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Jamie Schall makes her own soaps and sells them online at sakurasoapworks.etsy.com.
By Erica Cusumano | STAFF
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Sensitive soaps
By Kathleen Ostrander

Plagued by dry skin, Jamie Schall searched for a soap that would leave her clean but not irritate her skin. That search eventually led her to start her own business -- Sakura Soapworks.

She was going to school to be a physician, but arthritis made her dream of being a surgeon impossible. So she started working on her soap-making business full time. "I always wanted to have my own skin-care line, so this is something I'm really enjoying," Schall said.

The name comes from another of her favorite things.

"Sakura is Japanese for cherry blossom, and that's one of my favorite flowers," Schall said. Sakura soap is cold-process soapmaking, and different oils are added to get different types of soap.

But Schall also does melt-and-pour soap makes her own candles and lotions. She makes her favorite soaps with kiwi, orange or orchid, among others, but she also can add coconut for cleansing and lather or oil for conditioning.

"I can make a soap that is customized for a body type or specifically what you want," she said. Soapmaking is centuries old, she said, but the soap you buy in the store has the glycerin skimmed off. Schall soaps are considered superfatted, and they have a high moisturizing value.

Schall has really thrown herself into her business. She uses essential oils as well as exotic butters and light, airy scents. Her kiwi soap has a layer of seeds that provide natural exfoliating. These are no wimpy little bars of soap; they are substantial, sweet-smelling chunks of bliss for those who have dry skin.

Eventually she would like to open a store, but for now her items can be ordered from her Web site at sakurasoapworks.etsy.com. She also sells at the farmers market and at artisan events.

She strives to be eco-friendly.

"Most of my ingredients are natural and organic. I use recycled items for packing, or they can be recycled when you receive them. Even the plastic can be composted."

If someone has a favorite scent, she can try to incorporate it into a soap or lotion. She also is making bath salts and even has holiday items. Lumps of coal are actually smoky patchouli and sandlewood soaps. Her green Christmas tree soaps or pumpkin-spice candles would make perfect hostess gifts, Schall said.

She's already branching out into hair products, including products for pets.

"I have products for shine as well as for anti-frizz," she said.


Story published Friday, November 6, 2009 ( Volume 4, Number 6 )

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