I work hard to make many different types of handmade soap so that I can offer a little something for everyone. And today I’m introducing another new soap. Here’s a hint about the new soap; fancy stuff can sometimes be overrated, so . . . embrace the ordinary!
This new soap is named for a very sweet lady who lives here in the mountains of West Virginia. This is her picture. As you may notice, she loves old-fashioned canning. More about her in a minute.
Even though I am a very small company, no matter what your favorite kind of soap is, you should be able to find something in my line that you’ll love. I make different types of soap on a rotating basis because I have a limited amount of time and space for my hobby/business. So when your favorite soap comes around, I always advise customers to stock up because I may not make your favorite again for 6 months or more.
So, what IS your favorite type of soap? Do you love floral-scented soap? Or do you prefer fresh or fruity scented soap? Do you like the look of dried flowers on luxury soap?
Or maybe you like plain, uncolored or fragrance-free soap? Or are you adament that you will only buy vegan, goat-milk, natural or palm-free soaps?
Do you need ultra-gentle soap for your family’s sensitive skin?
Do you love fancy-pants soap? Do you like essential oils better than fragrance oils?
Don’t worry; I got you covered. At some point, I’ll make YOUR favorite kind of soap.
So, this new soap is made with a slightly different recipe and it’s named for a down-to-earth, no-nonsense woman who lives on a small farm out in the country in Clay County. My state is a rural state, but this lady even lives way off the beaten path of West Virginia locals. This is her house.
The lady I’m referring too grows potatoes, peas, corn, onions, hot peppers, rhubarb and many other vegetables in her little garden. She also picks wild berries. Then she uses all of these things to create jams, fruit butters, pickled vegetables, dip mixes, chili mixes and salsa mixes.
She puts her family to work too.
Eventually this nice lady started selling her home-canned products at local small-town events. The products began selling so well that her daughter put them on the internet. Before you know it, this mild, unassuming woman from Clay County, West Virginia got her products mentioned in Southern Living magazine and People magazine!
This is a true story about a real person and her name is Evelyn McGlothlin. Evelyn is a modest, down-to-earth lady and she will be the first to tell you that she’s nothing special; just an ordinary country woman who likes gardening and cooking. As a matter of fact, even her product labels reflect her modesty. She named her business ‘Ordinary Evelyn’s’.
How cute is that company name? I just love it!!
So, after getting permission from Evelyn, I’m naming my new soap, ‘Ordinary Evelyn’ soap, and it will be listed for sale on June 5, 2015. Then I’ll start rotating it in with the rest of my soap on a regular basis.
In keeping with Evelyn’s unpretentious personality, Ordinary Evelyn soap is nothing fancy – no colors, no dried botanical flowers, no fancy stamps or decorations. It’s just plain white soap with the fresh fragrance of clean clothes drying on a country clothesline on a summer day.
The other thing that makes Ordinary Evelyn soap a little different from my other soap is that it includes lard as a ‘secret’ ingredient. Don’t freak out! Don’t stop reading!
Lard, lard-derived ingredients and tallow are already in your lipstick, shaving cream, toothpaste, hand lotion, shampoos, dish liquids, store-bought soap and expensive skincare creams. You also eat it. It’s in baked goods and other candy and snack foods.
Big companies that use lard or tallow in their products often list it on their ingredients label under another name. Which may be a good thing since some people have an ‘yuck!’ reaction to the thought of lard or tallow. So companies generally list ‘sodium tallowate’ instead of tallow, etc. The very first ingredient in Ivory soap is sodium tallowate.
But country people, farmers, ranchers, recyclers and survivalists know these remarkable ingredients by their plain, ordinary names – lard or tallow – and they know that they are worth their weight in gold for a variety of uses.
I know lard is not a very glamorous-sounding ingredient, but many soapmakers find lard to be a fantastic ingredient in soap. And top companies have been using it for years in high-end skin-care and beauty products.
Soap is a wash-off product, and as a handmade soapmaker I cannot legally make any claims as to lard or tallow being good for your skin. But if you google ‘lard in skin care’, you will see that it is an ingredient that is included in many exclusive, big-name products.
Ordinary Evelyn is also a palm-free soap. That’s important to many people because palm oil is often cultivated in an unsustainable way, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia. The unsustainable establishment of palm oil plantations is harmful to the environment, including the native communities and wildlife. Deforestation associated with unsustainable palm oil sources is particularly devastating to wild animals.
So why is lard or tallow an acceptable ingredient in this soap if it comes directly from animals? Well, lard and tallow are renewable resources because they are a waste product of the meat industry, and the meat indistry isn’t going away any time soon. Whether we like it or not. Using lard and/or tallow reduces waste and makes the most of the life of an animal that has already been killed for another reason (steak or bacon). No matter how much you may hate that an animal has been killed for food, you cannot help but see the good sense in using the waste scraps for something good instead of sending tons of it to landfills every year. That’s just good environmental stewardship.
Ordinary Evelyn is a wonderful soap. But if you still prefer vegan soaps, I have many other soap choices for you.
Evelyn has an Ordinary Evelyn’s Facebook page and I’m sure she’d love it if you’d drop in over there and give her page a ‘like’. You can find her web site at http://www.ordinaryevelyns.com/. You can find her products at these locations.
Or, if you’re local, you may get lucky and stumble upon the real Evelyn selling her products at rural festivals here in West Virginia. Tell Ordinary Evelyn that the soap lady sent you.