Hi! My name's Jennifer Marie Hofmann (though I just go by Jennifer!) I've been asked many times how I got into making soap. It's not your typical story and if you'd asked me if I ever thought I'd be owner of my own business back in 2009 I'd have said no way! And I'd have been wrong! Here's my story:
This whole crazy adventure started because of an article I was writing back in September of 2009. I was doing research on the cleanliness of people in the 1800s. (Here's the article if you're interested!) As I was doing my research I came across an all day soap making class Old Sturbridge Village was offering. I thought it could be interesting and if nothing else I could talk with the instructor (who worked at the village) about how they made soap in the 1800s. So I signed up. I honestly had no interest what so ever in making my own soap at this point.
I arrived at the class with my notebook in hand and an article on my mind. As the instructor started to explain about the process of soap making my interest was peaked. I found the process interesting (not so interesting that I thought it was worth the effort of making my own soap though). It wasn’t until the next morning when I checked on my soaps that the “soap making spark” was ignited in me. My soaps had started to solidify! And that’s when I went WOW! I did that. Then a few days later when I went to unmold my soaps I was completely pulled in. I started requesting soap books from the library, reading more and going back to the handouts I’d received from the class. I visited the sites recommended for buying supplies and made my first purchase.
I was a nervous wreck the first time I tried my own soap. I chose a simple recipe with only a couple ingredients and went at it. The first recipe “worked” (technically). But I used food coloring (big no-no). And the soap when I tried to use it wasn’t a very nice soap. I ditched that recipe and tried a new one, this time with the proper coloring agent. That soap worked beautifully! And that was the beginning of the end.
Everyone got soap for Christmas from me that year. I continued to make soap for me, friends, and family throughout that year. Then an online friend saw pictures of my soap and asked to order some from me. I said sure and made her some soap. She came back for more she loved it so much and that’s when I thought maybe I could sell them. It took me almost nine months to really say YES I’m going to sell my soaps. And in January of 2011 I officially started this adventure.
It’s been a learning experience, but so much fun. I’ve had my fair share of failed batches, but I’ve learned from them. And, now here I am with a webpage and great soaps to sell. I’m part of an awesome soap community and I absolutely love what I do. What more could I ask for?
In May 2013, I passed my first CP/HP Basic Exam given by the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild. This exam certified me as soapmaker. It showed that I knew the basics of my craft and had the knowledge needed to make soap. In May 2014 (almost one year later to the day) I completed my Advance Certification Exam. I'd also logged over fifty teaching hours by that point so I applied for the teacher certification and was approved! As a soap maker it is my goal to always continue growing and learning in my craft. These certifications are special in that they not only show my customers and students I am qualified to sell/teach, but also that I've continued to push myself to be a better soap maker.
Contact Info: Jennifer can be reached at JenniferSoap@gmail.com