I am super excited to announce that Old Town Suds is participating in the City Paper’s WineYards at Nats Park. Over 20 wineries will be providing wines for festival attendees to sample (and purchase) plus your favorite wine soap store will be there too!

Ticket includes: unlimited wine samplings and souvenir glass. Best part? If you use our coupon code: OTSWY10 you’ll get $10 off of your already super affordable ticket.

Wineries & vineyards include: Opici Wines, Red Ink Imports, Senator Wines, Folio Fine Wine Partners, Vina Bujanda, Joao Portugal Ramos, Franco Espanoles, Vini Inc, Tradewinds Specialty, and more to be announced soon!

Hope to see you at WineYards!

Soap Making 101

By making soap in your own kitchen, you can tailor it to suit any skin type as well as insure that only the most beneficial ingredients go into your finished soap. In Soap Making 101, you’ll learn how to make your own natural soaps that you can let your family enjoy as a healthy alternative to store bought bars or to give as a sweet gift.

This demonstration-style class teaches you how to make your own custom scented soap.

We walk you though basic lab safety for manufacturing cold process soap and mixing ingredients to create natural soap. This is a beginner class that is a combination of observation, community science lab, and group soap making. Class sizes are kept smaller so you get one-on-one time with your instructor. Students might be expected to measure soap oils, colorants, scent, stir the soap pot, and pour soap into their mold. You will also leave with a fresh pound of soap that you have scented and decorated! It will be uniquely you.

Prerequisite: You must be 18 years old or accompanied by your registered parent to enroll or participate in this class. Please wear or bring a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and closed toe shoes to class. Nitrile gloves and safety googles are also required, but can be borrowed at the studio the day of class.

What You’ll Leave With: You’ll leave with a full pound, 4 bars, of fresh lemongrass or Japanese Citrus soap (your pick) in a take-home mold that will take 4-6 weeks to cure – plus a bar you can use right away. By purchasing you are agreeing to our Class Policies.

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015

Start Time: 11 a.m.

Cost: $75

Location: Warrenton, VA – right next to several vineyards!  Exact address sent to registered students.

The Soap: Lemongrass or Japanese Citrus Cold Processed Soap – 1 full pound (4 bars) plus 1 bar of your choosing from our stock.


The Dirty Secret of Soap

This video is being passed around on several different soap making forums and I had to share it. It was shot by a TV station in Florida and features several well-known soap makers that are chemists. The study the chemistry behind why oils do what they do when they go through saponification, the act of turning oils into soap. It’s worth the 2 minutes to watch!

FOX 13 News

Top 3 Tips For Having The Best Trade Show Experience For Your Creative Business

I’ve been attending and working at trade shows for years. Between my parents dragging me along to expos to shop for their businesses to my nearly 10 years in the association industry, I’m constantly working on or attending something. All of this experience helped, and at times, hindered my trade show prep.

This was my first time representing my own brand and products. That makes this first Suds trade show unique for me. It was also my first time working on a micro budget. I’ve designed booths that were triple the size of the my Suds booth that had 1,000 times the budget. Working with a few hundred dollars versus tens of thousands was challenging – to say the least.

Here are my top 3 tips for having the best trade show experience for your creative business.

Invest in good flooring.

When we put in our soap kitchen, our contractor saved the carpet and padding he pulled up. It was a lifesaver for the budget because I didn’t have to pay for flooring (it’s mandatory to put down some sort of flooring). Standing for days on concrete floors kills your back, knees, feet and well, your entire body. I thought the padding and carpet would help alleviate some of that pain and it did to a certain extent. When I looked at everyone else’s flooring choices I saw this foam tile flooring. I didn’t know this existed until I saw it in the expo hall. All of the trade show booths I’ve built have always used carpet because it is more professional in that setting. But for the craft/handmade businesses this foam tile is the best invention ever. I’m upgrading our flooring for our next show. I’ll be getting a ton of tiles to use. Plus, I can use them during our craft shows to make standing for hours, days, and weeks easier on my body.

Take this Creative Live Class

I love Megan Auman. Her classes on Creative Live are thoughtful and super helpful. I can’t recommend her wholesale class enough. She covers every aspect of the wholesale trade show. I felt super prepared for our event because I had watched her class and was able to implement several of her strategies. I was able to present a level of confidence at the trade show because I knew what the buyers were expecting. I even saved several of the sessions to my MacBook so I could watch them in the evenings after the show had closed. This way I was constantly in the selling mindset and learning how to improve.

Get a Lead Scanner

I was dumbfounded at the sheer lack of people scanning badges. I found out from the show organizers that I was one of TWO people to use the scanner. Yes, it costs money. Yes, it isn’t cheap. Yes it gave me nearly 100 stores to EASILY add to my marketing campaigns. I didn’t have to try to look up people, remember details or anything of that nature. When I had 10 buyers in my booth all I had to do saw scan their badge, add a few notes in the app if I wanted to, and move to the next buyer. The lead scanner is ALWAYS worth the money. Always. I have a spreadsheet of names, email addresses, physical locations and store names all because I spent a few more dollars and go the scanner. If you are of the mindset that buyers will have business cards and you can just collect them, think again. Buyers never bring enough cards. What are you going to do then? What you do is scan their badge and you have everything you need.

Why Mango Butter Matters

I think it is pretty clear that I am in love with our Best Face Wash Ever. It keeps my skin under control plus it has Mango Butter in it.

Mango Butter is what it sounds like. It’s made from the de-shelled fruit kernels of the mango tree. It’s great in the Best Face Wash Ever because, in the soap making process, it has a high level of non-saponifiable which means that there is a ton of the Mango Butter that doesn’t turn into soap when the lye is added. That means that the user gets all the benefits of Mango Butter directly on their skin, and in this case, my face.

Why should you care? Well, Mango Butter is know to help dry skin and it is used in a ton of anti-agning treatments. I’m not going to complain about Mango Butter keeping the lines and wrinkles at bay. Plus, it’s easily absorbs into the skin without that greasy feeling that many oils and butters can leave.

So that is why Mango Butter Matters.

Old Town Suds at The National Archives!

As I write this, it’s my 4 year brain surgery anniversary. We decided to celebrate with a trip to see my soaps at The National Archives! This was my first trip to this particular museum. I’ve been to all the other Smithsonians but Archives has eluded me during my nearly 10 years in the DC area.

Old Town Suds’ soap is being displayed as part of the Spirited Republic exhibition – a special exhibit all about prohibition. It’s the perfect way for soap made with beer and wine to make its debut at Archives.

Since it is a special day, I was trying to find something fun and exciting to celebrate being alive – I decided we had to see my soap in DC. Around lunch time we ventured into the city on this super spectacular Spring day. It was sunny and we couldn’t have asked for a better day to drive in.

We went straight to the gift shop after parking. It took a bit of looking to find our soaps because they only had FOUR bars in stock. Talk about selling quickly. Technically….photos aren’t allowed in Archives but somehow, our iPhones had a flaw and took some photos all on their own! Apple really needs to work on this glitch.

After the excitement, we decided to tour the Prohibition exhibit. We were wondering if there would be anything on moonshine since Joel is from the county in Virginia that is known for its grain alcohol. There was a lot on various political movements, you see copied of the amendments that outlaw, and then reinstate, liquor. It was interesting and very much worth the trip. As we were getting ready to leave the exhibit we see this:

IMG_0002 THAT’S OUR MERLOT WINE SOAP! IN THE EXHIBIT! I couldn’t believe it! There we are! I think I screamed.

There you have it. That’s how we spent Big Brain Anniversary 2015.