If you want to create a new stream of revenue, have you considered starting a soap making business from home?
Soap is a versatile product that everyone uses and needs.
A soap-making business can be a fun way to increase your income.
You can start the entire business at home and find many venues in which you can sell your products.
Even though handmade soap is popular, you can customize your soap with herbs, oils, and original fragrances, so you will stand out in the crowd.
If you enjoy handcrafts, this business may be just what you’re looking for!
You can do it as a hobby that also brings in some extra money, or you can take it full-time and grow your business to a point where it brings in a full-time income.
In this article we will look at the following:
- How to learn the art of soap making
- List of supplies required for your soap making business
- Ideas for handmade soap recipes
- The business side of soap making- how to sell soap online
- Where to sell your handmade soap for cash
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure for more information.
Start Your Own Soap Making Business 101
If you have never made soap before and you are wondering “how do I start my soap business?”, we’re got you covered.
First, you will need to learn how to make some different recipes before you get started.
You’ll also need to gather supplies and consider exactly how you will sell your soap.
Learning To Make Soap
If you are new to the soap making business this is where you will need to start.
You can take classes locally or online that will teach you the basics of soap-making. You can also learn from YouTube videos or books.
Here are some of the best soap making courses and books:
YouTube Soap Making Tutorials
Books About Soap Making
Essential Equipment For Soap Making Business
Handmade soap is a fun way to turn a hobby into a side hustle.
Once you develop some recipes that people love, you can sell them at craft fairs, flea markets and online.
But first, you need the right ingredients!
The first step is to buy a basic list of supplies, some of which you might already have at home.
Next, you’ll need to purchase the ingredients for making your soap.
After purchasing your ingredients, it’s time to mix them up and get started.
Depending on the kind of soap you decide to make, the ingredients you need will be different.
You may also want to buy extra oils, herbs, fragrances, colorants and other items to make your soap unique.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Soap Making Business?
Start up costs for soap making business that includes all of the supplies can cost $500 to $800. Y
ou can usually purchase supplies for $1,000 or less and set up the business at home to save more money.
For example, some kits cost $800, but you can make 400 bars of soap with them.
Basic Supplies For Making Soap
Although you will need different supplies depending on the type of soap you make, the basic supplies are the same.
- Essential oils for scents (or fragrance oils)
- Pigment for coloring (optional)
- Olive oil, Coconut oil or Shea butter (depending on the recipe)
You’ll also want the following tools:
- Hand mixer or a stand mixer
- A large Bowl ( I always use a metal bowl)
- Spoons and other kitchen essentials.
- Kitchen Scale
Molds come in many different shapes! You can purchase a variety of molds or even make your own.
Spoons and mixing utensils
You will need clean utensils to stir your soap mixtures and add different liquids. A set of metal bowls is useful and can be reused again and again.
Essential oils are the most popular kind of fragrance because they are natural and chemical free.
Most people buy homemade soap because they feel it is all natural and better than the commercially made stuff.
Much like when you are making and selling candles from home, you should use high quality fragrances in handmade soap.
You can buy sets of essential oils to use as fragrances in your soaps. Experiment with different combinations of oils to make blends that smell amazing.
Popular scents for handmade soaps include:
- Sweet Orange Oil
Soap mixtures can be hot, so you want to protect your eyes from any spills. You can get them from a hardware or dollar store.
Purchase gloves that fit well and keep your hands safe from the different mixtures as you work.
Colorants can make your soaps extra unique.
You cannot use food coloring and you need to make sure what you use is skin safe. These are the Amazon bestsellers.
You may need several types of oils to make your soap, but it will depend on the recipe you use.
Lye or caustic soda is often used in soap making recipes. It is also used as a drain cleaning and needs to be handled with care (and googles).
Blender or mixer
You may want to invest in a blender or mixer to make your soap. They can speed up the process.
Soap recipes often require specific weights of ingredients, so you may need a scale.
You can purchase a melt and pour soap base like this one made from goats milk. These bases to speed up the process.
Silicone or plastic cups will work fine to measure ingredients.
Soap recipes may require a specific temperature.
After you’ve selected a recipe that you’d like to try for your soap, you can pick up the required supplies and make plans.
You can buy preassembled soap-making kits in a box or purchase individual items and build your own cache of ingredients and supplies.
Supplies For Selling Your Handmade Soaps
If you are planning on selling your handmade soaps on Etsy or at craft fairs, you will need to consider how to package them.
For craft fairs, tissue paper and a branded sticker might be enough but if you are shipping your soaps, you will need boxes. and shredded paper to protect them in transit.
Tips For Packaging Handmade Soaps
There are many ways to package handmade soap for shipping, but there are some things you’ll need in order to get the job done.
