Soap Making: Creating A Unique And Personal Product

Soap is one of the simple essentials of life, keeping things clean and free of bacteria. This versatile product can be found in a myriad of different applications in daily life. Rather than turning to a commercial product for hygiene needs, many consumers instead make their own soap.Handmade soaps can also serve as a great gift for friends and family.

Exploring the Making Process

Making cleanser is a process that has gone through many different metamorphoses over the course of history. Today’s modern soap maker has a huge array of resources available that can help simplify the overall soap making process. From scents and fragrances to molds used to form unique cleanser shapes, there are plenty of different options to explore within the world of soap.

Creating Unique Products

Because of the vast assortment of scents available, making a cleanser that will smell delicious could not be simpler! Some soap makers choose to mix different fragrances, creating a unique concoction unlike any other available on the market. Others will instead forgo scent altogether, instead opting for a product that cleanses without giving off a particular smell. Regardless of the unique personal preferences of the cleanser maker, it is easy to accommodate these desires.

Developing Interesting Shapes and Sizes

For example, many commercial soaps are only available in a single size, which may not fit the specific needs of a soap maker. Instead of purchasing one of these blocks of soap, molds can be used to shape handmade soap into different shapes and sizes. Not only is this useful when a specific size of soap is needed, but it can also be great fun for kids and adults alike.

Giving Handmade Soaps as Gifts

While creating soap for the home is a great reason to begin making soap, handmade soaps can also be a wonderful gift for friends and family members. Many soap makers choose to make products that feature the fragrances they know the recipient will enjoy. It is also easy to customize soaps to fit the recipient, using molds that feature their initials or giving cleanser that match their personality.

Regardless of why one chooses to begin making soap, the many rewards of this process make it a great pastime for anyone to consider. Not only is making soap and cost-effective and enjoyable, but it makes for a great experience that can be shared with others or used to relax.

Consumers Trend Toward Customized and Personalized Products

More and more consumers are gravitating to products that are personalized or can be customized for their individual tastes. They love the feeling that they are buying something unique that allows them to stand out in the crowd.

The consumer research trend company, Trend Watching, has written about the shift to one-of-a-kind products. In a recent online newsletter, their editors write, “No longer do consumers want to be like the Joneses, the Mullers or the Li’s. When individuality rules and conformity is frowned upon, owning something no one else has is hot.”

Applying this concept to the mass consumer market, Trend Watching goes on to write that buyers are looking to be masters of their own “Youniverse.”

Emphasis on the You.

Along these same lines, from the Oct. 27, 2008 issue of U.S. News and World Report, the publication describes the consumer market as it shifts from mass to unique. They coined the word “Meconomy” to describe this new trend.

Emphasis on the Me.

Where did this yearning for uniqueness come from? The modern personalization industry is pretty much an American phenomenon. Our country is comprised of people who just plain love to own things that are personalized.

That personalization could be as simple as a first name on a mug or a soft nursery blanket with baby’s initials. It might be custom-designed sneakers for the obsessive runner or make-up that is blended to perfectly match someone’s skin coloring. It might even be personalized stationary and postage stamps customized with a photo of the family pet. Today, the personalization options are practically endless.

The economy is even having a positive effect on the personalization industry. Faced with a deepening recession, shoppers are demanding that their purchases be more meaningful. A customized gift will fill this need.

U.S. News and World Report Agrees, “By customizing, shoppers can get the most out of less frequent splurges. And, the trend is not restricted to those with money – it spans ages, income groups, and regions.”

Customization has become even more popular and prevalent with online purchases. Websites make it easy to create products just the way you want them.

If you are a Baby Boomer, you will no doubt remember the Burger King “Have it Your Way” ad campaign from the 1970s. It was a catchy jingle with a simple message: visit Burger King rather than the ubiquitous McDonalds and we’ll fix your burger any way you want it.

In essence, Burger King was emphasizing the fact that they would individualize your fast-food experience. The campaign seems simple and tame now, but it was pretty revolutionary back then. Burger King was able to stand out when everyone else was promoting price and predictability.

Today’s consumers want their buying experience to be tailored and personalized just for them. Sure, Wal-Mart will still be the destination for household staples and buyers will visit Costco for the best electronics deals. But for many other purchases, buyers are looking for companies and choices that are outside of the big box. Instead of a name brand that is mass produced (and marketed to the hilt), they want products that relate to their life, a product that makes a personal connection. They want to “have it their way.”

