Who is that behind the curtain?

My name is Sabrina Downard, and I live in Chicago, Illinois. I work for the University of Chicago as a professional UNIX system administrator, where I am known to be addicted to both coffee and geeky t-shirts.

I began to research soapmaking in late September/early October, 1998. I had been incredibly stressed out due to my then-current employer, and wanted to get a hobby that had nothing to do with computers. I stumbled across some homemade soap at a local new-age store and thought to myself, "I'm sure I can make this for myself for less than $2 an ounce!" And from that point on, all of the free space in my house systematically became covered with soaping stuff... The folly of that kind of thinking is that you never realize how much you're going to like doing it until your entire house is covered floor to ceiling with soaping supplies. (But, darnit, my soap costs me less than $2/oz ..... =)

I have never seriously gone into the soapmaking business, though I did consider it. It turns out that running a home business takes a LOT of time, and it stopped being very fun for me after I started seriously trying to figure out how I would put together a business, so I decided to remain a hobbyist and just have fun with it. I have taught a number of seminars on soapmaking, several at some local soapmakers gatherings around Chicagoland. But every batch is another opportunity to learn something new and I still enjoy soaping today.