First wrap your soap in tissue paper and seal with a sticker.
Next, place the wrapped soap in a box with shredded paper underneath.
Make sure that your box is large enough for all of your soap with no extra space left over for them to bang into the sides and get damaged.
The last thing you’ll need to do is add in your business card or pamphlet. A nice handwritten note to your customer is always really cute too.
You can get branded items made on Etsy or a site like Vistaprint.
How To Ship Your Soap To Customers
When it comes to shipping soap, you want them to look as good when they arrive as when you shipped them.
Make sure that your products are well-made and packed in good packaging by using bubble wrap or packing peanuts around the box.
Soap-Making Business Business Plan
Soap can be an easy way to increase your income and provide customers with high-quality, handmade items.
However, it’s important to create a business plan for your best profits.
You’ll also need space in your home or other area to make the soap.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider the marketing and branding aspects of your business.
Make a business plan
As you work on your business idea, you’ll want to have a plan for how to create and sell your soap.
Here are the questions you want to ask yourself as you create your soap making business plan:
- Who are my target customers?
- What are my competitors selling?
- Where can I sell my soaps?
- What is my expected profit margin?
Is It Legal To Sell Soap At Home?
Check local, state, and federal laws
You may be required to get a permit or other paperwork before you can start selling the soap.
In addition, you may have homeowner association restrictions in your area that limit home businesses.
Consider business insurance
Your state or city may require you to have business insurance before you can sell your soap.
Is Soap Making A Profitable Business?
When considering your business plan, you will need to determine costs and potential profits.
How much will the soap business cost long-term?
For example, if you buy an $800 kit and make 400 bars of soap, then you can price each bar at $4.
This will give you a total $1600, so you make a profit of $800.
You’ll need to factor in packaging and shipping when you are selling your soaps on a site like Etsy. Plus there are transaction fees and banking fees.
A soap-making business requires an investment of time and money.
You can calculate your potential return after you buy supplies and figure out the costs.
Where To Sell Your Handmade Soap
Scented soap is a popular product, but how will you compete with major brands and boutiques?
It’s important to consider your customer base and where you’ll sell your soap.
Create your own website
A website can help you reach customers around the world and build your business. Advertise your website and products to find customers.
You can do this with Shopify or you can start your own website in a few minutes.
By having your own website, you can customize it as you build out your online store. You can also add a blog to your website (more on that below).
You should also create a domain name for your site that is catchy and easy to remember.
Once you have created this domain name, set up the website by following instructions on how to use WordPress as outlined in this post.
After the site has been setup, promote it with social media marketing campaigns like Facebook ads and Instagram.
Sell Handmade Soap On Etsy
If you don’t want to make your own website, then you can join a website for sellers such as Etsy.
You have multiple options including Etsy, eBay, and others. You can also find sites that specialize in handmade products.
Selling soap on Etsy is a great way to make money from the comfort of home.
It is free to get started on Etsy and you will immediately have access to a massive Worldwide audience (almost 40 million people currently use the site).
The key to being successful on Etsy is to find a niche for your soaps so that you stand out from the rest of the sellers.
If you haven’t started your shop yet, make sure to go through this tutorial on How To Start An Etsy Store Successfully
It will take you step by step through from creating to launching your Etsy shop. You will be up and running selling bath bombs on Etsy in no time!
It also includes a link for 40 free listings which will help you to start your store for free.
How To Promote Your Etsy Soap Shop
Although Etsy has millions of visitors who are searching for handmade products, don’t rely on your shop organically showing up in search.
You want to promote your Etsy shop on social media and especially make use of Pinterest.
This tutorial will show you How To Use Pinterest For Etsy
Etsy SEO is how you will get your handmade soap shop to show up in the Etsy search. It involves using keywords in your title and description.
You can use my handy Etsy SEO checklist to help you with this:
Get a stand or booth at a farmer’s market
These markets often welcome handmade soap products.
Selling at Farmer’s markets is a great way to find customers who value unique, handmade products
You can set up a booth and sell your soap.
You can also use the opportunity to sign up customers for a subscriber list and have soap shipped to them on a regular basis.
Craft fairs are a great place to sell your handmade soaps, especially around the holidays.
You will need to pay for a booth or table at craft fairs but all of the profits you make will be yours to keep.
This can be a really great way to become known locally and is a really good way to network with other local sellers.
Make deals with small, local boutiques
Many boutiques welcome new merchandise that is handmade. Local gift shops may be interested in carrying handmade soap for their customers.
This idea may take some extra time to start up but it can be really profitable.
Try and build relationships with local store owners or businesses and ask if they will stock your soaps and help promote a local artisan.
