Mike is another April's Army team member who volunteered to be interviewed through the Etsy forums, and also the one I've been most excited to interview, especially when I saw his name (I love cats and have one of my own) and his avatar (a kitty in a bathtub covered in soap) and what he sold (I am a soap fiend, order it regularly from Etsy and am about to learn to make it myself). I actually ordered a bar of his lemongrass poppyseed soap before he even turned in this interview and it is fantastic. Even my husband, who normally doesn't care what he showers with, commented on it's awesomeness. So on with the awesomeness:
|Lemongrass Poppyseed Soap|
Tell us three things about yourself.
I'm a chef that works for a small software company in Redmond, Washington.
I want to make my first million before I turn 87.
I hate Patchouli.
What’s your medium and how did you get into it?
I make cold processed soap, lip balms, hand creams and bath salts.
I got into this when I was sitting around one weekend bored, and decided I wanted to try something new. I remembered doing soap in Junior High and decided it couldn't be that hard.
I dont know what they were thinking making us do soap in Junior High, but it isn't as easy as I remembered it should be. At that point, I found a recipe that worked for me and kept going.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve made?My favorite has to be Root Beer flavored lip balm. I found the perfect flavor oil for it and love to watch peoples eyes go wide when they smell it.
|Truly Awesome Root Beer Lip Conditioner|
From where do you take inspiration?As I said before, I have been a chef for 27 years, you dont do something that long without drawing inspiration from it, whether it be flavors, smells or colors.
Name one piece of art you wish you’d created and why? http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/weeee
This is my idea of art. It is simplistic and funny, I like simplistic and funny and wish I could have created it to bring happiness to people like me.
What are you doing when you’re not crafting?Working, being a chef takes up about 12 hours a day and after that another 12 hours of sleep doesn't hurt.
If you had to give up your medium and pursue another, what would it be and why?I really couldn't answer that question, I would have to get bored on another weekend and see what hit me next.
Tell us about a time you were making something that came out better than expected and how it happened.One of the first soaps that I made is called Forest Floor. It uses an Oak Moss scent of which I had no idea would seize the soap. I had everything mixed, colors seperated, and then added the Oak Moss. The soap turned to an instant oatmeal at that point, I still continued on and added the other batch to it and mixed them as well as I could and pushed it into the mold, not sure of the outcome. The next day when I took this out of the mold, it just came out looking phenomenal. It had just the right color, scent and look to it. I still make the same mistake to this day when I make that soap, just on purpose this time.
|Forest Floor Soap|
Who is one person living or dead, famous or not, who you wish owned one of your creations and why?Well, dead people smell pretty bad, dont they? Then they could definitely use my soaps, and lotions for dry skin. I guess it wouldnt matter if they were famous or not.
Oh yeah, and smelly living people as well, doesnt matter if they are famous or not either.
How would you explain how to do what you do to an eight year old?Have someone else do it for you while your still young and can get away with it.
What’s your favorite part of the process?When the soap comes out of the molds and the colors pop out at you and the smells are going all through the house. I love that part of it.
One random thing you think people should know.
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
If you could be a character in fiction, who would you be and why?
I would be Mr. Burns from the Simpsons, because I wouldn't have to work 7 days a week to get by.