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Goodbye for a bit!

It's with a really heavy heart that I say goodbye to Foamo for a short while, as I'm currently starting up freelancing in digital marketing. 

The costs of making these soaps has more than tripled since I started making them, and I cannot warrant charging that much for a soap, and it means I can't waste any by testing new products. 

When the world is back to normal, I'll be back with vengeance!

 

Thanks to everyone and for everything. 

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It's Christmas Tyne (Newcastle pun was needed)

This year we were FINALLY super early with releasing our Christmas stock, and the beauty of it is that I’m actually proud of it. I think that sometimes it can be hard to be proud, and it’s so easy to nit-pick when you’ve made it yourself. No need for that this year! 

We made vanilla & cranberry, Bucks Fizz, Christmas spice and Apple & gingerbread pie – and I am absolutely buzzing out of my mind that I actually sold out so early that I had time to make more stock that could be cured and sent out before Christmas – link is here in case you want to buy some! One thing that I will say is that it’s a great secret santa gift for under £15 including postage, just a cheeky though there…

I’ve also branched out a bit too, a few weeks ago my mum got a message from her friend Emma, who owns Felix & Ferns, had a message to ask if I could stand in at a market nearby with only a day’s notice. This has happened in the past too, but it was serendipity – I had a random day off work to take and it just so happened to that it was the day before!! I had time to prep my stand, and had a great day! 

I may have finally got a bit of a market bug… It’s only taken 2.5 years, but since covid looks to be over, and I’m getting more confident on my products I thought it was time. 

This weekend I’ve got one on Saturday and one on Sunday, plus one of the 26th

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Countryfile Came to Foam-o!

 

Blogging on here has not been my strong suit, I must admit. However, I do endeavor to change that – so here goes! 

We’re so excited to say that we’re on countryfile on BBC2 tonight, catch it on iPlayer if you’re reading this in the future! That’s right though, I was approached by the one and only British Broadcasting Company to be on a programme about farming and soap as well as diversifications in general. 

I’m really proud of how my soap is doing, and there aren’t a lot of us soapers out in the wilds of Northumberland, if truth be told. I’m even more proud of my soap as I actually have epilepsy, which means I can’t work on the farm we live on, and that is why I make the pretty soaps that you lovely people buy! We did talk about Northumberland, soaps, and epilepsy all while I was trying to control a saponification reaction was taking place – that was very stressful indeed. I think I managed okay? 

The reason I had to try and talk about it all at the same time was because the presenter of countryfile, Adam Henson, wanted to make some soap with me, so he’s designed a new soap that is now online to be bought! Although, since curing time can be up to 6 weeks, there may be a bit of a wait for the famous soaps to be delivered. 

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Foam-o Talks: Some In-Sisal Information


We've got some inside (or in-sisal) information on some sisal bags for you guys...

Soap is a necessity – well, if you want your friends to keep speaking to you anyway. The main question is how to store and use it well, you may be asking how *I* do it (or maybe not, I am only a young soap oracle). My most successful way of making sure my Foam-O soap lasts longer and looks good too, is by using a sisal bag. I wasn’t really sure what one was a few months ago, as back then I was still using liquid soap with all its not ideal plastic packaging and nasty chemicals – but my very small, but very environmentally focussed brain has done some serious research, both reading and experimenting. I love my sisal, at the moment it has my I Wash My Hands With You soap in, so has got one seriously psychedelic green tinge, but I’ve also used my Happily Heather After heather soap, and my Life’s a Beach one too. All worked, and all lasted for ages! They do tend to go a bit gooey because of the heat and water in the shower, but in the bag that goo is kept quite safe.

The bags themselves last for as long as you would like, dependant on how nice you are to them, mine looks as good as when I first put soap in, at least 4 moons ago! I’ve also been handing out some to friends and Foam-O All Stars (you know who you are) to see how they were – and all I’ve had is glowing reports, and similar goo experiences! Although, I do remember buying goo from Lush on purpose a while back, so perhaps bar to goo experiences aren’t too novel after all. I’m hoping to be able to sell them soon at markets as I have a stock building up, and fingers crossed, on the website too. So keep your eyes peeled for that!

