Monday, 7 December 2009

Well! I've never been asked THAT before....

I did my craft fair on Saturday in Cheltenham, and have to say I had a very good day.
I met some really lovely people (other stall holders...and customers) and came away happy with my sales. I even sold out of the ever popular 'Geranium & Patchouli Slice'.
Now...when I do craft shows I'm ready for the questions.
We have to gear ourselves up for them don't we?
It's no good just being happy to make soap in our homes if we want to make a living out of gotta learn some people skills and get ready for some really strange know they're coming.
So really strange questions came almost at the end of my working day. Now bear in mind, this particular craft show was held in the gardens and upstairs rooms of a pub.

Here's what happened (two incidents)...
Lady no.1: Hello. Arent' these magnificent. (continues to browse - gets low to sniff the soap rather than pick it up (why!) ).
'Thank you very much', came my reply.
'So...I can eat the ones in the middle' (she meant the 4 soaps scented with fragrance oils).
'EAT THEM', I exclaimed! 'NO, you can't eat them...they're soap'.
'Oh, I thought I could eat those ones but not the others'....!!!!
'No, honestly', I said. 'It's soap, You can't eat any of it!'
Lady grabs my arm and says 'Do you know? I've come all the way from the tip of Cornwall and I've never seen anything like this. I've never been to a craft fair, all my life consists of is milking the cows & feeding the chickens. This is all so new to me and quite overwhelming'.
'I should say it is', I said!
Bless she went to the next stand, to explain to the other ladies that she was all the way from the tip of Cornwall and that she'd never experienced the like before...

Lady no.2: 'Hiya'. How's it going?'
'Yes, very well thanks, I said. I'm having a lovely day. How are you?'
'Well', she said. 'This is gonna sound like a really strange question, but have you got anything that could help me and my liver?'
My face contorted I'm sure.
I said 'Sorry, I'm a soapmaker, not a bloody doctor' (she had a large glass of red in her hand so I knew she'd take a bit of mockery')!
She said 'Sorry, I'll explain. I've been to the doctor as I have a problem with my liver. Oops, I know I shouldn't be drinking...but I have been given these salts and I have to put 4 scoops into my bath and sit in it for 20 minutes, and whatever is in the salts seeps through my skin to help with my problem. After I get out of the bath, I feel all woozy and really really tired'. this point I'm totally baffled.
I said 'I'd really love to be able to help, but I don't think I could help you, as I think that maybe you're not supposed to use anything other than the salts'.
I mean, how the hell could I 'prescribe' a soap? Most of mine contain essential oils, which we all know can have adverse side effects in some people. So with a person with some kind of liver problem (she didn't explain what it was), I daren't reccommend anything'.
Don't think my public liability insurance would cover me...!
Just WOT do you say to these people? I thought I'd heard it all...but the buying public never cease to amaze me. They're all so talented at asking these truly wicked questions!


Gary's third pottery blog said...


Jennifer said...

LOL! That's a first. I would have told her though that she should be drinking LOTS of water while taking a salt bath, that's why she was woozy, dehydrated.

Most people assume my soap is either fudge or candles. Not sure how they get candles.

I've had some wicked odd questions myself.

My favorites though are the "soapmakers" out there who can make soap just like me! But who don't have a clue what I mean when I ask if they like to HP or CP or what their favorite oils are to work with.

innerearthsoaps said...

Bwahahaha! When I do the markets every second person makes a comment about how the soap looks like fudge or cake. But I've never had anyone actually think they WERE edible! Tehee.

Incognito said...

When I first saw your soaps here in the U.S. at Dan's shop, I thought they looked edible, but knew better because I can read! Ha.

Not surprised that you sold out of the geranium-patchouli slice; that is my favorite so far. Have it in the shower right now.

Enjoy your shows as you get better and better at the public banter!

Alex Mason said...

LOL...glad you had a good day of sales xx

natalielala said...

Ha! you didn't tell me that story when I saw you.... that was very funny! Am enjoying Cyclone at lot right now.... the Petitigrain has a very calming effect on my yud!!
Thanks sisty, love you!!

FuturePrimitive said...

ha! thanks everyone.
and thanks natalie (bloody la got that right sister)!i thought i'd save it for you to read..i tell a better story if i type rather than speak!

kat said...

All day at shows I explain that it's actually soap, not fudge or candles (mostly the cutie pies)

I constantly get people asking me what could help this medical problem or that... Sometimes I think I should be selling snake oil so I could earn a living... yikes!

Amy W said...

I'd say you got some unique customers! (Or should I say browsers!) Sometimes the people who are the most vocal are the ones who rarely buy. I had an inebriated "customer" come talk to me at the market about how he could buy his soap at the dollar store for so much less. Fine. Please go away now.

Ondine said...

You should be proud of yourself for not talking her into buying something for the sake of it, as I'm sure it would have been easy. Very honest of you!

soubriquet said...

I have a few recipes for liver.......

Hey: You soap folk make stuff that smells great and looks like food. We poor fools always want to eat it. However, I'm still frothing from the lemon cheesecake-looking mouthful. I'll stick to just washing with soaps from now on.

distresseddamsel said...

Well, on the bright side, at least you get to meet some especially "interesting" albeit peculiar people. But among them, I find the second one more amusing. I don't see how anything applied to the exterior part of the body could have any effect on any internal organ. As for the first one, I think I can identify with her. Some soaps are so yummy smelling and looking, that they could already be mistaken for cake slices or pastry bars!