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Maria Marquez of Jersey City, New Jersey discusses plans for her future in soaping
SJ – Okay, we’re talking with Maria Marquez, she’s from Jersey City, New Jersey, and she’s here at our premier Soaping Weekend Retreat. And I just wanted to ask you, Maria, what was your goal in coming here, why did you want to attend our retreat? MM – So I wanted to learn more about making soaps, and really have a good understanding, I think especially like the chemistry part, because one of the things that I definitely want to be able to learn later is how to put together my own recipes. So I think understanding that part will greatly help me in trying to, eventually later, put together my own soap lines. SJ – Do you feel like the topics that we’ve presented, that those were appropriate to your goals, are we missing out on anything? Anything else you’d like to see? MM – No, I think this is actually a very good program, I think especially in my case. I’m really like a beginner. Like I attended a real short course in soap making, you know I got really interested and then I started looking for classes. But a lot of the classes I’ve seen are kind of like piecemeal, but I think what you have put together here is actually a very good review, not just about soap making, but also some overview if someone decides eventually to venture into business. And I think the attendees, it’s a good mix because you have some people already in the business, there’s some been doing this as a hobby and they’re now exploring into making it a business. And there’s one like myself, I know, there’s another one that I met that just got into the soap making recently. SJ – And we talked earlier, you were saying that you were hoping to learn things that you could take with you, back overseas, would you like to talk a little about that? MM – Yes, so, I think the whole organic thing, and really going back to natural living, I wouldn’t say it’s a trend but it’s something that people are getting more aware now. And one of the things that, at least for my soap, I definitely know, eventually I’m going to go back to my own country, and it’s one of the things that, there’s still not a lot of people doing. I think there’s a lot of benefits into using products that are more natural. So it’s definitely something that I want to be able to share as well, with not only my friends back home, but, just the general public, because it’s being more aware and conscious of healthy living. SJ – Great. What about future workshops, is there anything that you think would be helpful, anything that you want to see at our next one? MM – Well I think that something either a little more intermediate or advanced, especially like I want to learn more about soap making and how do you move it to the next level? And maybe also, just expanding to some other products, like making ointments, facial creams. Because I think that’s like an organic thing, for someone who’s going to do this, just to kind of expand on what other things to make, what you can do. SJ – When you do decide to pursue this as a business, how do you, what is your hope? Do you want to do this at farmer’s markets, or do you want to do it as internet based? MM – Actually right now, I think that I’m planning is to actually target a very niche market, which is really more like special occasions, those giveaways. SJ – Like showers? Sure. MM – I think for someone who’s just in the beginning, that’s one good way to test your capability, test your market before you fully commercialize. In my case, personally I wanted it to be actually very personalized. I think in some ways it sets you apart and will allow me to really experiment and play with my recipes. Because that’s really what I want to eventually really learn. SJ – Okay, our next workshop is January 23rd through 25th and the one after that is March 27th to 29th and I hope we have presented enough to you to where you feel like you would like to come back. So hopefully we’ll see you then. We do like to take everybody’s picture with the dog if that’s okay. MM – That’s okay, I have my dog!