One everyday item we rarely put much thought into is our soap. If you think it’s all pretty much the same, then oh, how wrong you are! Handmade soap is better for both the environment and for your skin, and once you’ve tried it you’ll never reach for your old bar again. Whether purchasing soap as a gift or to stock your own home, keep local, handmade products in mind. Fortunately, Fargo has a variety of soapmakers to fulfill your every need.
The Honey B Soap Company
Brittany Sinclair founded The Honey B Soap Company in West Fargo in 2012. She was interested in reducing her family’s exposure to harsh chemicals, and she quickly realized that many other parents feel the same way. A former high school science teacher, Sinclair has a background in chemistry which comes in handy to her mission. Brittany’s cold process soaps are crafted without GMO ingredients and utilize local ingredients like beeswax, honey, and herbs. Her dedication to avoiding potentially harmful ingredients sets her soaps and best-selling bath bombs apart. “I care about the impact my products have on people’s bodies as well as to our planet,” says Sinclair. She has all of Fargo to thank: “Our community is the reason I am where I am. Without the support of local people and businesses I wouldn’t be successful. I am continually humbled and amazed.”
The Art of Bathing
On Main Street in West Fargo you will find Rebecca Salinas’ shop The Art of Bathing. This one-of-a-kind store specializes in equally unique soaps and other bath items which can be customized by shape, color, and scent. “We have approximately 500 soap molds from garden gnomes to sports themes to mermaids, and about 350 fragrances in stock,” Salinas proudly reports. “That is why we love what we do. We get to dream with people, create new fun things, and help people feel happy.” In addition to soap, The Art of Bathing sells handcrafted body butters, face masks, moisturizers, foot care products, hair care products, pet products, lip balms, and perfumes. Their best-selling items are bath salts, perfect for a soothing soak during the cold weather months. The Art of Bathing also gives back to Fargo by raising money for organizations such as 4 Luv of Dog Rescue, the Autism Center, and Family Wellness.
HomeSpun Chick is a labor of love for soapmaker Karey Hotchhalter. She made her very first bar of soap with her son as a 4H project back in 2011. Now she sells her soap through three stores in Jamestown, including Gifts from the Heart where she works. What makes Hotchhalter’s soaps unique is a very special ingredient indeed — milk from her very own goats. Goat’s milk makes a naturally mild soap, ideal for irritated, dry, or sensitive skin. HomeSpun Chick makes lotions crafted with vitamin-rich goat’s milk as well.
Are you interested in trying your hand at soapmaking as well? It is a laborious yet highly rewarding task, and not one to be taken lightly. Hotchhalter has some words of wisdom for aspiring soapmakers: “Learn as much as you can about soapmaking before you start, and never stop learning after that. In the five years I have been making soap and lotions, I am learning something new almost everyday.” Personally, I’m content to leave soapmaking to one of Fargo’s experts.
By Liz Walker