I’m pleased to introduce Vickie Robinson of Udder Indulgence
Tell me how you started in soapmaking.
Well I got interested in making soap because I raise dairy goats and had/have way too much milk. So I started researching what to do with all that extra milk. Just selling milk or cheesemaking required you to be a licensed dairy. To be a licensed dairy required specific buildings, milking parlors, cheesemaking rooms etc. I don’t have the money for that and at the time I didn’t have the time as I was working full time. So you guessed it, I came across soap making. I could use my goats milk to make wonderfully creamy soaps. So when the American Dairy Goat Assn. had their National Convention in Albuquerque, NM I went and took a soap making class. Went home and made a batch or two of soap. Then did nothing with it for a few years. Then I got the itch to do it again. Now after numerous You Tube video’s and lots of time reading and researching soap and recipes and 3 years later I’ve got my recipes down and I’m actively making and selling soap.
My daughters wanted to show goats, we started off with 3 Alpine dairy goats, then decided to get into the meat goats also. So we got 2 Nubian 2 year old does that had never been bred and bred them to the only Boer cross buck in the area at that time. He was a ¾ Boer and 1/3 something else. LOL
The next spring we had our first babies, both Alpine and Boer cross. It was so much fun at the County Fair. Next thing you know I found a 100% Boer buck, bought him and started raising our own. We showed the Alpines and Boers for a while and when we started doing so much better with the Boers in the Show ring the Alpines became a support system for the Boers. Extra milk to raise bottle babies when that was necessary.
Now 17 years later, both girls are too old for 4-H and I’m retired so no need or extra money to continue to show the Boers. So I’m sold out of them except for my favorite Boer doe. We enjoyed our time with the Boers, have 25 – 30 belt buckles, boxes of trophies and ribbons. Numerous GCH’s, RGCH’s and a few Best in Shows. Now it is time for the Alpines to shine. I’ve bred them so they have great tasting milk and it makes the most wonderful, creamy soap.
If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in soapmaking, what did you achieve?
Well, I could give you a most wonderful flight of fancy, but realistically in a year from now I would love to be selling enough soap to support my soap and goat habits, have numerous loyal customers, maybe my own shop or at least an internet shop selling out all the soaps I can imagine. With people who love my unique designs as much as I love to produce them.
Do you have a specific goals? In one year? In two years?
I want to enjoy life! Would love to travel, especially on cruise ships. LOL As far as my soaping business, I know I should have specific goals on where I would like to be in one year or two years, but right now I don’t.
Fancifally I would like to have my own warehouse to produce soap. I would create all the designs and have “people” who would reproduce my soaps for sale, leaving me free to oversee and create. In reality I would love to have a major presence on the web, making $30,000 per year, just give me the two years.
What’s your superpower?
If I could have any superpower that I wanted, hummmm, it would have to be the power to change into any size or form that I wanted. Could you imagine being able to change into an eagle and fly up high, or into a horse and run as fast as you could? How about into a cougar and leap from mountain peak to mountain peak? Or a monkey and swing from tree to tree. Or maybe a fire proof robot that could walk into a burning building and rescue people. That would be so cool!
My biggest catastrophe to date was when I was trying out a new FO. I was pretty new to soap making and really didn’t know a lot back then. I had a very picture in my head of what my soap should look like. The FO had a mind of it’s own and decided to become soap on a stick. So there I was poking chunks of soap down into a big chunk of soap, determined to at least make all the different chunks become one. I cut that soap and put it away in a box in the back of my closet. That was 2 ½ years ago. I got a bar out a couple of months ago and tried it and it is some of the best lathering soaps I’ve used. So it just goes to prove that soap is like wine, the longer it cures the better it is.
Do you get a lot of support from your family?
My husband just is one of those men who just thinks anything I do is “cute”. As in “Oh, look Vickie is playing around with her soap again”, so not really. I’ve learned over the years to do what I want to do, whether anyone else likes it or not. LOL
Describe to me, your most memorable customer. Why was she/he memorable.
My most memorable customer is a lady that my best friend introduced to me. We met at a Mystery play dinner. She bought about 4 soaps, one of which was a Cherry Blossom fragranced soap. Her and her husband, yes men can like flowery scents too, love this fragrance. They buy a batch from me about twice a year. I think her husband loves it the most, as he told her this is the first soap I’ve used that doesn’t make my skin itch. Each time I make a new batch for them the design changes and they tell me they love it each time. Can’t beat people who love what you do as much as you love doing it.
All soap makers have them so tell me about your worst “lye burn”.
I must say, I started out making soap scared to death of lye. So I’ve been very careful around it. Haven’t been burned yet other than a little drop here or there that I wash off and it doesn’t even leave a red mark. But my time will come, I’m sure, as I’m getting a little too comfortable around the lye.
What would you say are your 2 greatest weaknesses?
So you just want 2 weaknesses? LOL I’ve got many. Probably my biggest is I could probably hold the world title for procrastination. I do everything at the last possible minute and always underestimate the time it will take to do it.
My second one is that I hate housework! It always needs done. It’s not like you can do it and it is over with. It’s the energizer bunny, it just keeps on needing done again and again and again. I love a clean house, just wish it would stay clean. J
How would your best friend describe you?
I didn’t know so I called and asked her. LOL She said I was a very quite, reserved person, with a good heart, until I started to talk to someone about my goats or soaps, then you couldn’t shut me up.
If you had to give up ONE of your favorite foods, what would it be?
Anything with sugar, I love sweets of any or all kinds. Candy, pastry, Cakes, BROWNIES, ice cream…..
Tell me about your soap, your store name and its “brand” or philosophy
My soap business is called “Udder Indugence”. I get a lot of people who tell me I’ve mis-spelled Utter, but no it is Udder because of the goats milk that is in each and every, (almost every), bar of soap that I make. In the three years that I’ve been making soap, I’ve only made about 4-5 batches without goats milk. 3 because I was out of goats milk and one with wine and one with coffee. Both special requests.
Indulgence because I want my soap to be the most luxurious bar of soap you’ve ever used. A delight to the eyes, nose and skin. And I guess that is sort of my philosophy too, If I’m going to make soap, it’s going to be the best that I can possibly make.
1) Where can it be found
Well my Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/UdderIndulgence
and my partially built webpage is: http://udderindulgence.com/
2) What is your most popular soap
I’d have to say that I have 3 most popular soaps. My Lilac, Cherry Blossom and Cedar and Saffron.