Welcome to Our Blog


My name is Penny Cheng, Chainmaille Artist and the Owner/Designer Of Jewelry by Saniki Creations. I am lucky enough to work on my designs at home while taking care of my three girls. Life is hectic, but fun...

This Blog is about my life, my business, and my creations plus I enjoy promoting my fellow Artists.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Meet Jessica Taylor of Shaka Soaps - Featured Artist

Today's featured Artist is Jessica Taylor.  A fellow member of The Artisan Group, Jessica is lucky to live in beautiful Hawaii with the sun, surf, and beaches plus doing something she loves, creating wonderful handmade bath products at her own company called Shaka Soap

How and when did you discover your love for your craft/art? 
I have been a stay at home mom for over three years and was beginning to feel like I was in a "creative rut." I dabbled in many different things like cake decorating, scrapbooking, and crocheting, but nothing really sparked a passion. I have always been facinated with soap making and the labor that goes into creating handmade bath products, so last year in August, I made my first batch of cold process soap. It was so exciting and intimidating, and it has now become my passion.

Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
The first soap I ever made was a plain, unscented batch that I poured into PVC pipe to set up. I really shouldn't have used that as my first mold, it was so hard to get the soap out of there! ;)
Year of the Dragon Soap
Every Artist has a creative process, can you explain yours?
It depends on what I am going to make. If it is soap, which it usually is, I tend to be inspired by colors and textured found in clothing and artwork. I get an idea into my head and try to fabricate what I have envisioned. Many times it turns out completely different than I had originally pictured, which is the exciting part!

When people start doing their craft/art, they tend to try a lot of different things before settling down to something that resonates with them. How has your work changed since you began?
When I first started, I was only making cold-process soap. I really wanted to dabble into other areas of bath and body products. I then moved on to glycerin soap, lotions, lip balm, bath salts, sugar scrubs, salves, and, most recently, clay masks. I am having a blast!
Awa Puhi Lotion
What inspires you creatively?
I am so blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Hawaii. The culture, the scenery, the wildlife, and the amazing feeling of aloha are just what I need to get my creativity inspired.

Can you tell us about some important goals you have achieved with your work?
Most of the goals have been to make something new (like a new product) and have my customers love it. The biggest compliment to me it to have a product that I make that people love.
Soothing Hawaiian Salve
Who are some of your favorite artists/crafters and why?
I am a member of an awesome group called The Artisan Group. It consists of amazing artists who all create different things, from jewelry to sock monkeys! They are all very talented and I love all of the work I have seen so far.

Any goals for the future you would like to share?
My next hurdle is to tackle liquid soap. I have been requested to make dog shampoo and I would love to tap into the pet market a little bit. I would also like to be able to make my daughter's bubble bath and shampoo and know what ingredients she is using on here little body.
Coconut Hawaiian Lip Butter
What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time? What is that? =) Ususally I am playing with my 1 and 3 year old when I can, reading soap making books (I'm kind of a bookworm and research nut), and I love to bake!

If you are displaying or selling your craft/art? Where?
I currently sell in four stores: B. Lavish Day Spa and LaTreases's Sassy Scissors in California. Essentially Yours and Starlight here on the Big Island. I do craft fairs every chance I get because I love meeting different people and hearing what they like and what they don't. I have a craft fair this weekend in Waimea and another next weekend in Hilo.
Tahitian Vanilla Hawaiin Sugar Scrub
If you sell online or at physical store. How many hours per week to you spend in the creative side versus the business side?
I try to spend more on the creative side, but the reality is the the business side just takes a lot of my time. I want to do the business side right so that I can eventually spend more time creating!

What advice would you give to someone who want to start out or start a business in their craft/art?
If you love it, do it! Do your research and find others who are interested in the same art you are. There is nothing more fun for me than to talk 'soap' with another soaper.

Thank you Jessica, be sure to indulge yourself in the tropics with Shaka Soap products!


Penny Cheng


  1. Hi, Jess! It's so nice getting to know more about you! Good luck!!

  2. Thanks for the feature, Penny! It looks great =)

  3. Lovely feature. I am have to add that Jessica's soap that she sent for the giveaway smells divine!

  4. Thank you for the personal and wonderful insight to a fellow creative artisan!



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