Jena from Loam and Lather started making soap after winning some butters that she didn’t know what to do with. Now, she loves the creative outlet that soap making offers. She’s fine tuning her skills in preparation for kicking the business into high gear! Meet Jena.
How long have you been making soap, and how did you get started? How long have you been selling your products?
In May it will be 8 years of making soap! It all started when I needed to find a way to use up some cocoa and shea butter I had won in a giveaway! Just a little over a year later, I sold my first bar to someone who wasn’t a close friend or family!
What do you love most about making bath and body products?
I find it to be calming, and I love the excitement of seeing your finished product. Not to mention the perks of being able to customize with unique ingredients and essential oil blends. Trying to remain all natural has its limitations, but that’s what makes it challenging, and I enjoy seeing how far I can push those limits!
What inspires you to create?
Nature! Specifically florals. Gardens, a beautiful bouquet, a vintage tablecloth, a wedding cake, anything where florals are a focal point.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get started?
Do not let what other soap makers share discourage you to create your own! Even the most skilled soap makers were beginners. Everyone brings something unique to the soap making table!
Who’s another maker you admire? What do you love about their work?
I will try to narrow this one down to three! I have to acknowledge those who influenced me at my earliest soap making days. Starting with Tania of Soapish. Her work was a big inspiration to me at the beginning of my soap making journey. Then to watch as she went from making small batches in her home to owning a gorgeous store front in CA, is amazing! Her designs are so fun, and modern! Next would be Holly of Kapia Mera, her amazing skills proved natural colorants can be stunning and versatile! Finally, I have to mention Zahida of Handmade in Florida! Her aesthetic is a dream that I’m still striving to come close too!
Have you experienced a failure? How did you work through it, and what did you learn?
I experience failures often! My biggest fail happened early on in my soap making journey. I used a cheap bottle of rose geranium essential oil. Let’s just say it turned into a loaf on a stick really fast! Sadly that batch had to be tossed. It was a good way to learn that floral essential oils can accelerate trace, but also don’t skimp on using quality ingredients!
What plans do you have for your business moving forward?
I would love to see it go from hobby status to something more some day! The business side of my soap making journey has been a slow build. For now I am focusing towards fine tuning my skills. I gain so much from having soap making as my artistic outlet! Having people that want to buy what I create is a bonus!
What are your 4 must-have Bramble Berry products? Why are they your favorite?
As an all natural soap maker, my top products would have to be:
Orange 10X Essential Oil! It sticks well in cold process soap and smells amazing!
I also love the Peppermint Essential Oil, 1st Distill! It too holds well in cold process soap and adds a lovely sweet mint scent that has worked so well for my food theme mint bars!
Another favorite is the sea clay! It adds such a smooth feel to my soap, and a subtle green hue. It’s a must have for my ocean themed bars!
Then I can’t forget the Brazilian clays! I love the vibrancy of the colors, and you don’t have to worry about fading or color morphing!
What’s your favorite Bramble Berry project, or what’s the first project you tried?
I have yet to try any of the current projects, but the African Black Rebatch Soap Project sounds amazing! I have used African black soap in the past and I loved what it does for the skin!