THE BATHTUB BAKERY
After stumbling across the Bathtub Bakery, I was thrilled to be given the chance to ask creator - Carol - a few questions about her tasty business.
Carol Bauer is a 20-year designer, author, speaker and instructor in crafts of many kinds. Her designs and articles have appeared in a number of magazines and books. She teaches on land at various locations, at sea with Craft Cruises, on TV with Beads Baubles and Jewels and online with Shipwreck Beads. In addition her jewelry designs have been featured in numerous galleries in the Pacific Northwest.
Having a creative spirit Carol has explored beading, sculpting, polymer clay, glass and enameling. More recently she has taken discovered the satisfaction of "sculpting" soap. Her entire career has focused on creating products for women who wish to wear and own items that mark them as an individual. She is carrying that spirit into her line of soaps.
Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?
I have always associated sweet treats with special occasions. Birthday cakes, holiday pies, fine chocolates and decadent desserts are usually the finish of a special meal.
My mother was an accomplished baker and I have memories of the scent of cinnamon rolls or hot crossed buns in the oven. When my daughter was young we often made chocolate chip cookies together, all are fond memories of mine.
My inspiration comes from the artistic talents of fine bakers, chocolatiers and the humble creations that come from the oven of a loved one.
Tell us a bit about your shop.
Bathtub Bakery is a whimsical shop. Bathing with a donut or cupcake is appealing to the light hearted.
One of my customers commented that taking a bath with soap and looks and smells like chocolate was absolutely decadent. I could not have asked for a higher compliment!
When did you start making soaps and why?
Last fall I was trying to find suitable Christmas presents for my hard to buy for nephews. I stumbled across and ad selling money hidden within soap. The soap was just a boring clear bar and I wondered if I could make something that was more interesting.
I did some research on working with glycerin soaps and found an Internet source for quality supplies. As I have a background in sculpting I found soap to be an intriguing medium for sculpture and the result are the products I carry in my shop.
Just in case you were wondering, I did successfully create soap bars for my nephews that looked and smelled like a chocolate bar cookie. They were a hit!
What is your favourite item that you have created?
Picking a favorite is hard but I love making cupcakes. Glittered or with sprinkles they just look happy and make me smile. And they smell divine.
Another favorite is making the loaf cake soaps. Such as the Mandarin Chocolate Sherbet soap or the Chocolate Strawberry Bath Soap Bar. I start these soaps with no specific plan in mind. I look at some of my leftover soap colors from previous projects, decide what fragrance the colors bring to mind and add colors and elements to complete the theme.
The soap is poured into a silicone-baking pan and then sliced into individual bars. Because of the non-structured creative energy used to make them, there is a limited quantity available. No two will ever be the same.
Do you have any advice or tips for someone else who may be thinking of designing their own creations and becoming an Etsy seller?
Etsy is a great venue for selling hand crafted items. I have been a member and seller for a number of years. But it is a large place and one can get lost in the 30,000 shops they currently sell there.
First and foremost you must define who your customer is and focus your products to cater to that customer. Trying to be something for everyone is not going to work. Is your customer buying for children? Are they interested in all natural and organic products? Are they teens or men? That sort of thing.
Second make use of all the tools available through Etsy. There are blogs for sellers, forums for questions and answers and teams to join where people with a common theme can work
co-operatively to promote their products.
What has been your favourite thing about being a member of the Etsy community?
With a few limited exceptions Etsy only allows sellers to set up shop with hand made items made by the shop owner. In this mass produced, cookie cutter world of mass manufacturing it is refreshing to find a venue that appreciates the quality of hand-crafted products. There are now other websites that offer the same vision but they followed Etsy’s successful lead.
As a seller I like the community of sharing available in the forums and as a buyer I love making a purchase and having it wrapped in a pretty bow, a hand written note or a small gift item. Knowing a bit about who made the item I use makes the item that much more special.
Below are a few examples for Carol's amazing work.
CHOCOLATE HEART SOAP
These tasty looking soaps look good enough to eat! The soaps have a chocolate scent and are each drizzled with soap 'icing'.
To view the Chocolate Heart Soap, click here.
CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY BATH SOAP BAR
This soap is chocolate and strawberry scented.
They are super moisturising on the skin, and are vegan friendly!
To view the Chocolate Strawberry Bath Soap Bar, click here.
CHOCOLATE FORTUNE COOKIE SOAP
"Good fortune awaits when you wash with fortune cookies"
These soaps are scented with chocolate and a hint of strawberry.
They also contain added strawberry seeds which act as an exfoliant for your skin.
You can view the Chocolate Fortune Cookie Soap by clicking here.
OATMEAL BROWN SUGAR SOAP CAKE
They look so delicious, and with their tasty ingredients - they will have your mouth watering!
These soaps have a layer of real brown sugar to help exfoliate your skin and a layer of real oatmeal (and they have a cream cheese scent! Yum!)
These soaps are also vegan friendly.
You can view the Oatmeal Brown Sugar Soap Cake by clicking here.
SOAP CUPCAKE WITH GLITTER AND STRAWBERRY ERASER TREAT
This is the soap that originally caught my eye and introduced me to The Bathtub Bakery's amazing work.
These realistic cupcake soaps are each topped with either a strawberry tart, bundt cake or slice of cake eraser.
Covered in pretty glitter, they have a gorgeous scent of Strawberry and Clementine.
You can view the Soap Cupcake by clicking here.
I would like to give a giant thank-you to Carol for allowing me to share her amazing creations with my readers!
If you would like to view more of The Bathtub Bakery's work, you can visit her store by clicking here.
If you could invent any kind of soap, would kind of soap would you want to make?