As I said, my name is Nummite; I went to public school until 7th grade before I started homeschooling. At the end of each school year, my parents and I picked out my curriculum for the following year. At the age of 16 I seriously started looking at what credits I needed to pass High School - two of them were science. I was like, “What? Wait up, didn’t I already do science?” Turns out I had, but I needed a science with a lab. Cringing, I looked over the options available at a local homeschooling convention as well as online, but didn’t really like the choices. Now might be a opportune time to let you know I'm ridiculously particular - picky for short...
Very randomly it came to me that somewhere along the line, I'd heard someone say something about soaping involving Lye and being harder than it looked. Or something along those lines... And after thinking about it, I thought, “Hey! Why don’t I just make soap and record my process/hypothesis, ext?” My family is way into crafts, baking, and such so I figured this would work no problem.
My mother, being the wonderful human that she is, said 'Alright, let me look into it.' When she saw how much chemistry was actually involved with cold/hot process soap, she agreed to let me make soap on the condition that she was there when I did it and that I documented everything myself on a computer.
When we looked for supplies and recipes, she saw that there were certification levels for soap makers and soap instructors, so she studied and got not only her Beginner Certificate, but her Advanced as well. She was even contemplating getting her Masters. At the time, there was only one person in the world with it, but to receive it, you were required to write a final exam that's basically the equivalent of a book. (Just in case you're wondering - there are now around 3, possibly 4 people that have their Master Certificate - 3 years down the road.)
And that's the how of it. As for why I still am soaping almost 3 years later... Well I've never been a conventional person, and making things is practically my motivation for everything. Writing, painting, sculpting, cooking, soaping... Everything. So making soaps and other various products is both fun and functional. I also happen to love food and where I live it's required that you pay if you go to a store and pick out ingredients. So a job providing an income for me is a helpful thing to have.
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Artistic Apothecary's Beginning
So I've explained how and why I stated making soap, but I haven't told you how a sixteen-year-old girl created her own business, right? Well, this story is actually really simple... And depending on wether you're a parent, a child or just really good at imagining then you can probably relate to either my mother or me.
One day, my mother looked at all the ingredients and products she'd bought - to make soap safely you need a separate set of dishes and tools because when working with lye you can poison and/or kill yourself and others if there is even a slight miscalculation. Plus, it tastes pretty awful when you get a mouthful of peppermint soap-flavored pasta... So anyways, there was all these items she'd bought, plus loads of soap bars. And she realized she had invested a lot of money into this. She talked with me and we agreed that selling what I'd made would be a good idea for multiple reasons:
First of all, I'd been homeschooled during the time most people were socializing through public school, so by selling my products I would learn how to hold conversations and become an engaged member in today's society.
Secondly, I needed to start looking at finding a job since I had already decided that college wasn't something I was interested in. And who doesn't love the idea of working their own hours, deciding there own pay and making what they want to make?
And thirdly, I figured I really should pay her back... So we spent three weeks in New Zealand with my godmother and her best friend with the money I earned in the first two years. And I've taken over managing which show I sell at, handling taxes, and the majority of production.
Now you know a bit more about my mom, my business and me. You can browse our website, visit and message us on Facebook, and I recommend you visit our online store - to buy products, but that’s just personal, really…
Hello, and welcome to Artistic Apothecary. My name is Nummite Ashford, and I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself and my business. There are many reasons my company is how it is today. I actually never intended to sell any of my products when I first started making soaps. It was just a class I talked my mom into creating while I was homeschooled. It sort of just kept growing, and suddenly I was not only making soaps, but other products, then selling them, then owning and running a full business!
About Me & Why I Soap