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How It All Started 

I started making soap about 10 years ago because of a trip to the family doctor.  My son and I have psoriasis, and another son of mine had eczema.  On visits to the doctor to get prescriptions for our skin problems, I would ask the doctor what soaps we should use.  Normally the doctors gave me a few ideas of some commercial bars to use.  I was never too happy with the ones they told me to use.  My skin was left tight and itchy.  And they seemed to aggravate our skin problems.  I just figured I couldn’t use soap.  I kept trying different body washes and even shampoo to clean my skin, never really being happy with the results.  My first batch

 

On one occasion to the doctor office, my regular doctor was not in.   We saw a doctor that was filling in for him.  I asked him what kind of soap we should use.  His answer made my jaw drop.  He said that if I knew anyone who made “old fashioned lye soap”, then we should use that.  I couldn’t believe someone would recommend that.  I had heard stories about old fashioned lye soap and it sounded pretty awful.  I thought that lye soap was stinky and harsh and would eat your skin if you had to use it.  This doctor explained to me that there is a big difference between the lye soaps our great-great grandmothers used to make and the ones made today. 

(See Benefits of Tallow Soap page for more information of the difference between todays handmade soap and our great great grandmother's) 

He also explained that handmade soaps are completely different than the store bought soaps I was familiar with. He told me the bars I had been buying were often not even soap at all.  Most were actually detergents. He explained how a true soap is actually very gentle and beneficial to skin.  

For more information on the difference between true soap and commercial bars go to my FAQ page. 

Grandma ChadwickMy Great Grandmother Chadwick used to make soap before I was born.  When I was a kid she used to joke saying "There is nothing good about the good old days".    I thought that maybe one of the things she didn't miss was making soap over a fire after butchering a hog.  To me it sounded messy, scary, and like a lot of hard work.  But her daughter (my Grandma Campbell) told me it was "good soap".  So I decided to try to make it for my family.  I figured if my great grandmother could do it all those years ago, then I can do it today.  So with all the advantages that today's soapmakers have, I started what I believe to be the most rewarding hobby a person can have.  In the fall of 2002, I made my first batch of soap. 

Soon I was able to proudly walk by the soap isle in the grocery store.  It was a good feeling to know I could provide such a luxurious necessity for my family.  Not long after that I was sharing my handmade soaps with family and friends who loved them as much as my family did.   Now, a decade later, I have decided to jump in and follow a dream that began all those years ago with my first batch.