Interview w/ Renee Lillie of Tub-Time Treasures

Welcome Back!
I took a week off to host a house guest, but now I'm back and trying to get back in the crafting swing! :) Below is my weekly crafter's interview, This time with Renee Lillie of Tub-Time Treasures! CHECK IT OUT!

1. What’s your name and shop name and what do you do? My name is Renee Lillie and I own Tub-Time Treasures. I make soap and sweet treats for the bath and body. (Lotions, scrubs, bath bombs, etc...)

2. Where are you located? I am located in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. (United States)

3. What’s the favorite part of your craft? I love being able to work with all of the different oils and combine them to make something nourishing and fun for the skin.

4. How long have you been crafting? I've been crafting for years, and just started making soaps and bath goodies last year.

5. What’s your favorite thing to make? I love to make soap. REAL soap. (The stuff you buy in the stores is really detergent, that's why the labels say "bath bar", "body bar", "moisturizing bar", etc....) I love it all really. I feel like a mad scientist. Everything needs to be weighed and measured, and you have to make sure that your math is correct to end up with a decent product. (Too much or too little of something can ruin the whole thing)

6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot? I use a Toshiba PDR-4300 digital still camera. (My Dad got it for me for my Birthday a few years back)

7. Who or what models your items? Basically, it's just my items. Sometimes I put them on the over-john in my bathroom.... but mostly, they are sitting on my washer and dryer during their "photo shoot."

8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business? I love that I have the freedom to make what I want, to try new things, and to try to make what customers are asking for. If I've never tried it, or don't know how to make it, and someone asks for it... I'll work on it until I come up with something that I like, and that the customer is happy with.

9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business? The most challenging part for me is to find the time to create/package/market/promote. I work a full-time day job and have 2 small children... so I don't get as much time for soaping as I'd like.

10. On average, how many things do you create per week? See above... it really depends on how hectic the week has been. I like to make a couple batches of CP soap, some cupcake bath bombs, and a batch or two of lotion per week.

11. What inspires you? Anything and everything! Fragrances can inspire ideas... and then ideas inspire new fragrance combinations. A pattern on a towel can give me ideas.

12. Take me thru your creative process. Well... say, for soap... I start with the fragrance usually. What does the fragrance bring to mind? What colors? Do I want to make a solid color? A Swirl? A Layered Bar? How do I want it to look? Then I sit down and figure out the color scheme, decide on how I want it all to end up. Then I work on my oils. Do I want to use my standard "recipe"? What oils do I have on-hand? Or do I want to try something a little different to enhance the different qualities of the oils? Do I want to make it an exfoliating bar? (By adding seeds, oatmeal, salt or some other scrubby thing) Once I've got it all the way I want it... I tweak my "recipe" and run it through a lye calculator, then superfat the batch and pour it into a mold.

13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters? "Never let the seeds keep you from enjoying the watermelon." You'll make mistakes.... some of them will create the most AMAZING projects! Don't be worried about what will happen if you fail, or if no one "gets" what you do, right away. You WILL find your niche... just keep at it! I also strongly recommend seeking out other crafters in the community (and online community) to bounce ideas off of, and share inspiration. Having that support group is a wonderful thing! Get your stuff out there locally too, if you can. Saturday Markets, craft fairs, whatever venue works for you.

Find Renee's shop, Tub-Time Treasures, here.
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