An easy decision of support

My decision to close my soap shop temporarily to the public was easy. There was no question in my mind of what needed to be done. My deepest admiration goes to those on the front lines – the people keeping our grocery stores and pharmacies open, the healthcare professionals that are facing a workload I can’t imagine and our leaders that must make hard decisions.

Am I sad for having to do it? YOU BET! Things at the shop were rockin’ – new wholesalers, new customers and fun displays. But, I must help support my community leaders by not helping to spread the Covid-19.

When I saw that our community schools had closed, I realized the hardships on so many families, educators and others whose jobs are based on the schools. I can only imagine a small fraction of the behind the scenes logistics involved. If our local officials and educators felt it was time to take this step to help our community weather this issue and make the long term better, then what other decision could I make?

You all know the soap shop for it’s little bars of bubbly goodness you pick up and sniff, bath bombs you roll around in your hands and lots of conversations at the counter. What do people do when there’s a snow day or school is normally closed? Come to the soap shop and bring the whole family….we do quite well $$$ wise when there’s a school closure. So by closing the soap shop, it’s no longer an attractive nuisance to our community. If my community leaders feel it’s worth the sacrifice of our schools, then I will do my part to support them by not giving a needless venue to be a weak link in the spread.

It’s not the end of the world, and small business doesn’t have to fail. It’s time to be creative! How fun is that? I love a challenge! Heck we bought 3 dilapidated old buildings because I like challenges.

If you haven’t seen this Washington Post article and videos on how this funk spreads, check it out here:

I just wanted to explain why we have closed temporarily ahead of requirements that I believe will be coming. Sooner is better than later in this case. For me, the worst is you think I’m a crazy, over reacting old woman. I can live with that. So the online store is open, and feel free to shop away. You know I’ll hook you up with some freebies for ordering just like when you come in the shop! 🙂

Talk to you later!


New Retailer – Montauk State Park Lodge and Fishing Shop!

Fly fishing at Montauk State Park courtesy of Missouri State Parks

We are very please to announce that you will be able to find our Arcadia Valley Soap and MoSoap products this season at Missouri’s Montauk State Park Lodge and Fishing Shop!

 If you aren’t familiar with the park, it’s located about 2 hours south of our soap shop and is a great destination for those that love hiking, fly fishing and camping.  Quoting their website, “Montauk State Park’s premier attraction is trout fishing, and the Current River contains both rainbow and brown trout. The pristine waters and natural surroundings of the Current River are an excellent background for trout fishing. Trout season opens March 1 and lasts until Oct. 31”  Here’s a link to their fishing information page –

When you check in at the fishing shop, grab a bit to eat or check into the Lodge, you will pass their gift area.  There you will find our soaps and peppermint lip balm. 

 Currently, the soaps they have at the time of writing this are:

 So if you are looking for a great trip for the whole family, make sure to check into Montauk State Park.  We appreciate them greatly for offering our soaps!!!!


Photo of fly fishing courtesy of Missouri State Parks.

A day of firsts

It’s the first day of spring.

Anyone that follows me on facebook knows I have been looking forward to planting again and the passing of cold.  Secretly, I will miss the snow glittering pass the street lights in the evenings as the town looks so peaceful.  It was just the cold feeling that bothered me.  Having lived in Florida and the deserts of Arabia growing up, I’m some what of a sun loving, heat person.  I use to make fun of the tourists that would come to Florida in November or January complaining about the cold.  What goes around, comes around….

Speaking of tourists, today is the first tourist coming to shop my soap store.  Actually it’s a couple that are snowbirds moving back home to Ohio and are coming out this way to pick up a soap order – I am humbled!   While I told them everything is in construction, they still wanted to come.  They have bought from me for years and wanted to see our progress – now while I’m still humbled, I’m adding scared to the list.

Figuring it a day of firsts, I am going to be pouring my first batch of the new Vintage Valley Soap in honor of Dorothy Reese.  It is going to be lavender scented soap with a hint of ylang ylang and litsea essential oils.  It’s one of my favorite combination as it’s a calming, yet not an overly floral blend with a crisp, bright note (think lemon like) from the litsea oil.  I tried to think up something that would be traditional and positive as that is how I view this amazing powerhouse of a woman I never met.  I plan on having a $1 of every bar to go towards her scholarship fund.  If anyone know of something else regarding education that might be good, let me know.  I have one planned for the AV Tigers, but that’s another day!

