Frequently Asked Questions
How did you become interested in making soap?
It started as a hobby. I’ve been growing plants and herbs for years; I wanted to give them another life, and hand-made soap seemed to serve the purpose. After researching the cold-process of soap making I gave it a try, and since then it has become my life. I feel satisfaction in providing good-quality natural soap to my community and everybody who cares about their health and supports small business.
Who inspired you to start a business?
Tanya from Lovely Greens who resides on the Island of Man has motivated me to dare to dream and believe that I can contribute to the planet’s well-being by utilizing the nature’s bounty and serving my family and people in my community. My love for colors comes from Daniel Wall, the founder of Deep Impressionism. Enjoying the colorful clays and aromatic herbs and essential oils are a nice relaxation at the end of the day.
Where do you make the soaps?
All my soaps are made out of home. Once made, they are cured in an airy office and after 4 to 6 weeks, they are stored in tubs with lids to prevent the aroma escape. I prefer to package them before delivering or shipping the soap.
Do you grow the herbs you use in the soaps?
I grow most of them in my garden or on the deck. No fertilizers are used except well composted cow manure and kitchen scraps. I gather plantain, clover, calendula, chamomile, hollyhock, rose hips, mint and other herbs and flowers in addition to the garden grown cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins, apples, etc.; all of which go in my soaps.
Where do you buy ingredients?
My favorite on-line stores to shop at are Brumble Berry, Candles Science, Wholesale Supplies Plus, and Amazon. Sometimes I check out Michaels for sales.
Is lye organic?
No, it isn’t; however, it is one of the allowable non-organic ingredients included in USDA organic standards since their inception. It is necessary to understand you are not applying lye on your skin; once it goes through saponification, it is no longer lye, and it is perfectly safe for the skin. Present soap makers have the luxury of utilizing modern tools, such as a scale and a lye calculator, which ensure the proper proportion of oils, butters, and lye is calculated.
Where do you get the molds?
On Amazon, Ebay and regular soap supply companies. I give a preference to silicone molds, and for soap loafs I use wooden boxes with silicone liners. They ensure an easy release and easy the saponification/heating of the soap. I often cover the molds with a blanket or leave them in a warm oven over the night.
How long does it take you to make a batch of soap?
It depends on the batch size and the additives, such as clays, herbs, plants, or minerals used as colorants. It takes about a month to infuse herbs in oils, and a few minutes to make infused tea. Think how much time it takes to grow those herbs, gather and dry them, and then infuse them in oils. After the soaps are made and cut, they cure for approximately a month, except castile/pure olive oil nourishing soap; it has to cure for a couple of months or even longer than that.
Do you make lotions, creams, or butters?
I make lotion bars with hemp oil and lotion candles with mango butter and vitamin E. You can buy them with my gift and spa boxes. I will be undergoing training in formulating my own creams and butters in April.
Are you planning to make candles?
I am currently exploring this possibility. They are fun to make, but in order to sell them on a “big scale”, it is required to have a liability insurance.
Why do you use little to no packaging?
My goal is to make environmentally friendly products, that is why I try to use as little plastic as possible. The tags and other packaging materials are made from recyclable or reusable materials; you can compost most them in your compost pile or burn in the fire. So, they serve multiple purposes.
Can I buy your products in a store?
I am displaying my soaps at WREN- a venue for local emerging and established artists located in Bethlehem, NH. You can see my soap baskets at Sarah’s Salon in Whitefield, NH, and Raisa’s Sewing and Accessories in Portland, ME. You can also buy my products at craft fairs.
Don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you have any further questions.