A sudsy kind of story
My name is Jackie Turbot and I have been a professional soapmaker since 2000. I love making soap! It is magical. It can transform a person's life--from kids with acne, to adults with dry skin issues. It transformed my life as a 30 something who was looking for my bliss -- or at least for a way to make a living that did not seem like selling my soul. It worked and now I have been doing it over 2 decades.
My soap is the soap you can use anywhere you have skin. It is meant to be more rustic than pretty--I want you to rip it open and use it from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. I don't want it to sit on a shelf because it is too pretty to use. Pretty soaps are often just that. Pretty, but if you try to use them your skin cries because they are drying, the soaps fall apart, or they turn the shower or your washcloth colors--they just aren't great soap.
My soap is the kind of soap where you don't have to use chemical laden lotions right when you get out of the shower. Even in the harshest of winters, I rarely use my shea butter lotion. The soap is that good!
I started playing around with scent, color, ingredients and techniques in 1998. It started in my tiny kitchen in Orlando, Florida and has grown into a dedicated production space when I moved back North to Illinois to help my parents.
Back in my teen and college years (B.S. in finance, not chemistry!) My mom, Phyllis (RIP, love you, miss you!), had severe psoriasis. She was an RN who when things were bad had to wear gloves constantly and taped up her painfully cracked feet with bandages. My sister and I prayed we would never get it.
One summer we went on a Girls Trip to a horse show in Murfreesboro TN and shared a hotel room. After a long day we collapsed on the beds to watch TV and I noticed her feet were clear. They were normal, they actually looked better than mine! She said the soap samples and shea butter I sent her was the only thing she was doing differently from her doctor prescribed drugs, creams and light treatments. SOAP AND SHEA BUTTER, note taken!
I began including shea butter in every single thing I made. My soap recipes that numbered in the dozens slowly morphed into a handful of tried and true soaps that all had a couple things in common: shea butter and moisturizing, big, bubbly lather! More than 20 years later, that phrase is a constant at my craft shows.
My husband Rod was my initial financial backer and all my friends (and pets) were my soap guinea pigs. My friends started asking me to do giftbags and baskets for their friends. In 2000, one of those friends asked me to do her church craft show and a light bulb went on!
I started with 3 shows that first Fall and pretty quickly was working nearly every weekend at art and craft shows throughout the state of Florida. Farmers markets back then were not the busy, upscale, boutique-y affairs they have turned into the last decade. So, I concentrated on weekend art shows and art and craft shows across the state. That's where I could count on thousands of people walking past my booth every weekend, and many of them followed their noses into my booth every day. I had found my market!
In 2003 I launched my website, a modest thing that I continue to manage today. Don't expect all the bells and whistles of a corporate site, but, it was put together with a love of soapmaking and a desire to offer my customers a way to reorder when I wasn't in their area. Give me a holler however you like to connect.
Jackie Turbot, the SoapLady
Phone: 815 708 7200
Text: 407 363 1494