Well, I have a rather large and important announcement. I've thought long and hard about this for several months now, talked to my husband about it and my friends, had discussions back and forth and, just this weekend, I came to a big decision.
I've decided that I will be closing down Soaperstar for the time being.
Some of you might be aware that I also work full-time in education - the reason I got into soaping in the first place was to de-stress from that job, one I find actually very stressful indeed. I needed a hobby to focus my energies on, and found that I had a huge creative streak (or, at least, I like to think so) and it needed to be expressed - apparently, through the medium of soap! So I made soap and I was excited and happy.
Being the typical Type A personality, I have to always do the ultimate job I can do, there are never half measures - I drive myself harder than I would anyone else and I'm my own worst critic. I also jump in with both feet and put my heart and soul into everything I do; now, that's a great thing if you're the person buying the products because you know that I'll have done everything in my power to make the product the very best it can be. For me, working a full time job and coming home to another full time job, it's not such a great thing, long term.
For some time, I've suffered from major tiredness issues moving on recently into total exhaustion. This past week has shown me that I needed to take a step back and look at what I could do to resolve that issue - in the long run there are several options but they'll take time to implement. What could I do in the short term? And I looked at what gave me pleasure and what didn't, anymore. Soaperstar has given me huge pleasure but has, in the last few months, also proven an enormous amount of work - the paperwork, the regulations, the promotion, marketing, sales, shipping, designing etc all take such huge time. Notice I haven't mentioned the making there. The making, the R&D part I love so much, was becoming a smaller part of the whole - the part I liked was being swallowed up by all the other things around it. I wanted the "glitter and kittens" part of what I loved (the mad scientist experiments) but the other million jobs still had to be done and I was running out of energy, fast.