After The Rayne – Handmade Soaps & Bath Products

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  • After The Rayne

    Nikie has been making handmade soaps since 1998 in a little town in Texas! All of her soap is delightfully made using all of her original recipes.

    Not only is she a savonnier extraordinaire, but Nikie also has a secondary business called WishNik Photography and can be found on Etsy at http://www.wishnikphoto.etsy.com .

    Now for the triple threat! Not only does she enjoy making her handcrafted soap and what she sees through her lens, she is also a homeschooling mom!

    Thank you for visiting and come back often!

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Don’t Call My Cell Phone Cause I’m Kind of Busy

Posted by aftertherayne on July 15, 2010


Well, not so much busy as my phone blew up!!!!!  I’ve never realized until tonight how dependent I am on my phone.  At one time in my life, I knew all of my friends phone numbers by heart.  If I needed a phone, there was usually a payphone on the corner, just in case I really needed to make a phone call.

Now?  When that screen goes blank, your life blows up!!  All those numbers from long ago are long gone!!  I have become so dependent on just tapping my phone and Walah! the person I wanted to speak to is on the phone!

The internet?   Long gone.  I just either have to wait until I get home to get back into the world or hope I have a WiFi connection somewhere near.

Oh, and heaven forbid you want to drive somewhere!  What if I get a flat tire, I get in an accident, I’m lost!!!!   Oh My!  I just don’t even want to think about it.

Oy vey!  I’m waking up first thing in the morning to hit the phone store!

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Hi dee ho!

Posted by aftertherayne on July 6, 2010


Just got back from a relaxing weekend with the girl’s 2.5.   I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much HGTV, CSI, Law and Order or NCIS in my life, but watching it with friends is always fun.

Also, I was able to meet a new friend named Kathy.  She was super cool and it was great hanging out with her.

While there Lindsey was able to work on her Challenge Art.  If you are watching Bravo’s new show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist then you will enjoy this blog, Work of Art .  Created by my friend Lindsey, she has created a challenge among her artist and photographer friends to participate in our own version of the tv show.  Each week we will watch the show and then recreate our version of their challenge.  The following Monday, Lindsey will post our challenges for all to see.  Last week was my first time doing the challenge and, of course, it had to be the Shock Art Challenge.  It was very interesting to do, and although I didn’t get my image the way I wanted to, it came out okay.  I look forward to Wednesday’s show.

On top of that, I am living at the theatre for the Annie rehearsals.  There is about 3 weeks left until the show in which I will also be filming and photographing the performances!  I was very excited to see that my name was included on the cast and crew t-shirts for the show!  It looks to be a great show and tickets are still available at the theatre box office.  Please go to Stage Right for more information.

Then, last but not least, I have been in my soap shop concocting some new creations for Fall.  Soon to be out is Breath of Rayne!  A new essential oil soap made with Orange, Lemon, Frankincense, Myrhh, Juniperberry and Jasmine Absolute.  Oh, it is so nice and fresh!!

July is looking to be a pretty busy month!

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We Have A New Look!

Posted by aftertherayne on June 1, 2010


6 Pack Gift Basket

As of today, June 1, 2010 After The Rayne has undergone some changes!   To make sure our customers are getting the highest quality soaps around, we have made our soap line seasonal!  Starting today we now have our Summer Soaps up on our site.  For those who felt they missed Spring, we have put that selection on sale at our Soaps On Sale page!

For those of you that love the old standards of Lavender and Patchouli among others, we have created a page called Year Round Soaps.  Our most popular soaps throughout the year are on that page.

Every three months we will change our soaps with the seasons.  This way, you, our customers will get a chance to experience your favorites and we will be able to create new favorites!

We have also revamped our bath products line.  We are now only offering a limited line of our luxurious bath products such as our Dreamy Body Spray, Drew A Bath Body Powder, Rayneshowers Hair Conditioner, Washing in the Rayne Foamy Handwash  and our always popular Dog Shampoo and Mosquito Deterrent!

We are also introducing very soon, our own Liquid Soap line!  Be on the lookout for that.

We know that you will enjoy the new look of After The Rayne.  Handmade soaps not in season or bath products we have made in the past can still be special ordered in bulk.  Contact us for more information.

As always, be sure and join our Newsletter to receive information on where we will be and our monthly sales!

Thanks to all of you who make After The Rayne so successful!

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Where oh where has my little Blog gone?

