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Tag Archives: soap making

Baby Duck’s Sister Company ~ Canard Labs

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For the last year and a half I’ve been making private label soap loaves for other incredibly busy and super successful soap makers. I must confess… I LOVE making soap. So much so that I started another company just to support other soap makers. This company is called Canard Labs.

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Why would I start a whole separate company and provide private label soap to my colleagues? Like I mentioned earlier, I absolutely love making soap! I found that there is a need for private label artisanal soap. I provide lovely, colorful soap loaves to super busy soap shop owners. All of my loaves are palm free, sold at wholesale prices and made to order. My goal is to appeal to busy soap shop owners, soap makers that need to add fill in loaves or even boutique owners who want their own soap to brand for their shop.

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I have learned that growing Canard Labs is MUCH harder than growing Baby Duck Soap Co. BDSC can be marketed to a much larger variety of people given that it’s an online retail soap shop. Canard is a much more laser focused niche. I’m learning to just take it easy and go with the flow when it comes to Canard. (Why Canard Labs? Canard is French for Duck.)

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I love what I do! Being able to expand my craft slowly into the Private Label arena is pretty darn cool. I have grand aspirations for my little Canard, but for now I’m happy to sit back and watch it grow slowly.
Wanna keep up with Canard Labs?
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CanardLabsSoap
Instagram: @canardlabs

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Soap Dungeon Bliss ~ Organized Chaos

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Soap Dungeon Bliss ~ Organized Chaos

I started Baby Duck Soap Co with a colicky 3 month old on my hip in an 1100 sq ft apartment. To witness it blossom and grow within the last 1 1/2 years is just incredible.
I’m writing this post today as a reminder to myself of how far I’ve come in such a small amount of time. I’m always itching to do more, to grow faster but it’s nice to step back and appreciate what I’ve achieved thus far. The best way to fully capture this growth is through pictures of my *almost* 1100 sq ft soap dungeon. That’s right…my entire make space is the size of my whole apartment that I started in. Insanity.
When I walk down the stairs into my happy little soap dungeon, this Make Board greets me.
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I felt very accomplished that day since I was able to cross off three batches.
Next stop in the BDSC Soap Dungeon Tour… My shipping area and office.

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Do you see that small plastic shelving unit? That was purchased one month before I opened my Etsy Shop. My ingredients, equipment, molds and curing soap filled it. I was ecstatic the day I brought it home and filled it with my soap making goodies and creations.
No matter how much Baby Duck Soap grows over the years, that shelf will ALWAYS be with me! ❤️
The we round the corner and encounter most of my ingredients…

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Walking down the hall we run into to main ‘make space’. Can I just tell you that there are MANY benefits of being married to a chef? For example: bringing home old, rusty work tables that are being discarded. (Yeah… Best. Husband. Ever!)
Meet Fernando…my new-to-me stainless steel work table. Resurrected from rust and grime to live another life in the world of bubbles!

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I would’ve tidied up a bit more or shut off The iPad playing an episode of Dr Who, but why not see the space in all it’s glory? 😉
In the corner is a small kitchen area. A new utility sink will be installed tomorrow for soap dishes. (YAY! it’s the little things…)

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You can also see my photo set up for my product shots. I’m currently retaking all of my product pics. I wanted them to be polished, bright and whimsical. Here’s an example of some of my new pics:

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All in all, I’m a VERY lucky gal!! I pinch myself daily just to make sure that I’m not dreaming. All of this is possible because numerous people took a chance on me and purchased my creations. I still get a rush every time a new customer purchases a bar of soap from me. They are the ones who make this dream of mine possible. Stay tuned for even MORE growth in the next year and a half!! ❤️

Busy Duckie!

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Busy Duckie!

Between settling into the new house, stocking up all things Baby Duck Soap, implementing changes, slinging soap and chasing after a 3 1/2 year old all day….I’ve managed to keep myself busy.
My local Farmers Market has been pretty darn fantastic thus far. (It’s in Coos. Bay, Oregon on Wednesdays if you’re ever in the area.)
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Soon I’ll be adding a second market, the Bandon Marketplace on Fridays. Of course, we’ll be enrolling our Baby Duck in daycare so I can get some work done!
The Coos Bay Farmers Market has been an eye opener. My customers LOVE my bath bombs!! Thanks to Holly Port and her new book, Make It Fizz I’m finally making bath bombs LIKE A BOSS! But seriously, they used to be a huge pain in the arse until I met Holly…then she changed my world. Recently, my bath bomb line has expanded into a ‘newer’ product, Duck Toots ~ Bath Fizzy Powder. Bath Fizzy Powder portioned out into four 1.5oz bags, no smashing of bath bombs required!

