When it comes to soap, I've always been a bit of what you could call... a snob. Growing up I used as many hypoallergenic & unscented skin & hair care products there were. My step-dad suffers from a serious case of asthma & allergies, I always had pretty rough allergies myself, so it was only natural when my parents banned any and all scented products from our home. That included laundry detergent, cleaning products, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray-- all of it. Candles & perfumes weren't used in my home either.
I don't know about you, but if you have ever tried a lot of different soaps at the grocery stores, you might find body wash that makes your skin super dry or doesn't pull that stink off of you. I did find a "soap" that was hypoallergenic that didn't make me itchy, so I stuck with that for about 10 years, until I began making my own soap.
How HBC Organics got started was in the kitchen of our lake-front rental in Fenton, Michigan. My then-fiance and I had about $20 in our bank account and I, on an impulse, went and bought supplies to make a small batch of soap. What I discovered was the answer to my itchy, rashy skin problems. My first batch of soap, was not perfect by any means. I think now that I've been making soap as a craft for about 6 years now, I would probably laugh at that first batch.
My first batch of soap was what is called "hot process soap". This is a very quick way to make a batch of soap. In a nutshell, you heat the oils & butters you want to use as your soap base together. Next you dissolve lye into water to make the lye/water solution. You then mix them together creating something that resembles a pudding-like consistency. Next you cook it in your crock pot for 45 minutes to an hour, testing it with pH strips to make sure the lye no longer exists. Then you mix in your essential oils, herbs, and whatnot & then pour it into a mold. You let it sit for a day or two before cutting and boxing the soap. While this is a quick & decent way to make soap, I have found that the hot processed bars don't last as long in the shower & can have a bit of a drying effect on some people's skin.
I then began making cold process soap. This process takes 4-6 weeks, sometimes 8 weeks depending on your climate. The bars of soap are creamier, have a rich lather, and leave your skin feeling silky soft. When I started making these bars, people were impatient. They didn't want to wait that long for soap and at the time, HBC Organics was pretty fragile. I couldn't go 6-8 weeks without making any money. So for the next couple of years I primarily made Hot Process Soap- it kept the customers happy, but I was getting the itch to up my craft.
In 2018, I began doing primarily cold process soaps. It's definitely been a transition for the business and my customers. The customers are happier with their soaps & the shampoo bars have really taken off (it's almost impossible for me to keep them in stock longer than a day or two). There is really a lot of planning that goes into creating a stock for the store.
HBC Organics will be moving it's home location from Virginia back to Michigan in 2019. This comes with a lot of changes for the business and our customers. A lot of our local customers to Virginia will have to have their orders shipped. We might lose some customers because of that. However, we do plan to come to Virginia at least 2 times per year to do the Chesapeake Jubilee to cater to our Hampton Roads Customer Base!
Some of the good changes that will be coming once we have moved and are settled is a larger inventory. We will have more options for our cold process soaps, more scents & more blends. About 5 different shampoo bars will be available. Not to mention the rest of our products will have larger inventories as well. So hold on guys! Goodness is coming!
For the 2018 Holiday season...
we are planning a larger stock of our cold process soaps for our customers! Last year we sold out of soap the last week of November, which left our customers and us scrambling for the month of December. Below we have a list of soaps we are getting ready that should be ready the second week of November. Please let us know below what soaps you'd like to see this Holiday season in our store! We will do our best to have as many ready as possible!
Like we said above, we'd like to hear from our customers!
What soaps do you want to see this year?
Who am I?
My name is Jessica Kellaway! I am the earth loving, natural parenting, Jesus loving weirdo your mama might have warned you about!