How I Got Started


natural soaps organic ingredients

When I was a kid growing up, my mother talked about how my grandmother used to make soap and how it took the “hide” off of you.  The way my mother told the story it was so funny you would bend over with laughter and would laugh until your stomach hurt. I loved hearing my mother tell the story.  She was something else and an awesome storyteller.

Anyway, there was a time in my life, I was feeling very stressed and I needed something to relieve it. I decided to try my hand at making soap. To be fair, I have always had an artistic nature about myself. I especially loved sewing, cooking, baking, canning, making homemade remedies and putting my own little “twist” on things to be different and creative.   Heck, I would even go fishing and catch dinner. I am proud to say I bought my first herb book when I was 18 years old.

Getting back to how I got started, I needed to get my stress level under control and creating things seemed to help me relax.  I decided to try my hand at soapmaking. I am no different than many others in society today. I wanted the soap “right now”.  I decided to take a short cut in the soapmaking proceess.  I didn’t want to make it the way my grandmother made it. After all, I didn’t want to take the’ “hide” off of anyone.  My first attempt at making soap was by the “Melt and Pour” method.  This soap is glycerin based, pre-made, and all you had to do is melt down the glycerin, scent it, pour it in your favorite mold, let it get hard and then, you have soap!!!  I used a recipe from a book I bought by Marie Browning called “Melt & Pour Soapmaking”. I was very proud of my accomplishment.  I took a few bars to my dentist’s office. His wife and I had a good relationship and I wanted to impress her with my new found craft. She loved handmade soap and I knew she would appreciate having a few bars. This was around the year 2001, when handmade soap was in it’s infancy and wasn’t as well-known and popular as it is today. At least, not in my neck of the woods.  My dentist’s wife said, “oh honey, look at the handmade soaps”.  He said: “Is that the fake soap or the real soap?”

I was crushed! I couldn’t believe he said that. What did he mean calling my soap fake? How dare he! I decided right then and there, I would not be out done.  I said to myself, I will show him! I bought every book I could find on the subject of cold process soap making.  A book called “Essentially Soapmaking “,by Dr. Robert S. McDaniel, I found to be a good resource and a great value for the money.  His book is one of many that guided me in my journey of  making cold process soap.

mint soap

The cold process soap is a method of making soap whereas you have to mix a lye solution with oils causing a chemical reaction. Out of the reaction, soap is made.  This process takes time to learn and you have to calculate your lye correctly. If your measurements are off the lye could potentially take your “hide” off and cause serious problems.  Lye is a caustic soda and safety precautions must be take when working with it.

I read everything I could find on making cold process soap. I tried it. I made a mess. I tried it again. I made another mess. I kept experimenting until I finally started making head way with creating a good bar of cold process soap.  I knew I was becoming more skilled in making soap because it is not every day you get family and friends volunteering to try something that could potentially take their “hide”off. My family and friends started making requests. Honestly, it felt great knowing the products I made was enjoyed by so many people. On a regular basis, I receive compliments and requests for my products. For this, I am grateful.I have worked very hard to offer those products people have come to love.

Check out our new website: www.justelayne.com . There is even a specials page . This page offers an opportunity to sample our products at a discounted price. These products will no longer be offered routinely on our website.  These can be special ordered once no longer available on our “Special’s” page. This is a great! opportunity to stock up on Just Elayne Naturals products.  The same great quality and care is put into every single product.

 

There are many more resources available today to learn soapmaking. As one of the “trailblazers”, Just Elayne Naturals has paved the way. I find the process of creation to be very relaxing and seize every opportunity to make new and different products.This ties directly into my professional training as a registered nurse.

I love using herbs in my soaps and other products. The subject of using herbs in natural care is a topic for discussion another day. I can go on for days about herbal care and its benefits. However, I want to share many hours have been spent researching the varies herbs and the best oils to use to infuse the herbs used in my soaps and other products. In the process, I became more knowledgeable and appreciative of the benefits of choosing one herb over another and using the different oils and butters. I want every product to have a healthful benefit.

There is no greater joy or gratification than knowing you are fulfilling your purpose as God has intended. I know with each day comes an opportunity for growth, change and to look forward to a new beginning. I am committed to staying the course and serving others in my own unique way. Just Elayne Naturals is here to serve you; our customer, family and friends. Browse our website for products that will keep you coming back to Just Elayne Naturals.  Custom orders are always welcome. Email us at: sales@justelaynenaturals.com  or call us at 614-887-8008.

You can find Just Elayne Naturals products at Boline Apothecary located on North High Street in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio.  Your continued patronage is appreciated. Thank you for letting us serve you.

Wanda Bramble,

Owner of Just Elayne Naturals.