How to Start a Soap Making Business

We get a lot of questions and enquiries asking for advice on how to create a business selling soap. Whether you are a crafter or a hobbyist wanting to start your own business, or looking to expand a functioning business, we’ve addressed our most common questions to help you.

Regulations & Legislation

We get asked a lot about regulations, and our answer is always the same. Meeting government and legal regulations when selling cosmetics is a minefield – the rules are different depending on the country, the product and ingredients. We can’t offer independent advice on this subject area as we do not operate within the same regulatory systems as a finished cosmetic product. However we can guide you in the right direction, and help you discover what the individual solutions are for your business.

UK & Europe:

USA:

  • FDA: The FDA is a government organisation that also regulates the cosmetic industry. This handy checklist from the FDA gives answers to all the questions you may have about ensuring your products are meeting regulations and legal requirements.
  • Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild: A trade association set up to help with legislation and regulation support for soap makers and businesses.

Australia:

  • Department of Health: Australia’s governing body on selling cosmetics is the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)

Mexico:

  • COFEPRIS: The Mexican health authority that oversees the regulations of chemicals, ingredients and packaging when selling cosmetics in Latin America.

Canada:

  • Health Canada: Canada’s governing health body oversees the regulations and requirements cosmetics companies must meet before selling produce.

We’ve just picked our five largest marketplaces across the world. However, if you would like further advice, then please get in touch and we can try and guide you in the right direction.

Image Credit: Cosmetic Design Europe

Products

We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring your product or product range is perfect before going to market. Make sure you have a unique, professional and finished product. We regularly get asked about how to use the bases and what sort of finished products can be made. This is a tricky question to answer because the possibilities are endless! Luckily for you, our team is always trying to inspire and support soap businesses.

We have many resources and materials to inspire you including:

  • Recipes: we’ve collaborated with so many crafters over the years and built up a library of soap recipes that you can try for yourself!
  • Guide Videos: A new addition to our resource armoury, see for yourself how to process our soap bases.
  • Blog: Information on the global cosmetic and soap market.
  • Pinterest: Thousands of pictures of soaps we’ve hoarded from around the internet!
  • Facebook: Regular competitions and a place to meet friendly fellow soap makers.
  • Newsletter: Featuring latest advice, insights and recipes every month straight to your inbox.

Certification

Another topic that crops up regularly is certification of products. There are lots of organic certification bodies around the world, and trying to navigate this as a new business owner can be very difficult. It can be confusing to our customers what each certification means and how they take certified bases and create a certified finished product.

Due to upcoming changes in the way in which certifying bodies are working together, it is important you are clear on this.

Soil Association and Ecocert Changes to COSMOS Certification.

Branding

Branding is one of the most important factors of creating a professional looking product. No one said that running a soap making business would be all about soap, there is plenty of business related jobs to do as well!

The key things to remember about branding are:

  • Visual Brand: Logo, colours and wording
  • Consistency: Keep your branding consistent across every product and channel
  • Packaging: You packaging speaks volumes about your product, use it as a sales tool

We’ve already written an article all about creating a brand for your soap business that goes into more detail on the above.

How to Create the Perfect Brand for Your Soap Business

Image Credit: Various, Pinterest

Pricing

Once your product is ready to sell, there are still things to iron out to ensure that you are charging the right price to the customer, whilst also making sure you are not short-changing yourself.

The easiest way to do this is to figure out your total costs of creating one product, and then add a margin of your choice. This leaves you with a safe price, as you know that you are making money on each item you sell. If you would like to understand more about pricing then you can read our article:

How to Wholesale Your Handmade Soap.

Selling

Once you have a product that is legally ready to sell, that is where the real journey begins! All of the hard work and effort you have put into setting up your business needs to be sustained in order to create a business. Sales can be the most daunting stage of owning a business. There are many ways you can start selling straight away, so there is no need to be intimidated! Check out our recent blog post:

5 Ways to Sell your Handmade Soap.

Share this post

Our page (full of things we love).

Handmade, natural tweets.

Share what you create.

Share what you create.

By subscribing to our newsletter you are opting in to receive a monthly newsletter containing trends, category/ingredient spotlights and recipes.