Thursday, January 21

Lathered up

(SO I just have to re-edit here and put in a funny...Ky the Amazing thinks I was joking...but I am telling the world. I am chaing his name to Ky the Dork...its morning here, and he is sitting with his coffee reading an atlas? ...Seriously who reads an atlas...Ky the Amazing, I love you but you are now Ky the Dork for the day!-ha ha told you I would do it)

So yesterday we were talking unconventional and that got me thinking about other art forms. You know the stuff we don’t think about as being an art. So I looked up some soap makers. I would like to introduce you to a few I have found. Each with their own unique style and flair. I know I for one LOVE handmade soap but had never really thought about the process or what all goes into it. Here you will find some good info, meet some great folks and maybe pick up a few bars of good smellie for yourself!

The first gal I want to bring to you is…

BanjoBay Soaps

Emily has loads of talent and soap making isn’t her only venture. She has been doing painting and drawing for years wherever she can find a cozy spot to curl up with her kitty Opal and her pooch Angel. Now her studio is her kitchen where her magic happens. She uses a self taught cold process method of soap making and has done tons of reading and research from her Blue Ridge mountain home in the Shenandoah Valley. Emily spends her days as a teaching assistant for children with behavioral problems, it is challenging but somehow I think this spunky gal is up for that challenge. As a mother of a special needs boy with severe behavioral problems, I know just how much energy it requires. She draws a lot of her support from her family and tells me “My parents are my lifeline; they are always there for me, no matter what, even though they live about 17 hours away! I love them to pieces, and wouldn't be who I am without their support and love. My sister lives far away too, but just knowing she is around is important to me. I derive much of my drive to be successful from their success in life. I am still trying play catch-up, I have a long way to go...but they make me stronger

Emily is full of strength and energy. Her energy positively radiated through the interview and the subsequent emails. She has s passion for her craft and more than that, a passion for life. She speaks with a joy the bubbles over, much like her luxurious soaps. I loved this statement in particular, when I questioned her about her goals with her work “To make people happy. I never realized that a well made bar of soap could bring such happiness to someone, until I starting getting all this amazing feedback, on Etsy as well as locally from my friends and my goal is simply to put out a quality one of a kind product that makes people SMILE.” And she does just that! When I correspond with Emily I can’t help but smile!

One thing I can’t do is pick a favorite from her bars. She has several now in her Etsy store and I want all of them! Names like Crimson and Clover, Key West, Marie Antoinette, Tugly woods. How would you know which to choose they all sound so heavenly. Maybe her sample pack, which allows you to pick three bars. I don’t know, even then I think I would struggle. I love especially the name Tugly Woods. I think with my love of the outdoors and fishing it would just fit. Speaking of fishing, that is one of her hobbies too, she has several, traveling, photography, Oragami and the list goes on. I could write forever about this gal, as she just fascinates me!

I asked Emily to tell us sabout her process and how she learned soap making, in her words “Everything I do...self-taught all the way. With my soap making, it has taken me over a year to perfect the Cold Process Method of Soap Making...reading, watching videos, doing research, and trial and error. There have been a lot of mistakes and bumps in the road to learn the ART of Soap Making!!! Alas, I feel I am FINALLY ready to even take it to the next level, and get even more inventive with my soap designs, textures, shapes, colours, and scents. Every bar has a story and a flow...”

One thing that would have to define Emily over at Banjobay Soaps would be her past experiences she tells me they have gotten her to the happier place where she is now. I loved Emily’s love for handmade, when asked why it benefited society she had a great answer, please have a read at her answer “ I think that it is really special to share and exchange handmade goods. The benefit is really actually very simple: getting back to our roots. It is something that allows us all to step out of the Corporate World into the beating HEART of the world!! So many people across the GLOBE have so much to offer!!!! I also have found that the quality of goods is beyond excellent. When people are putting themselves out there on the line, they WANT to do GREAT work. I think it is a great way for different cultures to connect...instead of a tag that says "made in China" get to KNOW that person in China, or France, or the USA, or ANY COUNTRY!!! It is so personal! I wish we would all partake in such a personal artistic experience as making and buying handmade!! The uniqueness of the products makes it all worthwhile. When I know that I am buying handmade, I know that someone's complete heart and soul went into that piece. You just don't find that wonderful feeling in your "everyday shopping" buy handmade and feel the LOVE! Support each other and we can make a difference! "

