Questions about business

CraftyGirl75March 5, 2003

Ok - I'm not trying to get myself or anyone else kicked off the board. I'm not asking the name of your business or your web site. But I have some questions for those of you who own soap businesses or sell soap products. So if anyone cares to answer, that'd be great. You can even just e-mail me if you want to.

I have been reading all the FDA stuff and I wonder how many actually follow all the guidelines. When you put labels on your soap and other items do you include everything - like list of ingredients, warning hazards, business name and location, net wt., etc? I was also informed that I would have to have a health department inspection of the location where I make product IF I was going to sell it. Is that required in all states? What about product liability insurance? I realize it's the option of the maker/seller. Does anyone have it? I'm wondering if the insurance would end up costing more than you make.

Any info is appreciated.


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I can tell you what I've been doing....
As far as labels:
If you are doing cold process soap you don't HAVE to label the ingredients, becasue that doesn't fall under the FDA guideline, however M&P does, so you are SUPPOSED to label M&P. A lot of hobby sellers don't, but if you sell wholesale you are supposed to label it with all the ingredients. I have labeled since the beginning, BUT with a basic label (As some of you who have gotten my soap know, my labels say something like: glycerin base, aloe vera, vit. E, color & fragrance) However I have gotten into more whol;esaling so I'm going to have to get a label made with the correct techinical ingredients.)
At this point I still haven't done the correct labels with the warnings, name & location, but will when i get someone to make the others.

I think the health dept thing varies state (or county) by state, may also depend on things like total sales volume etc.

From what the soapmakers guild told me, some home insurers will do liability ins, (but not here for me). The soapmakers guild does have some on their site, but you have to join to access that info. They did tell me that if you do get insursance it's not that expensive, BUT everything has to be labeled strictly along FDA guidelines, or the insurance is invalid.

I guess it sort of depends on if you want to be the next BBW or VS.....if you just want to do a few small craft shows you can probably get away with doing nothing like alot of people do, or do basics like I've been doing. You could also type up a list of ingredients & stick it in every bag....small print, but list ingredients for all products, & doesn't matter what they buy, everyone gets the insert.

JMHO, Hazel

    Bookmark   March 5, 2003 at 12:15PM
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Thanks Hazel,

I am doing MP. I thought about starting a web site, but not for ordering purposes. Just for information on what I'll have available. I think I can drum up enough business locally to keep me busy enough for what I have time for. And then do the local craft shows also. But I got very discouraged when I started finding all this stuff out. I already made labels with a list of ingredients. That's why I love WSSP, they have the lists available for you. I stick an ingredient label on the bottom of each wrapped bar. If it's a bar with pumice or other I include that ingredient also. I even went as far on the fish in a bag soap to include the warnings about soap not being edible and that small toys (the fish) can be a choking hazard, adult supervision required.

I did read in the FDA guidlines that you can stick a piece of paper in every order (like you suggested) with the ingredient list. I also read (geesh - I read too much) that if the business under which you make the soap is not listed in the local directory you have to provide a physical address. I'm thinking I'm just going to stick to the basics.

Thanks so much for your opinion and input, and to everyone else who e-mailed me.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2003 at 1:20PM
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Everyone will do what they are comfortable with but for me, I HAVE to label everything. There are so many people with allergies to all kinds of things and I for one don't want to be responsible for an allergic reaction because I didn't list my ingredients. If you've seen a severe allergic reaction resulting in shock, then you know the importance of ingredient labeling. JMO

    Bookmark   March 6, 2003 at 12:41AM
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