Posted by aftertherayne on May 27, 2010


A lot has been going on lately, one of which is incorporating my WishNik Photography blog into my After the Rayne site.  On a tip from a very wise woman, Donna Maria Coles Johnson , who suggested that instead of having all my business scattered everywhere.  They should be in one location.

I have also been a very busy camper these past few weeks taking production stills and cast photos of a cute play called The Ever After.

The Ever After Cast

But have no fear, my POE Mondays will be back to feature the beautiful work of my fellow photographers.

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The Business of Soap :: The Story of After the Rayne

Posted by aftertherayne on May 27, 2010


Thank you to Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale who put me in her Spotlight Blog.

Nikie Brown of After the Rayne started with a hobby that turned into a passion which expanded into a business that she can pass on to her children and generations to come. I first met Nikie in person at the 2009 Handcrafted Soapmakers Annual Conference in Palm Springs. Her passion for soap, her family and the community of soapers has always been easy to spot.

After The Rayne

After The Rayne

Right after the 2010 Annual Conference in Denver this year I got an email from Nikie alerting me that one of her friends and a fellow soaper had a missing child. We immediately added her to our missing children Wordless Wednesday reports and continue to ask for your help getting the word out about missing child Ali Lowitzer.

How did you get into the soap business?
Well, it all began when I was pregnant with my daughter and my husband said, “Hey, why don’t you quit your job and stay home?”. Hmm..that didn’t take too long to figure out. At the time I was constantly going to my doctor about my itchy skin. He recommended that I use Dove or Ivory, both of which made my itching worse. Since I was now a stay at home mom, I decided to research on making my own soap. Needless to say after many trials and tribulations I made something I could use and 11 years later, I’m still here!

What aspect of the business are you passionate about?
The creating part. I love turning on the music and getting my imagination going on what blends I can create!

What makes your products unique?
They are all named after my daughter Rayne. If it weren’t for her, I would not be doing what I love to do. I have a few regular scents, but the majority of my products are my own original blends.

Who do you market to?
Mostly women and some men.

How has social media helped your business? Do you do twitter, facebook, blog, newsletters, other or all of the above?
I think Social Media has helped a lot. It really gets your name out there and my newsletters have brought in a lot of customers. I’m on Twitter, Facebook and my Blog is After the Rayne. I also have a division of my soaps called ZoZca which is strictly my essential oil line on Etsy.

How long have you been in business?
I have been making my soaps since 1998, but officially turned it into a business in 2000.

If you had it to do all over again in business what would you do differently?
I would probably start out more focused. Have a better game plan. Currently, I make soaps, lotions, creams, lip balms, conditioners, pet shampoos and more. Lately it seems it’s a bit too much and I lost the direction I wanted to go.

What organizations have been helpful to you? How have they been helpful to your business?
Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, Indie Beauty and Go Texan. Being in these organizations help me to step back and see what I need to do. Donna Maria at Indie Beauty has smart and terrific ideas that you can implement. The HSMG has conferences in which I can constantly learn and hone my craft.

Did you have start-up capital? If not what did you do to make it work?
No. I used house money for the first year. By the second year, the business was holding its own.

Who or what inspires you?
My family. My husband is my biggest supporter and my head cheerleader. Even when times get tough, he’s never asked me stop and get a “real job”.

What do you have planned for your company for 2010?
I would like to refocus on what I originally planned for my company and get back to that. Everything looks so great and I know I can make that product, but it’s time to pull back a bit and get back to my roots.

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After The Rayne – Handmade Soaps

Posted by aftertherayne on May 16, 2010


Hanging out, making videos.  Enjoy!

After The Rayne – Handmade Soaps.

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Many Hats

Posted by aftertherayne on May 14, 2010


Whew!  Today was a long day.  Not only am I a soapmaker, but I am also a photographer and a homeschooling mom.  I’m also in charge of one of our local homeschooling support groups.  With that, I also coordinate science classes at our wonderful museum.  Today was the last day of our classes and 50+ families.    But now comes the fun part, organizing the classes for the 2010-2011 season.   It’s a lot of work, but I don’t mind doing it.

Also, my kiddo is in a play, so we have been living down at the theatre for the past few weeks, but the show is almost here.  It’s going to be great!!  For that, I will be shooting the cast photos and videotaping the show.

