My Saponified Life – Frozen Dead Soap

PirateSoapToday I made the rounds of the Nederland, Colorado stores. I was accompanying my daughter as she made her wholesale soap stock exchange. We stocked Dandelion Fine Art & Gifts with a limited specialty selection of Frozen Dead Soaps for the upcoming weekend Frozen Dead Guy Days. These special skull, bone, cannabis leaf, and dancing bear soaps will be available only at Dandelion or the Nederland Visitor Center. I really enjoyed seeing the variety of soap makers products in this tourist town as we made our way through the stores filled with talented local artist’s creations.

Nederland is like a modern day Amsterdam. Nederland decriminalized marijuana several years ago, long before Colorado’s Prop 64. There are between 8 to 10 medical marijuana dispensaries vs one grocery store. Everything is locally owned, no chains, and is strictly an entrepreneur’s town. Breweries, dispensaries, local artisans are in such close proximity that you really don’t even need a car. There is a bus line going from Boulder to Nederland and Nederland to the ski resort on fairly regular basis, or travelers can hitch hike with friendly residents.

During the soap stock exchange today, I recognized some of the other soap maker brands. At Dandelion Fine Art & Gifts, not only did we see Nederland Naturals soap, I saw soap by Spinster Sisters (Golden, CO), and The Mod Cabin (Lafayette, CO). In other shops around town I recognized Sad Cat Soap Company, Mountain Moon Glow Candles (Nederland, CO), The Pampered Pioneer (a private label by an actual soap friend), Ostara Organics (Longmont, CO), and The Clean Get Away Soap Company (Denver, CO).

I had not believed my daughter when she told me I really did not need a car while in Ned. The thought of being on foot all day, every day, for week was just too much for me though, so I had a rental car arranged. The first day here in Ned, we just went out and about with stroller exploring, getting lunch, and generally site seeing in town. The baby slept most of the duration, lulled to sleep by the rhythmic jostling of the stroller. It was a fun, and easy to maneuver outing with us toting along all the accoutrements needed when going out with an infant and conducting some business in a few of the local cafe’s like Salto, and the Train Cars.

Last night however, a foot of snow fell so we loaded up the car this morning and drove to a central location in downtown Nederland. That’s where we attended the Baby Story Time at the Nederland Community Library, afterward strolling across the street to The Business Connection for a full color label print. After printing the Frozen Dead Soap labels we returned to our car where we proceeded to label all the soaps that were intended for Dandelion. We dropped the soaps off and visited two more shops to check stock, then went down to the Nederland US Post Office where my daughter mailed off a few Etsy soap orders. We then stopped by the feed store and purchased pine tar for the upcoming Mountain Man Pine Tar Soap, but stopped off at that only grocery store for the few items we needed for dinner.

We took a time out for lunch and hot tea at the Blue Owl after stocking a fresh round of hemp seed oil soaps at the Mountain Peoples Co Op, scented with Soapalooza’s own Truly Patchouli and Wicked Ganja! My daughter used the interlude to catch our breath, feed the baby, catch up on email, and manage some custom orders in her Etsy store.

At this point, I was having traumatic flashbacks of when I had three children under the age of 5 years, shuffling them in and out of coats, mittens, and car seats and into strollers, in a town where it was impossible to get really anywhere without a car. I was convinced that not only was it easy to do pretty much all you need to do in Nederland on foot, but glad that we were not waking a baby up from a car seat nap, folding & unfolding a stroller, and loading and reloading as we drove 40 to 150 feet every 30 to 45 minutes. The idea of coaxing a wriggling 14 lb sack of potatoes into a happy state after being woke up from a car seat nap every 45 minutes is mentally exhausting, and I am convinced would have been more physically exhausting than simply walking and pushing a stroller loaded to the gills with soap and computers.

Tonight I am teaching my daughter how to use the Low Temperature soap making method with her new Mountain Man Pine Tar Soap. Last night we poured her very popular Mountain Woman Soap, both exclusively available at the Mountain Man Outdoor Store in Nederland, Co. You can download a Pine Tar Soap Class PDF from Soaplooza to learn how to make this also!

Now that the baby is sleeping, I am teaching my daughter a few more Melt & Pour techniques to make Pirate Soaps for the Renaissance Woman costume & gift shop Friday.

Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

KellyValentines14Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20 year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Soapmaker Spotlight – Melissa Flick of Body Balms

Melissa-8tonsoapMelissa Flick is a nurse, lives in Texas, and runs Body Balms. In March of 2003, Melissa organized the creation of the 8.5 Tons of Suds bar of soap. The Tons of Suds for Scleroderma event was an all-day community oriented effort to increase awareness about scleroderma and raise funds for the Scleroderma Foundation. Over $3,000 was initially raised for charity, with the soap being sent to many organizations as donations for many years afterward. I even have a small chunk of the Tons of Suds blue soap, as Melissa also included small pieces in a few of the soap gathering and soap convention goodie bags. The full details of the event are on the page link above, and are well worth reading!

Today, Melissa’s newest venture is Nourish, a Non Profit Organization (NPO). The vision of the Nourish Collective is to advocate community partnerships in assessing community strengths and needs to provide the most beneficial programs and services for individuals and communities. Through multi-faceted, holistic programs and services the Nourish Collective strives to equip and empower individuals to improve their lives and nourish their families and communities. And of course, Nourish also teaches communities how to support themselves with the business of making soap!


Melissa is also on Facebook.

Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, a Passion, and and Addiction!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page

We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Soapmaker Spotlight – Ellice Darien of By Dariens

elice1Meet Ellice Darien of Dariens, located in the Stony Point Fashion Park, Richmond VA.

Ellice Darien owns and operates an upscale Natural Bath and Beauty Products & Services business in the Richmond West End area. Located next to Panera in the Stony Point Fashion Park mall, she provides facials, massage therapy, body wraps, waxing, and spa manicures and pedicures.

Ellice’s natural cold process soaps are handcrafted on site and scented with fabulous fragrances. Her lotions, body wraps, bath bombs, bath fizzies, and natural perfumes are also manufactured on site, and scented with natural and naturally derived fragrance blends that she develops herself.

I love stopping by to visit her when I am out in that area of town! Her shop is fragrant, elegant, and upbeat with it’s distinctive leaf green and white branding designs! I love the vision Ellice states for her company on her website:

We’re shameless enough to admit that we will use any great ideas, thoughts and processes that makes us a better company. And we’ll give credit where credit is due.

We value education, transparency and collaboration in our business practices, our products and our interaction with our employees and our consumers. For us, education is a lifelong process no matter what school you attended. Or didn’t. Street smarts is as important as book knowledge. Being transparent means we do what we say. And we say what we do. We might stumble and fall, but you’ll see how we do it and how we’ll get back on our feet. Our ultimate success will be based on the human relationships we foster and grow with our employees and our consumers.

Visit the By Darien’s website to see the wonderful Mommy & Me, Hair, Beauty & Skincare, Mineral Make Up, and Home Fragrance products and services she is currently offering. Selections change with the seasons and holidays! Ellice is also on Facebook!

Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!
Where soapmaking is an Adventure, an Art, and an Addiction!

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page
We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

From Supply Warehouse Manager to Artisan Soapmaker

Erin Southern Soapers Warehouse2010

Erin Laraine Groves, former Soap Slave at Southern Soapers

Meet Erin Laraine Groves, owner of Nederland Naturals in Nederland, Colorado. For those of you that remember when I sold my fragrance oils with my former Southern Soapers brand, you will have had many of your items poured, labeled, and packed by none other than Erin Laraine Groves. In the photo at left, you will see Erin in one of the empty BTMS drums, playing around.

Over the course of the first 5 years of my fragrance and supply business, three of my four daughters have worked extensively in the warehouse. During the Summer of 2010 and through the Spring of 2011, three of my daughters worked the warehouse at the same time!

Erin moved to Nederland, Colorado in 2012, had a baby boy (my first grandchild, Robert Burrios), and started Nederland Naturals in 2013. Erin spent many years watching and/or assisting me with my own wholesale soap company (BloomWorks Soap Company), as well as the Southern Soapers branded supply business.

Erin has her soaps in 6 stores in the Nederland, Colorado area as well as an Etsy store

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Erin Laraine Groves, Soap Pimp & Owner of Nederland Naturals

Using fragrances inspired by the city she loves, Erin Groves makes soap a new old-fashioned way. As a child she learned the process from her mother.

