Tales of an Angry Handcrafter: Rude Soap, Candle, & Skincare Questions with Answers

Tales of an Angry Handcrafter- Rude Soap, Candle, & Skincare Questions with Answers

I like to present myself as a jovial person full of laughs and jokes. Put me in the right crowd and that’s exactly who I am.  I am also capable of fear-rendering rage, but this Hulk only comes out when 1) Driving – because I am obviously the only person who knows how to drive in the whole world, 2) Facing Arrogant Ignorance – because nothing grinds-my-gears quite like a person preaching from a soapbox (no pun intended) about wrong information.

I was vending at an expo earlier this week and it was uncharacteristically slow. On top of the lack of foot traffic, the number of rude people out of the few dozen people who stopped by was blisteringly high. But today’s post is not just about the rude commentary from the expo event; it also includes a collection of various rude comments I have received about my business and the answers I wish I would have had at the time.

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge some facts: 1) My business is not for everyone, 2) My personality and demeanor are not for everyone, 3) Those who appreciate both are the best people on Earth.  Now that we cleared that up…but seriously, it’s okay if my products don’t appeal to you – I may not understand your opinion, but I will always respect it. That said, a little respect goes a long way, and if you’re at a show and not loving the products at a vendor table, simply say “thank you” and walk away.

The following statements have been made to me at vendor events over the years by people who lack couth, were raised in a barnyard, or just sadistically enjoy rudeness. In an effort to minimize these comments in the future, I also have answers… I hope you appreciate my snark.

  1. Why should I buy your soap when I can buy a bar of soap at the grocery store for 99 cents?
    1. Why buy a Ferrari when you can get a 1974 Gremlin? The reality is that wherever people spend money is where they find the greatest value. If a person doesn’t value a product that is carefully formulated and hand-crafted, free of parabens, phthalates, detergents, animal by-products, is certified cruelty-free, vegan (OR sustainable palm-oil vegetarian), that is made specifically to moisturize skin, then I won’t be able to change your mind.
  2. Oh no, your products are not “all-natural”!
    1. No, and we never claim them to be “all-natural;” however, we do use natural ingredients mixed with SCIENCE. Why aren’t we touting ourselves as “all-natural”? Well, because poison ivy, scurvy, mold, and the bubonic plague are “all-natural,” and yet, we don’t want our bodies rubbed in them. There’s a reason people live well into their 80s now and not during Paleo times – it’s called SCIENCE.
  3. I can buy candles at XXCANDLE STOREXX for much cheaper.
    1. Yes, you probably could, and we’re sure they’re wonderful. So, what makes our candles stand out? Well, for one, we use USA soy wax, ensuring American farmers remain employed. We skip on paraffin because it’s petroleum-based, and we don’t believe big-oil needs any more money, plus soy burns much cleaner; we skip on beeswax because we’re a vegan company and love plants. Our wicks are cotton, not lead or zinc, so you won’t be burning any metal pollutants in your home. Our fragrances are always phthalate-free, minimizing the risk of allergic reaction and indoor air pollution. Our jars are Libbey-glass, which are American-made and high quality; they’re not going to combust on you. We assemble and hand-pour each and every candle with love and concentration to quality. So, you could spend less somewhere else, or you could support our small business that always has YOU (and not the almighty dollar) at the center of our vision.
  4. Oh yeah, I saw a video on how to make XYZ product myself; that’s easy to make.
    1. Awesome! We love supporting other makers! Let us know when you’ve bought all the ingredients, created a Good Manufacturing Process lab, purchased packaging, created a website, obtained liability insurance, designed and printed your labels, maintained batch numbers, followed FDA regulations, received a county business license, federal tax-ID, state tax-ID, and tested your products – then we’ll be super-psyched to purchase and try your products out, too!
  5. I make soap/scrubs/etc. also, can you share your recipe?
    1. In a word, nope. We’ll gladly share our ingredients (because we 1. have to legally disclose them, and 2. like to be transparent), but our recipes – sorry, friend, we went through a whole lot of testing (=time & money) to ensure our recipes are superb. However, we’ll happily private label our products for you to sell and make money with!
  6. You use lye in your soap. I can’t use soap with lye, it makes me itch/squirm/dance-on-bars, etc.
    1. So sorry to hear you’re unable to use SOAP – what do you wash with? Oh, you see, all soap is made with lye (even way back when great-great-great granny made her own soap). No lye = no soap.
  7. I only use natural essential oils which are chemical-free.
    1. We love essential oils, too! We use them in many of our products, but we also love phthalate-free fragrance oils. You see, there are only so many scents that can be recreated with essential oils, and we like to have the ability to tap into all fragrances.
    2. Also, essential oils are not “chemical-free” – if it’s chemical-free, it doesn’t exist on Earth.  For example, Lavender essential oil is comprised of “a total of 47
      compounds representing 98.4 – 99.7% of the oils were identified. 1,5-Dimethyl-1-vinyl-4-hexenylbutyrate was the main constituent of essential oil (43.73%), followed by 1,3,7-Octatriene, 3,7-dimethyl- (25.10%), Eucalyptol (7.32%), and Camphor (3.79%)” – African Journal of Microbiology Research.
  8. Are your products homemade, like in your kitchen?
    1. Our products are “handcrafted,” and maybe we’re just being picky about connotation here, but the implication of “homemade” versus “handcrafted” implies a product with less sterility and stability. And no, we actually have a dedicated LAB where we create our products.
  9. Why do you donate to rescuing animals and not something important like cancer research?
    1. We believe any cause for the freedom, health, and well-being of Earth’s creatures is a justifiable cause. Our focus happens to be animal rescue because we’re advocates for those who don’t have a voice and because we personally rescue pit bulls. However, we’d love to be a part of any charity event, and in fact, we currently support various religious, historical, civil-rights, and animal groups through vending.
  10. I don’t use soy because of all the GMOs and your products have soy.
    1. Yup, some of our products, and all of our candles do use soy wax or soybean oil. Truthfully, we don’t mind GMO soy for wax candles because it allows for a larger production to support American jobs – and since you don’t eat your candles, it’s not going to alter your body. As for our skincare products, we use organic soybean oil (and according to USDA standards, you cannot label something organic if it has GMOs) because we know that’s important to you and it’s going directly onto your body.

Yes, believe it or not, we have received all of these questions, and usually presented to us in a rude manner, but we remember the heart of it comes simply from not knowing our brand yet. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of who we are…and a better way to ask questions when you don’t know!

Do you have “rude” questions for us? Please feel free to go rogue and ask away!

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

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