Gwendolyn Van Scoy, Lambfeather Natural Soap, started making soap in 1994 as a hobby due to skin problems as a result of radiation treatments she had to go through 30 yrs. ago. She read about the benefits of handmade soap, that it was better for your skin, and after making her first batch was convinced.
Her business began in 2008 when she was unable to return to her previous career. She just celebrated a first full year in business this past August.
She opened an online store last summer and won second place presenting her product line in an Art Festival. Her husband built her a soap studio when soap took over the house, and had a grand opening ribbon cutting this past November.
The best thing she has learned so far is to let the business grow organically to avoid spinning her wheels. She says, “I do the next right thing and new opportunities continue to present themselves. I have learned not to be in such a hurry. Soap takes time and so does a well lived life.”
Gwen is a full time soapmaker when she is physically able to do so. Gwen likes to read, cook, do needlework and as well as owns an amazing perennial flower garden and vegetable garden. She is a member of Soroptomist International which focuses on improving the lives of women and children locally and throughout the world.
She found the HSMG online when searching for ideas. She joined for many reasons:
- to have insurance
- to learn and ask questions
- be of service in some way
- It is the “water cooler” around which soapmakers can chat, share ideas, commiserate, whatever is needed.
Gwen is an HSMG Volunteer and serves on the Social Media Committee.
Gwen’s advice on getting started in soapmaking is to buy serious soapmaking guides. Susan Miller Cavitch is her soap bible. Start small and simple and work your way up. She emphasizes to take the safety warnings very seriously and treat lye with respect. However, she guides to be adventurous and give yourself permission to make mistakes.
Check out Gwen’s business at email@example.com.