It has been a while since I've hosted a giveaway for my company, LuSa Organics. Since many of you know me just from here rather than through LuSa – and others have come here only after falling in love with LuSa but don't know the story of how LuSa came to be – I thought I'd share the story with you today. In addition, I am sharing a coupon code and hosting my own giveaway, so read on!
You see, I blame Martha. Yes, Stewart.
It was 1995. I was 22 years old. (Feel free to do the math.) I had pink hair. (Magenta, actually.) I was spending the night with Pete at my parents' house. They made us stay in separate rooms even though we already lived together. But I digress. I was sleeping in my sister's old room and found a Martha Stewart magazine by the bed. So me, all punk pink-haired and nose ring decided to read Martha before I fell asleep since Pete wasn't there to talk to.
And inside that magazine I found this article which unquestionalbly changed my life.
I read and re-read the article three times, then dreamily obsessed over the idea of making soap as I fell asleep that night. In the morning I asked my mom if I could borrow the magazine because I needed to read the artile like six more times before I could give it back.
That Christmas my mom gave me "The Natural Soap Book" by Susan Miller Cavitch. I read it as many times as the article, maybe more, building up the courage to actually make a batch of soap.
Fast-forward three years to late 1997. I was a graduate student and naturalist, working without a stipend on the north shore of Lake Superior at Wolf Ridge ELC. I had exactly no money. And Christmas was coming. I lived with 14 other grad student interns and sprang the idea of making soap for holiday gifts on everyone. I think five of my friends (from as far flung as Hungary and the Netherlands) joined my crazy mission. We begged whisks, spatulas, and mixing bowls off of the paid staff and bought supplies from the grocery store and one angelic local soap-maker (more about her in a bit).
Nervously, we set to work on our first batch of soap. It was an unscented honey-oatmeal soap because we had no – nor could we afford any – essential oils. We carefully weighed and mixed the lye, oils, oats, and honey, and stirred. And stirred. And stirred. For like 4 1/2 hours. (Remember that local vetran soapmaker? This is where she really saves our forearms and our night's sleep.) We called the local soapmaker and told her our troubles and she guided us throught the final steps. By the next morning we had soap. Real, beautiful, magical soap! We cut, cured, and gave it all away. It was alcemy.
I was hooked.
While I had gone to the North Shore for an education in my chosen field, I had found soap-making. At the end of the year as we packed up and found the left-over oils I bought everyone else out. I remember the foreshadowing of saying to the others as I packed up the oils, "I think I want to do this again."
I had no idea.
I plunged into a career in Environmental Education (which I loved), working on lovely things like residental environmental ed. for public school kids and endagered species recovery (this project was my last and favorite project I participated in.) But even when working with cranes or kids, soap was in my brain. In the woods on trail with kids I'd dream up new scents. We gave out bars or my homemade soap as favors at our wedding. The momentum of this thing was unstoppable. Soap was in my blood. (So to speak.)
Then when I was preganat with Sage in 2002 I ended my career as an educator and went home. For good.
My soap hobby for the six years since the first batch of honey-oatmeal transformed gradually into a microscopic home-business. By the time Sage was two I was making and selling soap, lip balm, bath salts, sugar scrub, and my baby line (inspired by my first pregnancy and Sage's babyhood), with the first versions of now well-known products like Baby Wipe Juice and Booty Balm.
The name of my business then was Queen Bee's Earthly Delights (body care) and Baby Moon (proudcts for baibes and mamas). By 2006 Pete had also quit his job to join me in the body care business and we renamed Queen Bee and Baby Moon "LuSa" – for Lupine and Sage, the two kids you know pretty well by now. At that time we transitioned to organic ingredients and the products you see here emerged.
And the rest is history.
Now LuSa Organic employees Pete and I and three other lovely people. We're pretty small. But everything is joyfully handcrafted in our small town. That's important to me. We are still a home-based business (really!) but in two weeks we're moving into our first professional production space. I can't wait to share it with you.
Because of this blog we've sent LuSa Organics products all over the US and to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and many more far-flung locations. I love sharing what we make with you.
I'd love you all to try LuSa! It is what allows me to come here day after day to share these words. It's our livelihood and also our passion.
From now until September 30 receive free domestic shipping on any retail order over $75 (Use coupon code "CLEANSHIP").
Or type "Clean Blog – free soap" in the comments field and we'll add a free bar of soap to any order over $35. (Our choice.)
Thanks for coming here, day after day to read my words. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sharing this space. It means so much to me.
Want to try LuSa for free? I'm giving away a LuSa gift collection! (Your choice of A Mama is Born, Welcome Little One, Manly, or Delight gift collections.) Simply leave a comment below to enter the drawing. For additional entries, feel free to share this giveaway via email, Facebook, or twitter (make one comment per entry), or fan LuSa on Facebook, and fan Clean: the LuSa Organics Blog on Facebook.
Comments will close on Sunday. Bring all your friends!
Comments are now closed. Thanks for all the kind words, everyone!
The winner is Paula who said:
I would love to win!! thank you so much for the opportunity!