Interview with Danii Juniper from Starcrossed Soapery
I saw Danii's soaps and was immediately intrigued. Danii has made some amazing soaps with soap dough. Here you go, Sorcery Soap Interview with Danii Juniper from Starcrossed Soapery.
How did you arrive at the name of your business?
I began making soap back in 2014 and it has been a rough ride to get where I am now. I LOVED making soap, and I did attempt to start a business back then but I lacked the discipline and I was on a path of self destruction through most of my 20s. When I picked up the stick blender again in May 2019 I had done so much inner work and soap making lit a new fire within me. It was as though I had found my path. I wanted a celestial, pretty name. Something to do with astrology because it has been a huge part of my journey. I was thinking of the lyric “star crossed voyagers" in the song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by the wonderful Elton. It sort of just clicked, and from then on that has always been the name. This path is fated, this path is mine and its most certainly star crossed.
How long have you been making soaps?
Coming up to 6 years!
What happened prior to making soap the soured your interest in soap making?
As soon as I got the idea to make soap, nothing stopped me. I was off like a rocket. I did give it up for a while though. I found I wasn't creating what I dreamed of in my head. I loved embeds but hated melt and pour and even then the moulds were limiting. This year I dove into soap dough and it has been the key for my success, inspiration and creativity.
Did you have knowledge of soap making before you began?
I'm one of those creatives with a finger in every pie. You name it, I've probably tried it or at least researched into it. I got a little spark of interest one day to give candle making a try. I went to an Aussie supplier and noticed they had a whole soap making tab. How had it never occurred to me that people make soap? I went straight to YouTube and directly down the rabbit hole. Melt and pour didn't excite me, but cold process did. Wow. I was hooked and my brain became obsessed with any little bit of information I could get my paws on. I researched for a good few months before getting the kit I'd requested for my 24th birthday. I still have the first soap I ever made!
What makes you happy to get out of bed regarding soap making?
I struggle with discipline, but I also really struggle with getting bored. Soap making is unlimited. Especially since I discovered soap dough. I can make literally anything I dream of. I can then make combinations of those things, and variants of those combinations. Different swirls, recipes, designs, scents. It's literally endless and it keeps me fascinated. And the fact that I have something beautiful, made by my own two hands, that I can USE and share. That keeps me going and is deeply satisfying.
How did you choose your packaging / labeling for your soaps?
I really wanted to keep my brand as Eco friendly as possible. So far I've gotten away with a simple brown paper cigar band. I do worry about my embeds, but I try to craft them with no "sticky outty bits" as we like to call it. I'll cross that bridge if I come to it but for now, its plastic free over here! I have an art background and I’ve dabbled in graphic design for a few years so I just design all my labels myself. I wanted them whimsical and pretty with the celestial element. I came up with some simple falling stars which tell my story pretty well.
How do you come up with your color designs?
I fly by the seat of my pants. I think I'm lucky to have an eye for colour, composition, balance and design. Probably comes from my art/photography background but it's just second nature to me. Some soaps, I make the embeds and I don't decide what I'm going to do until I make it. I rarely draw up designs. I just wing it. I think that adds to the excitement element for me, and it rarely does me wrong.
Where do you find your inspiration for your soaps?
Nature would be the biggest one. I like to go for long walks and just mull over whatever comes to mind. I love looking at polymer clay artists, and have recently started looking into fondant art. Food of course is a big one. I find I'm just really inspired by fragrances. I really like making fruits! I enjoy making soap that looks the same as it smells. But for things like my little deer and astrology soaps, nature is king.
Are there things in your environment that aid in your creativity?
I live in the bush. I hardly have neighbors and its dead quiet here except for Bowie (my bird) chatting away and the wildlife outside. I love the silence and I find solace in it often. My house is decorated like a hippie den so theres plants and colour inspiration everywhere. Plus its just cosy and safe and I feel so grateful to be here. Perfect place for ideas to flow. Now that I think of it, a lot of my branding is just an extension of my house and so an extension of me! I also am often alone, my guy has his own small business and is out at markets most weekends. This is my time to tap into myself and create.
What is your favorite part of soap making?
Putting the embeds on. Hands down! That and photographing them.
What do you do that is not soap related, but aids in your creative thinking?
Walking. I really love walking. I love looking through my instagram explore page too! So many beautiful pictures that spark my imagination.
What soaps have you created that surprised you?
The deer soap. It was just a fleeting idea and I made it on a whim when I just couldn't decide how to decorate the top. I just went for it and made it up as I went. With a fragrance I hadn't tested and had no notes for. It riced like crazy, but somehow it worked and is probably one of my most well known creations.
What makes you laugh about making soap?
Whenever I do the Danii thing and wing soaps and then it all goes sideways and I end up plopping into the mould. I always laugh. Also the first soap dough embeds I made were peaches that totally looked like bums with uh... you know. Should've added a damn leaf. It still makes me laugh. Desiree from Lilasuds cracks me up in almost every conversation we have. Katie and Kenny from Royalty Soaps makes me laugh in almost every video. The whole community for the most part is just so supportive and fun. I've made so many soapy friends that make me smile every day. I feel so grateful to be a part of it all!