Kathy White – Editor
Kathy White is owner and sole proprietress of Posey and Fern, a handmade soap business. In the spring of 2014 Kathy left her perfectly good job at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, to become a full time soap maker. Kathy began studying the use of essential oils about 17 years ago and began making soap a few years later, in 2007. She has been a speaker at Lone Star Soap & Toiletries Seminar in 2011, 2013, and 2014. When Kathy is not busy making soap, designing labels, or dreaming up new essential oil blends, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and grandsons who live one block down the street from her.
As a New York State licensed Medical Technologist, Angela has always loved biology and chemistry. Back in 1999 she went to her local library, took out a book on cold processed soap making and found a hobby. She started making soap for personal use, for family and for friends.
Fast forward a few years. With both of her children graduated from college, out of the house and self-supporting, she had some “me-time” to reflect on what she wanted to do. She loved making soap. She also remembered receiving a perfume making kit as a child and spending hours creating perfumes for her mother and her two sisters. This was her “Aha!” moment. She did some research, took a few aromatherapy classes and also learned how to create other bath products – bath fizzies, hand lotion, body balms, and bath salts. Soon she had tons of people asking her to make products for them. One thing led to another and… Alegna Soap was born.
Holly is owner of Lotion Bar Cafe in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is a soapmaker, teacher, bath fizzy extraordinaire and soon to be author. Since 2006, Holly has been making soaps, bath fizzies, lip balms and of course lotion bars. Her soap motto is Every Bar Has a Story, with each bar of soap made being personal and from the heart. From the beginning of her opening her business, Holly has donated to a care point in Swaziland Africa. She is certified in Cold Process Soap making from the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild and has taught classes in Austin, Dallas, New York City and at Central Soapers Workshop in Kansas. She will be teaching again this year at Central Soapers Workshop and the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild in Arizona.
Renee is a crafter at heart, and has always enjoyed creating beautiful objects in one form or another. Her interest in bath and body products started in 2009 when she happened across some cupcake bath bombs, and decided to start making them herself. In 2010, after a year’s worth of research, she opened Tub-Time Treasures and began making CP soap as well as bath bombs, lotions, lip butters and scrubs. Soap making became her passion, and in 2013, she left a 15 year medical career to make soap full-time.
She loves making a difference in people’s lives, and has carried that over from her medical profession to her soap making. She makes products with her customers in mind, customizing personal batches and tweaking recipes to bring the maximum benefit to her clients. Renee loves connecting with people through talking soap, and teaches soap making classes for the local community college.
Theresa Mendez is the creator of Ava Bayba Soaps & Texas Beer Soap Co. She is presently studying aromatherapy via the Aromahead Institute and loves creating blends for herself and others. She has recently taken a leave of absence from the world of health care as an Occupational Therapist to pursue the growth of her business. She lives in Bedford, TX with her husband George, 3 adult children, & her granddaughter, Ava.
Amy began her soapmaking journey in November 2002 when she was scouring the internet for ideas of what to make for her friends for Christmas that year. Little did she realize that soapmaking would become a serious passion that led to building her business, Great Cakes Soapworks, in 2005. She peddled her soaps and other handmade skin care items at the local farmer’s market for 10 years, and continues to sell her products online. In 2013 she established the Soap Challenge Club, a place where soapmakers from all over the world gather each month to learn a new technique and compete for a significant prize. The creative aspect of soapmaking is what drew her into the craft, and being able to teach and encourage others to expand their innovative side has been incredibly rewarding.
Sheila Aaron started Prairie Soap Company in September of 1998 with a full head of steam after a career in horticulture and education. A Naturalist at heart, Sheila has comprised a product line of soaps in her business that is now being sold at several reputable and growing stores around the country.
Benjamin Aaron is co-founder and co-director of Lovin’ Soap Project, and owner/designer at Method Creation. Benjamin’s passion stems from using all-natural, plant-derived ingredients in Prairie Soap Company’s ever-growing product line. Prairie Soap Company’s purpose in the industry is to use generosity and understanding to bring forth and inspire others to develop a shared sense of belonging and community through creative efforts. Benjamin is an avid environmentalist and his main focus is to use what comes from the Earth, preferably organic, minimally processed, and maximally sustainable.
Amanda Gail teaches students how to create handcrafted soap and body products. She teaches everything from the basics of soapmaking and body care products, to advanced formulations, mold making, color and design techniques.
Amanda has taught soapmaking all over the country at bootcamps and conferences teaching hundreds of students over the years. She is founder and co-director of a not-for-profit, Lovin’ Soap Project, and teaches soapmaking to women in Haiti and Uganda. She has been a speaker for the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, Central Soapers Workshop, Alabama Soap Conference, Tennessee Soap and Candle Meeting and the Texas Lonestar Soap and Toiletries Seminar. Amanda writes industry articles and tutorials she publishes on her blog, lovinsoap.com and is a guest writer for industry publications including Saponifier, Handmade Magazine and Soap Collaborative. When not mixing oils and lye, Amanda enjoys travel, writing and morning coffee with her guy.