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I’ve added a new product to the Etsy Shop this past week and they’ve been a HUGE hit at my local market… Herbal Lotion Bars These lotion bars get their start 2 months before they’re actually mixed, melted and molded. I sun-infuse rice bran oil with a variety of herbs for two months. Then I mix this infusion with Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Mango butter, Candelilla wax, Jojoba oil and Fractionated Coconut oil. These are amazing!!

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Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on SEO and Relevancy for my Etsy Shop. My brain has been hurting trying to figure out what the best approach is to get found by LOTS of people. I’ve implemented some changes already with positive results. Now I’m in a wait and see pattern to see if some of the other changes will make a difference.
I’m also taking on the task of re-photographing all of my products. I’m aiming for a streamlined, cohesive but whimsical look. I’m taking stylized pics on a white backdrop with a small duck in the background to add a touch of playfulness. Here’s a practice shot I took…it’s a bit too bright so I’ll be tweaking that as I go.

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Beefing up my soap stock is my favorite thing to do!! The past few days have brought about new batches of Apricot Freesia, Lavender Lemon, Tea Tree Grapefruit and Just Ducky~Oregon Style. Enjoy these soap pics while I go unpack my soap dungeon! ❤️

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How It’s Made ~ Bloom

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How It’s Made ~ Bloom

There are a handful of batches that I lovingly call my ‘Anxiety Batch’. This lovely soap definitely qualifies for that distinction. Floral fragrances are known for acceleration. Combining Honeysuckle and Rose definitely makes this a tricky batch. Why not throw caution to the wind and combine a mica oil swirl and a two toned piped soap rose?

This batch combines two techniques. The prep work consists of the mica oil, the color for the main batch, the rose color and prepping the piping bags for the two toned roses.

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Once the entire batch is brought to trace, I pour out about 3 1/2 cups into the pink mica container and a teeny bit of white soap. These are left unscented and set aside.

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Next I add titanium dioxide to the rest of the batch and hand whisk in the fragrance to *hopefully* slow down the acceleration of the soap. The white soap is then poured into the slab mold.

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Using a pipette, I add vertical lines of mica oil. A good rule of thumb is 1 tsp mica to 1 TBSP oil! it should have the consistency of fresh nail polish.

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Grabbing my skewer, I swirled the mica oil lines from the top left hand corner of the mold using this design:

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UGH! As you can see, my fragrance accelerated. Oh well… Using a tried and true advanced technique 😉 I banged the hell out of the mold on the counter. Moving on… It’s time to add the dividers and move onto the roses.

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Piping soap is easier than you may think but you do need to work quickly once the soap reaches the perfect consistency. I added a total of 0.5 oz of fragrance to the pink and white soap to help speed up trace. I know when the soap is ready to pipe when my spatula stands straight up in the soap without tipping over at all.

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There are two different methods to make a two toned soap rose. The first is taking two smaller piping bags, one pink & one white. Combine those two bags into a larger piping bag with the tip and pipe. I prefer this method but I only had my smaller 12″ bags to work with.
Instead, I took my frosting bag with the rose decorating tip (I used a Wilton 1M) and added four thin lines of white running up the sides of the frosting bag. It may be helpful to see a pic:

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To do this, I put the white soap in a frosting bag and cut a very small hole on the bottom to control the flow of soap. If you’ve never piped soap or a cupcake, put your frosting bag in a tall glass and wrap the top of the bag around the mouth of the glass. This helps stabilize the bag until you’re ready to pipe.
Now it’s time to add the pink soap and start piping! Start with your tip perpendicular to the top of your bar.

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Add a small dollop to get the rose started.

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Staying perpendicular to the soap wrap the tip counterclockwise around the first dollop of soap while applying gentle pressure to the top of your piping bag.

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To finish your rose, stop applying pressure to the frosting bag and pull up quickly.

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Voila! Soap Roses!!! Feel free to practice this technique ahead of time. You can use regular frosting or you can make a small batch of soap and pipe a bunch of roses on wax paper. Sell those beauties if you can since they make a beautiful small bar of soap!
Here’s the final product in the mold.

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Enjoy a few shots of this soap from my first batch of Bloom. (Please note: the base is somewhat different in these first batch pics)

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This bar and more can be found at Baby Duck Soap Co.