What’s Our Story?

On a whim fueled by hours of DIY shows, I decided 2009 would be the year I’d make Christmas gifts. I am not by nature a crafty person, so this was big. The result: simple oatmeal soaps in holiday-themed cello bags. They were a hit.

Soapmaking became my hobby to while away the winter. So did bartering. Olive oil for green tea castile. Herbs and salts for scrubby lavender spa bars. Quickly came compliments, requests for more—and a lot of research on my part. Learning about herbs, oils and techniques flexed my inner creative mad chemist. It officially became work.

Summer of 2010, I was accepted into an art show. And after a successful day of selling something I loved making came the a-ha moment that lead to more markets, art shows and festivals. Soon after, I entered the wholesale world, selling to boutiques, a few grocery stores and small businesses in the Cincinnati area, with more on the horizon.

I’ve committed to keeping our offerings 100% natural and free of animal fats, crafting soaps, salves and other products from the finest food-grade base oils, certified organic and no-spray herbs, honey & beeswax, non-GMO grains and pure essential oils—everything procured responsibly, and locally whenever possible. Packaging is simple and eco-friendly, carefully designed and in line with regulations for soaps and cosmetics.

Since that first oatmeal soap (which I still make), I’ve formulated olive oil castiles, sea salt spa bars, shaving pucks, household soaps (including a Mechanic’s Soap that kicks the panties off of that one that rhymes with Fava), and various body butters and salves. Last but not least, my Jitterbug Insect Spray has traveled the world, proving effective at backyard parties and on the banks of the Ohio River as well as in Bali, Nicaragua, Mexico, and the jungles of Belize,

In 2011, I fine-tuned production to reflect the most popular products, and we created our “Flower & Earth” line, which consists of 100% natural products that we’ve found to appeal to a wide range of customers. In the near future, we hope to implement ideas for a few other lines of products in hopes of appealing to even more people.

{The name “Swan Maiden Soap” is reference to the bathing shape-shifting woman of myth and lore across cultures. Why? I consider myself quite the shifter, myself. I have a background in Chemistry and lots of years of Latin. I ended up earning a BA in English Literature, an MEd in Secondary Education and an MA in Literature (with post-grad courses in Women’s Literature, Folklore and Latin Elegy). I’ve worked as a store clerk, a girl Friday, a tutor, an editor, a teacher, a college professor, a copywriter, a content editor and a web developer. I’ve scooped ice cream, stocked beer, mopped floors, explained calculus on cocktail napkins, wielded a red pen and aced Physics labs while barely passing the lecture. I’m generally not happy wearing one hat for long, but this gig as a soap whisperer (as my friend Lauren calls me) has got me hooked.}