Wait you say!!  Don’t you make soap?  Well, funny you should mention that.  I’m working on soaps for an upcoming wedding and they are almost done.  Just a little bit more to do on that.  I’m excited about this one.

But, my day is not done yet.  I’m also working on revamping my website, downsizing and becoming more focused!  A new look will be up soon and announcements will be following shortly when all of that is done.

Yes, I am a woman of many hats!  Good thing I like them so much.

Now onward to tomorrow, when it is homeschool park day!!

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HSMG Conference Denver 2010

Posted by aftertherayne on May 10, 2010


A good time was had by all at the HSMG Conference this year in Denver. More videos to come. Everyone, let’s Conga!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “HSMG Conference Denver 2010“, posted with vodpod

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From A Man’s Point of View

Posted by aftertherayne on May 6, 2010


Greg Kelly letting us know his opinion on Handmade Soap!

I apologize for the sideways video, I’m getting used to my camera!

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What A Trip!

Posted by aftertherayne on May 3, 2010


I have just returned from my second Handcrafted Soapmaker’s Guild Conference.  This was in Denver, Co at the beautiful Inverness Hotel.

After my two hour unscheduled tour of Denver, I arrived at the hotel.  I went to go sign in and register for the conference and upon entering the room, I knew this was going to be another organized success.  Everything was set up to run smoothly from picking up our badges, to our photos taken, to getting our schedule packet all the way to the overflowing goodie bag!

I knew I had brought an extra suitcase for a reason!

The entire four days was spent going to educational seminars, great food, meeting the fantastic vendors and attending some incredible wing dings!

We first started out with the keynote speaker Ambassador Carol Braun Moseley who told us that we all need to be “careful” with each other.  To be responsible for each other.  She was a very well spoken woman and although we may have political differences, she was very informative.

Throughout the conference, I learned to finally try to make Liquid Soap a brand new way from Anne-Marie Faiola from Brambleberry, which I will start this week.

Anne-Marie from Brambleberry

I also heard from Robert Tisserand who is well reknowned for understanding essential oils.  Debbie May from Wholesale Supplies Plus taught us how to turn our passion into profits and Kevin Dunn dispelled the Dove Mirror myth!

There were so many more amazing speakers and I learned so much from each and every one of them.

The food at the hotel was wonderful and we were always supplied with great snacks of fruit, vegetables and nachos!  During the lunches, it was great to network with so many other wonderful soapmakers.

Meeting new friends

It was also interesting to find that many of us did other things besides making soap and bath products.  Some were gardeners, others were web designers and still others were writers!  With a network of people like that, we have nonstop resources for all of our needs.

At this conference, we had the most vendors ever with a total of 18.  But we received information about so many more that were in our goody bags and tons of giveaways from an assortment of other wonderful vendors.

The Prize Table!

I was lucky enough to win a gift certificate from one of my favorite suppliers, Mike Lawson of Columbus Foods!

Mike Lawson of Columbus Foods

If was delightful to finally meet the faces behind our supplies such as Funlayo Alabi from Shea Radiance.  I can’t wait to hear more about the trip to Africa in the works.  Also, Rob and Irv Brown from Lebermuth.  We learned a lot about Irv from the Wild, Wild West Party!  It was also nice to sse new vendors and what they had to offer such as the guys from Lightning Labels and Salus bulk soap making supplies.  I know I will be visiting a lot of new websites shortly!

Oh, and can we talk about the parties!!  We started out with Debbie May at a question and answer dessert function in which she ended up giving away $5000 in supplies certificates!  The next night Kayla and Dennis Fioravanti

Dennis Fioravanti from Essential Wholesale

outdid themselves from last year with a Wild, Wild West party complete with Annie Oakley, Wild Bill Hickok, the Unsinkable Molly Brown and the rest of the cast of Victorian Gold. They were a funny improv group who kept the guests entertained.  They then topped it off with the return of Wendy Liebman, a humorous comedian that had people crying with laughter.

Comedy troupe Victorian Gold

The conference parties continued with the Annual Awards Dinner in which we had a contest to guess where the next conference will be held.  The winner?  Miami, Florida, May 18th-20th, 2011.

2011 HSMG Conference - Miami, Fl May 18th - 20th

A good time was had by all as we enjoyed the camraderie of each other, over $10,000 in prize giveaways, lots of information from all of our speakers and vendors, the food and we certainly can’t forget the parties!

I can’t wait till next year!  If you are a soapmaker, will I see you there?

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