And speaking again for firsts and the Vintage Valley soaps, the first check today goes to the Arcadia Valley Food Pantry!  You wonderful, soap loving people have purchased all 88 bars that made up the first batch of Mina Sauk Handmade Soap of which a $1 of every sales go to the pantry, That’s impressive to me as people purchased the soap without even seeing a picture of it on line for the longest time!  The Iron County Historical Society will receive $42 again because of you!  Consider this your internet back patting my friends – you all are WONDERFUL supportive people of my business and the causes I value.

So while it’s still frosty this morning, know that sunny warmer days are ahead and everyone reading this has a bright, happy future in my world!

Cleaning Copper Pots

As we work on fixing the shop at 119 S Main, I am also starting to pull together some of my display items.  One of the items for the windows is my great, great grandmother’s washing tub which is all copper.  There’s a long story behind why it’s copper and why it had to be copper but that’s for another post.  I figured I would share how it’s been kept clean for a number of years.   Lemon trees grew around us plus being in Florida, a pot of salt water made for easy clean up.  But since I don’t have lemon trees in my backyard and miss the beach, I thought I would share an old Botanical Earth post I wrote in 2005 about how I keep my copper clean now living in Missouri.  So while my grandmother Mae taught me soap making, she also taught me how to be thrifty and easy on the environment. My grandmothers were eco-friendly, trendy natural care junkies and didn’t even know it!

cleaning copper with lemon
Starting off

#1 – Start with something that needs to be cleaned.  I’m using one of my sauce pans.  Since I do this all the time, the build up isn’t too heavy.  I do wash the pan first with soap and water to remove any grease film or burnt build up – so it’s a clean pot with a tarnished copper bottom.

Using Lemon to clean copper
Squeeze a lemon

# 2 With a freshly cut lemon wedge, or a splash of lemon juice concentrate, cover the copper area.  I use the actual lemon to do the washing – just squeeze the juice and smear it around.

You’ll start to notice a reaction right away the fresher the lemon juice. The photo was taken about 3 seconds after the lemon hit the pan.

Some people even use ketchup because of the acid. To me, lemon is less messy to use and smells better and it will also help brighten brass too if you have some items looking dull.

Lemon and salt

#3 – Now use simple table salt as a mild abrasive.  Sprinkle just a bit to start and if you are using the lemon wedge, just smear it around again.  Use a soft cloth or sponge too if you prefer.  Do not use wire scrubbies, and I don’t even like the plastic nylon scrubbys for this – gentle the better. Focus on any tough areas.  You don’t need fancy salts – they don’t work any better.

See the difference!
Difference between the cleaning

So there you have it – clean and uncleaned with just a bit of lemon juice and salt.  Repeat if necessary for tough spots.  Rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.

Don’t throw the lemon away!  Fill a small bowl with water, drop the lemon in, and place in your microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.  The steam from the water will help loosen any splatters in the microwave, and it will smell lovely from the essential oil in the lemon rind!

Now, compost your lemon rind, you’re done cleaning.

There’s lots of helpful, inexpensive ways to effectively clean around the house without the toxic or synthetic cleaners.  I’ll try every Saturday (as that’s my clean up day) to post about cleaning option.

Enjoy this lovely day as tomorrow will remind us that we still have a few more days until Spring!


Welcome to Arcadia Valley Soap

It’s March.  It’s finally sunny.  It’s time to start fresh.

My tulips are beginning to poke their heads up through the previously frozen ground and that always reminds me that all things are possible.  So, welcome to the start of the Arcadia Valley Soap Company’s blog about all things soapy, herbal scented and wonderfully Missourian.

I’ve been handcrafting soap for quite some time now (pushing the 40 year mark) so I’ve worked under a couple of different names and brands.  Sometimes I have only done private label work for spas and resorts, sometimes simply custom work for families with allergies or special needs.  I love to make soap.  My grandmother did professionally and learned from her grandmother, so it’s in my blood to pick flowers, infuse oils and whip up a batch of something scented with natural ingredients. It’s what I do best, and what I always come back to in the end. Now that my husband and I live in the small town of Ironton, I am more at “home” than ever in the world.  Even prior to moving here in 2012, I knew I would live here and began designing soaps with the thought of changing the name of my business.  While I still make my other brands of soaps, I wanted a name that showed I was  committing to the Arcadia Valley for a long time.  Last year, I was lucky enough to purchase a tiny pink granite building built in the 1900’s that no one thought had potential, especially my husband! Instead of seeing a worn down, well past it’s prime old building, I saw what it could be – wonderful.  While most of this blog will be about soaping, it’s also about restoring hope and cheering up the world around me.

Our shopping site( )  is still under construction as I gather all the brands and products together, I hope you follow along on my little adventure.

Welcome to the Arcadia Valley Soap Co. !