Handmade Soaps, Lotions & Balms: For the Most Sensitive of Skin

Gourmet Soap Kitchen

Gourmet Soap Kitchen founder Angela Forman is passionate about health, with two of her children having suffered with eczema – then experiencing the frustration of recommended products not working. Taking a closer look at the ingredients in these products, she discovered they were harmful to children and were possibly further aggravating the condition. With her daughter Bridgett since joining the business, their mission is to produce the highest quality soaps, lotions and balms, made from the best possible oils and waxes, many of which are sourced locally, directly from farmers. Their products are kind and gentle, on even the most sensitive skin types. Here Angela talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the passion behind Gourmet Soap Kitchen, their biggest breakthrough, and the pros and cons of running her own business.

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

When my eldest son was a baby about 30 years ago, he had eczema which just didn’t respond to prescription creams that doctors were giving me for it. I began to pay closer attention to what I was putting on his skin – and even my own skin. Some of the ingredients are just blatantly bad for us! It was shocking to me that companies continue to use them. My youngest daughter also had really severe eczema, which just didn’t get better as she got older, so I had to work hard to manage it.

The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

I started out in my garage at home, making old fashioned recipes and home remedies… it was difficult with multiple children but it was genuinely fun and I could be really creative while making things that would benefit my children. I started going to markets and people were giving me great feedback, so I began doing it full time. Now, my 21-year-old daughter Bridgett has joined me in the business to help share the benefits she has received with others.

The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

I think the biggest breakthroughs have been in my recipes! For my soaps and salves, of course, but my cream deodorant recipe in particular was a big one. Not many businesses were doing aluminium-free deodorants back in the day, especially ones that worked. That and some of the trickier things to make, like our natural moisturiser and the organic MSM glycerin soap for eczema and psoriasis.

Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?

Most of my kids have moved out now, but I spend time with the grandkids every week. They love helping me cut soap and give me input when I’m making things. Plus, now that my daughter works with me, it sort of turns work time into spending time with family, which is really nice.

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