I'm Carol Ochs (pronounced "Oaks"), Proprietor, Soapstress, Artist; ... I've been in-business on the web since 1994, since "the dawn of the internet". (That sounds scarily like "dawn of the dinosaurs"!) I was literally one of the first of a dozen soapmakers with websites on the internet. Since that beginning, we've sold hundreds of thousands of soap bars and our other crafts!
I originally came from a family of DIYers in all things... so I grew up crafting. I began making soap in the early 1990's to assuage my own sensitive skin needs. I made so many batches in the process of perfecting my recipe, I gave soap away. Wasn't I surprised when everyone came back asking to "buy more, please?". The business was quickly born and accelerated beyond my expectations, thanks to the internet. And my own skin improved dramatically, by the way. Turned out what I *thought* was a genetic skin disorder was really a problem with all the stuff in detergent bar soaps I'd been using all my up-till-then life! Pure ingredient natural soap made all the difference in the world for me. And clearly for others, as well!
I've always been extremely interested in the ways of old, but my curiosity was especially piqued when one day after my soap business was well underway, while perusing one of my favorite used bookstores I came upon a 19th century old journal, hand-written & faded. In it was a collection of notes and recipes for skincare, remedies, and food -- WHAT A FIND, this peek into the past! I had to part with a hefty sum for it, but worth every penny! Of course I couldn't wait to try the recipes within, once I first translated measurements from grams or percentages into ounces I could work with. This opened my eyes even further to how in the days before all the detergent, synthetic, and chemical ingredients now used to manufacture soap by huge corporations, ancient methods made perfect use of nature's bounty. Following these old yet chemical-free detergent-free recipes, we've just improved upon those ancient ways by eliminating animal fat as a base ingredient.
I now make my living crafting all things I love, and promote sustainable-production, conscious-sourcing, and fair treatment of workers involved with all materials I use. I love networking with other individuals and businesses to share ideas and appreciate, employ & enjoy leaving as small an eco-footprint as possible on their own paths!
In my previous work life I was an operating room nurse in the field of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. I later ran a home daycare business while staying home to raise my 3 children,... kids are my favorite people! Natural, organic, clean-living, healthy foods, and sustainable practices have always been priority to me; it's something I research constantly, firmly believing Mother Earth provides us all we need...if we just learn to seek & apply it properly. We don't need to substitute synthetics and harmful chemicals for what nature gives us that already works perfectly! When you learn and know better, you DO better. THIS is my mantra for what I create and put out into the world. Join me?
My other crafts:
- An artist - My mythical fantasy art can be found HERE. My art has appeared in several books, online magazines, and I regularly show at San Diego's La Bodega Art Gallery, and Comic-Con's annual Art Show.
- A handspun, handknit/crochet artist - My work can be found HERE
- A pyrographer (wood burned art) - Also found HERE
- A writer. Recent work appeared in a collective book - HERE
On the personal side (yet business is always a team effort!), I'm married to the love of my life, David Ochs, an accomplished musician composer (website), and he also is a plumbing contractor, owns his own business. We help each other with our respective businesses; bantering ideas, he schlepps all my ingredient deliveries to the workshop or orders to the Post Office, and I do his bookkeeping.
We have three grown children: Christopher (middle of photo), a paralegal for Microsoft in WA, a fiber crafter, and also a writer. Nicholas, a handyman and musician here in San Diego. And Stephanie, a retired NWSL pro soccer player and now working as a mental health counselor.
We are owned by two giant Newfoundland (Newfie) dogs....sweetest pups ever, we just love these pups so! And a persnickety and often times evil cat, named Sophie. We love her too....even though she BITES!
I LOVE all my work, so I never can discern where work starts or ends, and I'm lucky to be able to work from home. When I'm not crafting, I like to roam forests, hike, bike, read, research, cook vegan/vegetarian, write, enjoy music, play piano, garden, travel, take baths, collect typewriters and write letters to loved ones, and just be with family and my pets--they are THE BEST!
Since I'm always fascinated with other creative types' work areas, I'll share a few pics of mine....
Ten steps out my backdoor is the Soap Workshop
My Art Studio
Our enchanted garden.....where brainstorming, daydreaming, painting, or spinning yarn take place. It's as close to *forest* (where I REALLY want to live!) as I can get!
So that's it! A peek into my lil home-based world! Thanks for visiting!
Feel free to drop me a line anytime! firstname.lastname@example.org