Personal Productivity: 10 Ways to Destroy “Alarmageddon”

My work had been going along productively. I’d finally begun to get traction on an important project when suddenly and without warning, it all came to its inevitable, crashing end. Within a period of just a few seconds, my phone started to bleep, my computer echoed in its own irritating way and urgently flashed a brilliant reminder on its screen. My iPad, in a fit of jealousy, awakened to all of the ruckus and began to ring out its own disturbing cries for my attention.

It was alarmageddon!

It caught me totally by surprise and I was woefully unprepared. I think I heard a muffled scream as my productivity came to its untimely death, lying there on the floor in a pool of ravaged hopes and dreams.

You’ve been there, right? Thought so.

This kind of thing is just crazy. I discovered recently that I’d given away control of my life to these hideous little taskmasters, these electronic demons of distraction. My soul was now owned by electronic bloopers and bleepers that have neither heart nor mercy.

I had to get my life back…but how? Like a repentant smoker in a cigar lounge, I was surrounded by the sweet smell of electronic intoxication. Everyone I know, every contact I have, had been dragged from the light of productivity to the the dark and sinister side of E.D. (No, not THAT kind of E.D! E.D. as in “Electronic Distraction”)

How to escape? How to regain my soul? These were the questions that haunted me. And when I finally forced all of the dinging demons into sleep mode, it came to me. Salvation was to be found in reclaiming my life.

Here are 10 ideas that may help you to regain yours.

  1. Turn off alarms on all devices but your phone, because its always with you. When your devices are synced, other reminders become redundant
  2. Turn off email message alarms on your phone
  3. Set your devices to check emails much less frequently, say, once every two or three hours – or longer
  4. Pull yourself away from your electronics for a while every day. Use your head and a pencil and paper to create something new; don’t just autonomically respond to every call for your attention
  5. Voicemail is a waste of time. On your voicemail recording, ask callers to leave voicemail only if it is an urgent and lengthy message. After all, you’ve got caller I.D., and they’ve got text and emails. They’ll learn eventually
  6. Feeling the call of social media? Unless your job demands it, don’t spend time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of the others until you’ve finished your broccoli
  7. Ask who’s in charge of your time. If it’s you, act like it. If not, you’ve just given away the control of YOUR time to the typing, tapping and random texts and messages of other people. If you can’t be the boss of the company, at least be the boss of you
  8. Leave your office. go somewhere else
  9. Prioritize the best use of your time: make it a habit to ask yourself if your current activity meets the criteria or not
  10. Finally and most important, implement one of the previous nine or figure out something that works for you. Unless you act, alarmageddon will seek you out and suck up your soul. While your eyes are open! Ack!

Your Personal Productivity Depends on the Time That You Can Manage

The vast majority of time management programs actually totally miss the point. They include the things that you should be doing to manage your time better and there is a lot of good information that you can learn from these programs that will help you. However, when people get back to work they almost always fail to achieve a great deal more productivity in the given time because of one fundamental reason that they haven’t learned.

The thing they haven’t learned is about time production. That means that they should be producing more time to achieve what they want to achieve. Think of it this way, you can’t manage your time unless you’ve got some time to manage. Start off by getting rid of all the time that you waste because this will give you some time to manage and then you can increase your productivity. This may sound very simple but I’ll bet that you’ve never seen it like this.

To avoid wasting time at meetings, create an agenda with a time allocation for each item. Send the agenda to each participant a week ahead of the meeting. Explain on the agenda that the objective is to get a solution or solutions.

Don’t answer the phone. You actually don’t have to answer the phone when it rings. If you have blocked out certain time for working on a task don’t let phone calls interrupt your momentum. Whilst you may feel that you always need to be available, the truth is that you are losing productivity by permitting continual interruptions.

Think about what happens when you answer the phone. Keep a log of every phone call you take and how much productive time you waste each day by answering the phone. Unless your job specifies that you are paid to answer the phone, don’t do it. Try turning off your phone for half your day so that you can complete your tasks without interruptions. If you can’t resist it and have to answer, ask your caller if you can call back when it suits you.

There is no way that you can complete your tasks on time and be productive if you are constantly interrupted by drop-in visitors. Make a sign up that says don’t disturb and put it on the handle of your door which should be closed. This will deter all but the most determined interrupters. If you get somebody that can’t take a hint, schedule a time that suits you.

If you adopt these strategies you will start to regain some time. When you’re done that, you can manage the time that you’ve saved.