"All soaps are not created equal. Do you know what is in yours?" This is Southampton Soap Company's philosophy and I think they are onto something.
Nowadays many businesses actively initiate a move towards greater sustainability. Food and beverage are an integral part of this equation, described as: local, organic, GMO-free, pasture-raised, naturally grown, biodynamic and farm-to-table to name a few. These terms are an indelible imprint on my mind, a personal checklist when purchasing and consuming edible products. But when it comes to skin care (I have to admit) my checklist is not as robust.You are what you eat, but what about what you put on your body? Considering that the skin is the largest organ, and greatest protector of our being, shouldn't we be nourishing our skin with the same amount of care as we do when ingesting food and beverages?
12 years ago, Deborah Lukasik, co-owner of the Southampton Soap Company did just that, she began making soap for herself due to skin sensitivities—learning this craft from two very good friends who live and make soap in Florida. Her need to make soap became a passionate hobby, giving them as gifts during the holidays.
In 2010, Deborah organized —at her now soap studio in Southampton—an Artisan Market during the holidays where 25 local artists would sell handcrafted gifts. "The idea was to buy local and handmade gifts that have soul", says Deborah. While she was selling her soap a friend asked, "Why don't you sell your soap all the time?" When Deborah mentioned this to her husband Chris, he recalled a story his father shared him when he was a child. "My mother worked at a beach club in Long Beach, New York and became friendly with the chairman of the board. He had invited my mother and father to his house and in the foyer at the bottom of this grand spiral staircase was a giant taxidermy polar bear. My father said, 'All he does is make soap, you should make soap Chris.' "
If a major corporate soap company can do it — so can they.
In 2012, Deborah and Chris heeded this wise advice and together they officially launched Southampton Soap Company. For the past two years the couple has been boosting people's spirits with their all natural artisanal soaps that are made in small kettle batches. Their soaps are 100% vegetable-based, scented with essential oils, adorned with herbs and botanicals and then cut by hand. They also use local and organic additives whenever possible.
"The history of artisanal soap has been a guarded craft", says Chris, who is a carpenter by trade and the technical / scientific craftsman behind their handcrafted molds and recipe calculations. According to Deborah, making soap is part science, part art, part sensual and part ritual. "Working with my husband has been magical, we compliment each other so well", says Deborah, who is the creative genius behind her sudsy craft. "I love to make jam, which is similar to making soap; a soothing process, an ancient ritual of stirring the kettle."
The couple has three children and their youngest Griffin who is nine years old helps stuff the soap sachets for their gift sets. He showed me his stuffing technique but that is top-secret. Southampton Soap Company creates gifts for weddings, corporate events and for his and her. For the gentlemen an Old School Smooth Shave Kit that comes with brown windsor clay soap in a reusable mug and a brush. For the ladies a Soap Gift Set with hand picked shells, driftwood and sea glass from the Southampton beaches and for everyone a Relaxation Gift Set of mineral salts, soaps, a loofah, beeswax filled glass votive candle and a hand dyed silk lavender eye pillow. Deborah emphasized her love for making custom natural soaps for the home or business. Her process is very similar to the way I would approach a branding challenge for a client; researching the obvious and obscure: concept, color, texture, functionality, and senses.
"When the mood strikes we make soap", says Deborah. Sometimes finding the time happens in the middle of the night. They call this "Midnight Kettles", I would like to call it "Midnight Magic" as their soaps have nourished and healed individuals suffering with acne, psoriasis and eczema.
I tried my hand at making felted soap that I found to be therapeutic; a long and respected process wrapped with sheep's wool. The end product is a textured, easy to handle slip resistant soap that acts as an exfoliating scrub for the skin.
And don't our dogs deserve the best? Our four-legged friends were not forgotten. They created a Shampoo Bar for Dogs that come in wilderness, herbal and citrus; all of which contains essential oils such as neem to help keep pests at bay. My dog Trixie stayed in the tub the entire time — which is rare — and I lathered her up with the wilderness blend. Double bonus: her coat is soft and so are my hands.
"Being a part of someone’s daily wellness routine and creating a product that I know is renewing their spirit from the day is exciting", says Deborah. "Once you see how different you feel you want to feel like that again and again."
Southampton Soap Company has been developing a new skin care line that will be announced very soon. You can inquire about their all natural soaps by calling their Southampton office at at: 631.259.3898 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org