ABOUT SOAPS BY HEATHER
What started as a hobby became a business for Heather in 2016, and she’s never looked back. Using only natural products, handmaking soaps is Heather’s outlet and as a Mum, a creative way for her to give something back to herself.
Ten years on from making her first handmade soap, Soaps by Heather is a successful and thriving small business operating out of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. Influenced by the stunning landscape around her, Heather uses a range of different foods, clays and botanicals to make a unique product not found anywhere else.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ALL-NATURAL
Heather began making all-natural products as a mother to a young son. Her son suffered from eczema, a condition that affects the skin, causing redness, itching, and sometimes infections. At two years old, Heather discovered he also had a nut allergy. The combination of eczema and nut allergy caused Heather to be more alert to the ingredients not only in the foods he was eating but also the products they were using on his skin. Like many parents she found the closer she looked, the more she found ingredients that were harmful to her son and harmful to the earth. Ingredients often had long names that couldn’t be pronounced or included a series of numbers that made no sense.
After years of trawling ingredients lists and Heather finally took the plunge in 2010 and decided to establish her own range of products. These products would be all natural, with no nasty ingredients. They needed to be palm oil and nut free and would use only 100% pure essential oils and natural colourants. The soaps would be good for the environment, and kind on the skin for those who were using them. They would be called Soaps by Heather.
HOBBY TURNED BUSINESS
The idea of making soaps was something that not only her son needed, it was something for Heather to do for herself at the end of each school day. As someone who spent her life buying handmade soaps, it never crossed Heather’s mind to make them herself until that light-bulb moment in 2010. Buying soaps was always considered a treat and something that made her happy. Little did Heather know; she could bring herself even more joy by producing the soaps herself.
In the early days, Heather would finish home schooling and then spend hours poring over processes and researching the benefits of all-natural ingredients. The importance of using ingredients that had beneficial properties became progressively more important as Heather made her way through the initial experimental phase. Ten years on, Heather makes a range of different soaps in the most stunning range of scents. Naturally coloured with foods, clays and botanicals, the soaps make washing your hands or body easy! Heather’s approach hasn’t changed in ten years of making handmade soaps, and all-natural ingredients are as important as ever.
THE PROCESS OF SAPONIFICATION
The decision to make soaps came with the need to learn the art of soapmaking for Heather. She learnt that soap goes through a process called saponification. This is the concept of combining oils and lye to trace which causes an exothermic reaction. Following this, the soap batter is poured into moulds. The soap will stay in the moulds for a couple of days before Heather cuts them into 150g bars. The cut bars cure for around three weeks to enable the saponification process to complete. It’s during this time that the water evaporates resulting in a hard, long-lasting soap. Well-made soap should not have any lye remaining at the end, as it should have combined with the oils to make soap.
THE PERFECT GIFT
When the soap is finally ready, this is when Heather puts her own touch on the product. Each is beautifully wrapped in a simple cigar band, and available in an array of different scents including antique rose, pink grapefruit and lavender and rosemary. They’re perfectly sized in 150g bars, making them ideal to use in your own bathroom or perfect as a gift. Whether it’s a birthday present, Christmas gift or simply something to say thank you, the soaps are unique in every sense and promise to put a smile on the face of someone you care about.
A beautiful addition to the range of handmade products available online at Sydney Artisan Collective, Soaps by Heather are carefully crafted. Each soap is made with love and care right here in New South Wales by Heather herself.