A big HELLO from "time off" me!
How is everyone doing? Yes, I know, I'm supposed to be on a break and yes, I actually still am officially "off". Just wanted to sneak in a quick little update on the one hand and, more importantly, I wanted to share another instalment of my Female Reflections series because there are a lot of fantastic (crafts)women out there whom I'd like you to know a bit more about. So first off and to get it out of the way, I will be back market trading this Saturday in Skibbereen! I look forward to catching up with everyone and hearing all your news. Of course I'll bring along some beautiful creations, too...
In the meantime, let me get straight to introducing my market friend Sadie from Wild Atlantic Soaps, an energetic, kick-ass boss lady who brightens any day with her sunshine spirit and good vibes - all of which she channels marvellously into her fragrant soaps.
Many thanks, Sadie, for being an interviewee for Female Reflections. Many will have met and know you as the bubbly maker behind natural seaweed cosmetics brand Wild Atlantic Soaps.
1. For those who are new to your work, how would you describe the products you create, what does your range include?
I make handmade products for skin and hair, all containing seaweed. Seaweed Soaps, Solid Shampoo Bars, Seaweed Bath Bombs, Lip Butters and Natural Deodorants.
2. What would you say are the core values of your brand altogether?
All ingredients are sustainably sourced, and packaging is eco friendly and recycled, where possible. No nasty plastic or synthetic ingredients!
3. Now that we know a bit about your handmade creations, how do they actually come into being? What is your personal making process, from idea to finished product?
I was working as a chef for most of my life and I really wanted to get out of the commercial kitchen and do something with herbs initially. I then had a “brain wave” and decided I was going to make soap with seaweed and call it Wild Atlantic Soaps, and so it began! Reading books and watching videos and experimenting until I was pushed into doing my first Christmas market. That was it really, I slowly made the progression out of the industrial kitchen into my own.
4. What would a “typical day” in your maker’s life look like, if indeed there is such a thing as a typical day (or even week)? Are you working on Wild Atlantic Soaps full-time?
Yes, as we speak I have two batches of soap cooking, ready for the week of markets. Today is Tuesday, it’s Kinsale Market on a Wednesday, Clonakilty on Fridays, Skibbereen Saturdays, and in the summer months I do Schull on Sundays too! I dont’t get a day off in the summer as I only have a couple of days to make it all again for the next week :) But then again, it’s a long winter of not doing too much, so it balances out. Make hay while the sun shines, as they say!
5. What is your background as a soaper? Have you set out making cosmetics, always knowing this was what you wanted to do? What professional and/or personal background journey brought you to where you are now?
No, I never imagined I’d be making soaps in my life!
6. Where do you get ideas for your makes, how do you try and test them?
Ideas come to me really easily, then I test them on all my friends and get the feed back I need.
7. What motivates you to keep making and coming up with new products?
Just that I want to carry on working for myself so the ideas come to me, I guess. The people at the markets also give me great feedback as to what I should be making, ie I’d never heard of a shampoo bars before and now they’re one of my biggest sellers!
8. Lastly, is there something that you always wanted to share, yet never got asked to? Maybe your proudest moment or any advice, words of wisdom or other bits that you feel your clients or even fellow makers should know about or could benefit from? Relating to work or life, as you see fit.
No, but I must say I got so much support in the beginning from friends, family and co-workers, without them encouraging me I would never be where I am today. My dream was to work at Music Festivals one day and now I work with a great bunch of people at GreenCrafts, where they gave me the opportunity to do workshops making bath bombs and oils etc. I was delighted to do the last Glastonbury, my dream!! As well as Electric Picnic and All Together Now here in Ireland, I can’t wait for festivals to return again :) Onwards and Upwards!!!
If, like me, you can’t get enough of Sadie’s natural soaps and other fragrant offerings, check out her website www.wildatlanticsoaps.com and find her @wildatlanticsoaps on social media for more. Otherwise, visit her beautifully scented market stalls at Skibbereen Farmer’s Market (Saturday), Kinsale Market (Wednesday), Clonakilty Market (Friday) and Schull Country Market (Sunday) throughout the season. You’ll be lured in by the fresh smells and colourful, eco-friendly packaging. It’s always a treat to see Sadie and, let it be said, her wares make great presents! That is if you can bring yourself to give them away... So maybe buy everything in double quantity, just to be safe!
Now there you go, thank you for reading! I still can't believe how lucky I am to work alongside all these interesting, strong women, and I truly hope that this series inspires you to continue to #shoplocal and #shopsmall from hardworking, honest crafters such as Sadie at Wild Atlantic Soaps. Supporting these business ventures gives so much back to the community and makes life better for everyone! Stay in the loop for more Female Reflections as well as more of NDS Jewellery... I am always dreaming up new ideas and you literally never know what I'll come up with next... or when!
See you again soon, big love,