My Favorite Soap
I am very often asked which of my soaps is my favorite. I never have a good answer -- I love so many of them! (I wouldn't make them if I didn't love them!)
But now I have a hands-down absolute favorite.
But it's not for sale.
And I can never reproduce it.
Several months ago, I was privileged enough to be allowed to tour Raphael House, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. The staff and their work were amazing and utterly inspiring; I was incredibly impressed by their good work and their impact on our community.
On the tour, Amanda showed us a walk-in closet lined with toiletries and other necessities that the families were allowed to visit and to take whatever they needed, which gave me an idea.
When I realized that Raphael House would be happy to take homemade soap, I went home and began planning the biggest, most ambitious batch of soap I'd ever made.
(The size and design of this soap was inspired by Modern Soapmaking, a company that gives generously to its community and the world.)
Over the years, I have amassed an impressive box of soap ends and failed batches too ugly to sell. They were perfectly serviceable -- they are what my family uses -- but I'm picky about what I put out to my customers.
All these pieces were chopped up and poured into a dresser drawer, which functioned nicely as a mega-sized soap mold.
I poured a huge batch of new soap in with the scraps; it looked like lumpy (pretty unattractive) pudding. Once the batter thickened a little bit, I sculpted the top and added a little sparkley mica on top. So pretty!
My monster-sized block of soap was left to harden. A week or two later, I was able to cut it into individual bars.
Only, after six weeks of curing time were they ready to be labeled.
I'd initially wanted to private-label these for Raphael House's exclusive use, but I realized that some people would prefer their association with the shelter to be kept quiet, so I created the name of "Second Chance Soap" just for them.
"Like life, this soap is filled with many surprises. Multi-colored scraps make each bar unique and beautiful."
I'm hoping that all these victims of domestic abuse may find a fresh second chance for a brand new life.
Giving away this batch of soap made me happier than I can express! When I presented them to Amanda Ives, their development manager, she seemed so genuinely grateful for them, on behalf of their clients, that ten times the effort would have been well worth it!
Here is a nice entry in Raphael House's newsletter, linked to the reason for my tour of the facility that started everything!
Thank you, Raphael House and Amanda, for the inspiration and for all the wonderful work you do! Your dedication and genuine desire to help for all of your clients made me want to be a better person!