Consider getting a cart at a mall
You can sell soap from a rolling cart or stand at the mall. If you have the time to spend at the mall, this can actually be a really good way to make money.
It is especially useful during the holidays.
Attend flea markets
You might be surprised at the things thats sell really well at flea markets. They may be willing to let you sell your soap at a booth.
Make deals with hotels
Are there any local hotels or bed and breakfast inns that may enjoy stocking rooms with handmade soap? This can be a really good way to get noticed locally.
Make sure to use packaging that includes your website in case guests want to purchase your soap for themselves after their stay.
Marketing Your Soap Making Business
Soap can be purchased at any retail or online location, so you’ll have to stand out from the crowd.
Your marketing and advertising plans will play a big role in the success of your soap-making business.
How To Promote Your Handmade Soap
Create unique branding
Your individual brand needs to be special and help you stand out from other soap companies.
Consider making unique soap
If you want your brand to stand out, then the soap has to be unique too.
Customize your soap by finding different shapes, colors, and fragrances that work.
Soap doesn’t always have to be square.
You can buy molds that create soap that looks like cars, dolls, trees, flowers and many other shapes.
You can also practice and make your own molds or order custom ones from retailers.
Make your own, unique fragrances by mixing several standard essential oils or other fragrances.
You can even offer fragrance-free soap for people with sensitive skin.
You can add various kinds of butters to your soap to turn it into moisturizing soap.
Your soap can be customized with ingredients such as honey, aloe vera, goat milk, almond butter, olive oil and others.
You can make your soap colorful and unique.
You may want to consider fun colors such as pink, blue, green or purple.
Make unique labels for your brand
If you want customers to remember your soap, then you need labels that clearly carry your brand name.
Your labels should state that the soap is handmade and point out the other features.
Is your soap moisturizing, chemical-free, natural, or organic? Communicate these features on your label.
You can purchase social media ads and create social media accounts for your soap making business.
Advertise in local magazines or newspapers
They may be less popular, but you can still reach customers this way.
Attend small business events
These events give you the chance to talk about your business and share business cards. You may also learn more about running a small business and networking with others.
Join soap-making forums online
One of the easiest ways to learn more about the business and pick up marketing tips is to reach out to other soap makers.
Online forums dedicated to making soap can help you learn more about the process.
They can introduce you to others who have years of soap-making experience. You can ask for advice, tips, or simply listen to their wisdom.
You can learn more about advertising and marketing related to soap. .
Consider retail distribution on a bigger scale. Can you get your soap into top retail stores around the country?
For many soap makers, it’s a dream to sell their products in stores such as Whole Foods.
However, it’s not easy to get retail distribution, and it requires money and effort.
You also need a great deal of inventory before you can join big retail stores.
Consider niche markets.
You may already be making unique soap, but it may not be enough. Niche markets can help you find more customers.
Different Niche Markets to Consider
Soap would be vegans.
Special soap for pets
Bar Soap Shaving Cream for men
Soap for kids with toys or trinkets hidden inside
Goats milk soap
Soap made with dried flowers
Join Soap Making Associations
Consider joining the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild
This guild is an exclusive organization for people who make handcrafted items.
The guild can help you market your soaps and learn more about advertising.
It can also help you save money on insurance and other soap-making products.
You can join other soap makers and learn from them.
The other benefits of joining a guild include shipping discounts, listings in directories, and promotional help.
You may also benefit from the online stores available from the guild or the discount merchant services.
Get interviews and make press releases
Tell local reporters or bloggers about your business.
You can also put out your own press releases and announce new soap fragrances or shapes that you create.
Sell other bath and beauty products
Another complementary product you can make is to start selling candles from home.
Further Reading On Starting Your Own Soap Making Business
Start Your Own Soap Making Business – FAQs
How Much Money Can You Make Selling handmade soap?
There are two factors involved in decided how lucrative your soap making business will be.
First of all, it depends how much soap you can sell.
Secondly, you income depends on how profitable your soap is. If you make very high end soap using only the best ingredients, you will need to price your soap accordingly in order to make a profit.
Is Making Soap Expensive?
A basic bar of cold pressed soap costs around $1.50-$2 to make.
The price you sell your soap for should be your materials cost + your time + a profit margin
How Much Money Can Your Soap Making Business Make?
Let’s do some calculations on how profitable your soap making business might be:
Let’s say you make and sell 50 soaps a month.
It costs you $2 cents to make each one and you sell them for $8 each. That’s a net profit of $6 per soap
Multiply that by 50 and you have a monthly income of $300
Of course, you need factor your costs into this – renting a table at a craft fair, packaging etc