Meet Local Vendor, Hallowell Soap Works

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Melissa, owner of Hallowell Soap Works in (you guessed it!) Hallowell, Maine, began her sudsy endeavor as a way for her creative and business sides to work in tandem. As a busy mom of three young boys, she started experimenting with all natural cold process soap making as she searched for wholesome, honest products for her family. Her DIY project quickly began reaching beyond her own home as friends and relatives began loving her deliciously fragranced (and practical!) products. Fast forward five years and Melissa now sells her soap in 5 retail stores in Maine, as well as through her own online store to domestic and international customers alike.

This soap making process is quite long and precise. One batch takes anywhere from 13-25 hours depending on the mix of ingredients. Melissa has created a proprietary blend of four types of natural oils mixed with lye and water to create the base for her soaps. The “work” phase of the process actually takes only an hour (with her expertise!) but once the fragrance oils and natural colors are swirled in and the liquid soap is poured into the mold, it’s time to hurry up and wait for 12-24 hours as the soap cures. 

Melissa’s business is thriving, but she insists she is first and foremost a wife and mom. This balance necessarily requires long nights, after her boys are settled in for the evening, mixing up batches of her 15 different flavors, including favorites like Makeup Melt, Pumpkin Spice, and Tall Dark & Handsome. The hard work is worthwhile, though, because she enjoys what she does and loves making beautiful and practical products from ingredients that by themselves have little use. To help ensure she continues to love her work, Melissa has turned down potentially lucrative offers to expand (into 200 stores). She doesn’t want to sacrifice her product quality, or work-life balance, so she is content to maintain at this point.

We wish Melissa the best, as well as all our local providers. They are friends, neighbors, family! Live local, love local!

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