“My mother taught me the art of soap-making,” says Groves, founder of Nederland Naturals. “Helping her stir, cut and package soap bars is among some of my best childhood memories. When she retired, I continued to experiment with her recipes and invented my own along the way. I was always trying to get her to incorporate crazy things like wild herbs and botanicals into her soap, but she wouldn’t go for it. Now that I have my own soap company, I can add whatever I want.”

You can find Erin on Facebook here, and her Nederland Naturals Facebook page at this location. Below is a gallery of some of her most recent soap creations. Erin uses the Soapalooza  fragrances, which are the same formulas I used to sell with the Southern Soapers brand, in her soapmaking.


Awash in creativity, Nederland Naturals offers many handmade bath and beauty products, including soaps, brown sugar body scrubs, body butter, lotion bars, and natural perfume with prices ranging from $5 for a single bar/jar to $35 for a gift basket. All products are made with — and inspired by — local ingredients and fragrances.

“With all of my products, I strive to use formulas and methods that no one else does — even if it means getting really dirty. I love creating soap with a mix of fun, unusual, and natural ingredients for colorants and textures. ” Her top selling soap, Indian Paint Brush, is blended with local red clay. gingered Lavender is made with a beautiful French yellow clay. Other scents like Deep Purple Dreams and Pink Pepper Berry have fun exfoliants like purple jojoba beads and blueberry seeds.

Nederland Naturals

Nederland Naturals

She is currently working on a ‘specialty skin care’ line of soaps inspired by time honored remedies for problem skin, like green clay, pine tar, charcoal, and sulfur. “Everyone’s skin has a natural ‘soap prescription’. I love to work with base oils that are skin type specific.” Her ‘Spiced Pumpkin Harvest’ pumpkin seed oil and goats milk soap for dry skin came out this fall along with ‘Acorns, Amber and Spice’ shimmering shea butter body lotion bars. Look for her products around town in Nederland, Colorado at Dandelion, Blue Owl, Mountain Man, and the Co-op.

I am having so much fun watching my #3 daughter take off with her soapmaking venture!

Soapmaker Spotlight : Platypus Dreams

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/At this recent Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild Convention I got to meet a soapmaker that I have admired for quite a few years. Back in 2006 I shared a few emails with her, and got to see one of her early renditions of her Soap Cupcakes. At the time, it was so cutting edge, so out of the soap box, that it has stayed in my brain like ‘visions of sugar plums’. The item was a shocking pink cupcake base with a deep purple ‘fondant’ type of overlay on the heaped up cupcake top. The overlay looked like it was shaped like a 5 petal flower, then draped over the entire confection with pink ‘frosting’ showing at the base of the cupcake top. Finished with a generous helping of Fairy Dust glitter and sparkle. Simply stunning, and it has been the ‘standard’ of soap cupcakes in my mind ever since.
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/Sharon Elvin is the owner of Platypus Dreams, located in Australia. She does fascinating work, and newcomers to soapmaking might not realize that the soap art she creates is entirely made with cold process soap. When I look at the items I see how much technical skill is required to negotiate the texture, set up time, and the artistry of even fashioning the hand piped flowers. One has to be able to create a soap formula that stays fluid long enough to work up what she has created, yet firm up fast enough to stabilize everything. A degree of gel is required to bond the layers of the cake items, and yet a long enough time to remain ungelled is also required in handling a frosting bag of raw soap.
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/Each violet is hand piped. Each leaf. The cakes have delicate string work on the surface. Beads and flutes on the sides. Pretty amazing work when one considers this is all cold process soap. Then, remember how large these cakes are… cutting them is another aspect entirely! That is a large mass to cut and not have get scrunched up and the layers mussed up!
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/In any case, I thought I would share these magnificent examples of pushing our cold process soap art to new levels of artistry.

