Soap is one of those things that [hopefully] everyone uses. Fresh Lather Soap, a local homemade soap business in Holly Springs, brings you natural soaps and other soap-like items with a bit of flare and love.
I met Melanie, the owner and mastermind behind all the Fresh Lather Soap products a couple years back when she caught the Bodypump bug and began teaching at the YMCA with me. She was hilarious and blunt but also supportive and caring; basically, all the things you want in a co-worker and friend.
Her path to soap making started about three years ago while vacationing in Tampa, Flordia. She found a small shop that carried goat’s milk soap and instantly fell in love with it. Every time she went to Tampa she came home with a ridiculous amount of soap. So much that if it had been an international trip she would have never made it through customs without raising a few flags. After realizing she couldn’t keep going to Tampa to buy soap, she convinced her cousin to try their hand at making their own soap. They ordered a soap base from Amazon, a few essential oils, a basic mold and got to work. That little test-run in her kitchen turned into a full-on business.
Fresh Lather Soap has a full line of soap and soap-like items including artisan and kids soaps, bath salts and bombs, sugar scrub, lotions, bubble bath, and shampoo bars for both adults and dogs.
For her regular soaps (non-artisan), Melanie uses a double butter base which is a mixture of shea and cocoa butter as well as goats milk. She also likes to add a fragrance, especially to the kid’s soaps, or essential oils. The regular base soaps are where she gets to have the most fun. She can pour these soaps into different molds (see photo below for some of her molds), as well as add toys, glitter, and even sprinkles to them. These soaps run $4.95 per bar. She does take special orders (via Facebook or Email) if you need or want a certain scent or design for someone special, such as a stocking stuffer for a thirteen-year-old which is how her unicorn soap was born. Custom orders are mostly bulk and typically take 3-5 business days.
For the artisan soaps, these are made from oils (coconut, olive, palm, and castor) mixed with lye and sometimes essential oils, nothing else. Some of the artisan soaps are strictly olive oil as these tend to be better for people with sensitive skin. From start (oils and lye) to finish (hand cutting the soap once it is fully cured) the artisan soaps take a full six weeks to make. Creating the artisan soaps does come with a bit of a risk. Since the mixture of fats (oils) to lye needs to be just right as far as measurement and temperature are concerned, she only makes these when there is no one else in her home in case anything goes array. The artisan soaps cannot be special ordered unless you plan on purchasing the whole block, but she always has an updated inventory on her website with the current stock of the artisan soaps.
If you have sensitive skin you should steer clear of any soap with glitter or fragrances and go with the artisan soaps as they are all natural
While I was interviewing her I got to witness her making and topping the cupcake bath bombs with royal icing. Yes, it is real royal icing that you could eat however, she advises against it since it has been sitting on top of the bomb. She suggests popping it off before throwing the bomb into your bath water unless you want to bathe with whipped cream. Your call. No judgment from me either way 🙂 She also let me get in on the fun and add the sprinkles to the whipped topping.
Fresh Lather Soap is currently made and sold out of her home, but she has been known to pop-up at a local vendor or craft fair every now and again. She is also in talks with a couple of local businesses to consign and fill their shelves with her products and is hoping that can take shape in the next few months.
I have already put in an order for different soaps for the coming holiday season – think stocking stuffers and friend gifts – and cannot wait to deliver them to the recipients! All of her products are perfect for housewarming, holiday, or birthday gifts as well as stocking stuffers! She has even had cleaning businesses place bulk orders of small soaps to leave at the homes that they clean. How neat is that?!
Fun Facts About Melanie
- She is a jack-of-all-trades: wife, mother, soap maker, graphic designer (she designed my blog logo – you can find her etsy shop here), fitness instructor, neighborhood HOA board member, and part-time photographer.
- Sometime in the near future she is going to host a bath bomb making class, so keep an eye on her Facebook for news about that!
- Her four-year-old daughter loves her soaps! Not so much to actually use them but to put them in her bath and let them melt so that her water is then full of glitter!