I'd like to introduce you to Rebecca Dillion of Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen. Rebecca has an Etsy shop but is slowly moving to her own website. As a Fine Arts student of Roanoke College, Rebecca's varied interests found her in many classrooms, which reads like a who's who of fun: photography, pottery, 3-D art, drawing, painting, and quite a few others. Today she continues to study art while maintaining her handmade soap business, a fabulous blog, and her life as a single mother.
1. Where/when did you learn to make soaps?
I am a self taught soapmaker. Having been a crafty girl growing up and then graduating from college with a fine arts degree, it seemed only natural to me to learn to make the one thing I'd really fallen in love with - handmade soaps. I bought the book, The Soapmaker's Companion, did a lot of online research, got hold of a how to video and had it. After some trial and error I eventually came up with my own soap recipes that I fell in love with and now sell in my handmade soap shop.
2. What are some of your favorite scents/flavors?
I am ridiculously allergy prone and most florals set me to sneezing, so I tend to favor fruit scents and food scents. Some of my current and past favorites have been Pomegranate Cream, White Tea, Red Velvet Cake, Hot Doughnuts, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Mango & Papaya.
3. You sell goat milk soaps. Do you raise your own goats? How much fun is that?
I think owning a goat would be fun, but no I don't own goats. I live in the city and it's illegal for me to own goats in the city. When I sold my handmade soaps on our local city market a few years back though, there was a regular goat that would visit with his owners tagging along behind, leash in hand. I believe he still visits from time to time. Here's a photo from my facebook page of that very goat kissing a local market vendor, Dave, who recycles glass bottles to make spoon rests and party trays:www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=111896521018&set=a.111896301018.116998.5...
4. You make lots of different soaps. Are there ways to use your soaps other than for the obvious bath? What are some of the other personal products you sell?
My soaps produce a nice, rich lather therefore they make excellent shaving soaps. You can also use them as facial bars. And many of my customers also use them as shampoo bars.
In addition to selling shea butter soaps, I also offer goat milk lotions with shea butter, honey, and aloe along with a line of fabulous non-greasy, non-messy solid shea butter sugar scrub cubes.
5. At one time you also sold note cards and such on Etsy--love those birds! Do you still dabble in paper? What are some of your other handmade interests?
I am a spring cleaner and every year I always get rid of whatever I have not used for at least a year and donate it. No matter what it is. My scrapbooking papers I somehow managed to keep around a lot longer than that sure I'd get back to them. About two years ago I finally got around to getting rid of them all. Now I'm in the mood to dabble again but don't have the funds to invest in the papers! I did recently purchase a few papers to create a tutorial for making your own wedding soap favors. You can find that project here: www.soapdelinews.com/2011/06/handmade-soap-wedding-favor-tutorial.html
I also just completed a tutorial on how to make your own art collage note cards that you can find here: (Will post to soapdelinews.com on 6/28 - link available then.)
I do like to play with chalk pastels - I have done a few drawings within the past few months - and I love watercolors. I have a brand new box of liquid watercolors and brushes waiting to be played with, but so far I haven't found the time. I also love pottery, though I don't have a natural talent for it. I did take pottery in college though so I have a huge appreciate for good potters and am in the process of replacing all my dishware with handmade, one of a kind pottery.
6. Is there anything else you'd like others to know about yourself or your shop?
I am a single mother to a teenage son who just discovered what "real" kissing is. I try not to worry too much about him though. He has his first "real" girlfriend who's super sweet. As for myself, I have my first "real" boyfriend since getting divorced in January. He's a bass player for a local bluegrass band, and I love to go out to hear him play when it doesn't interfere with work. Additionally, I also love the occasional karaoke night, dancing to local music, eating sushi as often as possible, reading paranormal themed books, and any and everything handmade.
Edited to add link for tutorial on the collage art note cards: www.soapdelinews.com/2011/06/diy-tutorial-how-to-make-handmade-art.html