How soap is made and where we learned to make it - Soap is thought to have originated in a fortuitous way. Either a cooking fire or sacrificial fire burned out, leaving behind ash and fat drippings from the food or offering. Along came a rain, or perhaps the folks were dousing the fire with water. At any rate, the ash mixed with the water and formed lye (a strong base), which mixed with fat drippings to form - soap! The process improved to almost the stage that my grandfather and great-grandmother used and then stayed that way for a long, long time. In the early 20th century lye became commercially available, and this simplified and helped standardize the process. Today, I use food grade sodium hydroxide (bagel or pretzel anyone?), a digital scale, lots of science, some great safety equipment, food grade base oils, and a variety of cosmetic/food grade additives that would delight Papa and Great-Grandma. Don't worry, I still manage to wing it and not know what's going on inside a batch a good bit of the time! After a batch is made, set up, unmolded, and cut, it then goes through a drying and curing period of six weeks. This allows the chemical reaction to finalize and gives the bars time to harden.
Our soap is made with these base ingredients: Sodium Hydroxide, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Water **Please note, these are the ingredients BEFORE mixing. There is no lye present in the finished product.
To those base ingredients, we add a wide variety of things, mainly consisting of some form of vegetable or mineral, although we occasionally add honey or goat milk from reputable, well-managed local small farms. We use both essential oils and fragrance oils in order to provide a wide range of products.
In general, if a soap contains citrus or wood oils, it will tend to have more cleansing power than something herbal or sweet smelling.
Varieties, types, scents, etc. - At any one time, we may offer over 40 different varieties of soap - or we may only have 5 varieties. Why? Well, sometimes You surprise us and buy up a batch of soap in short order. With a production lead time of 2-3 months, it takes a while to catch back up. Normally, we average at least 20 varieties. Speaking of varieties, a good many of our soaps are one time creations, when they are gone, they are gone. Some are in constant production, such as Lavender, Man With No Name, and Rosemary. Some are seasonal. Some come and go without any real regularity, such as Rose. It's not incompetence or a marketing ploy, it's just life and the somewhat erratic ebb and flow of the market combined with the limitations of a one-man shop and the whimsical inspirations of the muses.
Our soap is labeled as weighing 4 ounces, or 0.25 pounds. As I cut by hand, I often stray over this a bit, but 4 ounces is the guaranteed minimum weight.
We do not charge or collect taxes for sales delivered outside of North Carolina. It is the responsibility of out-of-state purchasers to report and pay any applicable tax. If an order is delivered within North Carolina, a standard tax rate of 7.25% will be applied and collected at checkout.
We generally ship once to twice per week. The usual turnaround time is 2-3 business days although it can take up 5 days to ship out an order.