Sunday, November 29, 2009

New product photos

I was so impressed with the photos Lydia Krupinski took of my soaps that I'm going to experiment with redoing all my soap pics.  Having just made several fresh batches of bath bombs, I decided to start with them.  Whaddya think of this one?  Thumbs up?  Thumbs down?


Monday, November 23, 2009

How to name a soap

As I was packaging a new batch of jasmine sandalwood soaps today, I was reminded of one my favorite farmers market stories. 

It was late morning, and two young men wandered through the market.  One looked like a very ordinary kind of guy.  The other was anything but ordinary.  A vintage English driving cap on his head, artfully unruly long hair sticking out below, sunglasses, chains around his neck, black fingernail polish, black pants with zippers all over them.  Let's just say a young man who enjoys being on the cutting edge -- or the lunatic fringe, depending on your tastes -- of fashion.

So the two of them stop by my table and the flamboyant one is checking out the soaps, sniffing and offering his assessment of each soap's scent.   The overall verdict?  "I LOVE your soaps.  And they have such great drag queen names!  I think I went to high school with Rosemary Lemon!"

What a HOOT!  And he was so right.  One of my other soaps at the time was Ginger Lime, a tart and spicy drag queen name if I ever heard one.  And the innocently sweet but voluptuously curvy Cucumber Melon. 

I remembered this because when I first made the jasmine sandalwood soaps, I was wondering if that was what I should call them.  But when I realized that Jasmine Sandalwood is just about the most fabulous name a drag queen could have, the decision was made!

Aspiring drag queens who haven't yet settled on a stage name, this might be you . . . but Peppermint's taken.  Don't even think about it.  She's fierce.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Edgewater Soaps in feature interview on Sprout Chicago blog!

Many thanks to fellow Edgewater resident and craftperson Lydia Krupinski of Pierogi Picnic for featuring Edgewater Soaps in an interview for the Sprout Chicago blog!  Described as An Urban Guide to the Green Life, Sprout Chicago " . . . takes you into the heart of good and green life in Chicago.  From local news and restaurant reviews, to interviews with green go-getters and profiles of eco-events, Sprout Chicago is your source for sustainability in the city." 

The interview is great and the photos -- which Lydia took -- are stunning.  Got me thinking I should retake all the pics on my website . . . !  (Or hire her to do it, maybe?  What do you think?)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How we make buying decisions

This is amazing.  It's about how people make buying decisions.  If you don't see yourself in it immediately, it's only because you -- like me -- do this all the time without being conscious of it.  I guarantee that you will soon start to catch yourself doing exactly what he describes.

The first part of the video is Siamack Salari, the ethnographic researcher who analyzed and identified the buying decision process.  It's a little dry when he explains the process (although it's an excellent explanation of what ethnographic research is if you're not familiar with it), but keep watching.  The videtaped examples that follow are truly uncanny.  If you were to see them in a different context and without the benefit of his narration, you'd say, "So what?  A woman buying some hamburger buns."  But she's doing more than buying hamburger buns.  She's going through a very specific thought and decision-making process.  The same one you and I do almost every time we buy something.

Establish a reference point. Compare to the alternatives. Make a decision. Do a final check to be sure. 

If you'd like to check out his website, which is also very interesting, it's called

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicago's DIY Trunk Show!

Just three more days to the 2009 DIY Trunk Show!  Do Not Miss It!  Saturday, November 21, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse in Wicker Park, 1419 West Blackhawk.  Just a couple blocks away from the Milwaukee & Division el stop on the blue line.

We'll be there along with more than 100 independent Chicago-area artists, artisans, and craftspeople.  It's a one-of-a-kind show and it's great fun.  It's organized by a committee of dedicated, hardworking volunteer craftspeople -- no one benefits from this except the craftspeople themselves.  And it's one of the few shows that gives priority to local artists and craftspeople.  Admission is free!  Come out and discover how vibrant and vital the Chicago-area craft scene is.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Do It Yourself skin care recipes

This is so fun!  I've added a page to my website for do-it-yourself skin care recipes, and my first two DIY recipes are for hand sanitizer and a seaweed facial mask. 

"A seaweed facial mask?" I hear you ask incredulously.  Yep!  And I really like it.  I'm not much of a spa treatment person myself, and I'd never experienced a facial mask until I tried this.  I was quite surprised by how good it made my skin look and feel!

Maybe I'm more of a spa person than I thought . . . perhaps a closet spa person.  All I know is you gotta love anything so simple that makes such a difference.  I'm a new man.  See?