A Day in the Life of Elizabeth Carnahan
Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 at 3:14 pm
Posted by Jenny Hudson
If you’re feeling a bit sluggish after the Bank Holiday, sit back and relax for a few minutes and read all about Elizabeth Carnahan of Longcroft Soap and a typical day in her life.
The Day Begins
My day usually begins at 7.15. The first thing I do is make my way to the kitchen and fire up the espresso machine. I like a few minutes of quiet time before waking the children for school, so I’ll drink a couple of cups of ristretto while I check my orders and email, and make a plan for the day.
Along with making soap, I also run a cosmetics-supply company. Most days, I’ll have a few orders to fill, so I head over to my warehouse after the morning school run to pack parcels. Once that’s done, I go back home and make soap.
‘The best bit is adding the fragrance and colours because they’re what give the soap its personality’
There are eight varieties of soap in my current collection, so I try to make at least five kilos of each kind every week. I find this helps me keep enough stock to meet both my retail and wholesale demand. The highlight of my day is making the soap batches because I love the creativity it affords me. It’s always exciting to the raw ingredients (oils, water, and caustic soda) come together to form the soap. The best bit is adding the fragrance and colours because they’re what give the soap its personality. I love adding my signature hearts to the tops of the soap loaves.
I also try to do a bit of packaging every day. It isn’t my favourite task, but at the same time, it isn’t demanding, and I find I do my best thinking while my hands are engaged with paper, tape, and scissors. I try to use only biodegradable packaging, and keeping the products interesting can be a challenge. Lately, I’ve been using recycled scrapbook paper to wrap my soaps, and I’m really pleased with how they look.
‘After lunch, I’ll take a short walk if the weather is nice’
Lunch is usually an informal affair and I’ll generally have something simple. My favourite lunchtime dish at the moment is a cheese toastie with homemade tomato soup. Not very exciting, but it hits the spot on a regular basis!
After lunch, I’ll take a short walk if the weather is nice. If the weather isn’t great, I’ll work on my latest Showcase piece for Saponifier Magazine.
Mid-afternoon is parcel pick-up time, so I make sure everything is ready to go when my courier arrives. Then it’s time for the afternoon school run and my working day is effectively over. I collect the children from school, help them with their homework, and start dinner.
I love being self-employed because it gives me the flexibility to run a successful business and manage a busy family life. It also gives me a tremendous amount of freedom, both personally and professionally. I feel extremely fortunate to work for myself because I wouldn’t be happy stuck in an office somewhere.
You can buy Longcroft Soap products online at www.longcroftsoap.co.uk.
A big thank to Elizabeth for sharing her day with us.