Asheville is a tight community and us makers get to play together when we are not too busy. We were thrilled when Claudia agreed to participate in our Ambassador kick off. We brainstormed and she came up with a beautiful lotion wild ginger lotion formulation we can share exclusively with our first 100 ambassadors. Stay tuned for more fun collaborations as we play with our scents and Claudia's amazing handcrafted personal care formulations. Here is my interview with Claudia.
Q: A little bit about you and Sweet Abode Artisan Soap?
A: Sweet Abode Artisan Soap was started about five years ago when my daughter, Amy, announced she was planting lavender in Fairview, North Carolina. My reply was, “we can make soap with it”! I didn’t realize that it takes 10 acres to make 16 ounces of essential oil, and a normal batch of soap takes about 2 ounces. Now I source our essential oils from reputable suppliers in bulk. I have always used handcrafted soap because it did such wonderful things for my skin.
What do you make?
A: I have been so intrigued with the chemistry of soap making. We use about four to five different oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, responsibly sourced palm oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and jojoba. And, each oil has its own advantages for our skin. I can make a very moisturizing bar for dry skin, a cleansing bar for oily skin and a soothing goat’s milk and oatmeal bar for troubled skin.
Sweet Abode Artisan Soap is more than just soap! We also make body butters, sugar scrubs and summer lotions to accompany our different soap fragrances. For men, we use different fragrances and also make beard oil and balms. One of my favorite products is our lip balms, they just glide over your lips. We have eco-friendly products like our solid shampoo and conditioner bars too. And yes, we have lavender sachets!
We create personalized gift baskets for baby showers, birthdays, graduations, and weddings. We are a high touch, hand crafted business.
We care about Mother Earth and as an industry, the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild, which we belong to, has a campaign to help eliminate one use plastics by using recycled boxes, recyclable bottles and making larger refills available.
Q: What inspires you?
A: People exploring possibilities and making them happen! I am so blessed to live in a community of people who can and do. I used to think I was an introvert, now I can’t live without being around inspiring people. I also love mountain water, waterfalls, lakes, creeks. There is something so renewing to my soul listening to water.
Q: Favorite self-care ritual?
A: I have what I call my 15-minute spa package. In the shower, I spray one of our 5 Shower Aromatherapy Sprays. Then, before I get really wet, I use the Whipped Sugar Scrub to help soften and gently exfoliate my skin. I lather up the Solid Shampoo Bar and follow with the Solid Conditioner. To shave my legs, I use my Rose Lavender Facial Soap, made with Rose Clay and a ton of very moisturizing oils. Next, after I get out of the shower, I dry off lightly and slather Wild Ginger Body Butter all over. Feels so good!
Q: Favorite color?
A: I love aqua, the colors of my brand! When I was having my logo and branding done, I never mentioned what colors to use, but they came back with all the colors in my house. I truly live Sweet Abode Artisan Soap 24/7!
Q: Favorite Mood Boost?
A: I live with essential oils every day, and what happens when I bring a new scent into the house, that’s the predominant scent. My nose is fairly dead to scents and I have to be very careful to use only the recommended usage rate for my products. And saying that, I love “Serene”.
Q: What does it mean to adore yourself?
A: That is a tough one for me. I am 70 years old and have always struggled with adoring myself. I kept hearing the voice of my biggest doubter and critic, me. So, I think back on all the things I did that at the time were to me, mistakes, bad judgement, or not disciplined enough, and recently, I concluded that I had a really good time. I wouldn’t change anything, there is nothing I don’t have or need, and I am so blessed to have lived the life that showed up for me. Everything that I thought was bad; divorce, accidents, cancer, job loss, always after all was done, were the best things that could have happened to me. My life always got better. My lesson was, “if I don’t listen to the Universe, the Universe hits me with the cosmic 2x4.”