Our Journey to the Soaping Business - Part 1: How it all Started!

about us RN to Zen. How it all started

So unlike many people, we did not start soaping due to skin issues, such as allergies, dry skin, or atopic dermatitis. Our road to soaping happened a few years back in a very different way. 

Here is Part I of our story!

We are both nurses and pre-pandemic wanted to start exploring ways in which we could help support our fellow nurses. You see, unless you're a nurse it's hard to know what we go through everyday, granted with COVID, it's certainly made things much more interesting (if that's the word) and difficult to say the least. However, even before hand, many nurses will tell you they love there job, and how rewarding it is, which is true. 

However, living a life everyday where you dedicate yourself to other people and seeing them (hopefully) get back on there feet can be super stressful, and even if you don't feel those stressors everyday, they are indeed there. This is not to say other jobs are not stressful, but most likely the stress is different then what we feel.

At the same time as we were brainstorming ideas, we started becoming more environmentally friendly and thinking about how we could help minimize ours and others carbon footprints in the would, but we'll get back to that later. 

An idea came along, (which most would probably not think is very originally), but we started to think about making customized nurse themed bath bombs. Not only are bath bombs really relaxing and stress relieving (which is our goal), but what a fun gift to give a nurse, and what a fun thing for a nurse to buy for themselves to enjoy with a glass of wine. Sure you could go to many bath and beauty stores and buy a bath bomb, but how fun would it be to choose from a wide variety of "nurse-themed" ones that relate to what you do everyday!

So here our journey began, it all started with, that's right, bath bombs! Low and behold this process turned into quite a big undertaking. As we set off it was important to us to create original bath bomb molds, things no one else had, or was doing quite like ours. Fast forward a few months after we had quite a nice collection of original ideas, we wanted to do more. This is where soaps came into the picture, and future business planning. 

After we had a pretty good head of steam going in the bath bomb direction, we started thinking what would a nurse appreciate. Well given the fact that we are always educating about safety, what to do and what not to do with your health, we wanted something nurses could relate to being healthy for their own bodies. Then we said to ourselves, everyday as nurses we finding ourselves in those "dirty" situations. We're not only cleaning other people (blood, poop, dirt, and other types of drainage), but our skin and bodies take a beating. Dry hands, constant sanitizing, sanitizing our already sanitized hands, chemicals for wiping of machines, hundreds of pairs of gloves a day. 

Yikes! Our poor skin!

So we thought, what if we made environmentally friendly, beautifully scented, all natural, easy on the skin, vegan soaps. Now being go-getters and fairly crafty individuals this seemed like a fun idea. Of course we are not the only ones making soaps, or vegan soaps at that, however with such a big push in society to go organic and vegan, we wanted people to know everything in our soaps is 100% skin safe and healthy for there skin. We wanted those with "dirty jobs" to those people with allergies or sensitive skin to be able to use our soaps without hesitation. 

Now if you're a soaper out there or have ever gotten your hand into this business (hobby), it is not something you can half-A**. 

Soaping is something that takes lot's of research, testing, dedication, formula creation, more testing, colorant exploration (mica's, clay's, oxides etc.), lye safety research, more testing, cold process vs. melt and pour vs. hot process soaps, understanding techniques like superfatting, water discounts, lye/water ratio, what is trace, fragrances, fragrance combinations, lye calculators, fragrance calculators, Phthalates, pricing, markets, displaying your soap, cleaning your soap, cutting your soap, curing your soap, and this is the tip of the ice berg here! 

It's literally a SCIENCE.

...and probably the biggest hurdle is weeding through all the information out there on soap making! Shout out to places like Brambleberry, Tree Marie Soapworks, Moriver Soaps! Keep in mind, sometimes just finding that right person to watch, even if they are not tutorial's, teaches you a bunch!

So this is the time, we decided this was something we really wanted to do, we wanted it to become something that we could not only tell our fellow nurses about to enjoy, but soaps anyone could enjoy, while all the while keeping our nurses in the front of our minds and always doing something a little different, whether with our formulas or designs then someone else. 

At the same time, we wanted our soaps to be different, that is be simple looking, but have our own added twist to them that we know was pretty difficult to do, and this is where the hearts came into play, embedded in our soaps. Now we're not the first ones to embed shapes into our soaps, but I don't think you'll find people that not only have a design incorporated, but have that actually be mimicking their logo.

We're pretty proud of all that we've learned and the process of getting to where we are. Simple design, beautiful soap, not easy to execute!

So why us? 

Well, let's be honest there're a lot of people that make beautiful all-natural soaps. So...

1. Our soaps are 100% vegan, from the fragrances, to the colorants, to all the oils we use!

2. Every batch of our soap are poured by us, here at RN to Zen. Hand-poured, and then set to cure. 

3. We follow all IFRA guidelines for fragrance usage rates!

4. The majority of our fragrances are blended with others to give them original scents and make you stand out from the crowd. This means testing, testing and more testing!

5. We strictly follow all manufactures guidelines for usage rates of colorants, fragrances or any other ingredient within our soaps!

6. Give a nurse a gift to say thanks! Ever have the one nurse you'll never forget? Have a nurse that's a friend on family member? Maybe think of her/him this day and make them smile with a unique design or gift they can relate too!

Thanks for checking us out today, please be sure to leave us a comment or reach out to us if you have a questions or just want to say hi! Whether you choose us or not for your relaxation purposes, from our soaps, candles, to bath bombs, we wish you and your families a safe and happy 2021!

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