Friday, June 9, 2017

Show Time!

Meet Sophie Knee from Soap Cubed...
I am Sophie Knee, from SOAP CUBED.  I was born in the United Kingdom, and arrived in Ohio in 1988, as a young adult.  I have a Fine Arts background and day job, but have been making things all my life.  Making stuff was “normal” on both sides of our family; people sewed, knitted, crocheted, built furniture, baked bread, developed film, and did home canning.  One of my grandfathers (a high school teacher during the day) had a hidden talent for cake decorating.  Sometimes people make fun of me for doing myself, instead of paying other people to do, but the truth is, when I create, I feel connected to the people who first taught me how.
I started making soap in 2016.  I have lived with skin allergies all my life, and had read that natural soaps are gentler on the skin than most of what's commercially available. When I made my first batch (It was “Lavender Brown”), I tested it first by washing my hands for a week, then taking it into the shower, then finally used it on my face.  When that was OK, I asked some family members to be my testers.  My family: 6 adults, 3 teenagers, 4 PhDs, about 8 other academic degrees (various), 6 people (plus self) have skin allergies (various).  They are the “nerds with skin allergies”.  They're opinionated people, and pretty soon they all started asking me for particular kinds of soap, and telling me what they thought of what I already made.  In rather a short time, I had made more soap than I knew what to do with, and still wanted to make more.  I have been washing with handmade soap for about 6 months now, and my skin has really improved: no allergic rash, and less need for lotion.
Also, I found that I really love making soap.  The basic ingredients are very simple, and nothing special.  I find most base oils kind of gross, Lye is (honestly) quite scary.  When you combine these ingredients correctly, you get a magical (OK, it's really chemical) reaction, and then you have soap.  Yes,  botanicals and essential oils are beautiful, and also seem like magic to me, but they represent only a tiny part of the soap.  Soap smells great, and it cleans everything.  (Did I mention I'm a nerd?  This is the Miracle of Saponification”.)  

I came up with a packaging system, and a logo.  This was fun, too; I got help from my sister (PhD in Biology), and designed the SOAP CUBED logo.  Then I set up an Etsy shop, all the time listening to a little voice in the back of my head, telling me that people needed to see (and smell) this stuff in person.  That led to my very first ever Avant Garde Craft Show, which went well, so the Columbus show will be my second.  I believe that SOAP CUBED is still in the “proof of concept” phase,  and I don't think I can see what will happen 5 years from now.  I do know that I want to create something beautiful and good (The Eternal Search for Truth and Beauty?).  SOAP CUBED is about finding a safer, more natural option for skin care, that can still smell great, and look beautiful. 

Meet Pam Walton from Craft Addict...
I am an engineer by day and crafter by night/weekend.  I have an understanding husband and two teenagers (one who just graduated high school!)  I don’t often sit around with nothing to do! I'm my fourth year of business!

What inspires me... I dabble in many types of crafts. When I see things online or in craft stores I always want to see if I can do something similar.
My business started as a fundraiser.  My daughter wanted to go on an international trip and I wanted to teach her that you have to work for what you want.  People don’t generally like to hand over money for nothing.  So we brainstormed different ideas of products we could make and sell.  This was only going to be a one year thing.  I enjoyed it too much to quit!  Her international trip fell through, but now proceeds will go toward the purchase of her first car.  Next goal is to help defray costs of college!
My mom taught me basic crochet when I was nine and I grew to have a talent for drawing and music as a teenager.  I have always doubted my true creativity so I tended to create ‘crafts’ instead of ‘art’ (I follow instructions well).  But many crafts aren’t cost effective until you are creating larger quantities of items.  Craft Addict has afforded me the opportunity to experiment with many facets of the crafting world, from sewing to making candles to different styles of jewelry to putting images on wood in one fashion or another.  I’ll never stop searching for that next ‘talent’!

My creative process.. I feel like I’m always looking.  Specialty groups on Facebook, friends’ suggestions, craft stores, Pinterest, YouTube are all sources of inspiration.  Sometimes it’s a new style of something I already do.  Sometimes it’s a whole new genre with which to experiment!
My five year goal.. In five years both of my children will be grown and on their own.  I will then have the open schedule to attend more shows in the spring and fall/winter (I’m currently limited to summer months).  I also intend to foster a larger presence online.  People ask if I’m going to be bored once my busy kids leave the nest … nope … got that covered!

The message behind my work is that I provide product that can beautify both the person and the home without emptying the wallet.  It doesn’t take a million bucks to look like a million bucks! View more of my work at or my facebook group

2017 Columbus Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Makoy Event Center
5462 Center St.
Hilliard, OH 43026
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
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