Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Huge news that will affect the blog!

This is a big announcement but...this is my job now. I know, right? Terrifying, but necessary. As much as I loved my job as a family counsellor, I was done. The events over the last eighteen months -  (in chronological order, not by importance) being bumped from my job into a part time position, losing my beloved Blondie dog, losing my mom, and losing my favourite supervisor (to another agency, fortunately), and so many things that feel like I'm being kicked when I'm down - have been harder than I can describe, and I just didn't have it in me to go back to such an emotionally challenging position.

What does it mean for me that it's my job? It means this is my job, this is how I make money. Writing the blog, writing Patreon posts, writing e-books and e-zines, writing my column at Handmade magazine, teaching classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle and Windy Point Soap, presenting at conferences like the HSCG one next May in Atlanta and the HBBG and HSCG joint conference next June in Toronto, and so on. I have no other obligations, so I can spend all my energy and time writing about bath & body products, which is very exciting.

There are also a lot of things I've been working on over the last year or so that can become a reality. Yay, right?

What does it mean for you that it's my job? It means that this is how I make my living now. If you value what I'm offering here, please consider subscribing to my Patreon feed at $1, $3, $5, or $10 US to help support the blog as well as my family.

It also means that Patreon subscribers may get the posts on the blog one to four weeks before you see them here. They may also get other things that might not appear on the blog - they're already getting the duplicated formula every month - but I'm not sure how that might look or what it might be, if it's anything at all.

Before you cry "unfair!" - they're paying the bills for the blog, so it's only fair they get to see what they paid for first. 

What it doesn't mean is that I'll be taking advertising, sponsorshop, or affiliate links as I want you to rest assured when I say I like an ingredient, I really like it, I haven't been paid to say I do, and I won't make money if I send you to a supplier to get it. (I also don't want those horrible "one weird trick coconut oil" ads, which are just awful and undercut my promise to you to be science based and not fearmonger-y.)

It also doesn't change where the money for the five current e-books goes - it still goes to our youth programs, Rated T for Teen.

And it does mean I'm asking for something from you - your time.

I love writing this blog so much, but I get very little feedback in the form of comments. I see you're out there in so many ways - stats from the blog and email subscriptions, raves from you when I meet you, comments I see on Facebook or Reddit, and so on - but there's just crickets and silence day to day around here.

I know part of this is because there are tens of thousands of you receiving this information I'm writing now via email, and it's a hassle to visit the blog. I know part of this is because some of you don't think you have anything to share, but you really do! I know part of it is that you're really busy and don't have time to visit, something I heard time and time again from people at conferences and in classes. And sadly, I know a small part of this is because some people never think to give back to those who have shared so freely with you, which is how people like me burn out, take our balls, and go home.

I don't want to burn out, but after the year I've had - from Marlene Daniels of Soapconscious stealing my work and selling it for $1,000 for my five e-books for years to the constant linking against my wishes to my charts to the people who think it's okay to use my work without asking permission or without credit, and more -  I know I'm at great risk to do so.

I miss is being a part of a community of creators, connecting with people who love this thing as much as I do, and I'm really feeling the isolation when I look for a place to recharge my batteries.

From today onwards, think of every single post - new and old - as a tiny Kickstarter type thing that needs your attention to unlock the next installment. If you see part one of a post, you won't see part two until there's a certain amount of interaction in the form of comments. If there isn't that interaction after a week, it won't be posted as I'll assume you aren't interested that topic, ingredient, or formula. For older posts, if I see a topic that's suddenly filled with comments or feedback, I'll make sure I spend time on that topic again in the future. 

You don't have to say much - share a thought about the topic; something you love or hate about the oil, emulsifier, or surfactant; write about your experiences; tell me about the fail you had with it so we can fix it; think about how you might make substitutions; and so much more - but I'm asking you to say something. The only rule - as of this moment - is that you must do it with kindness, with an understanding that every single person who reads it, including me, is a human being who has feelings. We can totally disagree, but we do it as adults without condescension or insults.

I'm sure there are loads of you waiting to say something about this post, and I can't wait to see what you share!

71 comments:

SpicyNerd said...

