I love market days. Even in winter! I’m up about 5.30am for tea, toast and a quick shower before loading the wagon with heavy boxes, crates, baskets and my trusty trolley. As I left Ballandean last Sunday, I drove past paddocks covered in white frost, past Kangaroos grazing on Mr Costanzo’s oats crop and north to Stanthorpe. I’m always relieved to see the ‘Market in the Mountains Today’ sign as I drive into town. Much as I enjoy market day I’m not too keen on going through the whole process to find I’ve got my dates mixed up.
Of course, it isn’t the weather or the scenery that I love most about market day, it’s the people I meet. Like the man who bought a sample bar because he was a bit sceptical about whether my soap could really help his dry, itchy skin. He was back with a big smile this week for the full size. Then there was the lady who handed me a small crumpled soap label asking ‘do you make this soap? I was given it and need more’. It was indeed Washpool Farm soap and I had the bar on hand. This week the customer who really touched me was Jo. She’s a mum trying to find suitable handmade soap for her little boy, who suffers multiple sensitivities/allergies. She specifically wanted a goat’s milk and pure olive oil formula – nothing else.
Now, goat’s milk and olive oil are beautiful ingredients that, when used in combination, make a very gentle soothing soap. The tricky thing with this formula is that both ingredients call for a nice long cure and even then, they won’t be rock hard like the commercial store bought bars. Jo knew all this. She knew what was best for her son and was having difficulty finding it. Sunday afternoon I made a custom batch of goat’s milk and olive oil soap and Monday morning it was unmoulded and placed on the curing rack to harden up. I made an extra batch to have on hand for others struggling to find a cleansing product devoid of fragrance, nut oils, preservatives, sulphates, detergent or a range of other irritants found in many commercial soaps and liquid body wash.
That’s the beauty of being an artisan soap maker. The next customer I meet might want soap made on 100percent virgin coconut oil or low allergy laundry soap with no coconut oil. I can produce a custom batch of around nine bars for about $5-00 a bar (assuming no extremely exotic specifications are given). This represents quite a saving on single bars. Browse our low allergy soap range. If there's something particular you need, please feel free to contact me through the website or by phone. I’d love to help.