BackgroundWhen I was a young girl, a neighbor lady gave me a bar of Bayberry soap. I loved its crisp, clean scent. It was so different from the deodorant soaps we used at home. When I ran out, I had a hard time finding soap in that scent. I could only find it in gift shops when I travelled.
A few summers ago, I was at a local festival and came across natural soapmakers. Although their soaps all smelled so good, none of them had Bayberry. "Fine," I said to myself. "I'll learn how to make it myself!"
Making Soap I jumped on the Internet and found some resources. I also got some books from the library. I started off with a kit and was pleased with the results. It was somewhat magic mixing the ingredients on my stovetop and waiting for it to "trace." It was hard to believe this mush would actually be soap when it was done. My 2 dogs (Sassy and Lady), solemnly watched every move I made; they were so sure I was cooking food! They still watch hopefully, but put their ears back and run when I tell them, "I'm making soap. Do you wanna take a bath?"
My son has excema, and he became my guinea pig. We found that natural soap didn't dry out his skin and that calendula petal soap helped his rash.
The Shawnee Soapmaker StorySoon, I had soap all over. I even took the racks out of the oven to use as cooling racks. "You have so much soap," my husband told me, "You should sell it." After I accidently stirred the supper pot with my soap spoon ("Supper is supposed to taste like that. It's a new recipe," I told my family), my husband converted the old bar in the basement into a soap kitchen for me.
I started going to craft shows, and people began asking for certain kinds of soap (acne, lilac, oatmeal). I began making soap in 2001 and can't seem to stop!
Now, with the knowledge I have gained with aromatherapy, I am making my natural soaps with essential oil. For one thing, they have a longer shelf life, and for another, the essential oils have healing properties. Some soaps will continue to be made with fragrance oil (some natural and most of them glyercin). They are now separated out in the online menu.
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