Those who thrive - a series on local businesses using local resources
FORT KENT – Soap by Sally is bringing a new world of luscious, lathering and all-natural cleansers to Sally Bateau’s line of handcrafted products, available online to residents in the St. John Valley as well as to people all over the world.
Until recently, this was the only way you could purchase products like The Mustache Nemesis, a slippery shaving soap; Treehugger; Peace and Love; Here Comes The Sun; Unclog Yo’ Nog; I Feel Pretty; You Sexy Thing; Gardener’s Delight, a rough, cornmeal-infused soap for particularly dirty hands; Luscious Licorice; and many more.
Developing new products weekly, Soap by Sally's creater and owner Alicia Schenk brings her signature flair to not only the names for her creations, but also their inventiveness. She includes one product that hides a loofah scrub in the bar of soap, and is finalizing an all-natural bug repellent spray that smells heavenly, softens your skin, and keeps the pesky critters away.
In a similar fashion to Allagash Wild’s marketing strategy, Schenk started out providing her handcrafted soap primarily online, through Etsy, but the Sally Bateau owner is also actively pursuing a place-based business model these days to combine the strengths of both types of marketing.
Last week, Schenk began offering her products at Bouchard’s Country Store on Route 161, and she says she has approval to offer her products through the Market Street Co-op in Fort Kent when their doors open.
She said her goal is to purchase all of her ingredients locally. At the moment, she buys the lye that goes into the alchemy that is soap-making and many of the oils she uses from Fort Kent businesses, but the essential oil combinations that spark the unique names she gives her creations have to be purchased elsewhere.
She utilizes the principles of aromatherapy, which associates certain scents with certain emotions and states of mind, in order to help guide her decisions about which scents to combine.
As she became increasingly disillusioned and turned off by what she feels is the inferior quality of many of the commercially-produced soaps available in stores, Schenk said soap-making became one of her passions.
Commercially-available soaps use synthetic fragrances and dry out your skin, she says. She also dislikes the fact that the list of ingredients in many commercial cleansing products is excessively long and for that matter, generally unpronounceable.
“There’s so much crap we put on our bodies, beauty products, etc.,” she said. “I just decided I was going to make my own soap.”
All of the fats she uses that also go into the alchemical soap process are plant-based; she typically uses a blend of coconut, olive, vegetable and almond oils.
The process is surprisingly scientific, with careful ratios of lye to different fats, down to the ounces of oil.
“Each oil has a specific saponification table,” she said.
She often “superfats” her products, adding additional oils to increase the skin-smoothening characteristic of her soap, as well as providing extra insurance that the homemade products will not irritate even the most sensitive skin.
“I test everything on myself and my unfortunate family,” she said, and laughed. “A lot of this stuff, you can even use as shampoo.”
Although Schenk’s company, Sally Bateau, began with handcrafted jewelry, she said she’s concentrating on the soap now; the usefulness of soap as a creative product appeals to her.
People can find her products online at www.etsy.com/shop/Sallybateau or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sally.bateau?fref=ts, and stay tuned for additional local shops at which to buy her sinfully soft soaps.
Thanks for your support!
THIS WEEK'S POLL
- great directory - saves time
22 hours 54 min ago
- local shopping but...
23 hours 4 min ago
- The Fiddlehead Focus Business Directory
1 day 3 hours ago
6 days 23 hours ago
6 days 23 hours ago
- Bob's new car....
1 week 2 hours ago
- Robert's Story.
1 week 12 hours ago
- The Mange Moose
1 week 6 days ago
- MooseShack Too
2 weeks 1 hour ago
- Moose Du Jour
2 weeks 1 day ago