Stepping Stone Soaps is a company that values a wholesome and hand-crafted aesthetic, which has become a rare commodity in our modern marketplace. This fascination with the handmade stems from a love for the simple and beautiful things found in nature that I have been captivated by since my childhood. Books like Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder inspired me, and I loved to learn about every aspect of American life in the late 19th century, from the ways that they hung medical herbs to dry from the ceiling, to how maple syrup was tapped from trees and transformed into sugar candy. I learned to spin and dye wool, make candles and grow gardens. These passions that occupied such an important part of my childhood have been passed on to my three children. I remember making stepping stones with my kids for our garden years ago-a literal trail of memories that we can still walk to this day. I first began to make soaps as an addition to our family Christmas baskets, alongside the standard cookies, candied pecans and Christmas ornaments. As a chemistry teacher, soap making came naturally to me, and as interest in my soaps grew among my friends and family, I decided to make more.
But what is the difference between commercial soaps and Stepping Stone Soaps?
Most of the soaps that we buy at the supermarket are not soaps at all-they are detergent bars. Commercial soap is made in large vats where the glycerol (a natural byproduct of the saponification process) is removed and sold to lotion manufacturers. Glycerol is a humectant, which means that it draws moisture to the skin. As a cost saving measure, synthetic detergents and fillers are often added to commercial batches, which lowers the actual soap content drastically. This replacement of glycerol with synthetic additives is why we often feel so dry and itchy after using these sorts of soaps. Hand-crafted soaps not only maintain their glycerol content, but also contain oils that are naturally lathering-so there is no need to put in the synthetic additives that we have become accustomed to in our store bought detergents. My cleansing bars are a custom blend of eight different high quality base oils, including cocoa butter, Shea butter and olive oil. I use the finest natural ingredients to craft a unique blend of herb infused oils, which I use as natural colorants, clays and in a variety of my own natural additives. Some of these ingredients even come from my own garden and kitchen! All of my products are tested by family and friends. We at Stepping Stone Soaps hope that you will enjoy them as much as my family and I have!