From Corporate Tech Employee to a Handmade Soap Business: Why I Started Making Soap


It was a beautiful late summer evening in September when my entire life changed. My husband and I were enjoying the perfect night air outside on our apartment balcony, having a well-deserved drink after a hard day. A slight itch suddenly drew my attention to my arm and it was then I noticed small, raised bumps from my wrist to my elbow. They seemed to be popping up along a vein, which was strange. I'd never seen these bumps before.

At first I thought they may be insect bites. They were slightly itchy and looked like insect bites. But after a few moments it became clear that these were not innocent insect bites, but something much more sinister. 

In a matter of a few minutes, what appeared to be small, raised red bumps started to spread and grow. The itch intensified and I was alarmed to see that they were appearing on other parts of my body. Panic increasing, I made a call to my family doctor to see him the next day.

By the time I was sitting on a doctor's table, the bumps had grown to large, painful, itchy welts that covered 80% of my body. It didn't take him long to diagnose me with a severe case of a psoriasis flare-up. Throughout my life, I'd always had small, dry patches of itchy skin. They never became serious enough for me to go to doctor: they would just come and then go, without much issue. I'd never actually known these patches to be psoriasis. For some reason, my psoriasis was triggered and my body was responding in a way it never had before. 

I was given a tube steroid cream and a referral to see a dermatologist. Unfortunately, there wasn't a cure for what was happening to me, and the only thing that would help is time. Devastated, I headed home, itchy, in pain and with a heavy heart.

I dove into research to figure out how I could make myself more comfortable while the flareup did its thing. It was during this research I stumbled upon the notion of making my own soap. Intrigued, I learned that there are certain ingredients in commercially-sold skincare that could irritate psoriasis and dry out skin instead of helping. Thinking I didn't have much to lose, I dove right in.

I learned as much as I can and formulated my first soap recipe. After ordering ingredients, materials, and soap-making tools, I made my first batch of peach-scented soap. 

While this first batch of soap was FAR from the recipe we use today, it was so much better than the commercial body washes and soaps we were currently using. I was also instantly obsessed with making soap from this moment forward.

I began making soap like CRAZY... there was still so much to learn. How can I make the soap smoother? Which ingredients REALLY make a difference? How can I make this soap last longer? I didn't realize it then, but what I was actually doing was R&D for my future company. 

I'd spent my life working corporate jobs for some of Canada and America's biggest companies. I'd always been obsessive in learning new skills, while perfecting everything I made, wrote and produced. Soap-making turned out to be no different. As I strove to perfect my recipes, a product that I was extremely proud to sell naturally was born. 

This company has evolved-and continues to evolve-in so many extraordinary ways. When I cut that very first peach-scented soap loaf, I had no clue that I would be shipping soap to over 5 countries internationally, over 30+ states in America and 8 provinces in Canada, fulfilling orders for wholesale customers all over North America, and making batches of 400 bars every week. I didn't know I'd learn to make and master bath bombs, sugar scrubs, and so many other products that help all skin types. 

Once I started to use my homemade soap exclusively, my psoriasis flareup went away and has never returned to that severity. I stopped using the steroid cream very early on and focussed on keeping my skin moisturized and soothed. While I don't go so far as to claim my soap cured my psoriasis (there is no cure for this auto-immune disease), I wholeheartedly believe that it assisted my skin in retaining much-needed moisture and soothing inflammation.

This is why I began this company. To help others who are suffering from various skin issues and would greatly benefit from gentler skincare that won't strip their body from their natural oils. It's insane how focussing on simpler ingredients and less chemicals can greatly impact overall skin health.

As of today, all of the products in our shower are from our company. I use everything with pride and confidence that I'm not applying anything to my skin that would trigger another psoriasis flare or irritate the few psoriasis patches I do have. That's an amazing feeling. Even if I stop selling our wonderful products today, I'm happy to have this wealth of knowledge that our family will continue to benefit from for as long as I'm able to continue making.

 

 


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