Hi Susan, I am really sorry for all the things you went through this year and last year but I am also glad to hear that will be able to follow your dreams. Love your blog!! ❤️❤️❤️

Alex Dehoff said...

I appreciate all the work you put into this blog and I hope it is fulfilling for you! Excited to see what new and interesting directions you take.

martacat said...

Good news! Why do people think they should get something for nothing? Everyone who reads your blog should support you on Patreon ($1/month is pretty insignificant). Let them try to find a reference that replaces your content. It doesn't exist outside of industry.

Sarah Diamond said...

Good for you! It's true what martacat said -- there is no one like you on the internet, and no content as good as your content anywhere.

I don't always feel I have much to add, I'm such a beginner, but I'm sure we will all do our best to give you feedback!

Here's a subject I'm interested in: I've been working on my own micellar water. Would love to hear what you believe are the basic required ingredients and percentages -- 1 surfactant or 2? Do we need a solubulizer? Do you recommend glycerin as a humectant? Can micellar water be formulated to act as a toner also?

Just something for your list!

Sarah

Frit said...

Dear Susan,

Thank you so much for all you've given me, I really appreciate your hard work and science based information on these subjects.

Sending you loads of positive Mojo; may you be blessed with an abundance of happiness, joy, love, prosperity, creativity, and many delightful adventures!

Cheers,
Bailey

Ally H. said...

I LOVE the "kickstarter" idea--I think we forget that we truly learn better as a community, no matter what our passions may be. I live to talk about ingredients and formulating so I would be happy to endlessly share ideas and recipes. Last night I more than likely bored my boyfriend with my discussion of the "squeeziness" of the LDPE vs. HDPE bottles that I was considering purchasing for my thick conditioners and lotions--which clearly illustrates my desperation of wanting to talk about every detail of formulating to anyone who will listen! For the sanity of my loved ones, I need to find others who are like-minded to talk to lol. I'm going to venture more deeply into the waters of commenting and sharing here (and on Patreon), even though at times I am a bit timid.

Your integrity and passion are truly inspiring Susan--I'm so grateful to learn from you. Going to drink a vat of coffee and hopefully work into the night making a few goodies for myself :-)

martacat said...

Why is little dog colored pink and green in spots?

Perry said...

Congratulations and good luck! Keep up the great work.

Preetiz Angulo said...

Hi susan! Hope youre doing well despite everything, or healing at least. And hope you find comfort here as much as we do.

I'm fairly new here and i just learned that you have ebooks. Where may I purchase them? :)

PharmaGirl said...

Congratulations Susan! So excited for you to begin your new journey. Thanks for everything you share so freely.

Miss Lena said...

IF it weren't for you, I would have given up on making my own products. To be honest, you should charge more for your books. I would pay it.

I do hope you get some time to clear your head. That is very well needed when you have been through as much as you have.

So if you want comments, I'm about to be asking galore!!

PS. I haven't asked any questions yet because I try to make sure you haven't written a piece on it before I go spouting off questions.

Anywhoo, thank you for being you. I hope you can sue the soap suds off that stealing, thieving, lying chick!

Felony Flowers said...

I appreciate everything you offer us. I've also commented on at least a couple post, but have never received an answer to my questions or a response. I've been unsure if I was even doing it correctly.

Alvarsam said...

Great post, thank you. I'm getting on the Patreon train and will make sure to comment a lot more often! Your blog is a bible and I send people here all the time. Thank you for all the amazing work you put into this! <3

glamaretto said...

I hope you adore freelancing and the opportunity to pursue your passion full-time!

fk said...

Hello Susan,
Thank you for all you do. I pray that you will be encouraged to continue to do this and not just because you enjoy it, but because thousands are coming to your blog. You demystify much of his cosmetic chemistry. I'm soon going to make a hair conditioner that suits my hair because of your book on hair products.
keep up the good work

Susanna Originals said...


It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. Alan Cohen
This quotation kicked me into giving up a stressful job, selling my house and moving to the east coast to buy a convenience store! May it have as much influence on you and may it bring you as much happiness as it has me.

