People are always asking me how I got into soap making. Well if you told the kid I was forty some years ago back in rural upstate New York I would be earning my keep as a Soap maker in the Southwest a puzzled look might have come to my face.
In the spring of 1995, that youth in a taller body left the lush green farm lands of upstate New York and ventured to the enchanted dry desert of the Southwest. It was during the winter of 1999 when I opened the pages of a soap making book in a local store that the Sandia Soap story began.
The first batch I made was of pure Olive Oil (two bars of which are still in my desk drawer). I was hooked. Over the next nine months, I made dozens of batches with different oils in different ratios. Then one day, I lathered up with the bar that was to be my signature soap, the one I would place my name on with pride. The Sandia Soap bar that I created that Fall is the same one I cure today. I gave it a long life (about five weeks if one person is using the bar), beautiful suds, a silky texture and flavor to the last bubble.
The high quality of the soap is one of the reasons Sandia Soap is the largest natural soap company in New Mexico, pouring over 20,000 pounds a year. To insure the quality of the bar you buy I am the only one mixing and pouring the soap. Some soap makers start growing and then hire someone to pour their bars so they can sit in a chair. I don’t like chairs.
Over 15 years of making soap and I love the bar I made when I started. That is why I still use the original formula, even though oil prices have gone up. I have only raised my bar price once since I started and the bar has remained the same size. Some companies raise their price every two years and shrink the size of the bar. Not me………….
Some forty years ago, if you would have told the kid I was standing in a mud puddle covered with dirt and a Tonka truck in hand about his future soap venture, I’m sure he would have grinned and given it a thumbs up.
Sandia Soap is named after the Mountain Range that sits majestically outside my window. Sandia means watermelon in Spanish. To understand why the early Spanish settlers named it Sandia you have to visit Albuquerque just before sunset. You will fall asleep that night wondering how they got all those seeds on that Purple Mountain.
I have some advice for any of you that have a creation, idea, or dream that everyone around you says is unique:
Embrace it and go play! I am.
© Sandia Soap 2003