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I had the opportunity to interview Kim Netznik of Watered Garden Soaps. Kim sent me bars of Lavender Retreat, Lemongrass Poppy, and Avocado Facial in exchange for the opportunity to interview her. All opinions on the soaps are my own. Before we get to the interview, I just have to say, her soaps are amazing! I just can’t pick a favorite! The Lavender Retreat is the perfect scent to relax to. It’s got lavender essential oil, ground oats, and even lavender buds right in the soap. The Lemongrass Poppy has got a wonderful lemongrass aroma and the poppy seeds help scrub away any dirt. The Avocado Facial is a great way to pamper and nourish your skin. This face bar has no scent for those who are sensitive to smells.
Now, on to the interview!
1. When did you first start making soaps?
I first started making soap in 2012. I had learned all about it from my grandmother who made her own soap on their rural Pennsylvania farm, but I had a lot of research to do before my webstore opened November of 2013.
2. What are your favorite scents?
My favorite scents…hmmmm so hard to say because I tend to choose the soap I use depending on my mood at the time, but lavender is probably #1 as it reminds me of my childhood. Mountain Moonlight (with Scotch Pine) is a close second.
3. Where do you find inspiration for new scents?
My inspiration always comes from nature. Freshly squeezed oranges, the aroma of chocolate brownies baking, flowers on the kitchen table. The idea for the Mountain Moonlight soap came from breathing in the mountain air at the top of South Mountain, one of my favorite places to get away, and Peppermint Tangerine soap came from finding peppermint sticks and oranges in my stocking as a child. I hope each of my soap’s aromas can evoke a special mood or memory for my customers like they do for me.
4. How did you come up with the name for your business?
While praying for a business I could start that would allow me to arrange my work schedule around my families needs, and be a blessing to others, the business idea and it’s name sort of came to me all at once. The words “watered garden” are in the Bible verse Isaiah 58:11. It’s always been one of my favorites and the whole chapter is beautiful. It talks about the Lord satisfying our soul when you give of yourself. A pretty nice way to live I think. I have the whole verse printed on the back of each soap wrapper.
5. How long does it take to make one bar of soap?
Making the soap (measuring, melting, cooling and mixing it all together then pouring into the mold) takes about 3 hours, but after that the soap has to sit in the mold to cool and harden for 24 hours before being cut and then it cures for about 4 weeks before it’s ready for sale.
6. What is your favorite thing about making soap?
Ah, so many things! Opening brand new bottles of essential oils and cutting freshly made bars are high on the list but my favorite thing about soap making has to be meeting so many people. I have made new friends and have had wonderful new opportunities and learning experiences through them. Making something with your own hands that people appreciate is a great feeling. Being able to care for my kids as my first priority and still have a job is pretty amazing too…and that’s all thanks to my customers.
7. Are there any special soap making tools you love working with best?
One of my favorite tools are the molds I use. I pride myself on making natural soap from scratch so it was important to be able to pour that hot batter into quality material that wouldn’t leach chemicals onto the bars. I select the wood myself (solid untreated oak), and my wonderful brother makes them for me complete with break-a-way sides that use screws, washers and wing nuts. Pretty special.
8. If you had to guess, how much soap do you think you’ve made in your life?
I would have to review my taxes for a solid answer, but it’s definitely in the thousands!
9. What do you like to do when you’re not making soap?
When I’m not making soap you can always find me with my kids. Often outside in my heirloom hobby garden (a constantly evolving mess of veggies, herbs, and weeds), in the kitchen cooking and baking (we love PA Dutch food and Tex-Mex), reading (daily Bible, Debbie Macomber, assortments of novels, life stories and gardening books …when I get the chance), also attending church and hiking our local PA mountain trails when I need a short get-a-way.
10. What locations can we buy your soap?
My soap is available a few ways.
You can view my soaps on my website and choose how you’d like to receive them. I do personal delivery to your home or office at no additional charge (Harrisburg to Dillsburg and everywhere in between).
There is a link to my Etsy store for mail orders anywhere in the U.S.A.
This year I am at the Dillsburg Farmers Market at 1 N. 2nd Street, Dillsburg, PA on the 4th Saturday of each month from 8am-12pm through October 14th, and at Adams-Ricci Farmers Market in Enola, PA on 100 East Penn Drive from 3pm-7pm Thursday Sept. 7th and Thursday Oct. 5th.