SoapsbySly said...

Hi Susan:
I read every one of your blogs and have been for years. I don't know if I've ever commented... The big reason I don't is because of all the times that you have said you are answering questions from months ago and will get to other peoples comments. You seem overloaded and have too many people responding, that you probably don't need one more.
I know it takes SO much time to get through comments, I'm really surprised you want to slog through more...
But I will be happy to let you know how wonderful your blogs are, if that is what you want - and I do think they are all really fabulous and I learn a lot!!
Thank you so much for continuing to write these beautiful articles and teaching me So, so Much!!
Happy Holidays!
Sly

Malika Smith said...

Condradulations on the your new adventure. I am so proud of you for taking this giant step and following your passion. Now that this is your job setting and maintaining your boundardaries is critical. There is only you to do that. No more agency, boss or company to set them with rules things like our doors open at 9. If you show up at 8 no one is here, emails are not opened and answered, phones are not picked up. No one one even ponders going to the bank at 7 and demanding the doors are open because they are up and it works for them. If they showed up at 9 and started yelling, being ignorant and causing a problem they would be asked to leave and possibly escorted off the premises. This blog, this work, your posts are no different. my wish for you is that your work and boundaries are respected. Also congratulations to everyone who will now benefit from this wonderful person and her knowledge and skill.

Charlette said...

Susan! How lucky are we that you are going to devote full time to your passion??!! Everyone who follows your blog should try Patreon--the investment is SO small and the returns to your subscribers are SO big! The E-zines are worth twice as much as the $10 monthly fee for the highest subscription. Even the $1 and $5 subscriptions are truly more valuable than what can be found ANYWHERE! Susan, wishing you much success in your new full time efforts--I KNOW you'll never look back! And, we your readers and subscribers will benefit immensely too. Win-Win!
Charlette

pat bortolin said...

WOW!....Scary and Exciting, so happy for you Susan you'll do great and getting all these words of encouragement from people like Perry :) must tell you something. Good Luck in your new/old ventures

Valerie Gray said...

Susan, I wish you great success and happiness! You are such a refreshing change from most of the information online, and I appreciate learning about all the different ingredients available even if I don't get a chance to try them all. In case there is anyone on the fence about whether to be a Patreon subscriber or not... do it! The monthly e-zines are the size of most e-books, and the Q&A's are thorough and in depth (honestly I expected questions like "why do I need a preservative" but there is nothing like that). Why not give it a try and see how it works out?

Doris Bitler said...

I want to echo what others have said about supporting you on Patreon. $10 is the equivalent of just two fancy coffees a month. The e-zine alone is worth more than that! I've been making products for just a short while but, thanks to you, I've learned so much. Anyone can post a recipe and instructions, but teaching us how to formulate and select ingredients is truly priceless. I pick up tidbits elsewhere, but always return to your blog knowing the information is thorough and accurate. Whenever I'm trying to think through a particularly knotty problem my husband asks "What does your friend in Canada say?" That really is how I think of you, as a valued friend! Wishing you much luck and many blessings on this new phase of your journey ❤️

Catherine Bennett said...

Susan, I am thrilled for you! You are an amazing teacher. I have learned so much from you. Every time I have a question I ask, “what would Susan do” and head to the blog. I am a Patreon subscriber and feel there is so much value for the $10.00 I spend. This is such a big decision and I know how much thought it took. Life’s too short to put up with crap! I appreciate your values in not taking endorsements or advertising! Best of wishes. You go girl....!

Catherine Bennett said...

Susan, I am thrilled for you! You are an amazing teacher. I have learned so much from you. Every time I have a question I ask, “what would Susan do” and head to the blog. I am a Patreon subscriber and feel there is so much value for the $10.00 I spend. This is such a big decision and I know how much thought it took. Life’s too short to put up with crap! I appreciate your values in not taking endorsements or advertising! Best of wishes. You go girl....!

Danuta Kilar said...

Of course I follow every topic, very often I do not post because it was answered already, but I can voice my opinions about different ingredients I use. You need it done Susan, it will be done. I am here everyday, every single day <3

Sylett Strickland said...

