Here in Maine we are struggling with PFAS. PFAS are forever chemicals and are widely used in manufacturing. They are redistributed into our agricultural soils through waste water irrigation and water contamination. We've all heard of Erin Brockovich, and the infamous PG&E scandal. We all watched in horror as Flint Michigan struggled for clean water. If you haven't read up on DuPont and their history of harm, you'll want to. I have been learning not just about Maine's struggle with PFAS, but about American's legacy of polluting our soil and water.
You can read more about Maine's struggle with PFAS here: https://www.mainepublic.org/health/2021-10-22/maine-dep-identifies-34-towns-with-high-priority-sites-pfas-chemicals-testing
Maine is heavily rural state. It's beautiful here. We have gorgeous rivers and lakes; pristine coastline and rugged mountains. The amazing landscape hides the decades it took to clean the rivers and waterways. It hides the giant trash mountain of out-of-state garbage polluting our waters. I love my state. I love our little 1.34 acres of land. I love my family. I want to know that my land, the food I grow, the water in our well, all of it - is clean and protected for my family's future.
The older that I get, the more I see the effects of climate change and the more we learn about things like PFAS, the more I worry about the future. That worry permeates my life in ways I never thought possible. I find myself needing to turn that worry and anxiety into action. I have always thought of myself as a health conscious person when it comes to my kids. We don't eat out much, we eat fruits and vegetables, etc. We try to live an active lifestyle. I have extra pounds I need to lose. I have a sweet tooth that's pretty intense. I set out a couple of months ago to really understand nutrition and weight loss at a deeper level. That research led me to an amazing chef and his documentary on his own personal journey. His name is Simon Gault. I watched Simon's documentary Why Are We Fat, on Wondrium and it just spoke to me. I won't paraphrase the mini-series for you. Please if you have a chance, check it out. His journey really enlightened me. The specialists he works with and the changes he made are amazing. His journey led me back to the same conclusion as my research on PFAS. - Natural is just better. -
Check out Simon- From his enlightened journey to his awesome chef skills! https://www.primetv.co.nz/why-are-we-fat
We all hear that processed food is bad for us, but until you really dive deep you can't comprehend what that really means. You can't fathom how much mass food production has stripped down our foods to be remnants of their nutritional selves. As I jumped down the rabbit hole of going all natural, I felt alive. Much like when I discovered soap. The first time that I made soap I knew it was my art. I knew I needed to make soap to express myself. I can't explain that feeling to you, but when I began to unravel the ingredients of our lives it was the same feeling. I knew that I had to take this journey and that it would change me.
I have reexamined everything in our lives. From what's in our water, to what's in our food, to what we wear. I am growing lots of our food now. I've always loved gardening, but now you'll find only organic in my garden room. I'm growing year-round to supplement our diet even in the face of climate change and long, cold Maine winters. My little garden room has only been in the works since January and we already harvest salad regularly for our family, not to mention a plethora of greens for our guinea pigs. It feels amazing to know that these vegetables, fruits and greens are fresh, organic and free of PFAS. I want that confidence I now have in my food - in my soap.
The more this journey has overtaken my personal life, the more apparent it became to me that soap would need to undergo a transition. When I create my soap, it's not only for the aesthetic appeal. I love the science of soapmaking. I love calculating perfect recipes, balancing amino acids, mastering new additives and techniques. I have been making soap for a little over two years now. During those two years I have made lots of colorful, decorative soap and lots of all natural bars with herbs, spices, clay and more. I am now determined to blend those two sides of my art. I want my soaps to be the very best that I can give my clients. I only want to put the best out into the world. My first marigolds have been harvested and dried. Soon they'll top my Sage & Marigold bars. I hope you will all feel the love that goes into what I do.
I have already worked hard to ethically source my ingredients and every ingredient I have ever used is 100% safe for soap. However, those fragrance oils, those synthetic colors, they still have chemicals in them. While they are approved for soapmaking and cosmetics, I just can't feel amazing about them. I use the very best and yes they are phthalate-free and paraben-free, but they still have petroleum derivatives. The colors I have used are mica pigments that are approved for and fun in soap, but they aren't safe for everyone. Plenty of clients have sensitivities to dyes and perfumes.
The list of reasons to leave synthetics behind gets longer and longer. But let's be honest, natural soapmaking can also be soooo blah and boring. I love soap as an expression of my art and my science skills. I don't want my soap to be boring. I know that many of you love my soaps not only for the excellent formulation ( my science skills) but for it's fun styles (my art)! I love the way a great soap really enhances your sink area. From fun and fresh 'pie' slices and 'cupcakes', to intricate swirls and scrub bars I want my soap to always add to your space.
So, for you all, I am mastering new all natural colors and essential oils. All natural soapmaking is absolutely harder than using fragrance and colors that are perfectly balanced for easy soaping. Natural additives and essential oils don't behave like synthetics. They require a more careful hand and have a higher risk of failure. I love that challenge!
This week I have created my Midnight Rose, Citrus Burst and Cocoa Powder Swirls. All of these are gorgeous, fragrant and all natural bars. I've expanded my oils to include over 2 dozen therapeutic grade essentials like: grapefruit, lemon, sweet orange, clove, cinnamon cassia, clary sage, lavender, eucalyptus, spearmint, turmeric, ginger, myrrh, frankincense, geranium, rose, bergamot and more! I'm mastering clays, indigo, spurlina, madder root, annatto, spinach, beet root and turmeric. The variety of naturals never ends.
I am nervous, excited and determined to bring my journey full circle. I am honored to have you all as part of my journey. I take your trust in my products and my talents very seriously. I am proud to give you all my very best.