The Soapmaker

For Colette and her family soap-making business, it's all God-centered.

How did you get into your craft?

I was working for the Democratic party in DC. Very liberal with views I do not have any more. I worked in fund raising, knew chairmans of the board in big corporations. Also volunteered in a soup kitchen. I was on this power and money track. I was never going to be a stay at home mom.

One day at church, for the first time I prayed for a spouse. This guy in the next pew started talking to me, but I thought he was kind of nerd, and I blew him off. However soon we started working in the soup kitchen together. We began dating and soon were planning on getting married. There was a natural family planning class he wanted me to take. I thought it was going to be very anti-woman. Wow was I surprised.

We have six kids. My mother in law suggested I find something to work at home. Then I started thinking about home-schooling. Something I never would have thought of before. A friend who made soap came to visit. I thought "oh this is weird". But because of money I decided we'd use it. One use I said I'd never go back. I studied it for a year. Then made my first batch.

My children were all involved with the business. They go to craft fairs, help sell it. Husband does a lot of the prep work. It has been a family business, and it's kept me home. You open the door to God and things happen. I consider the Holy Trinity my CEO, my boss. I pray before making new products, and I know that what we make is a gift from God.

Even though I can make money on lotions with parabens, but I won't do it. No parabens, petroleums, or sulfates. With the help of reading, and my son's Chemistry major I have learned more about the Healing Salve every household should have. I get calls every week from people with cracked fingers, cracked cuticles, burns, and poison ivy saying "you won't believe what happened with your salve". Just today a woman called about the inside of her lip, perhaps an allergic reaction to latex. After a week nothing was working, and had become too painful to eat. She tried the salve and in one night it was gone.

It's fun also to give the product away. You can just tell when someone doesn't have the money. It was a gift to me, now it's a gift to you. "God will never be outdone in generosity".

What's your favorite part of your work?

Product development. The actual manufacturing of the product.

What would you say to a young person who wants to get into your craft?

On anything, if you have the desire to do something, if it's from God, then go for it. If it's not God's will it probably won't work anyway. If it's God's will it will be successful, if it's not then they'll struggle. Discern God's will, then ask for the graces to accomplish it.
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