Congratulations! I look forward to you coming success!

Eden said...

Congratulations on going full time! Thanks for all you do. I have learned so much from you and recommend your books to people regularly. Sorry for your last 18 months of hardships. Here's to a new and exciting beginning!

Kirsten Thomas. said...

wow!! this is really exciting! I hoped that one day you would do this, as you definitely enjoy it, and it is your creative way to express your talents. I have to admit, that even though I join in (this comment, for example) sometimes, the times when I do are when it's easy to click and comment. Sometimes on patreon I cannot do it easily, or forget my password etc. So, the easier the better for us of simple mind or an impatient nature!! Did you cut your hair? In the picture it looked like you did...it looked cute, hope to see another photo. Well done you!!

soapy jan said...

Congratulation on your full time adventure, so sorry for the past hardships. I do love your blog, to me it's my school to learning fun interesting topics.

Aileen said...

I have always said that fate plays a big part of my life. Things happen for a reason and at times they just don't show you what the reason is but it always works in the end if you allow it to happen. I am excited for you and all you have to offer. Now if only I didn't have to drive over those darn passes in the winter to get to some of your classes. Good luck!!!

Julie Adair said...

Congrats! I know it seems scary but Susan, dang it, this is what you were born to do! You'll do great and we are thrilled to have you full time!!

Julie Adair said...

.... And, Im going on right now to subscribe to your Patreon feed 😁

Vida Perez said...

Congratulation! I will definitely support you via Patreon

Gillian Fryer said...

Susan, that is fantastic news! I wish you all the best!

You are the original cosmetic chemistry DIY blog and you've been so patient and generous with your time to you faithful readers. You are truly gracious to have kept going in the face of people abusing you. You have taught us many more lessons than you realize!

I am so thankful for you and all you do!

Marcia said...

Thank you for all you do. I searched your blog and didn't find the answer to this so - would you consider running classes in Chilliwack again? thanks

Whitelee said...

A hard road you've travelled to reach this point, wishing you peace & fulfillment in your fulltime blogging. We're more than lucky to have you doing this, and I'm sure most people are truly appreciative of what you do for us each day. Your Patreon subscription is worth much more than the cost each month & I'm so grateful to you for the value you freely give to your subscribers. Love you Susan :-)

Ambaro said...

Susan, I visit your blog every day, I really enjoy reading your posts. I'm ashamed to say that I yet to subscribe to patreon like, but that will change today. This is the first time I'm posting, I guess I just thought I didn't have much to contribute as I'm a newbie, and didn't want to bother you with a question there is probably an answer to in previous posts. But.
I'm eagerly awaiting your promised post on Colloidal silver.
Thank you for all that you do <3

Ally H. said...

In terms of keeping discussions going.....I wanted to add that on here, there are no notifications for when people respond to a topic that I have been active on, (like Facebook e.g.) and I think that is a bit of a hindrance to discussion because without a notification, one is left to periodically check on threads and after a while, if no discussion has been continued, I personally stop checking. And on Patreon, if I post, I only get notified if you respond, not anyone else--and I am set up for all notifications there. Is it possible for people who have responded on a topic here to be notified when others are responding as well?

Susan L said...

Congratulations on your new adventure. I enjoy your blog and consistently make (mostly simple) recipes from it. I'm always on the lookout for products which work with my sensitive skin.
THANKS!

Erica Echternach said...

Life is so short! At 38-40 I finally decided to do what I love and just pray it paid the bills. Now, I don't think I care if it does or not. I will figure it out. But every day I get to work doing something I love to do. I am so happy for you and can't think of anyone else who would deserve it more. Congratulations on your "new" business venture. From the looks of us Patreon fans, you will be just fine! I hope you find it as heavenly as I have. Remember, there will always be days that you wished you worked somewhere else. Those are the days you grab your laptop and go work wherever you want!!

Srjnm said...

Congratulations on your new adventure! And YEA for us who glean from your expertise and talent. I apologize. I'm one of your subscriber and patron member who only responses to your post occasionally. My intent was to give you some time and space as you work through personal challenges. Thank you for letting me know my "good intent" was doing the opposite of what you need to feel supported. I appreciate all you do and look forward to see what you have stored for us!

carrieacampbell said...

