November 2008. That's me. I'd just received my Soap Maker certificate at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.
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Everyone has a story to tell. People often ask me, usually with intense curiosity, "How (on earth!) did you get started making soap?" Well, here is my story...
A while back, while vacationing in the south of France, famous for its lavender and olive oil, my husband and I happened upon market day in one of the many small villages. First, let me tell you that there is nothing better than market day in the south of France! At one of the stalls, somewhere among the cheeses, olives, and fresh breads, there was a weathered, lady farmer selling honey and soap- handmade lavender olive oil soap. That was it. That was the moment. I still remember just how it felt in my hands, and how it smelled. I couldn't put it down. I had so many questions, but we just kept smiling at each other. I bought 3 bars. There was no label, no packaging, just soap. I was intrigued. And I was hooked. I have very temperamental skin. I sunburn easily and my skin is dry. It was as if I had found the secret to life itself. What I did find was the secret to saving my skin. I bought as many bars as I could for the rest of that trip and again and again on my visits back to both France and Italy. I vowed that one day I would learn to make my own soap! It was many years later that I finally did. I scoured the Internet looking for the best place to learn. I found it - The John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. https://www.folkschool.org/ I took time off from work and spent an entire week in a special soap-making class, with the added benefit of an herbalist co-teacher. At mealtimes, I mingled with other students from all over the country who were passionate about crafting- blacksmithing, pottery, basket weaving, cooking, weaving, woodworking, and more. That was November 2008. Having never ever entertained the thought before, I was in business by January 2009. And I have been busy making soap ever since. That's my story!