WHERE DOES MY INSPIRATION COME FROM?
I get this question SO often! To me, it’s an afterthought. But after some thought *wink*, we all have a connection to something that brings joy. I couldn’t possibly mention every product I make and why, but for me, my inspiration can be summed up to my roots, my environment, people and places.
We are creatures of comfort and familiarity makes us feel at home. Growing up in the country has impacted my inspiration by connecting me to my childhood memories. These memories bring me back to a simpler time.
Being from a small town in Texas and having a dad that wears a cowboy hat on a daily basis, inspired all my many masculine, western themed products, especially Rhinestone Cowboy Soap. He’s not so much a rhinestone cowboy. When I think of a rhinestone cowboy, I think of a bedazzled man sparkling everywhere he goes, making a grandiose entrance and you can smell him before he even makes it in the door. BUT my dad loves the smell of patchouli. He even coined this soap “panty dropper”... a story for another day! ….
Alright, I changed my mind. Here goes... When my dad gets ready in the morning, he splashes two colognes together, one is patchouli and the other is woodsy - heavy on the patchouli. When that GRAND mixture comes together women always tell him how good he smells and that my friend is a Panty Dropper.
You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl! Being a country girl living in the suburbs has its pros and cons. One part of me is constantly looking for a connection with nature by going for runs at the park, where during the spring and summer, I can enjoy the aromas of gardenias that are growing along the neighborhood fence lines.
It’s also nice to have shopping and dining nearby and Houston has SO much to offer! Part of my inspiration comes from the city I’m from and Houston is known to be one of the most diverse and charming cities in the country. To name a few fun facts (some not entirely related to soap), Houston is home to the largest medical center in the world, has the world's first dome stadium that Houstonians call the 8th wonder of the world, a 7 mile underground pedestrian tunnel system, over 10,000 restaurants from over 70 countries, 145 different languages spoken, over 150 museums, officially nicknamed ‘Space City’ when NASA announced Houston would be the Manned Spacecraft Center and it also hosts one of the largest rodeos in the world. The city with no limits - how could I not find inspiration here!
We are moved by the connection we find in others around us. I get inspiration from others around me - their interests, making another person laugh and finding what scents that light them up.
Since gardening is near and dear to me, having a gritty Rosemary Mint garden soap was a must. Then, the name was changed to Kiss My Grits, by my dear friend Denise who has that good ol’ southern girl Texas twang and when she’s had JUST enough of people, she shouts, ‘Kiss MY grits!’ Never had I ever heard the catchphrase, but it stuck with Denise when it was coined by Polly Holliday casted on Mel’s Diner TV show in 1976 - the first time this was ever said on TV and became part of the American vocabulary. Now from time to time, I find myself saying it too - hey, it’s a southern thing!
Another inspiration comes from fresh cut roses. My boyfriend buys a fresh bouquet of roses on a consistent basis and from time to time, I use them to make rose water for soap. I even gave him the liberty of naming the rose water soap Rosa de Amor, meaning rose of love.
And I can’t leave out the many people I’ve met throughout my soap journey thus far. Being a beer lover myself, one of my first soaps I ever made was a beer soap and I pivoted more toward beer soap than any other soap. Here’s why.
The Houston beer scene is diverse just like the culture of the city. My two favorite breweries are Ingenious Brewing and DECA Beer Company, both located north of the city.. Ingenious, being Houston's most experimental brewery, has endless rotating small batches and they’re known for their fruity sours. DECA Beer Company, a well-rounded brewery offering ales, porters, lagers and bitters to stouts, Pilsners and IPAs. The DECA beer I look forward to all year long is the December Mystery Box, a Russian Imperial Stout that is perfect for winter.
Of course, we want to drink great beer, but it’s more about the people, who make you feel right at home.
Each time I travel I come back with a new perspective on life. Just one place brings on emotions and a connection to an experience.
Venturing to other cities in Texas has even more to offer. The hill country is by far my next favorite place to visit, and in particular, Fredericksburg, Texas, the wine country of Texas with well over 9 million acres and over 50 wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms. AND a 5 mile drive from Fredericksburg is Enchanted Rock, with 11 miles of hiking trails and a 1.5 miles summit trail.
My favorite time to visit the Texas hill country is during the spring months, when bluebonnets, the state flower, are in full bloom. Just the drive alone is mesmerizing as you see rolling hills of blue pastures filled with bluebonnets. Although some think it’s illegal to pick bluebonnets, there’s no law against it, but being the friendship state, it’s frowned upon.
When it comes to Whiskey, most think of Kentucky, but within the last decade, Texas is up-and-coming and new whiskey distilleries have been emerging throughout the state. To add to the beer and wine soaps, the Texas Whiskey Soap was born and it has actual whiskey in it!
With all of this coming together, I continuously get inspired by the great state of Texas, my surroundings, the people and where I’m from. As time passes and new experiences come, I’m sure I’ll have even more soaps to create!