I’m so excited that you’ll be doing this full-time! That’s a big, scary step for you to take & I appreciate all your work. Thank you for continuing to share.

Debbie said...

I am happy to support you in this new endeavor. I really value your hard work which benefits us in the information you share. Thank you and best of luck!

Ylinh Nguyen said...

I always wondered what it would be like to have you as a family counselor!!! Thank you for being so giving! Will be sure to post more often!

JoeyL05 said...

I'm so excited for you and for me! I will do my best to post what I'm working on and give you more feedback. Right now i'm on a lipgloss kick - been experimenting with various formulations using Versagel ME from TKB Trading - Lots of fun!

Kathy said...

I haven't visited in a while but I was thinking today as I visited that I should thank you for all the help and inspiration your articles have provided me. I'm so sorry for your loses but happy for this new chapter in your life. So this is your big THANK YOU and my
promise to contribute more.

Maggie Mahboubian said...

Chiming in to say that I always read your posts, even when I'm not responsive. Just got final approval, so when I'm finally settled in I'll be more interactive as I test out your formulas in my NEW STUDIO LAB! I love the idea of community and will be happy to contribute to your Patreon site. Thank you for all you do!!!

Miss Lena said...

On another note. Would it be bad if you had affiliate links? I have to go to these websites to purchase and you're helping. Why not get a few pennies because we click on them. We know you're not trying to sell us a bill of goods.

I know I won't think of you any less if you direct us to an ingredient. You're making these awesome and cool recipes.

You've been through alot and my prayers go out to you to be healed in this time.

Love your work Susan. You rock!

Sally said...

You are amazing and so much of what I know (that is correct) with regards to bath & body is from reading your blog. Thank you so much for all your experimenting and sharing. I wish you luck! Even though it's a small contribution because I don't have much, I'm happy to contribute on Patroen.

Jennifer Hiatt said...

Congrats! I'll start leaving comments❤️ I love and read so much on here, and I love the Formulating Facial Products book that I purchased! You are such a valuable resource, and I wish you lived close to me so that I could meet you for coffee:-)

lilscrappers said...

I love the kickstarter idea :D, although I worry that I won't comment enough. It feeds your joy in writing to get the comments and interaction from us and I get that. I joined patreon shortly after discovering your blog in hopes of seeing you continue with it so I am enthused to see you take the leap. Good luck with your venture, I will be madly watching every post and seeing your patreon site take off!

Rebekah Osorio said...

Just sending respect and support for the big move to drop the job and draw your boundaries around all the work you do here. I'm a lurker by tendency for sure, I admit. But I'll do my best to speak up more :)

Dana Massar said...

Thank you for all you do! I olny discovered your blog a couple if weeks ago and i have been reading like a mad woman! Lol! Your post have taught me so much and i look forward to your future teachings!

Jano said...

I absolutely love your blog. It pretty much blows my mind, the wealth of information. I admire your passion and appreciate the time you must spend on research.
I have never commented until today. I didn't want to consume ANY of your energy with a comment. I have not asked questions. I figured, you have provided enough information, least any of us could do was search here and find answers to our questions. Thank you very much for your blog. I'll definitely comment in the future. Wish you well!

M M said...

Chapeau !

Nina said...

Congratulations
Would love to hear from you
Especially reduplication of products

The Natural Cosmetics said...

Hey, you have an italian reader there! I love your work, it's so accurate, science reliable; I'm relatively new in the beauty DIY and your tips, formulas and advices help a lot! Thank you!!!

Cathy Osborn said...

Susan, you have my sincerest empathy concerning your losses...and my best wishes for this new chapter in your life.

Elizabeth Sauls said...

