Well, I couldn't resist the title of this post, though you probably know that I am not going to teach you how to make your own melt and pour soap base on my blog. But I am excited to tell you about someone who can do just that. Kayla Fioravanti is on the cusp of publishing her first book, and it's called — you guessed it — How To Make Melt & Pour Soap From Scratch.
For those who don't know, Kayla Fioravanti is a longtime member of the INDIE Beauty Network, through Essential Wholesale, the company she co-owns with her husband. So when she told me several months ago that she was writing this book, she had to swear me to secrecy so the word didn't eek out too soon. She gave me the thumbs up a few days ago and send me a copy of the cover design. I'm so excited, not only because I am thrilled for my friend, but also because I want you to learn about a fun new thing from an excellent teacher. Here is what Kayla told me about her new book.
dM: Why do you think people are interested in learning how to make Melt & Pour soap for themselves? ?
Kayla: I can’t count how many times over the past few years that I have been asked if I know how to make Melt & Pour soap base (M&P) over the past few years. Soapers are naturally curious, and enjoy the hands-on experience of making their soap from scratch. I originally formulated these recipes to manufacture at Essential Wholesale. But I kept putting it off because we didn’t have the space to cool 8000 lbs of packaged M&P.
dM: Why not just buy M&P already made?
Kayla: I think that many people will still use ready-made M&P. I also that that making these formulas available to a wide variety of businesses will increase the supply and creativity of the M&P that is currently on the market. Shortly after the release of the book, I will release a second edition for the intermediate M&P manufacturer — those people who really want to get serious about making M&P in quantity for a business.
dM: Why did you write this book?
Kayla: As I got more involved in producing Kitchen Chemistry with Kayla, our cosmetics making video series, I started thinking about how fun it would be to do M&P projects, but it didn’t make sense since we don’t sell the product. This book idea was born somewhere between Kitchen Chemistry, which features products we do sell, and the simple fact that I'm excited to develop these formulas and want to share them with others. I’ve been super excited about this book.
M&P formulas were burning a hole in my lab coat, so to speak. I have a deep desire to share what I’ve learned in the lab and in business to empower small businesses, and this book puts M&P into the hands of small businesses and crafters. It contains a great deal of information that serve as useful reference material for any growing cosmetics business. I provided detail information about the ingredients used in M&P, cosmetics labeling information, and good manufacturing processes, along with recipes that give detailed methodology.
dM: Your book talks quite a bit about starting a cosmetics business — what are your recommendations for starting a M&P business, where you can sell the M&P soap you make?
Kayla: Any hobby can become a business. I think the key ingredient to a successful business is loving what you do. If you love what you do and you want to start a business, then right now is the right time to start a business. You can sell your M&P either retail or wholesale. Web-based stores, farmers markets, co-ops, etsy and so many other options are available to businesses these days.
dM: What are your words of encouragement for people starting a business today?
Kayla:There are two great places to start a business: in comfort zone and just outside of it. By that I mean that you will naturally gravitate towards a certain business model, and you should have one foot firmly planted there when you get started. For instance, if you love talking to customers face to face then you should sell your wares at a farmers market. But you can’t stop there. No matter what your comfort level and skills are for marketing online you will need to do that. And then the very thing that really scares you, walk right towards it, no matter what it is. You will grow, learn, encounter unexpected customers and most importantly give you the courage to take the next right step forward for your business.
dM: Is this a good time to start a biz in general? And in particular, selling M&P soap?
Kayla: It does not matter what time of the year it is, what time of your life you are in, the current state of the economy or who you are. The time that you are thinking of starting a business is the time to get started. The only way you can guarantee that you won’t succeed is by doing nothing at all.
I think that if ever there was a ground level opportunity to get into the M&P business, it is now. There are no other books out teaching how to make it and I expect in a few years that mine will be one of many. Creative people will take hold of this information and run with it.
dM: When and where can we purchase How To Make Melt & Pour Soap From Scratch?
Kayla: I don't have an exact release date yet, but look for it at our website and at online booksellers within the next month. I will also have it available at the next Conference of Handcrafted Soapmakers.
dM: Thanks for sharing this information, Kayla! We can't wait to see your book!!
Question: Have you ever made M&P from scratch? Will you be giving it a try?