Ker­ryn sells the soap on her web­site, and to shops in the north and south is­lands...

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature -

To make the soap, Ker­ryn gently heats and melts the co­conut and palm oil to a liq­uid and adds them to the al­ready liq­uid olive oil. A lye so­lu­tion is then used to saponify the oils. Lye is caus­tic and tricky to make which is why Ker­ryn prefers to buy it. The last in­gre­di­ents to add to the mix are the essen­tial oils which give the soaps their ap­peal­ing aro­mas.

The mix is poured into moulds and left for 24 hours be­fore be­ing taken out and cut. Ker­ryn’s soap cut­ter comes from Canada where hand-made soap is pop­u­lar, and ev­ery batch she makes is cut into 220 per­fectly-even pieces. The soap is then cured – a process which takes six weeks – then the soap is ready to be pack­aged and sold.

When they bought the busi­ness, it was pro­duc­ing four dif­fer­ent scented soaps but Ker­ryn and Phill have now in­creased it to 10, and they be­lieve there is po­ten­tial to ex­pand the range fur­ther. They have also been pleased with the re­sponse to a new dog soap and sham­poo, and gift op­tions of scented soaps wrapped in coloured felt.

Ker­ryn sells the soap on their web­site, and to shops in the North and South Is­lands. She has a mar­ket stall in Takaka and also trav­els to other craft mar­kets in the sum­mer months. She says she en­joys the in­ter­ac­tion with her reg­u­lar cus­tomers, and there is great lo­cal sup­port and a num­ber of re­peat in­ter­net cus­tomers. Un­like sell­ing food prod­ucts, soap keeps, so there is no wastage, but for­tu­nately there has been good de­mand for it.

The best part is the sat­is­fac­tion of sell­ing a prod­uct from a cot­tage in­dus­try that is ap­pre­ci­ated by cus­tomers, and doesn’t harm the en­vi­ron­ment, says Ker­ryn.

“We live in such an amaz­ing coun­try. It’s about look­ing after it.”

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