Tag Archives: soap

Meet Beeyoutiful’s New Soap Maker!

We’re introducing several new soaps handcrafted for us by Lisa Dzimianski. Here’s the story of how she learned her skill.

20141117-lmd-03290In 1999 our family bought registered dairy goats in order to have our own milk source. The goats we fell in love with were an all-white breed of dairy goat called Saanens. They  just happened to be registered animals, so that fall (since we had learned how to show goats in 4-H) we decided to take our animals to the dairy goat show at a nearby fair.

At the end of the day, we came home with First Place ribbons in every showmanship class we had entered, and a Reserve Grand Champion ribbon in the conformation classes. With our success that day, the goat-showing bug bit. Over the next several years, we traveled all over the Southeast, showing our dairy goats at different fairs.  We also competed a couple of times at the national level in both youth events and goat conformation classes.

goats (1)When I was about sixteen, I wanted to find a way to make a little extra money doing something besides babysitting. That fall at a fair in Florida, I saw some of our friends who made and sold goat milk soap, and realized that was one way I could use the resources we had (goat milk) to make some income. I began studying the ins and outs of soap making (thanks to my sister, who had already purchased books on the subject and then decided not to pursue it), but it took me a couple of years before I actually got up the courage to try making soap. I also hesitated because I had to dish out money for the starting ingredients and equipment, plus find the ingredients I needed!

Finally, in 2008, I made my first batch of soap. It was different than the soap we were used to using (and my family made jokes about it being really slippery), but it was really moisturizing. That summer I made a few more batches for our family and got a little more comfortable with the process. The next year I began expanding my line up, perfecting my recipes, named my business, and learned more efficient methods of making soap. I also sold my first bars of soap that year.


Saanen goats grazing at Pony Trail Farm

The following year I began selling soap at a small local farmers market, and in 2012 I began selling goat milk soap at the Athens Farmers Market, the biggest market in our area. Since that time I have seen business growth and have found loyal customers who always come back to my products. I am grateful for the new opportunity this year to begin working with Steph (whom I’ve known nearly my whole life), Steve, and the rest of the Beeyoutiful team by producing goat milk soap for them.

One of my favorite things about soap making is the ability to control what goes into the soap (which eventually goes into the skin). I enjoy researching the benefits of different ingredients and how they affect the skin. I keep you, the consumer, in mind as I make my soaps; my goal is that you will find them to be products that meet your skin care needs!

See all of our bar soaps, including Lisa’s Summer Days and Clearly Gentle, here

Interview and Giveaway: BirdProject Soaps

BirdProject Giveaway from Matter and Beeyoutiful.com

Congrats to Emily for winning the giveaway, and thanks to everyone for participating! 


What does a charcoal-black soap have in common with environmental disaster? Read our interview with New Orleans designer and social entrepreneur Tippy Tippens to discover the connection! Then enter our giveaway to win a BirdProject soap for yourself.


Walk us through the step-by-step process that you went through to develop the BirdProject soaps. What inspired you, and what was the first thing you did to create it? 

I was living in NYC & as I watched the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill unfold over the news for months without end in sight, I became more and more determined to find a way to help with cleanup. My background is in product design (having worked for 15 years designing furniture, graphics, lighting, and faucets for Kohler) and so I began with drawings of abstract bird shapes.

Tippy Tippens of MatterNOLA

Tippy Tippens of OurGoodsMatter.com

From the drawings, I then wanted to create something in 3D & I began modeling the shapes in clay. Initially, I wanted to carve them in stone, inspired by worry stones. But then I had the thought that if I cast them I could produce more quickly. Then the idea that these could be made of soap and sold to raise funding for cleanup popped up & things started to click.

From there, I scheduled a research trip to New Orleans, having never been before. During my visit, I wanted to ensure that I would design all of the details of the project thoughtfully and respectfully for the area. I didn’t know anyone in New Orleans, so asked friends who they knew there, did a lot of online research, set up many meetings for my visit & met so many wonderful people.

Before going, I knew that the soap should having something in the center as a symbol of hope in the end, but wasn’t sure yet what that should be. During this visit, I realized that it should be a smaller, white ceramic bird & also that the project should take place in New Orleans so that all of the benefits of the project would occur locally.

BirdProject Giveaway from Matter and Beeyoutiful.comI found Emily of Sweet Olive Soaps who was willing to try to make this crazy idea & I decided to make the ceramics at first as I didn’t find anyone immediately. I then decided to move to New Orleans and got my start on Kickstarter (you can take a peek at that video here). Now we’ve been making the soaps for over 4 years & have donated $23,000 to cleanup & restoration!

Explain the significance of the materials used in the product and why it matters to you where and how they are sourced.

Every detail is important and is thoughtfully selected to help tell the full story. The outer black bird’s material was selected to be soap as it is symbolic of washing from oiled to clean as you wash your hands. Also, this ties in with our mission of helping with the oil spill cleanup.

