Athens, Georgia, known for its enormous college and crazed football fans, also has an engaging artist community. One market is not enough to contain them all. Athens Farmers Market, in Athens, and Oconee Farmers Market, in nearby Watkinsville, feature fresh produce, and handmade goods from March to November each year.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, is one of those places far enough away to escape the rat race of Washington, DC. And still close enough to be a getaway spot for DC metro residents. That’s how I think of it, as a place to escape to a friends family house where fresh crabs and wild horses can be admired.
So when I found Soapomoke River‘s shop, I knew I had to check it out. I was tempted right away by the River Otter Soap, and Blackwater Honeysuckle Lotion Bar. Ah, good smells, no chemicals, and good memories.
I was even happier when my order arrived. The Blackwater Honeysuckle Lotion Bar is smooth and melts easily on the skin. And it smells wonderful. It also comes packaged in a small travel size, perfect to toss in your purse or backpack.
On small note for vegans, the first ingredient of the lotion bars is beeswax. But the cold processed soaps are vegan friendly.
The River Otter and Neem Oil Bug Repellant soaps are cold processed, and unique. The Neem Oil smells a lot like a citronella candle. Which is great, if you’re going to be outdoors. I love that I can just give the soap to my child at bath time and not have to fuss with bug spray when we’re going out the door.
The River Otter has a grainy feeling from the kelp it contains. And the smell does make me think of a river. It also has a nice rustic look.
Also shown, is the In the Buff solid lotion bar. I have not tried it yet. But it has the same ingredient list as the Blackwater Honeysuckle. And smells nice too.
Many of Soapomoke River’s products are named for the surrounding area. So when you visit the shop and you’ll get a bit of a geography lesson. Or if you’ve lived nearby, like I have, a trip down memory lane.
The one commercial product that I haven’t been able to completely eliminate from my cosmetic case is lipstick. I love red lipstick. And I’ve been hoping to find a handmade, non-toxic alternative to my former favorite brand of lipstick, which lands firmly on the most wanted list for lead content.
It is true. I can’t touch an avocado without risk of anaphylactic shock but own two of the four most lead laden lipsticks sold in America.
A variety of handcrafted goods are available to enjoy around the house. Soaps and soft furnishings are only the beginning. Knitted goods and polymer clay can add to the uniqueness of your surroundings.
Brenda, at knittedfrenzy, offers shawls, coffee cozies, and cowls, in a variety of yarns in her Etsy shop. I was pleased to find a shawl made of soft acrylic yarn. Most of the shawls that I see are made of wool, which is fantastic if you can wear wool. But I cannot. So finding something warm, and not itchy is always a nice surprise for me.
Sugar and salt are naturally occurring exfoliants. Consider peppermint scented salt scrubs for tough knees and elbows. And more gentle sugar scrubs to soothe chapped lips.