If you’re a crafty person who loves soaps and crochet, there is always the opportunity to try and make your own sisal bag (or bags, how many bathrooms do you have??), my sister’s boss does this, and then I suppose you can 100% be saving the planet by using British wool from a local wool shop and pairing it with British soap like any Foam-O stock! I’m rubbish at knitting and crochet, but I can certainly help you out on the soap side of things.

Here's a photo of one of the sisal bags we stock, made to look amazing by our photographer, although once it's damp it does look a bit more sad - but colourful, so colourful!!

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Robyn, I am your mother

Since 3rd time is the charm, I let my very dear Mummy write a blog post for my 3rd piece.

This could’ve ended badly, since I’ve made messes all over her farm and house with mugs, plates, soap and stickers for the past few months… All is well.

Hi, I’m Robyn’s mum and I just wanted to say how impressed and proud I am about her launching this business.

She’s researched and investigated so many processes and ingredients for her soap making until she’s got it just right. Her tenacity (yes she gets that from me) has shown right through with such determination to succeed that I’m convinced that her business will be a success and testament to all of her hard work.

Life hasn’t been easy for Robyn, she had four types of epilepsy that was diagnosed when she was ten. It is controlled by medication (lots of it) but it can still impact massively on her life.

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That’s all well and good, but how do you make it?

A soaper never gives away her secrets, but she might tease her blog readers with some of her fancy ways of soaping…

Making the soap can be broken down into a few simple steps, which I will tell you – minus all the measures and ingredients precisely.

  1. We measure out the correct amount of oils (we use rapeseed oil, olive oil and vegetable oil
  2. We add it to our massive pan, kind of like the one you’d serve 50 kids a school dinner in
  3. We measure out the correct amount of lye, which is a mix of sodium hydroxide and pure water that we do the day before – it gets to be extremely hot so we have to leave it before using it!
  4. Into the massive pan!
  5. We then mix it with a huge blender, affectionately known as Brenda the Blender, until it reaches a stage called ‘trace’. This stage is at the point that you can remove the blender and the mixture that drops hits the surface and stays
  6. At this point, my dad and I end up becoming like very clean witches, stirring in colours and scents to make your Foam-o soaps perfect
  7. Out of the massive pan, and into a massive mould instead – each one is about 80cm long and 6cm wide
  8. It’s left to harden in our lovely garden shed for a few days, before we unmould it and cut it up
  9. Now it has to be left for 6 weeks (such a long time!!) for the curing process to occur, which means a lot of water evaporates and all the mixtures get ‘aged’ slightly
  10. Fast forward 6 weeks, and we’re boxing it up for someone like you to receive in the post!

That is the 10 fast steps to making cold process soap, the Foam-o way.

Everyone has their own soaping methods, but after a lot of trial and only a bit of error, this has been the method that has been working for us.

I hope none of you lovely readers go and try and make your own Life’s a Beach, or My Great Auntie Septic – they’re as secret as that Krusty Krab secret formula

  1863 Hits

It’s soap nice to meet you!

Testing? Testing? 1, 2, 3?

Welcome to Foam-o, and especially welcome to Foam-o’s first blog post!

My name is Robyn, and I will be your blog and website admin for the foreseeable, I’ve had a lot of fun questions from friends over the last few months about what in the world I’m doing – they’ve ranged from ‘So, is it fudge or just soap?’ to ‘I’m assuming this is a solely cold process soap business?’ proving that people definitely have differing levels of knowledge about soap.

This is why blog post numero uno is going to be a quick run through/sales pitch of me, Foam-o and being as ethical as you could imagine.

My dad is actually the real brains behind wanting to do soap (I wish I could say it was me!), because his grandma was, apparently, always making it – it does feel really good to be following in some kind of crazy soapy line though!

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It's with a really heavy heart that I say goodbye to Foamo for a short while, as I'm currently starting up freelancing in digital marketing.  The costs of making these soaps has more than tripled since I started making them, and I cannot warrant...
This year we were FINALLY super early with releasing our Christmas stock, and the beauty of it is that I’m actually proud of it. I think that sometimes it can be hard to be proud, and it’s so easy to nit-pick when you’ve made it yourself. No need for...
  Blogging on here has not been my strong suit, I must admit. However, I do endeavor to change that – so here goes!  We’re so excited to say that we’re on countryfile on BBC2 tonight, catch it on iPlayer if you’re reading this in the future...
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