The ceramic bird at the center was chosen because ceramic is of the earth and the clay used is from the Gulf Area, so the keepsake of hope comes directly from this area.  All of the paper used in packaging (tissue & gift box) is 100% recycled; the gift boxes are also printed with soy-based inks and are letterpressed here in New Orleans.

Matter is committed to using 100% eco-friendly materials and to making our products with love in the U.S. Eco-friendly materials are important to us as they aren’t harmful to the environment, humans, or animals.

We are proud to work with local artisans and small manufacturers in the U.S. and are dedicated to this as it creates work for people here in the U.S. in our tough economy. It’s also better for our environment and helps to build new healthier, sustainable growth. We also source our eco-friendly materials as locally as possible.

The soaps are wonderful for your skin and made of biodiesel glycerin, activated black charcoal (from Beeyoutiful!), fair trade olive oil, organic aloe, and a heavenly rigaud cypress scent. They are great cleansers but also very moisturizing. I’ve been using the soap now for four years & don’t use hand lotion any longer as the soaps aren’t drying like many soaps can be.

Tell us about a challenging moment that made you wonder if this product and project would actually work. 

Well, there have been many challenging moments to say the least; this is my first business and I am always learning. I received a lot of support from family, close friends, and most people that I shared with the idea with; everyone was very excited about it & that was certainly encouraging. Some were not supportive too, of course, but you can’t let that stop you!

bird project soap from ourgoodsmatter.com

BirdProject soaps from OurGoodsMatter.com

I remember sitting on my balcony midway during the Kickstarter campaign with a friend from Virginia who had come through town on the way to Texas. I remember thinking, okay, I’ve raised the funding for the first batch of soaps, then what? What if that’s it and that’s all that anybody wants? What if I completely changed my life, moved to a new city, spent savings, etc. etc. for something that is completely short lived?

I think that of course, you need to think on all sides, pro and con. What I do now for tough decision-making is write a simple pro & con list in spreadsheet form. It helps me to clearly see which is the best decision. At that time, for that decision, I felt determined to leap, to push, and to see what happens. I didn’t know the answer but I thought that I should just keep trying. I still find it so amazing and wonderful that we have been making BirdProject soaps now for over four years, since Dec. of 2010! Thanks to all of the wonderful people who have wanted them, thank you!

What prompted you to expand the product line beyond the original white bird?

In creating BirdProject, I found what I wanted to do with my life. I had wanted to start a design-based business for some time. I had freelanced, consulted, and worked as in-house designer for small firms and corporations, and hadn’t yet thought of what my business niche would be.

My goal for many years was to design products that are eco-friendly, and the market is slowly moving in this direction. In creating BirdProject and finding the world of social entrepreneurship, many things clicked for me. I realized that I could no longer wait for a ‘dream job’ where all of this would be possible, that I should create my own and use my skills for good.

I thought of the name ‘Matter’ and decided that I would continue to create eco-friendly products, in the U.S. and for elemental social and environmental problems. Now, each year we introduce at least two new products, thus far focusing on literacy, education, disaster relief, bee health, and wetland restoration.

Share about the cause that the BirdProject supports, and how the donations have made a difference. How does purchasing a soap contribute to both coastal recovery and sustainable local business? 

BirdProject supports the Gulf Restoration Network & International Bird Rescue. To date we have given $23,000 to these awesome partner groups. GRN helps fight for a healthy gulf every day, both in legal battles and environmental monitoring. International Bird Rescue responds to oil spills globally. They traveled to the Gulf during the BP spill in 2010 and were the ones directly responsible for rehabilitating oiled birds. BirdProject also works with three amazing local artisans and makers: Emily Manger Davis of Sweet Olive Soap works, Jen Blanchard who creates the ceramics, and John Fitzgerald who letterpresses our gift boxes.

Thank you, Tippy, for sharing your time, warmth, and energy so generously with us! We’re delighted to be connected in a small way to the production of the BirdProject soaps! 


Readers, Tippy just opened her new shop in New Orleans TODAY and still took time out from her busy preparations to sit down and talk with us. Let’s send some of that goodwill back in her direction by following Goods That Matter on Twitter and Facebook. (Insider tip: sign up for the email newsletter to get a 10% coupon!)

Now to the really fun part: one of our readers will win a sweet little birdie of their very own, delivered straight to your US address! To enter our giveaway, visit Goods That Matter and explore the products available, then come back here and use Rafflecopter to tell us which one, other than the BirdProject, is your favorite! (On a mobile device, or can’t see the widget? Click here instead.)

We’ll select and announce a winner on Monday, April 13th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homemade Laundry Soap Powder – Winter 2008-2009 Catalog

Homemade Laundry Soap Powder

1 Lemongrass Body Bar, grated

2 cups of baking soda

2 cups of Borax

5 drops Lavender Essential Oil

5 drops Orange Essential Oil

1/4 cup white vinegar

5 drops Grapefruit Seed Crush

Grate a bar of Beeyoutiful’s Lemongrass Body Bar on the fine side of a cheese grater. (You can use any other “white” soap bar that does not contain dyes or blue specks. The dyes can color your clothes over time.) Add the soap, baking soda, Borax and essential oils to a bowl or container that has a lid for storage and whisk them together.

