November 09, 2014

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Our Story

Handcrafted Soap has always been a passion of mine - stopping at boutiques wherever I traveled to smell and buy locally-crafted soaps.  My family and friends know handmade soap is a perfect gift for me - I love that it's locally made, it supports small businesses, and it's a consumable gift with minimal waste!  When I was engaged to be married, I kept thinking of what I could make for my guests as a special touch, and of course it had to be soap!  

Thus began my journey to discover the art and science of soap making - learning about how soap is made, how sodium hydroxide interacts with various oils to create various size bubbles, different types of lather and even different levels of cleaning and conditioning!  It's been such a fun journey to make my perfect formulations, and I hope you enjoy as well!

When I didn't have (or make) handmade soap, I used to use Dove bars and my husband, Kris, used Irish Springs.  About 7 months into my soap making hobby, Kris decided to go back to Irish Springs for his shower.  After he finished his first shower with the commercial soap, he came out and complained about his skin being so itchy - was our water bad?  I knew I was on to something when simply changing his soap from my skin-friendly soap to his old Irish Springs made such a noticeable difference for him!

It's an amazing thing that soap can be as simple as water, sodium hydroxide, and oil.  Each soap on this website is a labor of love, hand-made in Minnesota!  Even the soap dishes are hand-made locally (by my mom!).


But Where Did the Name Come From?

Meet Hannah and Hobbes:

This picture perfectly captures their personalities and relationship.  Hannah is my original Yorkie.  She's been with me for 8 years and has been such an experience - stubborn, smart, friendly, quiet, misbehaved, and snuggly.  She loves people and tolerates Hobbes.

Hannah Banana is our Chief Fragrance Sniffer and Toy Fetcher.  She loves treats, licking the air, and going for long runs - she can run 5 miles!

Hobbes' full name is Milton Hobbes and he has been with us for 5 years.  He follows me everywhere!  He's soft and snuggly and does Ewok impersonations for us :)  

Hobbes is the Director of Soap Investigating and he keeps me on track during the day by his constant presence.  When he is not underfoot, he spends his days laying in sunbeams or following Hannah around, trying to be friends.


The Rest of the Team:

Chrissy:  Owner of Hannah & Hobbes.  Also head accountant, chief formulator, main dog-petter, lead purchaser of both soap supplies and dog food, master dish washer, and head of soap production. 

Kris:  Ever-supportive Sales & Marketing Director.  Kris also wears these hats: dog-feeder, errand-runner, gloomy day brightener, bath salts designer, and soap pouring and packaging assistant.  Without him, Hannah & Hobbes would not be possible!

Face Mask / Cleanser

The fall always does a number on my skin - it get so red, dry and irritated! Since I first tried Lisa's Rose Clay and Oatmeal Cleansing Bar about a year and a half ago, it's my go-to DIY soap-free cleanser for the changing of the seasons! It can be made with items that are obtainable from the grocery store, with some bonus ingredients if you're feeling fancy (or have a well-stocked oil and butter pantry)!

Rosebud, Clay and Oatmeal Cleansing Bar Recipe:

10 gr Kokum Butter (can be replaced with cocoa butter)*
40 gr Cocoa butter
50 gr Coconut Oil
45 ml Castor Oil
40 ml Almond Oil (you could consider olive oil also)*
15 gr pink clay
10 gr oats - ground as close to a powder as possible
40 gr white kaolin clay
10-12 dried rosebuds - (rosa gallica) (these aren't necessary for me, they tend to irritate my skin)*
a few drops of rose absolute (this isn't necessary either, if you don't have a skin-safe essential oil on hand)*

In one glass container, I added the kokum and cocoa butters and coconut oil and put on low heat on the stove to melt.  

I also mixed the castor and almond oils together, added the finely-crushed rosebuds, and put that on the stove to heat up and infuse the oils.  

Once everything was melted or heated, I combined them together, added the white clay and oats, added a few drops of the rose absolute oil, and mixed until even.  

I poured half of the mixture into my 2-lb silicone loaf mold and put in the freezer for a few minutes to harden.  I mixed the rose clay in the remaining portion and poured on top of the hardened layer and put in the fridge for a few hours to harden. If you don't have a bread pan to use, consider pouring the mixture into ice cube molds, or a plastic container, or whatever you've got!


Since this cleanser doesn't contain preservatives (which is fine, since it also doesn't contain any water) and is also quite soft at room temperature, it's best to store the bar wrapped in a paper towel in an air-tight container in the fridge (to keep out the fridge smells).  Each application is about 1 tsp or so, so I have broken a few pieces to keep in a small bowl in the bathroom.  Make sure to use this size bar within a few days to avoid gross nasties growing!

I started to use the bars as an evening cleanser, leaving it on for 5-10 minutes before bed.  For me, that is perfect - the scent is nice and relaxing and puts me in a good sleeping mood and my face has some time to absorb the oil while I sleep. Others may choose to cleanse with this bar in the morning also - up to you and your face!





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