By: Debbie Acree—
Muncie, IN—My soap making journey began in 1999. While at a mom’s retreat, I heard one of the speakers mention that she made soap, and it immediately reached out and grabbed me. Wrestling with my daughter’s issues with eczema for the previous couple of years, and finding nothing that would relieve it, I thought “this might work.” So I went home and started studying everything I could find on soap making and how to do it.
Our tiny library in Farmland, Indiana was so gracious to do everything they could to help me find all the information I could find— even through interlibrary loan. The next three years were spent studying soap making techniques, chemistry, and learning just what I needed in a formula to help my daughter’s eczema.
I was met with negative comments by family members (who meant no harm) and it actually turned out to push me on… I will accept the challenge!
After about three years and many trial soap batches, I finally had a soap that did what I was wanting it to do. Lather luxuriously, soothe the skin, and be long-lasting.
By giving the soap to family and friends, and them turning around and asking for more, I was encouraged to try to market it; even though I did not intend to start a business.
My first “festival” was in our little town of Farmland, Indiana with a small 3 foot table at the annual “good old days” celebration. I sold a few bars of soap that day. Soon after, those customers contacted me wanting more! How exciting!
I went on from there to build a website and reached out to sell to retailers at wholesale.
There have been many festivals and bazaars—many boxes going out in the mail—and many cars who have pulled-up in my driveway, to seek out that much desired bar of soap over the past 19 years. After much consideration, many knocks on my front door, and many appointments made so that customers could stop by my home to pick up soap, I decided it was time to launch out and take on the overhead of the brick and mortar store front.
On October 6, 2016 in downtown Muncie Indiana, I opened up the store. It’s really been a lot of work, but it’s also been such a wonderful experience! I love soap making as much as I did when I first began, and getting to meet all of the people I have met has been awesome.
So what started out as an effort to help my daughter’s eczema actually turned into a business that I love. Yes sometimes I get tired, and in January of every year I am usually blitzed after the fall and holiday season! But after A few days relaxing I get a new breath and I’m ready to get back at it.
I can say that the effort to help my daughter’s eczema was successful. She doesn’t have an issue at all anymore!