As we approach 2017, we continually study cosmetic market dynamics, prices of organic raw materials, world demand for oils and sodium hydroxide and essential oils.

We have pledged to provide our customers with the best value for their money regarding the personal care products we create.

We research our ingredients thoroughly, making sure our fragrances are phthalate free by studying the Material Safety Data Sheets but also the Certificate of Analysis as well.  We scrutinize the source and sustainability of the essential oils we order or import.

We choose the highest quality ingredients we can find. Our most recent example of this is when we upgraded early this year to Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Pure Olive Oil. Our research showed us that Pure Olive Oil (despite the name) is often a blend of various grades of olive oil. Pure also contains both citric and phosphoric acid as protectants since inferior olives are allowed in the pressing. The rules surrounding the growth, harvesting, transporting and production of organic extra virgin olive oil are quite strict. It is inspected and tested throughout the process from vine to bottle. It is the very best olive oil you can buy as the nutrients are higher, the enzymes are intact and the oleic fatty acid content is high.

World renowned chefs use “extra virgin” because their discerning customers can TASTE the difference. We see no difference in creating artisan skin care. If you “are what you eat”, it only makes sense that your skin is “what you apply” as well. Our goal has always been for our customers to “feel” the difference when using our products. Our products are “Food for the Skin”.

As Mid-Westerners, it is a challenge for us to fathom $9 – $10 a bar artisanal soap that exists in other parts of the country. We want to remain affordable for the average family.

Using the best ingredients creates a financial challenge to hold prices down.

As our costs increase, we actively search for ways to mitigate them. We revise packaging, we reduce waste by reusing and recycling production equipment, buy soap-making oils and essential oils as well, in large bulk quantities.

We ensure wholesomeness, safety and integrity of our products with periodic testing. Our lotion is tested by Cincinnati laboratories to ensure the preservation system is working correctly. Mold, mildew and bacteria are dangerous bedfellows. Our soap is managed with statistical quality control with pH testing, hardness testing and weight studies.

We have posted a modest price increase on some of our products. It ranges from 1 – 4 % on certain products, while others will not change for the foreseeable future. We will continue to offer free shipping days, special savings on-line promotions and deals for those who subscribe to our Newsletter. We have also instituted an ON-LINE REWARDS PROGRAM for our customers. You must register for it, but it helps us reward you for your repeat purchases and loyalty!

Why do we do all this? First, it is the right thing to do when people are taking your product into their homes. Secondly, we ENJOY making the products and helping our customers feel better in their skin. Thirdly, we are being proactive. Congress is currently reviewing the Personal Products Care Safety Act introduced by Senators Diane Feinstein (CA) and Susan Collins (ME) in 2014. The bill is supported by large multinational corporations in the cosmetic industry. As currently drafted, the bill would seriously impact the handcrafted soap and cosmetic small business industry with overly burdensome fees, paperwork reporting requirements while doing little to improve actual product safety. The Hancrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild is diligently working with lobbyists to help them understand the importance and demand for small artisanal businesses and their products.

The intent of today’s blog is to help you understand the challenges we face, but more importantly, to reassure you we are doing what is necessary to continue to offer high-quality, trustworthy, artisanal soap and skin care. Thank you for your continued support and business.