I use 4-5 Tbsp of the dry powder for a large batch and let my washer start filling with water to dissolve the soap before I add my clothes. To each batch of laundry I also add 1/4 cup white vinegar to break down hard water and act as a fabric softener, and 5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Crush to disinfect.

This is a REALLY great, easy recipe to mix up and something even this busy mom can do to make our lifestyle more “green”!

-Stephanie J.

Goat Milk Soap, Great for your Skin- Winter 2006-2007 Catalog

By Arielle Hebert


Some years ago, a friend gave me a bar of her own goat milk soap. Prior to using this soap, I often battled extremely dry, cracked hands. After faithfully using my friend’s goat milk soap, I was amazed at its effectiveness. My hands no longer dried out and cracked! My skin became soft and moist. I was so impressed that I even began using the soap as a wash on one of my does (mama goat) who has a super sensitive udder, and she appreciated it as much as I!

So, I experimented with making my own goat milk soap, using milk from my herd of dairy goats. Over the years, my knowledge and understanding of soap making grew and my soap formula improved. My family and I found it to be so much better than commercial soap. I began my own cottage industry to share this great treasure with others.FacialBarLarge1_1


So, What makes it so Great?

Goat milk is rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing. It contains over fifty nutrients including the vitamins A, B1, B2 (riboflavin), B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, niacin, zinc, and calcium, as well as some minerals, amino acids, citric acid, unsaturated fatty acid, proteins, various enzymes and many other nutrients. These are all part of what makes goat milk soap so special. Vitamin A slows the effects of aging and prevents brown spots. Zinc contributes to the re-construction of collagen fibers, resulting in firmer, smoother skin. Zinc also encourages moisture retention and assists in maintaining your skin’s elasticity. Calcium tones and smoothes the skin. Since goat milk is naturally homogenized (the milk and cream do not separate), the natural fat provides the skin with a rich, moisturizing effect. The oils in goat milk are easily absorbed by the skin, resulting in a healthy balance of oils for dry or oily skin.

Goat milk also contains alpha-hydroxy acids. These acids, which occur naturally in the milk, are known to plump the skin and smooth fine lines. Alpha-hydroxy acids also exfoliate by breaking down the glue holding those dead skins cells together. Additionally, these acids neutralize free radicals, slowing the aging process and refreshing the skin. Caprylic acid is a fatty acid contained in goat milk that reduces alkalinity, giving goat milk soap a pH level very close to that of the skin. This prevents the soap from stripping away the natural oils of the skin. The natural oils of the skin form a protective barrier that keep microbials out.

Goat milk soap cleanses while leaving that protective barrier intact, and soothes the surface tension of the skin, allowing it to be moisturized and absorb the healthy nutrients. Th e other fatty acids present in goat milk are also natural antimicrobials and anti-fungals. My soaps also contain: Olive oil, which moisturizes and forms a protective film on the skin without inhibiting the skin’s normal, necessary functions, and is a good cleanser. Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant, and a natural preservative. Coconut oil is a moisturizer, but it also makes the soap hard (unlike many other handmade soaps), but with a generous lather, and it resists rancidity. Palm oil is a gentle cleanser. Lastly, there is lye. Lye is a cleanser with a long, long history. In the proper amounts it provides great cleansing but is still gentle. It is great for getting rid of chiggers and is said to soothe bug bites.

Why is Handmade Soap
Superior to Commercially Manufactured Soap?

Natural glycerin is produced during the process of soap making. This glycerin is highly valued for its moisturizing properties and its ability to help your skin retain moisture. Commercial soap producers remove the glycerin from their soap in order to use it in more expensive products, like moisturizers. Of course you need a moisturizer after using most commercial soaps. My hand-made soap is completely natural, right down to the essential oils with which it is scented. Essential oils are powerful aromatic substances extracted from flowers and herbs that contribute their own beneficial properties to each bar of soap, delivering more health and vitality to your skin! Commercial soap often contains chemical additives and synthetic ingredients including synthetic fragrances and dyes which can be irritating and drying to skin.

My handmade goat milk soap (Rehoboth Farm Goat Milk Soap) is produced in small batches in which the quality of the soap and the ingredients can be closely monitored. The same care and caution is not likely to be exercised when soap is mass produced. The skin-nutritious oils in my soaps are each carefully selected and combined based on how they compliment the properties of the goat milk and achieve a rich, moisturizing, hard bar of soap, with great lather. When goat milk is combined with a carefully selected blend of oils in a handmade soap, the result is a mild, skin-nutritious, luxurious bar that thoroughly cleanses, refreshes, smoothes, and moisturizes and is so gentle it can be used on infants. Doesn’t it make sense to treat your skin well by using goat milk soap?

Beeyoutiful Products mentioned in this article: