Monday, October 18, 2010

How I Got Into Soapmaking

I remember distinctly the day I read you could make soap from scratch.  I have always been the kind of person who enjoys doing things from scratch.  I enjoy canning, baking, sewing, crafting, anything from its raw material base.  So when I read in the newspaper an article on making soap from scratch, 25 years ago, I began collecting the ingredients.  Beef fat from the butcher at the grocery store.  Coconut oil from the health food store.  Lye from the grocery store.  The first batch was a success.  I knew I’d be making soap again!

I went to the local bookstore and bought the one and only book they had on soapmaking.  To this day it is my favorite book on the subject.  I then began making soap every 6 months or so, adding fragrances and herbs for variety.  I found a bar of handmade soap made an excellent gift. 

When my husbands business slowed during the recession of the early nineties, I was looking for someway to supplement our family’s income.  But the problem for me was I had 5 children.  Can you imagine what childcare for 5 children would be?  I had to find a job I could do partially at home and take my children with me to work.  My friend Cindy, who had been a recipient of my soap, solved my dilemma.  I was telling her my plight one day.  She responded “Karita, you ought to try selling your soaps”.  She had traveled extensively doing flea markets with her husband, and she observed people would buy cleaning supplies and food.

I thought about it and decided to give it a try.  That was 15 years ago.  It was a wonderful solution to my dilemma.  I made soap at home, and on the weekends my children and I would go to the farmers’ market to sell them.  I tell my customers I am one of those rare people who work at what they love.  I am at home during the week, which I love.  I leave home once or twice a week to sell my soaps, which I love. Can it get any better than that? 

Check out Karita's soaps at

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