Friday, February 19, 2010

SWI Announcement! Big News, People!

Soap Weekend Intensive Teacher from Down Under
Meet Jude Birch from Aussie Soap Supplies!

Otion is hosting it's third annual weekend of intense soap making instruction! We encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to join us in a series of small, hands-on soap and lotion making classes to take your crafting skills to the next level, starting with practical advice and base knowledge, all from expert instructors from around the globe. We are thrilled to introduce cold process soap expert and instructor at this year's Soap Weekend Intensive, Jude Birch!

I have been fascinated with the Alchemy of Soap Making since my teenage years. I finally made my first batch of Cold Processed Soap over 20 years ago, but I had more questions than answers! Batch after batch of “ordinary” Soap followed, with many failures. I improved with lots of enthusiasm and practise and became more adventurous.

I learned so much more once I went online just over 10 years ago. I found there were so many helpful Soapers who generously shared their experiences that my Soap knowledge grew in leaps and bounds. The search for perfect Soap led me to having a very clean family with loads of gifts for friends!

I was then making Soap just for pleasure, but my family and friends convinced me that I should turn this little hobby into a business. This is when I really started to consider the true creativity I could achieve by using Colour and Fragrance. It was no longer just about the Oils that I used and the feel of the soap, but the instinctive match of fragrance and colour that really made my Soap come to life.

Selling Soap, moisturisers and my other body products at Craft Fairs put me face to face with customers and I realised people were asking for three main things. Firstly, the questions customers asked proved how valuable the time was that I had spent learning to understand my ingredients and making sure my products were safe. Secondly, they wanted quality Handmade Soap and Moisturisers.

Finally, there were a lot of people who were desperate to learn how to make Soap for themselves, and like me when I began, didn’t know how to start. I felt a responsibility to pass on what I had learned and to provide a sound basis for workshop participants so they could go home and make good, safe Soap.

Aussie Soap Supplies was born from the desire to support new Soapers and to source quality Soap and Lotion ingredients, especially fragrance and colour. As we were already importing Bramble Berry Fragrances for our retail and wholesale Soap Business we were thrilled to be able to distribute Bramble Berry products in Australia. That was 8 years ago and with the support of Bramble Berry we grow bigger and better each year and continue to support Home Crafters and Small Business operators with the best Fragrances and Ingredients.

Hand in hand with my passion for Soapmaking was the reality that there was a great need for openness and education in the use of ingredients in Australia. Aussie Soap Supplies extensive Recipe Formulary is an on going commitment to this need.

I still have great excitement as I sneak a peek at each batch of soap I have “put to bed” and begin thinking about my next batch.
~Jude Birch

We're so excited to have Jude on board to teach at the 3rd annual Soap Weekend Intensive. Check out the dates here and sign up today! See you in August!

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