Soapmaker Spotlight: Tasha’s Own, VA Beach

Co Owner of Tasha's Own Goat Milk Soap, VA Beach

Co Owner of Tasha’s Own Goat Milk Soap, VA Beach


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/While at the Colonial Williamsburg Second Sunday, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting one of the co owners of Tasha’s Own Goat Milk Soap! I always turn on the “find a soapmaker” radar when I am on day trips, looking for soapmaking and cosmetics manufacturers. I love talking shop and picking up an item or two as a souvenir from our meeting.
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/Tasha’s Own uses the goat milk from their Hearthside Farms concern as the basis of their product line. Hearthside Farms in located in the Pungo area, a little south of Virginia Beach. It is the last bit of rural tract in Va Beach. I used to take my children there to harvest figs, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries in the summer.
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Back Bay Sassafras

Back Bay Sassafras


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/The soap I went away with today is the Back Bay Sassafras… infused with ground sassafras bark, plaintain, and chickweed, as well as essential oils, this bar is everything I would imagine a sassafras soap to smell like. Wonderful. Rustic and heady. Beautifully packaged with a simple calico fabric band and a parchment paper top band with their branding, logo, and ingredients list.
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/Tasha’s Own Goat Milk Soap is also a member of our Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild!

Soapmaker Spotlight: Nadine Camara at Brunefelsia


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/Watch Nadine Camara make soap! Nadine’s Brunefelsia Soaps made the Cinnamon Bun for the 2008 Southern Soapers Decadent Dessert Soap Swap. Yes, that scrumptious cinnamon bun is pure, natural handcrafted soap!
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/Nadine lives in South Africa, where obtaining soap making supplies is quite a feat. Her beautiful daughter creates the market backdrop you see in the center photo, as well as her marketing and website graphics.
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/Note: This is a previous blog post from my former Southern Soapers Supplies blog. All copyrighted materials, to include fragrance descriptions, fragrance images, www.southernsoapers.com website content, classroom instructional materials, etc remain the intellectual property of BloomWorks Holdings, LLC and Kelly Bloom. BloomWorks Holdings LLC distributes the former Southern Soapers fragrances and copyrighted materials.

Soapmaker Spotlight: Kristen Seine of Swan Mountain Soaps


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/Kristen lives up in Alaska, and has a wonderful Military lifestyle. I know about that, as I am also a military wife.Kristen juggles the gypsy lifestyle that the military thrusts upon spouses, as well as owns and grows a booming soapmaking business. Above are photos of Kristen’s Cranberry Orange Marmalade, French Lilacs, and Sweet Dreams fragranced soaps.
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/Note: This is a previous blog post from my former Southern Soapers Supplies blog. All copyrighted materials, to include fragrance descriptions, fragrance images, www.southernsoapers.com website content, classroom instructional materials, etc remain the intellectual property of BloomWorks Holdings, LLC and Kelly Bloom. BloomWorks Holdings LLC distributes the former Southern Soapers fragrances and copyrighted materials.

Soapmaker Spotlight: Jo Lasky’s Bubble Bars

Jo-IntimateBubblesBB Jo-StarlightMint Jo-lemongingerBBJo Lasky taught the Southern Soapers class on making some amazing Bubble Bars. Many of them look like scrumptious confections, from pies and cakes, to buns and cupcakes!
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/Here you see her pink cupcakes,  and her lemon pie wedges.
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/In addition, you can also see her beautiful Citrus Slices melt & pour soaps.
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/Note: This is a previous blog post from my former Southern Soapers Supplies blog. All copyrighted materials, to include fragrance descriptions, fragrance images, www.southernsoapers.com website content, classroom instructional materials, etc remain the intellectual property of BloomWorks Holdings, LLC and Kelly Bloom. BloomWorks Holdings LLC distributes the former Southern Soapers fragrances and copyrighted materials

Soapmaker Spotlight: Annette Wilkins & Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffle Soaps, by Annette L. Wilkins

Chocolate Truffle Soaps, by Annette L. Wilkins


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/Take a look at Annette’s soap! They look just like Guerlian Chocolates!
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/This was made using the Southern Soapers Chocolate Truffle fragrance oil.
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/Note: This is a previous blog post from my former Southern Soapers Supplies blog. All copyrighted materials, to include fragrance descriptions, fragrance images, www.southernsoapers.com website content, classroom instructional materials, etc remain the intellectual property of BloomWorks Holdings, LLC and Kelly Bloom. BloomWorks Holdings LLC distributes the former Southern Soapers fragrances and copyrighted materials under the new Soapalooza brand.