From an early age, it was instilled in me to be aware of my outward appearance and to take care of my skin. Growing up with a mother in cosmetology, puts hair, skin and nails at the forefront. My mom would say, “You don’t gotta be so plain Jane all the time!” She was always “all dolled up” as she would call it, with the big Texas blonde hair, full makeup, jewelry and halter tops… Ohhh the 80s! LOL.
Quickly, I realized others didn’t have the same upbringing and outlook on skincare as me.
In 2016, Ashley Renée Soap Co. was founded when I had a passion for helping others by using all natural remedies for healthy living and skin care as a way of life, and was on a mission to pass that information on to others. I put my passion into motion by spending countless hours researching the chemicals that find their way into the mass produced products we use everyday, the benefits of ingredients such as oils, butters, clays and herbs and how to incorporate them into all natural skin care products.
With my “I’ll do it myself” attitude, I’m self-taught. Looking back, if only I hadn’t been so stubborn and taken a different approach by taking a soap making class, I could’ve avoided oh, so many failures. BUT with every mistake, I dusted myself off, gave it another try and FIN-ALLY nailed it.
I started off by making simple mixtures of essential oils and butters, and then I thought about a product we all use everyday, that’s mass produced and has a string of ingredients we can’t even pronounce - SOAP. Little did I know, there’s a whole world out there making skincare into pieces of artwork! Best of all, what better way to make artwork and help others at the same time.
My soap making adventure started with melt and pour soap, which is great for beginners. Melt and pour soap is a pre-made soap block to be cut into pieces, melted and poured into a mold. However, it does have its limitations when it comes to advanced techniques and this left me wanting more!
One step up from there is cold process soap, which is when my "Ah HA! moment” happened!
My first cold process soap! ^^^
Cold process soap involves mixing oils and sodium hydroxide lye together creating a chemical reaction known as saponification. Melt and pour soap has already gone through saponification, in return you don’t have to handle lye or wait 4-6 weeks for the soap to be cured.
On the other hand, cold processed soap gives you the freedom to customize your soap by choosing the exact oils, colorants, scents and additives you want in your soap. Being an artist at heart, it gave me the opportunity to be creative - it’s not only a consumable product, but science and art rolled into one.
After my first batch, I sat down at the table, and thought, ‘What have I done?!” Because, then, I made another and another and another! I was hooked. This spiraled into making just about every soap I could think of, from plain ol’ soap bars to piping cupcake soap and everything in between. BUT my favorite, hands down, is beer soap… I sip some and I soap some, Here’s why! >>> BEER SOAP
Oldies, but goodies!^^^ From left to right: Pumpkin Soap, Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake Soap and Double Chocolate Stout Beer Soap
Through this wild ride, the one thing that stuck out to me the most, it’s what I live by AND the reason I started making soap - choose your own path. If someone tells you that you should or shouldn’t use a particular product, do your own research and make the decisions for your own life. That right there is the reason why I do what I do and why I embrace natural skincare products!