Sometimes, you don?t need to book a plane ticket to do an Around the World journey. A souvenir, an heirloom, a well-worn novel or e-book can transport you to Antigua and back. So too can simple pleasures like soaps. Recently, I?ve been hooked on the beauties from Soap Cartel, an indie shop that hand crafts its affordable luxuries.
Best of all, we?re giving away a basket of Soap Cartel goodies to a lucky winner. Simply leave a comment below.
Detox Campaign Soap ($10)
Limonata Soap ($10)
One of the founders, Dayana Ariza, gives us the Soap Cartel Saga. Read on:
Butterflydiary: How do you source your ingredients?
Dayana Ariza: We source our ingredients from all over the world. Our clays are directly from Morocco as is our Pure Argan Oil. We have essential oils that originate from France such as the ever so popular Lavender, our Chamomile comes from Spain, our Cinnamon from Sri Lanka, our Lemon from Brazil, and our Geranium Rose from Egypt just to name a few. Visiting all of these countries would be a dream come true. Just recently we made a trip to Spain and that was certainly an enlightening and fulfilling experience. Sri Lanka is next on our list!
BD: Are there travel friendly soaps you would recommend? If so what are they?
Absolutely! Soap Stix are actually as travel friendly as they come. Soap Cartel Soap Stix are one-time-use soap sticks that are perfect for your next road trip, any occasion and they?re also great for the gym! Each stick is plenty for one shower. They are approx. 3 inches long and each bag contains between 2.5-3 oz. of soap. Our Soap Stix are fun and easy to take with you wherever you go.
Soap Stix ($5)
BD:Where do you get the inspiration for your ingredient combinations?
Our inspiration initially came from family and friends and their skin concerns. One has eczema, some have acne, some dry skin, some were looking for the perfect exfoliating bar. Being that essential oils have curative properties and oils play such a major part in the overall lather, moisture retention of your skin and hardiness of a soap bar; we created a perfect base of amazing vegetable oils and butters. Mango Butter, Organic Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil and Coconut Oil are among the list and truly work skin magic.
BD:How long does it take to craft one soap by hand? What?s the process, exactly?
Crafting one bar of soap by hand is quite the task- an enjoyable one for us but an extremely time-consuming one nonetheless. First you have to weigh out your oils and butters and mix that together with the Sodium Hydroxide which is what converts the oils into actual soap once the saponification process takes place. Before putting that mixture into the mold we add a generous amount of essential oils and then blend by hand. ?We place the mixture into a soap mold which holds about 15lbs of soap. Once the soap sits in the mold for 24 hours we then unmold and cut the soap into loaves and then into bars weighing about 5 ounces each. We then let them rest for 4-6 weeks on a curing rack to air dry. Once this process is complete we then clean the edges of the soap bar, stamp each individual bar with an iron Soap Cartel stamp and then wrap them and place them into a Soap Cartel stamped gifting burlap bag. Voila!
BD:Which combination are you most proud of?
We would have to say that the combination we?re most proud of is the Detox Campaign Combination.? Although all of our soaps have the same oil and butter base the combination of Activated Charcoal along with Australian Tea Tree and Eucalyptus just awakens your senses beyond belief. This bar is so moisturizing and it just truly feels like silk on your skin. A must have in anyone?s shower!
Remember: we?re giving away a basket of soaps to a lucky winner. Simply leave a comment below to be considered. Good luck!
**This contest has ended. Congratulations, KIM!**