Thursday, September 13, 2007

Li's crafting thoughts 09-13-07

Edited a bit for clarity:

A few things I've been crafting recently :)

Hair tonic:
While I was in Philly, I finally strained the herbal hair tonics I made for my sister (made with fresh herbs like sage from her wonderful garden) and added a blend of various essential oils that are good for hair (such as rosemary). I hope she likes it! :)

Cream:I ran out of cream a while back so just made a new batch. I formulated and crafted a new recipe but I think I added too much shea or wax so it's a bit slick on the skin but the strange thing is that it's thin! I guess next time I won't try to craft a cream from memory, LOL! :) (need to look at previous recipes for the right wax proportions)

I'm still thinking of/working on a preservative system for lotions (for a shelf life of at least 6 months, if not longer). There are a lot of problems with trying to formulate a completely natural preservative system, namely that all natural or nearly all natural lotions have a much reduced shelf life compared to conventionally preserved products, and also the most effective natural preservatives are very fragrant or contain alcohol (a problem for those with sensitive skin).

Serums:I am still working on serums for my line. I just received many new carrier oils (thanks Markey!). I now have close to 60 carrier oils to work with, and still need to finish figuring out which oils work for which skin type. The problem is that many of these oils are new to the market (either newly available on a wider scale, newly available to the retail market, or totally new) so there is not much information on these oils in books (so most of my research is based on my own observations on how they react on the skin and also sometimes from online vendors). When I first started crafting and using natural skin care, I thought that no carrier oils worked for my skin--I went through nearly a dozen of the most popular, basic ones before I found a few that worked. Nowadays, with the range of carrier oils on the online market, it is easy to find something that works! I am having so much fun crafting serums for different skin types!

Perfume and Aromatherapy Blends:I've been working on a jasmine perfume for a while and I think it is almost perfect. Crafting an aromatherapy perfume is different than crafting a simple aromatherapy blend, since you need to pay special attention to top, middle, and base notes, and how each essential oils melds with the other (and a perfume, of course, is typically at a much higher concentration). When I craft aromatherapy blends, I just craft whatever I think would go well together, and don't pay too much attention to whether I have all three notes in a blend. They smell lovely but they aren't really technically perfumes (though I admit I do wear single or simple blends as my scent sometimes ;P ). I am still kind of an amateur at crafting perfumes but I am proud of how my jasmine perfume is coming along.

I made an aromatherapy blend for a family friend during one of my out of town trips; it did have a top, middle, and base note but only had 3 essential oils, and I made it at a perfume concentration (so I guess it was kind of like a hybrid!). Very simple but lovely blend.

In general, I've been doing a lot of research on ingredients and how to run a business, and (of course) crafting like mad. I've been crafting most of my own skin care/aromatherapy products and remedies for a long while (about seven years now), but there is so much to consider before starting a business, that most people never think about. One thing is for sure, I will never again complain about the prices that some vendors sell their goods at, since I'm beginning to discover there are so many hidden costs in running a business!


angelique said...

I enjoy reading your blog! Please keep it coming! I'm kinda new at this, but it's alway nice to hear what others are doing!

Anonymous said...

hello Ms Kat-I also have been crafting (vegetarian/vegan stuff as well) for awhile now and give my creations to family & friends...I have people pressuring me to sell my stuff but do not feel comfortable doing so since I am not a certified aromatherapist and have no formal training, just self taught....have you been formally trained in any manner?

Solarkat said...

Hi Anon

Sorry for the delay in answering. I thought you brought up an interesting topic (about certification), so may write a post about it in the future. I have nearly two environmental/biology related degrees, and also am in the process of becoming a certified aromatherapist (so understand both the science as well as traditional and herbal uses of plants), but much of my crafting and aromatherapy knowledge is self taught (I've been crafting for seven years). My advice to you: research, read, and craft as much as you can. Whether you feel the need to be certified or not, it is your choice. Many hand crafters are not certified.


Solarkat said...

Hi Angelique

Thanks for posting, sorry in the delay in posting your comment. I am glad you enjoy my blog, take care :)


Solarkat said...

Hi Anon/SJ

I responded to you by email Oct 8th, I don't know if you ever got my email. If you didn't, let me know and I will resend.