This is my journey with Solitude Soapworks.
YOU KNOW THE OLD SAYING ABOUT GOING DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE? YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE IT WILL TAKE YOU?
Yeah, I know it all too well. Hi! I’m Jenn, and I’m the founder and owner of Solitude Soapworks.
BEING ACCUSED OF HAVING A BORING CHRISTMAS LIST WAS A RUDE AWAKENING --AND JUST THE KIND OF THING TO GET A SOAPMAKING KIT ON IT.
That’s how the Christmas season of 2017 started. While it was said in jest, I had to respond in kind. I added a beginner’s soapmaking kit to my wish list, knowing that my better half would never look at it and say, “That’s exciting, Jenn!” (A little tit for tat.)
Four years later, when he looks around the studio, he just shakes his head and mutters something about Legos.
FOR YEARS, I'VE SAID SOLITUDE SOAPWORKS BEGAN WITH THIS SARCASTIC CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM MY HUSBAND, BUT I'VE REALIZED THAT'S NOT THE CASE.
Looking back on how Solitude Soapworks got its start, the story actually goes back to 2010, when I was diagnosed with hypoparathyroidism, a rare disease that was a result of an elective surgery performed in 2005.
BEING DIAGNOSED WITH HYPOPARATHYROIDISM CHANGED MY LIFE IN HUGE WAYS, BOTH GOOD AND DIFFICULT
With hypoparathyroidism, there are limited treatments available, so I have to be hyper vigilant about foods, nutrients, and supplements. In 2012, I found a wonderful holistic nutritionist who helped teach me about food, health and nutrition.
One of my biggest takeaways from working with her was how she taught me to read and scrutinize product labels. It’s been 10 years since working with her, and I still read the product labels on everything that touches my hands.
I BECAME INCREASINGLY FRUSTRATED THAT THE INGREDIENTS IN MY FAVORITE BODY PRODUCTS WERE NOT ONLY UNPRONOUNCEABLE AND UNRECOGNIZABLE, BUT ALSO QUESTIONABLE AS TO IF THEY WERE GOOD FOR MY BODY.
It made sense to me if you care about what you put into your body, shouldn’t you care the same about what goes on your body? Our skin is our largest organ after all.
AND THAT SPARKED MY DESIRE TO CREATE LEAVE-ON BODY PRODUCTS THAT WERE NOT ONLY RECOGNIZABLE AND PRONOUNCEABLE, BUT ALSO GOOD FOR YOU.
I started making body butters using simple, recognizable ingredients for myself and ended up making them as gifts as well.
FOLLOWING MY DESIRE TO LIVE AS HEALTH CONSCIOUSLY AS POSSIBLE, I MOVED MY FAMILY UP TO THE PRISTINE ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN NEW YORK IN 2015.
The fresh mountain air, friendly people, outdoor activities, and lack of cell service (!!) made it the perfect place to leave the hustle of the city behind. The slower pace of life was just what my soul needed.
So I returned to my hobby of making body butters and happily poured my heart and soul into making amazing products that were given away as gifts to friends and family. It was my favorite creative outlet.
I NEVER INTENDED TO TURN SOAPING INTO A BUSINESS, BUT SOMETIMES, THE UNIVERSE HAS OTHER IDEAS.
Just like with the body butters, friends and family soon started receiving bars of soap as gifts.
One of the recipients liked the bars so much, they asked if I could make liquid foaming soap for their B&B. And that was it!
THE UNIVERSE WAS TELLING ME IT WAS TIME TO MOVE AWAY FROM THIS BEING JUST A HOBBY. SOLITUDE SOAPWORKS WAS BORN.
While the B&B didn’t pan out, word of mouth put me in the right place at the right time and my little soap business took off.
Now, I run a successful boutique business and love working with customers to create one-of-a-kind, custom products and gifts that are made with love and intention and filled with the peace and serenity of the mountains.
Welcome to the studio
Solitude Soapworks studio is situated on the back part of our homestead, overlooking flower gardens, forests, and the majestic high peaks.
It blends in as only an Adirondack Camp cabin can with a green metal roof and dark brown siding. Very unassuming from the outside but indoors is where the magic happens. You’ll find plants, crystals, and a wall of fragrance and color—it’s a hippie’s paradise, and there is always music playing. (It keeps the gremlins away.)
Soaping is part artistry, part science, and part alchemy. It requires focus and concentration.
I make my soaps in small batches, which allows me to oversee every tiny detail of production and put out high-quality products that you can not only feel good about using but that also leave your skin feeling amazing.
Our soaps are formulated to be gentle for all skin types, using only the highest quality plant-based butters and oils we can source, and our leave-on body products are made with organic ingredients wherever possible.
We list all our ingredients on every label. This is done for transparency purposes, because as a consumer, you have the right to make an informed decision about the products you buy.
While I can’t give you the chemical breakdown of fragrance oils as they are proprietary to the manufacturer, I can tell you that my fragrance oils are of extremely high quality and are always phthalate free. The usage amounts are well below the allowed dermal limits for leave-on and wash-off products.
I founded Solitude Soapworks with
three core principles:
You have so many choices as a customer these days. I believe that by sharing information about my products, you can make an informed decision about what you buy. With transparency, our relationship is based on honesty and trust.
OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE
Customer service is quickly becoming extinct in our society, and that bothers me something fierce! Solitude Soapworks would not be where it is today without its amazing customers, and I will always provide you with outstanding customer service.
Charity begins at home, and Solitude Soapworks donates 10% of its sales to three charities that matter deeply to me. By buying from Solitude Soapworks, you are also making giving back a priority.
AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION
Suicide hit too close to home and has left my family heartbroken and beyond devastated, which is why I will always support suicide prevention initiatives.
FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN'S FOUNDATION
I lost friends on 9/11. For 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has helped support the children and families of first responders who have been killed or injured in the line of duty.
This one is deeply personal for me, since I’ve been hypoparathyroid for the last 13 years. It’s a rare endocrine disease that affects approximately 77,000 in the USA. Because of the tiny patient community, there is not a lot of funding available for research, and living with hypoparathyroidism is like walking an impossible tightrope.