Why I Make Consumable Products/Gifts

2021 Spring Fling Soap collection

A few years ago I helped my parents downsize their home in preparation for a move to a place with a third of the living space.

If you've ever had to sort through years of possessions, you know: it can be a hugely time consuming, emotionally fraught job. Especially debilitating for those who have lived through lean times and developed a fear of "someday" needing the item they're letting go of. Or a feeling that parting with that item means releasing the good feelings of the time or person associated with it. 

In my parents' defense, I'm not immune to attachments to objects/nostalgia, though I do attempt to continually clear the build-up of possessions and clutter (it's ongoing and often overwhelming, honestly). In their day, things were likely quality handmade, rare, pricier, but made to last and therefore "dear." Collecting was a treasure hunt, a well-thought out, researched hobby.

But in the years since mass production (especially overseas) fully took hold, many objects - clothes, furnishings, household items, etc, - have become common, cheap, disposable and basically led to a consumer culture of gaining...status?...security?...entertainment? through amassing things. Possessions that our children will have to sort through after we pass on.

Which is partly why I've chosen a consumable products like soap + solid lotion for my creative expression. I love art, and display lovely works from incredibly talented artists. But if I were a painter myself, I'd likely have storage areas of completed canvasses that I lacked wall space for. As it is, I have portfolios of undisplayed works from my student days, but it doesn't feel right to get rid of it. Yet.

Artisan Soap doesn't present this problem for me. I enjoy the design, the production process, photography, and the cheeky copy writing. I like posting it on Social Media and chatting it up in the comments section. The whole process is happily experiential for me.

Then, I use it (or sell it, to be enjoyed by others) and...it's gone. While of course there is some environmental impact from production, I try to minimize it. Much of my packaging is compostable and/or reusable. Sometimes local clients even return shredded fill so it won't go into a landfill. All good.

Most of our possessions are forever. Even if we dispose of the object, it eventually ends up in some overburdened landfill. It's a lot to consider.


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