Hello! My name is Shari Lewis (yes, just like the delightful puppeteer who enchanted so many of us with her sidekick, Lamb Chop), and I love making soap…planning new batches of soap…admiring soap created by other talented soapmakers…well, you get the idea! Right now there are about a dozen different bars of soapy deliciousness in my shower and besides, can you ever really have too much soap?
An Addictive Hobby
My soapmaking obsession began one morning around the turn of the millennium. I simply woke up one day and wanted to make soap! I don’t know why, exactly. No one in my circle of friends or family made soap, and most of them seemed to think my desire to do so was sort of funny, or weird or a passing fancy. Who knows? Perhaps, in some long-distant and forgotten past life, shrouded in the mists of time, I was the village soapmaker.
A decidedly unflattering photo taken about 13 years ago, when I was learning how to make soap. My batch had seized so I was consulting Robert McDaniel’s book “Essentially Soap.” Check out all the safety gear!
Nah, probably not. Most likely the desire to create soap (and later on, bath and body products) stemmed from my love of the creative process, and cooking and chemistry. There always was a little “mad scientist” in me.
When I first began, my soaps weren’t very pretty. Oh, they worked well – they cleansed, softened and moisturized my skin – but they were very plain. And homely soap was okay with me for years, although I tweaked my formula occasionally to make the soap even better. Along the way, my library of soapmaking books grew, and I read them cover to cover, and honed my craft. And I completed a certification program approved by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy which helped me learn how to create wonderfully fragrant and safe essential oil blends for my soap and other products.
Plain Ol’ Soap to Soap Art
A few years ago, the artistry of soap captured my attention, and I subscribed to soapmaking blogs and forums, and looked at photos of beautifully crafted soap, and dreamed of creating my own soap art. And now it’s not just a dream. In March 2012, Blossom & Twig Artisan Soaps & Aromatics launched an Etsy shop, and my days are spent creating beautiful soap that gently pampers your skin. Soap that uses natural, organic, Fair Trade, or sustainably harvested ingredients. Soap that’s packaged with eco-friendly materials (because the Earth is our home and it’s important)! Soap that contains no synthetic ingredients or petrochemicals or phthalates that might harm you or our environment. You won’t believe the difference between my handcrafted soap and the commercial “soap” you’ve used for years!
Life Never Stands Still…
…and neither do I! I’m a proud member of the Indie Beauty Network and the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, as well as a Guild-certified soapmaker. Beginning in January 2013 I’ll be teaching soapmaking classes as a certified soapmaker teacher. There’s an advanced soapmaker certification beckoning to me, too! And I’m learning about photography and lighting and Photoshop…and the learning never stops! And that’s a very good thing.
If you have any questions, email me at shari [at] blossomandtwig dot com.
Thanks for visiting!
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