Who’s Making the Soap?

Kentucky is known for its crafts, and the skill of handcrafted soapmaking is occasionally still found among local artisans. Anna’s EsSCENTials Bodycare is an attempt to combine the best of the past and the best of the present, offering you a bit of luxury in your everyday living. We team with other local craftspeople to add soap dishes and pottery for the bath, as we bring some down-home Kentucky folk art to your home.

Kentucky spring, looking down our hillside.

From hobby to obsession . . .

I began handcrafted soapmaking as a hobby, but quickly found I had soap curing all over my cottage . . . on top of the fridge, on the upper bunkbed, on every bookcase and shelf in the place! About the time I finished one batch I began to calculate about the next one, which would have different ingredients and be even better!

Having long been aware of the benefits of other natural substances and foods, I decided early on to stick to the absolute best, natural ingredients and create a “special” product. Many soapmakers produce very nice bars of handmade soap, but not many try for specialty soaps, which require longer to produce in smaller batches. I also hope to add an artistic quality that appeals to our aesthetic senses as well as be wonderful for our skin. Anna’s EsSCENTials Bodycare soaps are designed to please many senses–sight, smell, and touch.

Only the best ingredients. . .

Most of my handmade soaps are fragranced with natural essential oils. I add supplements known for their ability to soothe and heal the skin, which, after all, is the largest organ of our bodies and which should be treated very carefully. Through its porous surface both bad and good elements are readily absorbed.

Every bar of handmade soap we produce is an olive oil soap. We use food grade A olive oil and combine it with other skin care oils, herbs and additives.

Many handcrafted soapmakers advertise that their soaps are made in small quantities. But that can mean 10 pounds or 100 pounds! Our batches are VERY small, because we are going for a special look with each one.

Special soaps offer special care. . .

When you bathe with these artisan herbal soaps, you will notice a wonderful, silky feel to the lather. What you are sensing is natural glycerine from our all-plant-based oils, a part of every bar of Anna’s EsSCENTials soap. Commercial manufacturers extract this glycerine and sell it to you in lotions. And in truth, most commercial soaps are not soaps but detergents, made with petrochemicals instead of vegetable oils. That means they are inherently drying to your skin!

Making natural soap is a consuming and deeply satisfying process. I love creating something that is beautiful as well as useful. Handmade soap represents a mixture of the most romantic parts of ourselves and the most practical. I have always enjoyed decorating a bathroom with beauty and surprises, and many of these lovely, handcrafted soaps were developed to satisfy that need.

Handmade soaps are safe, pure, gentle cleansers. They are also warm, generous possessions and wonderful, inexpensive, luxurious gifts for your loved ones.

These soaps are distributed at craft fairs, artisan centers, farmers markets, select retail outlets and on the internet. Shown here is our booth at the Kentucky Crafted Trade Show.

Welcome to Anna’s EsSCENTials soap making studio…

A good handcrafted soap studio is partly an artisan studio and partly a chemist shop. At Anna’s, one wall is covered with essential oils and exotic precious oils, and another harbors our drying racks where all soap is cured for a minimum of three weeks before going out the door.

Pots, pans, molds, scales, cutters and other tools of the trade take up another portion of the studio, and a trimming and packaging area fills the rest. A great big perk is that aromatherapy essential oil fragrances permeate everything, which makes coming to work a pleasure every morning.

Shown below are a couple of happy soapmakers and our studio at its cleaned-up best.

Thanks for your time…

We hope you have enjoyed this short tour of Anna’s EsSCENTials Bodycare and appreciate the philosophy behind our products. Please look through our list of fine handmade soaps and body products and try a few. We think you will be pleased with their uniqueness and quality.

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