Making soap is an addiction for Jann Britton of Bella Vista, Ark., whose soaps are for sale at The Treasure Shed in Jane.
Britton and her partner, Gary Kjar, moved to Arkansas from Omaha, Neb., in December to enjoy the better weather. She said she started making soap about seven years ago after buying a bar of handmade soap from Whole Foods. She really enjoyed it but decided it was too expensive and that she would just make her own. At first, she just made plain bars for herself and Kjar. Then family and friends wanted some, so she gave some away. Then she decided that making plain bars was no fun, so she started experimenting with molds.
"My hobby became an addiction," she said.
Kjar suggested she sell some of her soaps, so she put them in several craft shops and craft fairs in Omaha and Iowa. The Treasure Shed is the first place to carry her soaps since she moved to Arkansas.
The soaps are made from goat's milk or a glycerin base, she said.
"The only colors I use are a cosmetic grade for use on your skin or eye makeup grade. Totally for use on the skin. On the scents, you can only use so many drops per pound," she said.
Anything she has to put a strong color in, like her red Razorback soaps or her black tire soaps, has to be made with glycerin because it's clearer, she said. If she used the goat's milk, the red color would come out pink.
Sometimes she mixes the goat's milk with the glycerin, she said.
"I get to be a mad scientist," she said.
Some of the soaps have tiny details that are painted with cosmetic mica, which is a powder.
Britton said she has about 200 molds she uses to make soaps. A few examples are dragon heads, tires, watermelons, motorcycles, wedding cakes, pianos, unicorns, eagles, tractors, grasshoppers, cupcakes, pigs in mud, horses, cowboy boots and cowboy hats.
Richard Carr, owner of The Treasure Shed, said, "I use the motorcycle because it smells like grape."
Carr also noted the soaps are reasonably priced, starting at $3 to $4.
Britton said, "I don't want to make a big profit. I just want to support my habit."
Carr said Britton wants people to use the soaps. They are not just for decoration.
Britton said, "If you don't use them, you're not going to need more, and how will I support my addiction?"
Coming soon to Britton's collection of available soaps will be a game controller, a lizard and, for Halloween, a bloody knife.
"There isn't a whole lot you can't do. You just have to figure out how," she said.
She has one side of her kitchen dedicated to soaps, she said.
"When I look at things, other people see food and things like that. I see soap. How can I make that into soap?"
She works on her soaps two or three times a week. It depends on what molds she is using how many soaps she will make at a time.
Britton partners with a lady in North Carolina who makes custom molds for her. She made Britton's tire mold from a toy tire.
She has searched the world for her molds. She ordered the game controller mold from Russia. She said the dragon's head mold came from the UK.
Asked what her favorite mold is, she said, "The next one I'm going to do. Whatever is out there I'm going to do next."
The Treasure Shed is at 49 Little Missouri Road. It is open Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.General News on 08/09/2018
Print Headline: Soap-Making 'An Addiction' For Britton