that you will feel better soon and will be glad to have the time to do exactly as you want. Can’t wait until you will have tutorials on your website. I would love to learn some techniques from The Soap Maven.

Love and hugs,

Hi, nice to see you back! You’ve certainly had your plate full, what with being ill and thinking over your business. You’ll experience relief now that the major decision regarding your business has been made. Sometimes we need rest. Rest for our soul, I call it – where one removes a huge portion of his/her life and just inhale the emptiness that follows. You can feel your body breathe a sigh of relief. There is time to ENJOY other things and not feel pressure or worry constanlty.

Not that you will sit in a rocking chair and just listen to the birds twitter and chatter. Your life sounds so busy even without the soapmaking part of it!

Have you seen anyone regarding your illness? Five weeks seems like an awfully long time to be under the weather; perhaps something else is causing this? Allergies, hayfever, low thyroid, etc? Some bloodwork can rule out other causes that might be contributing to your health. Summer is here and no doubt you want to feel your best to enjoy it!


I completely understand how you feel and I’m glad you’ve made a decision that will make you happy. The learning site is an excellent idea since you have so much to give to the soaping community, that’s wonderful of you to share.
Please don’t be a stranger, stop in and say hi to those of us who have come to know and love you over the years. Blessings my friend, enjoy life!!

It can’t have been an easy decision to make Susan. I hope you feel better soon and that you enjoy retirement! Mmmm . . . Italian Cream Cake . . . that’s worth coming home to!! Well, that and you of course!!


Sorry you’ve been unwell for such a while. I hope you’re on the mend now. Perhaps now you’ve made this tough decision you’ll be able to concentrate more on you. Funny thing is I’ve made a similar decision myself just recently – must be something in the air! Let’s just get ready to enjoy the summer. Bx

I know when I decided to stop the old and begin anew – it was difficult…but a relief. My Dad’s wise counsel rings in my ears – make a decision and then make it the RIGHT decision. Hope you find much peace and joy in this new journey. I so enjoy your blog, hope you feel you can continue sharing with all of us out in blogland.
Hope you feel physically better licketty split!