Interview with Tellervo – Sara Annala
Tellervo has been on my radar for some time. When Sara’s video came up about using the string pull technique on soap I was hooked. I had to know who this magical person was… Introducing a lovely soul, Sara Annala of Tellervo.
What prompted your interest in soap making?
The first time I heard of soap making I was reading an article about handmade gifts and soap was one of them. I really wanted to try it, so I started out just making some simple cold process soaps. The next summer I grew a lot of different herbs and my intention was to use them in soap making. Unfortunately I discovered that most of them did not really work in soap and would just turn brown. I still kept making soap and after a while I started exploring different techniques and really fell in love with the more artistic side of soap making.
Did you have knowledge of soap making before you began?
No. I don’t think I had ever heard or thought of it. After I discovered soap making I researched a lot and watched many youtube videos.
How did you arrive at the name of your business?
I wanted something short and simple. Tellervo is a traditional Finnish female name. I like the way it sounds, to me it is a cute, nostalgic, playful and fun name. And I like the way it looks with a small t 🙂
What makes you happy to get out of bed regarding soap making?
I just love the creativity of it. I get excited about different techniques and ingredients that I want to try in soap. Right now I am also planning a garden with dye plants for the summer and I am really excited for that. If everything works out I will have some home grown natural pigments for soap making later this year.
What is your favorite way to connect with other soap makers?
I love making videos and I think YouTube is a great place to connect with soap makers from around the world. I also love Amy Wardens Soap challenge club and try to participate whenever I can.
When I know what kind of design I am going for I choose what colors I want to use and then I try to match a scent with the colors.
Where do you find your inspiration for your soaps?
I find a lot of inspiration in flowers and the nature here in Finland. I also love just looking at pretty pictures on Pinterest. Pictures of different patterns, abstract art, ceramics, flower arrangements or even pictures of mushrooms photographed in a beautiful way can spark inspiration in me. Pinterest is also great for finding color combinations that look good so I use it a lot for that too.
Are there things in your environment that aid in your creativity?
I like to keep a de-cluttered and minimal space without distractions. I find that it keeps my mind more clear and also helps with new ideas in soap making.
What is your favorite part of soap making?
I enjoy the whole process but my favorite part would have to be the cutting of the soap.
What do you do that is not soap related, but aids in your creative thinking?
I actually like cleaning and find that it is a great time to reflect on things. I also like long walks and when the season allows for it I love gardening.
What soaps, fragrances oils, colorants etc. have you created or used that surprised you?
I have definitely been surprised a lot of times making my own essential oil blends. I am no expert at it and I don’t always follow the “rules,” mostly I just try things that sound good to me. I find that I like really simple blends, for example a mix of lavender and rosemary smells really good to me.
What soaps have you made that got a reaction from others you did not expect?
I did not expect to get so much positive feedback on the soaps I made with the string pull technique. I wanted to try the technique after I had seen it used in acrylic painting and I’m happy it worked out in soap too.
What makes you laugh about making soap?
When I cut into a soap loaf and it is nothing like I expected. If the design or color just doesn’t look good I might get a little grumpy at first, but after a while I can just laugh it off.
Name: Sara Annala
Business name: tellervo
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