"Inspired by Nature, Founded in Science and Hand Crafted with Care"
I make soap. You all know I love doing that. But you may be wondering why Hammer Soaps exists at all. What am I trying to bring to the world here? Why, when there are already established bath & body companies, am I bothering?
That, is an easy answer. Easy, but a bit long winded, so buckle up.
First, the whole reason I started making soap in the briefest way I can tell it. I used a bar of real soap I had gotten as a stocking stuffer and it was pretty good. It wasn't great, but I thought it was neat. I also wondered what went into making real soap and I wondered if it was possible for me to do it, so I started researching. Being the crafty sort of person I am, once I found out what to do, I wanted to try my hand at it. I figured out what I may have liked and didn't like about the soap I had already used and decided to make some that I would like better. So I did. And it was AMAZING! Well, that sort of overlapped with a whole bunch of other bath and body products I had been using throughout the years which means I've come up with a whole mess of recipes for stuff that I've made and tweaked and used, sold, and even given away.
My current party trick is picking up a cosmetic, a lotion, or a wash or whatever and being able to tell you what each ingredient does in the product and why it's there. And if I don't recognize an ingredient, I look it up and can then gain an understanding as to what it brings. My husband finds this amusing. I've looked at an awful lot of products and seen an awful lot I don't like. Now, you may think you know what I'm talking about, and your mind might automatically go to the current demons that are trendy such as parabens, dyes, fragrances or other "chemicals". Not this time, that wasn't my beef. No, I was getting ripped off, and that made me mad.
Hammer Soaps is all about skin care with naturally derived ingredients, potent active ingredients (nature derived or manufactured), put together in a way that makes it effective, without sacrificing aesthetic. I was reading the ingredients on several natural lotions and saw nothing more than common oils, an emulsifier, water, and some fragrance. Now, that's all well and good and sometimes simple and natural can be best, but I'm not paying $35 for an ounce of product when there is barely $1.00 worth of value in the jar! And also, when looking at the less natural alternatives, I saw some active ingredients listed prominently on the front label as one of its "features" (truth in product labeling is another sore spot with me, but that is a rant for another day). Some of those active ingredients sound sexy, but just look for them on the ingredients list. If they are there at all.
See, cosmetic ingredients are listed in alphabetical order by prominence, you know, greatest to least? So, when it comes to the percentage of an ingredient in a product, the most should be listed first and then so on and so forth in alphabetical order. Now, do you know where those "active ingredients" were listed? Near the bottom, in the 1% zone AFTER the preservatives (which may be less than 0.5%). Now, one of these actives I know for a fact can safely be used up to 30% and still see efficacy at as little as 5%. Basically, they charged a mint using the active ingredient as a selling point and then put in so little as to be completely ineffective. *breath Julie, just breath*
Anyways, that's bull and I can do better.
So I will do better. Hammer Soaps will be creating products with the best active ingredients that nature and science have to offer. They will be made to be safe and effective and worth every penny. Not to mention fun. Skin and body care products can be so much fun, there's no reason that "better for you" has to be bland. And also, because I've been let down so often by products, I'm packaging up smaller, sample size versions that make it easy for you try before spending more money on the full sized products (even though I just know you'll love them!). And, they won't be in those messy little one-time-use foil pouches either. My fun size products will be generously portioned mini versions of their full sized counterparts. By using sample packaging that is similar or even the same as the full products', you'll get a consistent user experience between the two. To make life even easier, I'll be doing this all online, so you don't even have to put on pants or even a bra to get them. Bonus! I'll be setting up a subscription box offer so you can have stuff delivered to you with out even having to think about it. It doesn't get much easier or more convenient than that!
Thanks for listening to my rant. I do tend to get a bit... passionate. If you've got similar stories, or have anything else to add, let me know in the comments!
Julie Hammer is the owner of Hammer Soaps Bath & Body.