Just for fun, here is a video showcasing some of the soaps I've made so far this year. I enjoy the creative process from start to finish - formulating soap recipes, making soap from scratch, playing with color and texture, unmolding the soap loaf, cutting and setting the bars out to cure, taking pictures, printing labels and wrapping the soap bars. Making this video was just another part of the creative process. Enjoy!
An elegant little soap shop recently opened near Tampa, Florida, and since I happened to be in the area enjoying a girls' day out with a friend, we stopped in to "smell the roses."
Sharon Johnson, the owner of Rose of Sharon Soapery, is as lovely as a rose, and her shop reflects her gracious style. I met Sharon a couple summers ago at a weekend soap conference that I helped organize. She was one of our special speakers and demonstrated her hot process soap making technique. Earlier this year, I participated in a group class that she taught, and I wrote about it in a previous blog post here. I've enjoyed watching her soap making journey and was excited to hear that she had opened a storefront soapery
Sharon's new shop is conveniently located at 210 South Parsons Ave. #1, just a few minutes off 75, in Brandon, Florida east of Tampa. Sharon's smile and the delightful fragrances of her handcrafted soaps greeted us as we opened the door and said hello. Tastefully decorated in her signature style of damask black, crisp white, and red, the cozy shop is a feast for the senses. A sparkling chandelier hangs over a table where bowls of hot process soap are displayed. There are glass jars filled with colorful bath bombs or bath salts, bowls of made from scratch glycerin and loofah soaps, jars of luscious body butters and sugar scrubs, bottles of flower infused oils, and other luxurious products.
Sharon graciously showed us around, answered our questions about her products, and encouraged us to treat our hands to her Spa in a Jar and Body Meringue. A pretty hand washing station and plush wash cloths are located near the display of these wonderful products. With several fragrance choices, it was hard to decide, but our hands enjoyed the gently exfoliating sugar scrub and moisturizing meringue. Mmm, afterwards our hands felt so soft and smelled so good!
Sharon's products are hand made with natural ingredients that are safe enough to eat, although she doesn't recommend it! No unpronounceable chemical names are on the ingredient listings. Her motto is, "If you can't put it in your mouth don't put it on your skin! What you put ON your body is just as important as what you put IN your body." On the shelves are attractive displays of many ingredients she uses so that her customers can see just what goes into her products. I was impressed that the Body Meringues included three butters, Mango, Shea, and Cocoa. Pure luxury. A jar of Sparkling Pear Body Meringue came home with me!
Bath bombs make a fun gift, and my friend bought a few to give away. And she got a Lavender and Vanilla Body Meringue for herself.
We spent a lovely hour with Sharon in her shop, trying and buying some products, and getting an inside look into her shop work space in the back where she creates her wonderful products.
So if you are ever in the Tampa, Florida area, be sure to stop by to see the Rose of Sharon and her fabulous Soapery of bath and body delights.