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Handmade Bath & Body Products!!!  
  • Soaps
  • Bath Bombs
  • Lotion Candles
  • Lotion Bars
  • Tubby Teas
  • Hand Lotion
  • Body Lotion
  • Milk Bath
  • Salves
All of our products are handcrafted in small batches to ensure quality and freshness.  We also believe in full disclosure of our ingredients.  


Value of Handmade

It can be a little overwhelming to see the prices of handmade items.  Sticker shock to be exact.  Yes, they run a little more than something that is mass produced.  Many times handcraft artisans hear things like "Oh, I could make that much cheaper myself" or even "You charge WHAT?" and quite often artisans hear "I can get something similar much cheaper at Walmart".  

But here is what you need to know about handcraft artisans. They very rarely make even minimum wage. They put more love and time and care into making the items they sell than any factory machine. They love what they do.  And in most cases, they have seriously under-valued their own work which means you are really probably getting a steal on that item that might have given you sticker shock.

Making items from scratch, by hand, is way more involved and costly than just picking up a few items at the craft store and throwing them together.  It takes a lot of thoughtful planning, trial and error, picking out just the right materials and ingredients, preparation of workspace (not every artisan has the luxury of having a dedicated space to work in - many times the space they use is shared with their family), the time and attention of actually producing the products, and then there is packaging and presentation that also has to be thoughtfully planned out.  And if you have ordered something to be shipped there is the time it takes to go to the post office or mailer to ship out the items.  While a machine in a factory may require someone to operate it.....it can whip out hundreds of an item in a short period of time.  In that same amount of time an artisan may only be able to make ONE or TWO of a similar item. The difference?  With a local artisan there are usually custom options available that are not with mass produced items.  With a local artisan you are supporting the local economy.  

Soap PetalsHere's an example.....I make soap.  And one of the products I make is Soap Petals.  Soap Petals are silk rose petals hand dipped, dried and packaged 24/jar.  The cost of materials has to be added up to start with.  Next everything has to be prepped (dipping station set up, soap base cut up and melted, fragrances measured out, etc).  Then, with each petal being hand dipped it took over 16 hours to dip approximately 2040 petals.  That's about 120 per hour.  Packaged 24 petals to a jar gives you 5 jars ready to go in an hour.  At $10 per jar, provided they all sell, that's $50 for 1 hour of work.  Hey, that's pretty good though right???  Not when you have to take out the cost of materials and there's no guarantee that every jar of rose petals is going to sell and it's also not taking into account overhead of the sales venue which could be a craft fair, a booth inside of a retail location or even commission paid to the venue.  By the time all expenses are deducted and venue paid the artisan is most likely going to be making minimum wage at best but more often than not, the artisan is actually making LESS than minimum wage.....this is for SKILLED labor.  Yes, you read correctly.  Skilled labor.  Most of the items made by local artisans are not items that you just wake up one day and decide you're going to make it for yourself.  It takes talent.  It takes time to learn the craft.  It takes skill.  And don't get me started on Soap Curls.  Those took double the time and produced fewer jars which reduced skilled labor pay by at least half.  Below you will see a picture of the preparation process of making Soap Curls.  Each bar of soap is cut into tiny "shreds" by hand (we have tried various kitchen tools that are used to shred carrots and it just doesn't work).  Then each shred is hand curled on the wooden dowel.  The picture below right is the finished and packaged product.

Soap CurlsSoap Curls

Let's look at yet another example.  Crocheted washcloths.  Now, I've seen some folks that can whip these suckers out pretty fast with a simple stitch.  But usually you will find these with pretty patterns or more complicated stitches.  It can take up to an hour or more to make ONE washcloth (something with a much simpler pattern and stitch may only take about half an hour).  But the materials alone for one washcloth (I'm talking bath washcloth which is bigger than a dishcloth) will run close to $1.  When I'm seeing these things being sold for $2 each or 3 for $5 I just cannot imagine how any profit can be made.  And it most certainly is not paying the artisan anywhere close to minimum wage.  So let's break this down.  It takes an hour to make a nice size fancy washcloth to go in a spa gift bag.  If it is sold at the $2 price mentioned here, that's only ONE DOLLAR per hour.  Even if the artisan can make 4 of these in an hour.  After expenses of materials that only leaves $4.  So at most, FOUR DOLLARS per hour.  

Baby CocoonBaby CocoonHow about a crocheted baby cacoon.  I know it takes at least 8-10 hours to make one (and not in one sitting as this is tedious work and breaks have to be taken).  Materials will cost at least $8 for a quality yarn (not including the gas it takes to go to the store to pick up materials and to the post office to ship it if it's being shipped and not including the time it takes to make these trips).  It takes 8 hours to make a simple cacoon with no fancy edge and no embellishment pieces.  And average price for one of these is $40.  So after expenses that leaves $32 for 8 hours of labor.  That's only $4 per hour.  The pictures to the left show an open cocoon to the left and a flat cocoon with 2 different embellishment options on the right.  

So what is your time worth?  If you were to go in for a job interview would you be so crazy to put desired salary as $4 per hour?  I don't think so.  Why would a handcraft artisan's time be worth so much less than someone else in the workplace?  Think about these things the next time you see an handmade item and you think it's priced too high.  Think about these things the next time you might feel the need to "talk them down" on their prices.  

Melodie Hand ~ The Soap Hut