Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hippie Soap

Fair Trade.  Vegan-friendly.  Cruelty free, recyclable packaging, hand-crafted, essential oils, organic ingredients, all-natural...I could go on.   That's the M.O. on these fancy, hippie soaps I found at Kodiak Bath & Body.  It's not an actual store, but it's made here in Kodiak by an RN/herbalist, who apparently has a penchant for ecological adjectives.

I gotta tell you, I'm really digging these soaps.  Not only are they beautiful looking, but they're so earthy and smooth on your skin.  They smell so fresh, I can't wait to try all the different types I ordered.  What's appealing about her business is that she uses local ingredients, so the varieties of soap she'll have for sale depends on what time of year it is and what botanicals are in season.

I started off with an assortment of soaps from her collection, but I had to stop myself from going overboard.  So many to choose from!

I ended up going with Kodiak Evergreen, Kodiak Sea Kelp, Goat Milk Calendula, Kodiak Salmonberry, Kodiak Fireweed, Black Currant, Coconut Milk, & Peppermint.  Alright, maybe I did go a little overboard.

I tend to shy away from the ones that are more food oriented, like the carrot and blueberry.  It just seems weird to wash yourself with food.  I guess in my mind the goat's milks doesn't count as food since Calendula is in it too and that's a type of flower.  Then again, I did get the salmonberry soap and people eat that in jellies, pies and cookies.  Come to think of it, Black Currant is a berry that's in jams and desserts, too.  And duh - Coconut Milk, Peppermint...half of the scents I got are edible.  I guess I'm a hypocrite.  Oh well.

This is what some of the Kodiak ingredients she uses look like in the wild:

Left:  Fireweed  Right:  Salmonberry      
Photo Credits:  Tom Comish, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], and Apv at en.wikipedia, both via Wikimedia Commons

Sea kelp washed on shore at Surfer's Beach.  Creepy!
During the summer, we see salmonberries and fireweed growing everywhere. - They're two Kodiak staples that we come across on hikes all the time. They're both very pretty.  - But the sea kelp in its natural state...not so much.  It's the opposite of fragrant and appealing.  

I remember the first time I saw sea kelp on a beach in Kodiak, I thought it was kind of creepy and phallic.  Doesn't usually smell very good, either.  But hey, I guess it makes for good natural ingredients for soap.  You know, vitamins and minerals and what-not.  Once she gets all her natural ingredients, essential oils, and shea butter combined together into a bar of soap, the end product really is unique looking. 

From left to right is the Evergreen, Salmonberry, Black Currant, & Fireweed
I love how the bars come out all marbled and colorful. You can tell she makes long rectangles and then just hacks off individual bars because the ends of each bar are all rustic and uneven. 

She really should set up a postcard display at Kodiak Island Brewing Company.  Talk about a target audience.

So, I'm a fan of Kodiak Bath & Body.  Hook, line, and sinker.  I don't mind paying a little bit more because the old adage you get what you pay for is usually true.  It is in this case, anyway!

I'd also always rather support a local small business instead of Amazon.  Which I find myself doing more and more while we're here because you just can't get everything you might need or want on the island.

So when I can get something local, I usually do.  It feels good to contribute to a local entrepreneur, & it doesn't hurt that her products are excellent!

It's funny, I stored the soaps in the closet, and every time I open the door it smells like a damn Grateful Dead show in there.  It's like an earthy, patchouli-esque explosion every time I have to put away a towel.

I'm looking forward to experimenting with some more of what she has to offer.  But I'll pass on the ones with pumpkin, chocolate and cranberry.  I'll save those ingredients for pies.

Ta-ta for now.

P.S. - Aww, sad update.  In the fall of 2014, I learned that my soap lady moved off the island.  So her website no longer exists and I've had to find a new hippie soap lady.  Which I have & I love her products too!  Maybe I'll blog about new hippie lady soaps sometime soon.

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