Wanted to take a minute and update you on a few things happening at Viking Soap & Cosmetics.
We have made a few changes to the formulation to reflect some supplier arrangements and ingredient inclusions and as a result have had to up the price slightly (only 75 cents on each product).
We have heard that the scents are weak in some of the soaps, so have adjusted those just slightly to bump the scent strength.
Our production batches have now doubled in size and we are working to get stock built up for not only here, but at ‘The Shaving Shop Club’ (https://shavingshopclub.com/), where we’ll try to maintain some stock as well. Excited for this opportunity!
Citron has changed from a fragrance oil soap to an exclusively essential oil soap, which has made for a much more interesting and notable scent. Plus, we’ve upped the menthol a bit in it as that was a common critique of the soap.
We are working to also build up the inventory of the balms associated with each soap, and hope to have that completed in the next month or two.
We truly appreciate everyone’s support and look forward to providing some of the best value in wet shaving moving forward! As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns.
I greatly appreciate all the feedback folks have provided us over the last 3 months. Even though we have had very good success with the first variation on the formula, some (including me at times) felt the soap was too soft to be lathered effectively in containers.
I took this feedback into strong consideration and have modified my formula accordingly to increase the hardness and “in-tub” lathering ability of the soap.
Rest assured, the ingredients have not changed – other than the ratio of our saopnification agents, so you can expect the same performance from a lather, cushion, and post-shave feel that you did with the previous version — but with a harder soap.
Thanks for your support and feedback, it’s invaluable for me!
Just wanted to take a minute to thank all the folks who stopped over at VikingSoap.com this last week to help with the official launch, things went well and we are looking forward to the product getting into more hands as deliveries are made.
As always, if there’s anything we can do to help out, please feel free to let us know! Suggestions and feedback are appreciated.
We have more body soap that is curing with some new scents that should be ready in the next few weeks.
We will also be working to incorporate more scents into the aftershave balm line, and be working on our aftershave splash formula. We will also be working on hand/body lotion, liquid hand & face soaps, and shampoo. Keep checking back for more updates!
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Tonight marks the first official production night! Final packaging decisions were made last week and the containers and labels all arrived safe and sound within the last few days. To say we are excited is an understatement!
This is truly a labor of love, all of our products are made in extremely small batches and containers hand-filled. We hope you will enjoy them.
Here’s a picture of some body soap curing and some random experimental stuffs we have going on.
And a picture of the first containers filled with Old Norse Shaving Soap! Will cure a few days while we build more stock and be available for sale within the next week or two.
As I love to do everything as close to ‘from scratch’ as possible, rendering tallow from beef suet was an absolute must for me. Tallow is a somewhat controversial ingredient, but I feel confident that I am using a product that may otherwise be discarded from the meat industry, which is very prevalent in Iowa.
Right up the highway about 15 minutes from my home is a small traditional meat locker who I contacted about obtaining some beef suet (fat surrounding the kidney area – the best for tallow) to render tallow with. They were happy to supply some suet to me that was already run through a meat grinder, which makes for much easier rendering. In the past, I’ve trimmed, cubed, and ground the suet myself and that adds a ton of labor to the process; finding someone who has already performed those tasks makes my life easier.
This is what the suet looks like after it’s been run through the grinder.
The first step is to slowly melt (render) down the tallow to separate the liquid fats from the small bits of meat and gristle that are inevitably found in suet, regardless of how well it’s trimmed. After the first rendering, the tallow is poured through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to get rid of the majority of the bits. Some always seems to get through the first filtering. After this, the tallow is allowed to harden in a bowl, after which it is rendered again – this time with a bit of water and salt to help collect the remaining bits of gristle and meat. Again, the tallow is strained through the same apparatus and cooled in the refrigerator to harden. After hardening, the pure tallow is collected from atop the small pool of water in the bottom which contains any remaining impurities.
Here’s what it looks like after the second hardening.
Man, this is a lot more involved than I thought it would be! But, it’s been fun so far. Currently working through packaging options and think I finally have it nailed down. These aren’t final, but here is the first (older) option, of which there will be some since I bought some stock of the clear bottles that I need to use, but the blue bottle will be the choice moving forward. Easier to hold in one hand to pump and nicer looking in my opinion.
Working on labels next (mostly designed, just need to finalize sizes and options), and have also added a bunch of pictures to a few of the products. Good times! Still hoping to have things officially launched around May 1st. Thanks for checking in!
I am currently working on finalizing packaging options/labels, and refining final formulae. Starting up an online store has brought significantly more challenged than I anticipated! And when I step foot into a new realm, I like to go all out rather than piecing it together as I go (a certain degree of that will still occur). Building this website was made fairly easy with WordPress, but for someone with very little background in web site setup (and especially the ecommerce side of things), it took a little figuring out to say the least.
I wanted to make sure the website was set up and functional so that when the stock is finally built, we can ‘cut the ribbon’ and hit the ground running.
The other thing I’m doing is trying to figure out what the final lineup of products will look like. The three that you see listed in the menu will certainly form the foundation, but I do envision that there will be hair care products, hand & body lotion, liquid hand and face soaps, beard oil, and possibly baby products, which is why I chose to name it ‘Soap & Cosmetic’ rather than just ‘Soap.’
Hope things will be ready to roll out in a month or so. I will have about 5 tubs of soap available from run #2 in the next few days, so if you are interested, please let me know and we can work out a cheap shipping option.
This has been a whirlwind 5 weeks or so. I have been a soap maker for quite some time, and truly enjoy the hobby, although I had let it get away from me for quite a while as life got busy. I came back with full steam and a renewed passion for the hobby and have decided to make a go at turning it from a hobby into a small side-business. I am very happy with how my creations have evolved and want to share them with the world and try my hand at running a small business.
I hope you find something you will enjoy and get some good use out of here! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make your experience better.