Interview with Tree Marie Soapworks
I saw Tree Marie's videos first. What struck me about Teri's videos was not just her neat-handed technique, but her soothing voice, her neat and tidiness, not to mention the stellar soaps she produces. I learned many things by watching what Teri did naturally. Teri showed a pleasant way to mix my soap colorants - so helpful!
Please, help me to support Teri of Tree Marie Soapworks by reading and learning about the delightful person behind the camera and her fabulous soaps.
What prompted your interest in soap making? My fascination with soap making began many years before I ever made my first batch. One day at the bookstore, I saw (and eventually bought) a beautiful book with gorgeous photos of rustic soap. After that, I collected the ingredients to make soap but never got up the nerve to make it. (It was working with lye that scared me away.) Fast forward 17 years. My family was very interested in learning self-sufficiency and old skills. My husband encouraged me to give soap making another try.
Did you have knowledge of soap making before you began? Yes, I knew the concept very well because of the research I did all those years ago.
How did you arrive at the name of your business? Theresa is my full name, although I go by Teri. I have always loved the nickname of Tree for Theresa; it somehow fits me. Marie is my middle name, and I think Tree Marie has a ring to it. Soapworks, to me, is like artworks. So there you have it, Tree Marie Soapworks.
What makes you happy to get out of bed regarding soap making? I love soap design! Trying different color combos and learning different techniques get me out of bed in the morning. Problem-solving is also fun for me. My mind is always working on some sort of soap related “problem.”
What is your favorite way to connect with other soap makers? Social media is a great place to connect with other soap makers. I especially treasure Amy Warden’s Soap Challenge Club. We all have so much in common! It is wonderful to connect with other soap makers from around the world. https://soapchallengeclub.com/
How do you design your soaps? Do you choose scent first or colors or… ? Most of my designs are complicated and usually require slow-moving fragrances because I typically need plenty of time to work. For this reason, my fragrance
choices are limited. The visual aesthetic is more important to me, so I don’t worry about matching the fragrance to the design and the colors.
Where do you find your inspiration for your soaps? Landscapes and color combinations everywhere inspire me. Sometimes even product packaging and modern design inspire me. Also, Instagram and Pinterest are chock-full of design ideas!
Are there things in your environment that aid in your creativity? I was a quilter before I started soap making. Fabric is very inspiring in many ways. It usually has a color key on the selvage edge. Those little circles of colors are great for color inspiration. Also, the fabric designs and the thickness of lines serve as my inspiration.
What is your favorite part of soap making? The action phase of soap making is my favorite part. That is the pouring, cutting, and beveling of the soap.
What do you do that is not soap related, but aids in your creative thinking? I love working with my hands. Before I started making soap, I was into gardening and cooking/baking. I don't get to play with these interests as much anymore. Now, these hobbies offer me a little break and a time to reflect. I have been craving nice weather when I can go outside and pull weeds and bring some order to our garden and especially my flowerbeds. It is therapeutic for me.
What soaps, fragrances oils, colorants etc. have you created or used that surprised you? My Pointy Layers design technique surely surprised me. It was meant to be a straight layer design. The essential oil combination was so slow-moving that I got impatient and just poured the second layer very close to the first layer and repeated on the remaining layers. The design that resulted was so satisfying that I eventually taught it as a guest teacher for the Soap Challenge Club in July of 2019.
What soaps have you made that got a reaction from others you did not expect? I have had a child try to take a bite out of one of my Soleseife (Salt) Soaps. I was chatting with his mom and he threw it on the ground. When I picked it up, I saw the reason he threw it. There were bite marks on the soap! In his defense, it was a chrysanthemum shaped soap that looked very much like white chocolate.
What makes you laugh about making soap? Soap making is so addicting! I find it is more addicting than other hobbies. It makes me laugh when I hear countless newbies who are getting bit by the soap making bug and I totally understand!
Where to find Tree Marie Soapworks:
My Website: https://www.treemariesoapworks.com
Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/treemariesoapworks/
Soap Challenge entries. https://bit.ly/2WJDKzk