15 Mar 2009

Artisan of the Week, Patrice of The Soap Seduction

I hope you are all having a great weekend so far. Today's Artisan is someone that creates gorgeous goods for you to pamper yourself with. Patrice of The Soap Seductions is a maker of bath and beauty products that appeal to the senses. Some of her bars of soap look yummy enough to eat. So whilst I go off and take a soak in the bath, I'll let Patrice introduce herself and tell you all about her craft.

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
Hello Autonomous Artisans! My name is Patrice Harrison, and I am addicted to soap and blogs (or blogs and soap depending on my mood at the moment!) By trade, I am a banker, specifically, a compliance analyst. You ever wonder what happens to the documents you sign at your financial institution when you open a new account? Well, they come to me, and I check them for accuracy. That's just one of the many "back office" things I do, but I consider myself a soapmaker and blogger foremost. Banking pays the bills-for now. Soaping and blogging satisfies and calms me after a stressful day.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I began to make soap purely by accident. I was reading Lucky magazine one day when I saw a little feature on a new beauty product. The young lady made these small pots of lip scrub and sold them for $20.00 a pop! I looked at the ingredient content, and all it was was brown sugar, sweet almond oil, fragrance, and a few other common additives. I was outraged at the price and knew I could make something comparable and for much, much less! I went online and started looking up wholesale bath and body suppliers and found Wholesale Supplies Plus and ordered a few jars, some sweet almond oil, and some brown sugar fragrance and went to work. Well, needless to say, it didn't quite turn out like I wanted. I was less than thrilled with the results, but it motivated me to keep trying and experimenting. In the end, I gave up on the lip scrub and made exfoliating body polishes for my co-workers. They loved it. When they came back for more, I knew I was on to something!

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
As far as crafting my soaps and other body products, I most enjoy the entire creative process. Soapmaking is a science, and folks lose sight of that sometimes. It involves specific measurements of oil, lye, and water, that when not properly weighed, can cause a major disaster! When I'm ready to make cold processed soap (soap from scratch), it all starts with an idea or a theme. Then I pick my scent based on that. Then I choose the colors I want to use if any. Lastly, I decide how I want the soap to look-round or square or if I want to cut it straight or crinkly.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
I really don't have any difficulties with making soap. I would say the most challenging part of soapmaking is choosing the right scent. In spite of all your planning and good intentions, the scent you choose could be your best friend-or your worst enemy. Not all fragrance oils are made the same and do not react well with a lye mixture. I know I may have lost a few folks with this, but I know my fellow soapmakers will know what I'm talking about!

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year's time?
In a year's time, I hope to still be making and selling soap. I'd love for The Soap Seduction to be a more recognizable name in soapmaking. I'd also like to be about 50 pounds lighter, but I'll stick to the soapmaking for now!

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I've ever been given is to not give up! With living in a terrible economy and competing amongst so many talented soapmakers, it can get a little frustrating and discouraging sometimes. Another good piece of advice I read was to start a blog and treat it like you would your business. Since I've started blogging, I've attracted so many new visitors to my shop, not to mention the sales I've garnered as a result. I treat my blog as an extension of my business, and I've made many contacts and friends who have introduced me to so many new resources like where to buy supplies and whom to advertise with.

7. Could you name artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
Oh my gosh-there are so many! I'm going to play favorites here and name a few because these are the people who have embraced me and helped me along the way. Not only do they have great shops and businesses, but I consider them friends! I'd also like to give a shout out to all my blog followers. They are the most loyal, supportive bloggers out there!

Milk& Cookeez
Mammalicious Finds
Ozark Scents
Studio71 Design
Art Fire in my opinion, it's the best selling venue out there right now.

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
How unusual a question??? I love it!! My favorite sandwich filling would have to be some type of meat-ha, ha! I don't do veggie sandwiches. I need meat between my bread. As far as condiments go, if it's a hot sandwich, like a burger, it's definitely ketchup. If it's a cold cut, I must have mustard, tomato, and onion.

Thank you for sharing a little bit about your craft and your world with us Patrice. Your soaps are absolutely gorgeous. So lovely readers go along and check out The Soap Seduction and Patrice's blog and see what you can find. I fancy a bit of hot apple pie!


  1. i wanna pick out the berries and eat them! LOL very good looking soaps!

  2. Wow! I never knew soap could look so seductive and YUMMY!!!!

  3. Thanks everyone for all the wonderful compliments! I do enjoy making all these delicious goodies. I guess that's why I'm so fat now:-D

  4. gorgeous products and pics! those berries look delicious! LOL


  5. Are you sure that is soap and not food? Whatever it is, it looks delicious! I can almost smell the chocolate from here...

  6. They are divine. I can already feel the stresses of the day melting away.

  7. I already tried her luscious perfume compact it is great....soap is next on the list..Patrice has wonderful products....keep em comin.

  8. The Raspberry/Vanilla soap looks good enough to have for dessert! Bet it smells as good as it looks!

  9. Awesome soaps and a great feature!


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