Friday, August 10, 2012

My first soap making class

I had been making soap about 10 years when I received a catalog for The Open Center in NYC.  I was looking through it and saw there was a class on cold process soap making.  When I wanted to learn how to make soap, I went to my local library and took out a book on the subject.  There were no classes that I could find in 1998.  But even though I knew how to make soap, I signed up for the class.  I figured there was always something new to learn.  The class was from 10-4 on a Saturday. I walked into a room of about 30 people. In the room were three people who would become good friends, although I didn't know it at the time.  Deloris of Daisy May Natural Soap, Rosie of Brooklyn Bath, and our instructor, LaShonda Tyree the Handmade Soap Coach.

Delores, me, Rosie and LaShonda

Once I was seated I looked over the class outline.  We were also going to learn how to make lotions, creams, bath bombs, bath salts and body scrubs. Can I tell you how ecstatic I was? I knew this class would change my life. LaShonda was a wealth of information and was willing to share it. Her attitude was infectious, and I enjoyed her class so much I took more with her. The most important piece of advice she gave me was "Don't be afraid to say "No, I don't make that" to a customer".  It's easy to burn out once you start a business, trying to make everything for everyone. She has a new way of saying it now, Build Deep Before Expanding Wide.  Now that I have so many friends in the business, if I have a customer who wants something I don't make, I can refer them to someone who can help them. But in the beginning, it helped to remember LaShonda's words.  Thanks LaShonda!!

Yours in Gratitude,


  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome Sue! Just passing along LaShonda's advice!

  2. Angela, I appreciate you and your friendship since your initial class. You are a great assist to me and other instructors since your initial class and I love your willingness to help.

    I am glad that the advice I shared with you has stuck and has helped you in building your business and keeping your passion for it as well.

    La Shonda Tyree

    1. I can sometimes hear your voice in my head when I'm tempted to say yes. Thank you for all your help and all your kind words!

  3. Angela,

    Meeting you has been one great experience! Still can't believe we were in the same class! That very first class with La Shonda Tyree fueled my passion. Any one looking to learn about soapmaking whether as a hobby or as a business definitely needs to take a class with The Handmade Soap Coach and you get to meet great friends as yourself :D

    1. That first class filled me with so many ideas about what I could do with my soap making. LaShonda was so encouraging and supportive. I'm so happy we all connected and stay in touch! Tink!