I decided to do an expose’ on Izzy after he sent me pictures of his first try at Melt & Pour...
Gay Pride M&P Soap
Is that insane or what?? I am soooo impressed with his work and you will be also! Here is our expose’ interview:
Ismael Ortiz, Izzy as he likes to be called, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland that transplanted to the’ Valley of the Sun’, Phoenix, Arizona several years ago. His career as a Corrections Officer at a Women’s Prison ended recently and he decided to marry his graphic design background with a new passion…Soap Making!
Kelley: Izzy, so what got you interested in Soapmaking?
Izzy: I wanted to find something that I could craft that I could sell and become successful with that product. Beings I went to school for Graphic Design, I have a eye for design and thought I would try soap. I loved it from the moment I created my first batch.
Kelley: Ohhh...so you have a creative "leg up" to start with for sure. What type of soapmaking did you first attempt?
Izzy: My first batch of soap was using the Cold Process Method and I made a loaf of Tea Tree Oatmeal and it turned out really good.
Kelley: Nice! What other soapmaking types do you do?
Izzy: I had been looking at trying Melt & Pour, so one day I ordered some M&P base and made an attempt at doing a loaf using the rainbow colors and hoped for the best. I was very pleased and surprised at the same time on how it turned out.
Kelley: I am soooo impressed with your soapmaking and was completely FLOORED at your first attempt at M&P soapmaking. What type of colorants and what scent did you use?
Izzy: For my first attempt at M&P I used Lab Colors (liquid) and scented it with "LoveSpell". After about a day, the colors started to bleed, so I did some research to remedy that problem so I don't repeat it on the next attempt.
Kelley: And what remedy did you come up with, Izzy?
Izzy: It's kind of simple Use non-bleeding colorants such as oxides and micas. You still can use liquid lab colors but only if you’re going for a bleeding look on purpose.
Kelley: Or if you are coloring as a single color?
Izzy: Yes, that would be correct.
Kelley: Have you tried pouring a "separating clear layer" of M&P between colors to stop bleeding?
Izzy: Yes, I have and that works for the most part but sometimes it’s just easier to use non-bleeding colors to start with. Depends on the project and look your trying to create.
Kelley: I agree. So, tell us, when did you first start in this mad obsession we all call soapmaking?
Izzy: I started around February 2010.
Kelley: I noticed that you have some unusual names for your soap, like Frederick, Princess Anne, Bolton Hill, etc. How did you come up with them?
Izzy: I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland (I'm 44 years old) and have decided to "give back" to my old stomping grounds by naming my soaps after the cities, towns, and neighborhoods throughout the state of Maryland.
Kelley: What a great idea! So you have a good solid year under you already. Where can we purchase your products?
Izzy: You can go to my website ChesapeakeSoap.com, "The Root Seller" at 16th St & Indian School in Phoenix, and also you can catch me at Arts and Crafts festivals.
Kelley: What is “The Root Seller”, Izzy, a store or boutique?
Izzy: The Root Seller is a very nice artsy boutique over at 16th St and Indian School Rd. A friend of mine owns the store and said that my soaps fit right in with the rest of his merchandise and we agreed on a consignment arrangement to sell my soap in his store.
Kelley: That is great! Any upcoming venues you would like to tell us about?
Izzy: Sure.. On April 16th & 17th is the annual Gay Pride Parade & Festival for Phoenix, AZ. It is held at Steele Indian School Park at Indian School Road & 3rd Street in Phoenix, AZ. At the moment I'm currently seeking out other venues in the area but also plan on attending Baltimore Gay Pride as a vendor in mid June 2011.
Kelley: Ok...Is it an all day/evening event both days? Are there admission fees?
Izzy: There is a admission fee but I'm not sure how much it is this year. Last year it was $40.00 but here is the website addy for all the info. http://www.phoenixpride.org/festival.html
Kelley: Ohhh...thank you! I am sure we will have plenty of readers that will come out and make a day of it.
Izzy: That would be great to see all walks of life at our Pride. It great to see more and more people come out to support our cause.
Kelley: I agree. I am sure there are many fabulous booths to visit and great food to be had as well!
Kelley: Izzy, it has been a GREAT pleasure interviewing you today and I cannot wait to see what else you venture out into within your new passion. Great work and keep on goin’.
Izzy: Ditto, It was a pleasure to have someone take such a great interest in my soap making and was very happy to do the interview.
Kelley: I am so glad to hear it. Lastly, just so you know, Soapies does not pay for interviews but we do donate to many Causes around us. Having said that, Soapies would like to make a donation to you on behalf of the Gay Pride Parade & Festival of your choice for $100 in our Online Store.
You can use the supplies to make items to sell and donate the proceeds or whatever you like. However you feel it will benefit the most.
Izzy: Aww thank you so much and I really appreciate your generosity. :):)
Kelley: You are most welcome. We love to help young soapmakers succeed and if we can contribute to a good cause as well, then all the better.
Thank you so much for your time today and allowing us to peek into your Soap Bubble for a bit of time...Take care and see you soon!
Again, I would like to thank Izzy for extending his time for this expose’ for the Soapies Newsletter. Please visit Izzy at his brand new website ChesapeakeSoap.com and if you have a chance, visit the upcoming Gay Pride & Festival of Phoenix this coming April 16th and 17th.
Ismael ‘Izzy’ Ortiz
Chesapeake Soap Company
Toodles and Smoochies to you all...