Member Spotlight: Simmons Natural Bodycare

For Simmons Natural Bodycare, it all started with a classic soapmaking tome: Ann Bramson’s Soap – Making It, Enjoying It. Allergies and sensitivies to the fragrances and colors available commercially drove Dottie Simmons and her husband to make their own. It became gifts, then an easy addition to their craft fair table, eventually launching into a business.


32 years later, Dottie relates, “we still love our soap making. I am the experimenter/perfumer and my husband does the main production now.” True to their initial inspiration, you’ll find products catering to customers with allergies as well as soaps, shaving soap and salves. “While all our soaps are rich and gentle and mild, several are specifically made for those with severe chemical sensitivities or allergies.” You must try the woolies. Dottie explains: “A tie in to our previous hand-spun business “Sheep Thrills”, woolies are natural wool felted around our soap for suds and scrubbie all-in-one!”


Regardless of what you choose, Simmons Natural Bodycare provides body care basics of the highest quality, including certified organic oils as the starting point of their soaps and salves. Something you may not realize, as you lather up with Simmons’ fantastically affordable soap, is just how sustainable their operations are. “Not only is our business part of a self-sustaining rural homestead,” Dottie relates, “it is entirely powered by self-generated alternative energy (solar photovoltaic panels, wind and micro-hydro). We also donate to and Trees for the Future to offset our carbon footprint and are very active in volunteering and donating in our community.”


Simmons Natural Bodycare has been a member of the Guild for 15 years, very nearly from the establishment of the HSCG! What keeps them coming back? “We really appreciate the networking, the product liability insurance and general access to the community of soap makers.” Follow along with their daily adventures on the Simmons Naturals twitter feed and Facebook page, as well as the Simmons Naturals blog.

Thank you, Simmons Natural Bodycare, for your long time support. We hope you keep sudsing on for decades to come!

Member Spotlight: Fish Princess Farm

In shops spanning California’s central coastline, from Sausalito to Carmel, you’ll find soap and lotion from a company named Fish Princess Farm. Who on earth would name their company Fish Princess Farm? And how does a company with such a silly name have such beautiful packaging? We knew there was a story here and so, off we went to search it out.


We found ourselves on a hillside overlooking Monterey Bay, near a herd of swiss alpine goats happily grazing, oblivious to the gorgeous view they possess. It’s those goats, or more specifically, their milk, that is responsible for Fish Princess Farm. After consuming her weight in milk, cheese, and putting it to use in the occasional goat milk paint, farmer Jeannie Wholey knew her goats’ milk needed a new outlet and wisely turned to soap.


After perfecting and expanding their goat milk soap line to 24 perfumed varieties (that goat milk just kept coming!), Fish Princess Farm expanded into lotions, milk baths, shea butter creams, sea salt scrubs, linen spritz, and more, all with a big dose of goat milk. Local inspiration extends beyond the use of goat milk and seaside inspired ingredients. Owner Jeannie explains, “We also source a local Estate Grown Organic Olive oil to really give our product a superior quality and local flavor.” Aside from the obvious popularity of their soaps, customers rave about the lotions. “Our recipe includes a generous helping of Shea Butter and Pomegranate Oil for a super-rich hydrating experience. Once customers try, they buy!”


If you’re on the west coast, arrange a tour and pick up your order from the farm stand. Find out what’s happening at the farm, from radicchio to lotion, on the Fish Princes Farm Facebook page. Follow lifestyle pins on Pinterest. Visit the website to find product in stores, or purchase online through Open Sky and Etsy. And if you have a special order, just ask! “Our work is guaranteed,” Jeannie shares. “No questions asked. We also LOVE doing custom orders for brides and favor and gift baskets for corporate events.”

Oh, and the inspiration behind the name? Not only is the farm is close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Jeannie loves both fish and fishing enough to have personally earned the ‘Fish Princess’ moniker – mystery solved!

Thanks, Fish Princess Farm, for showing us the inspiration behind your line. Here’s wishing you all the goat milk you can handle!

Member Spotlight: spoon -handmade herbal soap & more-

Many cosmetic handcrafters report falling in love with making soap after experiencing the skin-loving benefits of a handmade bar of soap. California-based Kiyoko Puyaoan, started her handmade journey and her company, spoon, after her handmade skin lotion had achieved what no other cosmetic or medicine had, clearing an eczema so bad it had earned her the childhood nickname “red panda”.

close up gray and red soaps

Originally from Japan, Kiyoko brings a beautiful fusion of eastern and western sensibilities to her product making, focusing on limiting the total ingredients in each product and treating skin as gently as possible. This ethos is clearly reflected in the beautiful simplicity and earnest rustic chic vibe of her products. “Because I totally understand the feeling of people with skin problems,” Kiyoko relates, “my goal is always [to have] a positive impact on skin more than anything.”

lip balms

She also loves the challenge of attempting to draw out beneficial herbal properties in her soaps, a considerable challenge given the initial alkalinity of the soapmaking process. “I love to make real green tea soap without using fragrance or colorant. It is a lot of work to infuse green tea [using my] special method but I love it!!”

HP soaps

The spoon shop opened mid 2013, carrying lip balm, soap, aroma stones, and other bathtime accessories. Offline, you’ll find spoon products in San Diego at Low Gallery. Check the spoon Facebook page for additional locations. Kiyoko says, “My soaps are fantastic skin candies and I am confident that my soap can change your bath time quality.”

Thanks, spoon, we can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Here’s to your success!