When it comes to skin-care and beauty products, I have always been extremely low maintenance. A bar of cheap, store-brand soap and hot tap water cleans my face and body just fine! Nevertheless, I’m a sucker for a good suckle… honey-suckle, that is. It’s a difficult fragrance to find, and after searching once for a honeysuckle perfume, I stumbled across a wonderful body lotion (from Bath and Body Works) which was being discontinued. Just my luck! I purchased the last two bottles, kicking myself that it had taken me 26 years to finally step inside a yuppie boutique store …and I was too late!

I had no intention of purchasing soap when I logged into Etsy this morning, to check my own store stats. But a stroll into the Community forums to read the latest drama brought me to one particular thread, and a seller whose avatar caught my eye.
Her image of a digitally rendered pixie character, and her shop title – SeaSpriteSoaps,
made me curious enough to check her out.

The first listing to jump off the screen and bite me – right here, on my nose – was her $5 bar of Wild Honeysuckle soap! With its twirled patterns of rose, yellow, and cream, it looked good enough to eat… like ice-cream sherbet. Almost too good to subject to the cruel fate of slowly dissolving in my bath tub.
She made this beautiful piece by hand… using what soap manufacturers refer to as
“the cold compress” method, which means absolutely nothing to me.
I just knew it was pretty to look at, and probably smelled even better!

Browsing a bit further, I found a listing for A Soap Sampler, 16 small slices of different colored, fragrant soaps to test. About 1/4″ thick, they were similar to the bars you’d find in hotel rooms, but much more appealing.. this sampler is only $9.00 and I knew immediately it would make a great gift basket idea! Simply find a cute woven basket and line it with fabric, arrange these little scrumptious soaps inside… perhaps shrink wrap it and tie with ribbon… Voila! The price was perfect, the gift unique, and I was getting excited thinking about the possibilities of recipients.

The following scents are generally included (sometimes varying due to availability):
Bay Rum Spice
Blood Orange Patchouli
Calabrian Violet & Bergamot
Caribbean Dreams
Celtic Moonspice
Coconut Lemongrass
Lemon Verbena
Polar Express
Secrets of India
Tangerine Lavender
Tassie Lavender
Vanilla de Madagascar
Wild Honeysuckle
Winter Solstice

I’ve been blessed to be allergy-free, and can slather whatever I like onto my skin, but for those of you who stand in the aisles and carefully read ingredient labels, all of her soaps contain the following:
olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil and shea butter, plus fragrance or essential oils. Some soaps also “include cosmetic mica or FD&C approved colorants and dried botanicals.”
Each listing will include it’s own ingredient list.

Stephanie of Seaspritesoaps, like many of us Etsy shop owners (including myself), is a wife and mother (with two children of her own, and three grown stepchildren), she is living the dream many of us share… to make money doing what we love! She’s a retired clinical psychologist – (I love messing with their minds!) who lives in Naples, Florida. She was taught the craft several years ago, by a friend, and immediately took to it like…soap to water. (my bad pun, not hers)
In her profile, she states:
“I love being an ‘alchemist’ who makes soaps, creams, balms and other useful and helpful potions with my own two hands. I love especially the creamy richness of handmade soaps, and the fact that they don’t strip my skin of oils. In fact, I was amazed the first time I washed my hands with my own soap and found that my skin wasn’t tight or dry, and I didn’t need to use hand lotion. Even my husband noticed how wonderful these soaps are on your skin, and now he shaves with my soap. My kids love it too. We haven’t used commercial soap in years.”

Well, yeah! If you can make your own, why waste your time at Wal-Mart? 🙂

**www.Seaspritesoaps.etsy.com also includes lip balms, salves, and perfumes.**

Her talent for needlework led her to open a second Etsy shop FaeryKnots.etsy.com,
with a small selection of cute, crocheted fairy dolls made from sparkling yarn.
She also has an interesting and informative blog: www.Heartcrafts.blogspot.com.