People frequently ask me how and why I got started making soap. It seems that every endeavor I have undertaken has led me down a somewhat different path but directly to this singular purpose: handcrafting natural, superior-quality soap - while operating a business by the principles of the Golden Rule.
I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed making things from scratch. Many years ago I started baking bread and grinding my own wheat to make fresh whole-wheat flour, and although there may seem to be little similarity between baking bread and making soap, the nature of creating something from nothing – and the satisfaction that comes from watching those around you enjoy what you’ve created – is very much the same.
Curiosity led me to research the process of soap making a few years ago when I discovered that the dyes in my husband’s store-bought liquid body wash were staining our washcloths. I was struck with the desire to use more natural products and eliminate harsh chemicals and dyes from our environment wherever I could.
During the research process, I discovered that the art of soap making is very scientific: A visible chemical reaction, called saponification, occurs between the alkali (sodium hydroxide) and the fatty acids (fats and oils). Observing the visible reaction as it occurs with every batch is exciting and rewarding, and a sense of satisfaction is culminated in the end result: A sensory experience of skin-nourishing creamy lather naturally enriched with beautiful scents.
With the first batch, I was immediately hooked on the intriguing process and the incredible results, and I couldn’t stop making soap and sharing it with everyone I know. The initial experience was the beginning of what would eventually become Big Fat Soap.
The name Big Fat Soap was born after I purchased handcrafted soap from another vendor and found myself disappointed in the tiny stature of the bars. I knew I could produce a superior product, and my vision quickly grew to include generously-sized portions that wouldn’t leave the user disappointed. Each handcrafted Big Fat Soap bar is hand cut and weighs at least five ounces (Big) and is comprised of high quality, food-grade vegetable oils and fats (Fat).
Soap making feeds my hunger for creativity, nourishes my draw towards scientific phenomena, and charges my enterprising spirit. Sharing the end result of this heartfelt and enjoyable effort perfectly completes the experience.
Debbie Richards, Founder & Owner