Woodman Designs is a small family business owned and operated by Diane and Crawford Woodman. Diane started making homemade soap in 1999 under the name Brooke Valley Soap.
To help with the soapmaking, we developed a spreadsheet calculator to create recipes and calculate lye and water amounts. After some unsatisfactory batches of soap, we felt we needed something more, so we did some extensive research into the properties of various oils used to make soap, and the effects that each oil type would have on the resulting soap qualities. By developing a unique graphical representation of soap qualities, we were able to "test" a recipe before making the soap, and to compare different recipes.
Diane shared the spreadsheet with several soapmaking friends on internet forums, who quickly came to depend on it. Their enthusiastic response convinced us we would like to share it with a larger audience. However, the spreadsheet form had a number of limitations, so we decided to undertake the development of a stand-alone program version, with the enthusiastic help of a young programmer, Jason Bowles.
As the program design began to take shape, we strove to remove all the limitations of the spreadsheet, and to add the most-asked-for feature - inventory management. Since Jason had a background in inventory control systems, this was a natural extension for him.
The new program, which we called 'SoapMaker' was launched in July 2003, and was an immediate success! Before long, SoapMaker had become THE software for serious soap crafters, whether making soap as a business, or as a hobby. In response to user suggestions, we added features and improvements with new releases several times a year.
By late 2007 it became evident that a major update would be needed to add all the new features that were being suggested by our users. Jason had moved on to other adventures, so Crawford undertook the development of the next generation SoapMaker. In order to add all the capabilties we wanted, the program would need to be re-written with a much more complex database design.
After more than a year in development, SoapMaker 3 was released in February 2009. It preserved all the features that people loved in version 2, while adding major improvements and new features, and removing limitations to future enhancements.
Since then we have continued to provide free updates to add features and improvements in response to users' good suggestions. There are now Soapmaker users in more than 100 countries all over the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe.
We hope you will enjoy SoapMaker and find it indispensable for your business or hobby.