Our vendors are rock stars. Case in point: Simply Organic Soap, a Texas apothecary line founded by former fighter jet designer Sandy Palisch.
In 2013, the mom of three boys fell in love with organic soap while vacationing in Breckinridge, Colorado. After her stash of souvenirs ran out, she decided to take matters into her own hands and engineer something organic that created a similar spa-like user experience.
The company officially launched in 2016 and now offers a dozen scents of handcrafted healthy soaps as well as lotion bars, bath bombs and salts and even cedar soap dishes handmade by a Houston woodworker. Today Sandy runs operations with Erin Reilly and some help from her son Austin; the three juggle everything from production and mixology to marketing and sales.
Learn more about this budding brand and be sure to say hello when they showcase at our Dallas spring show April 6th and 7th!
The story goes that you fell in love with handmade soap while in Colorado. How did that experience turn into Simply Organic Soap?
I loved that soap! When I ran out of it, my mind started turning! I called the owner of the company in Colorado to ask if she ever thought of branching out. After her first initial positive response, the plan fell through. So with the help of some local friends I taught myself to make soap and started experimenting with different organic base oils and essential oils to create that relaxing spa experience in a soap. I started giving it out as gifts under the name Organic Soaps by Sandy and soon people started asking me if they could buy it. In the spring of 2016, Erin jumped on the bandwagon and we came up with the name Simply Organic Soap, grabbed the domain name and put ourselves out there!
How much experimenting did you have to do with the recipes to finally get a product you knew customers would love?
We are constantly experimenting with new recipes all the time! The original base of our organic soap took several iterations over about six months until we came up with what we thought was the ultimate spa experience.
Walk us through the soap making process a bit…
We start with our organic base oil recipe and blend those together with a distilled water and sodium hydroxide mixture. Then we can be creative with our essential oils, butters, clays and organic additives to make all our different soaps. Once blended, they are poured into a mold for 24 – 48 hours. After they have set, the soap is unmolded and hand cut. It then has to cure for an additional four weeks, and yes, it is so hard to wait to try it out!!
What inspires the ingredient combinations in each soap?
We usually get together, pull out the essential oils and start thinking about what we like best. We ask our clients what scents take them to their happy place and what’s important to them. Then we research the benefits of the oils and start combining them until we find the right combinations. Wine really helps with inspiration, too!
We love the fact that you harvest your own plants, honey and beeswax in East Texas for your creations! Is staying local and providing your own ingredients a key component of Simply Organic Soap?
Yes, one of our awesome owners has a great space for us to harvest local ingredients. We are excited to increase our production in the coming years so we can eventually use all our own ingredients. Until then, we seek out like-minded producers to supplement our raw materials.
What is the best-selling soap?
By far our Activated Charcoal Face Soap. It just works. Your face feels so clean but not dried out. I’m not allowed to make medical claims but …. it appears to nip break outs in the bud! We also infused some grapefruit, clove and tea tree essential in the bar to leave your skin glowing. A close second is our Signature Soap infused with poppy seeds and lemon, lavender and patchouli essential oils for light exfoliation. It is one of the original combinations we developed and it definitely soothes the senses and smells just like being at the spa!
What’s the difference between handcrafted and commercial soaps?
Commercial soaps are mostly manufactured in large factories using low cost ingredients and usually contain some or all synthetic detergents and fillers. Many commercial soap manufacturers also have the glycerin removed from their soaps so they can sell it to other industries. Glycerin is a natural humectant by-product of the soap making process. The benefit of glycerin is that it attracts and retains moisture on your skin. It’s like having a natural skin lotion in your soap.
What are your plans for the future of your company?
We’re currently looking strategically at how wide to stretch our brand. The highest quality is the most important thing to us so we want to make sure we are able to provide that before we add more product categories. We will definitely be expanding our bath bomb and bath salt selections this year. We also have some candles with essential oils on the horizon! The soap recipes will be updated for the seasons and new ideas on an on going basis!