I would really like to make a difference for Emily since she is working so hard during the day and just starting her business. If you would like to try one of her soaps please click on her ad Banjobay Soaps,over there on the right. Her soaps are absolutely wonderful. She uses only the best ingredients and has studied her craft until it has been perfectly perfected! As she says “peace, love, and lather” guys!

Pegasus Soap's
Another shop that has caught my eye with its body products, is Pegasus Soaps. It’s a very cute shop and it was absolutely loaded with skin care items. I love handmade body products. For me, one you know exactly what is going on your skin and where it came from, two your supporting an artisan and three, they are just so much better than anything on a store shelf!!!

Pegasus Soaps’s Peachy Keen lip balm caught my eye and has definitely been added to my wish list. The description reads “This tastes so good and not only taste good, but are good for your lips as these are made with all natural ingredients.” Yup, I could definitly go for some of that with the cold windy weather we’ve had that has left my lips dry cracked and definitely not as kissable for Ky the Amazing as I would like them to be!

I asked Michelle to tell us a bit about my readers,

Meet Michelle...

“Hi my name is Michelle and I am the owner/founder of Pegasus Soaps. Ok you are probably wondering who I am and how I got started making soap? I am originally from South NJ I came to Philadelphia after High School to attend college and lived there til 2001. I am made my way to Northern VA and have been here since 2001 and I love it here. A big difference from a big busy city, but I am not too far away from DC.

I had taken some interest in making soap back in the Summer of 2005. I was into crafting jewelry at the time but soon realized that jewelry just wasn't my thing. So I occasionally started making bars of soap here and there as gifts for my mom. I started using melt and pour and trying to come up with my own unique designs. My mom and my husband were the first to test my soaps. My husband made the suggestion that maybe I should start selling them. I was like "no way" who would buy them. So I slowwwwly started selling here and there on Ebay. By the time November 2006 came around I wanted to open my own website. You never know what you can do til you start to do it. I had no idea how to use HTML but I learned as I went along. I didn't know a thing about running a website but eventually I got the hang of it and loved it. I later found Etsy in November 2006 and said to myself, why not. When I first started listing my items on Etsy, my business soon took off.

I would have never guessed it but you never know how things will turn out til you make that leap of faith. In the early part of 2007, I started to dabble into making my lotions and other bath products. I have to say that making lotion is not as easy as it looks. I went through several recipes til I was finally satisfied with the one I currently have. Either it was too thick, too thin, not enough of this and not enough of that til I finally worked out the kinks over the years. I finally put my fears aside and leaped into making my own soap. Yes lye was one of my biggest fears and I know I had to use it to make my own soaps from scratch. So again I took that huge leap of faith and tried it. The first batch was a success and then I was so hooked I didn't want to go back to Melt and Pour. Now that I was making my own soaps, I knew exactly what was going into my soaps and on my skin. My skin haven't looked and felt this good in decades. I had enough confidence in my creating process that I soon created recipes for my body butters, lip balms and many other products. Making my own products is something I really take pride in. I take special care of each and every order I receive and each order is made fresh when I receive it.”

What could be better than that? You very own, handmade body product, arriving fresh at your door. I just love this handmade world I am discovering while I sit with these stupid broken feet. Maybe I don’t want to heal as quickly as I thought I did. I wouldn’t be sitting here browsing the wonderfully wide world of handmade. I wouldn’t be finding interesting and talented folks. This has been a blessing in disguise for sure!


  1. Thank you so much for the write up. I really do appreciate it. BanjoBay also has wonderful soaps and a great shop at Etsy. :-)

  2. Hmmmmm handmade soap is always awesome and so is Pegasus! :) Lovely feature!