Hi Susan,
You are, are brave, and valued by many, including myself. I know I almost never comment, and that is, I am afraid because of many of the reasons you cited above. I often feel my opinion is of little value. I often have trouble ordering my thoughts into words that I feel adaquately convey things as I wish them to be... Well I can’t tell you how many times I have typed up a comment, and then deleted it. I will do better. I can say I am so glad. I found your blog. I am a proud Patreon supporter of yours, and it is worth every penny! I found you when I was looking for information beyond cp soap and lotion. I always wanted to make my own shampoo, and I was always extremely dissatisfied with the “shampoo bar soap” the cp community seems to be so fond of. I now know why, thanks to you. My hair also thanks you, as now that I have learned to formulate from you I think I have come up with the perfect recipes for shampoo and conditioner for my tortured scalp. I never knew there would be so many “shiny new things” ( I love that saying of yours) to learn about and play around with. Thank you!

Dianne Bowler said...

Hi Susan, I’m so excited for you stepping into your passion and “here here” for setting the ground rules about how we interact on your blog. I’ve always said to my children that I don’t always get it right and you are free to criticise but it’s how you deliver the message that’s important. Good manners and courtesy never go out of fashion. Looking forward to your next phase.

Leslie Dimond said...

Way to go Susan!!!! Congratulations!!!
I am so glad you are not going to advertise, that is huge. I really love this blog and all you do. I am one of the quiet fans. Thank you!!! Leslie

Camirra Williamson said...

I also have an idea about gettting ppl to respond more in the comments... is there a way that you can set it up similar to facebook where you can "tag" someone in a comment and directly respond to them? And then they get a notification about a comment that was directed at them.

Barbara Laney said...

Congrats Susan! I have learnt so much from your blog and thank you so much/ I am a huge fan of your blog and appreciate what you are doing.

Sharon Powell said...

So Happy for you, Susan! How will I cope though, I want to read everything you write and I couldn't keep up with you before, lol not sure how I'll do that now that your writing full time ;)

Carmen said...

It is merely human nature to crave interaction with others, we are pack animals after all and isolation is a horrid form of torture. Susan, I have adored your blog since the first moment I stumbled across it a couple of years ago and have been a $10 Patreon subscriber since the beginning. You have helped me in so many ways, I just cannot count, nor express my gratitude fully with the words I have.
Thank you for all that you do.
Carmen x

JennaTheFirst said...

YAY! Congrats on this humongous step!! And THANK YOU. I've been 'blog hopping' so to speak since Summer as I decided to progress from bath bombs & soap to actual formulations because of your blog. When reading I saw what your year looked like. If I was in your shoes I don't think I could continue with the stamina and grace you have demonstrated. The crafting community just let out a huge cheer. Thanks for everything and thanks for keeping up with the kids program at the library.
*insert happy dance here*
Jenna Z
PS I'll try to comment more if I have something intelligent to add to the conversation!!

Ashlee said...

I feel so bad that I had to cancel my Patreon subscription just before you needed it the most :/ However, I will definitely try to remember to comment. Congrats on this new phase of your life and career change!

Paula M said...

Congratulations Susan! I know you'll do great and I'll stop by more often to make a comment or 2!

SweetHeartSearching said...

I'm so sorry for all the terrible things that have happened recently. I'm sorry for not supporting the blog enough prior. I do love to come directly to the website and I hope that gets you lots of hits to rank your site highly as I do it very often even though I don't make much yet but I love learning and love the many books I bought. I keep on telling ppl about the books and I hope you make some books that benefit your pocket! I will be sure to comment more on the blog. Sometimes like now I'm delayed but I deeeeply appreciate all you do. I completely agree that those that pay should get stuff first or more to try to get more people that can afford to do so on board. I'm really happy that your fighting for yourself. I hope this hard time turns into something beautiful for you. -lisa

Monique said...

Good evening Susan:
I am very sorry for your loss. Yet, happy for the new road you're on. A person once told me that your passion will make money for you. I see this statement happening for you. I will, too, post more. I am grateful for your work. I cannot promise that I can donate this month, but will make budget preparations to join your contribution list soon. Thanks again

Monique said...

Good evening Susan:
I am very sorry for your loss. Yet, happy for the new road you're on. A person once told me that your passion will make money for you. I see this statement happening for you. I will, too, post more. I am grateful for your work. I cannot promise that I can donate this month, but will make budget preparations to join your contribution list soon. Thanks again