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Local Soap-Making Business Making a Splash

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1 Niverville Soap Making Business Making A Splash Pic1 Crop
Candace Alarie, owner of SOAK Bath Co. Rebecca Dueck Photography

SOAK Bath Co, owned by Niverville entrepreneur Candace Alarie, has recently received national attention for its handcrafted luxury bath and body products. SOAK features Alarie’s homemade, all-natural recipes for soap and shampoo bars wrapped in biodegradable seed paper packaging.

The zero-waste business concept, along with the quality of the bath products, earned SOAK a feature in Canada’s House & Home magazine.

In March, SOAK was accepted to exhibit at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto, run by Informa, an international organization with a mission to provide business connections and opportunities to specialist entrepreneurs. The opportunity to attend the renowned market is an achievement, and it was there that an editor for House & Home approached Alarie looking to feature SOAK in the bathroom inspiration section of the publication’s spring/summer issue.

“The feature [in House & Home] focused on the artistry of my zero-waste soap bars,” says Alarie. “Each soap and shampoo bar is wrapped with a biodegradable, plantable seed paper label, so you can plant the label and it will grow into wildflowers. The magazine feature was an incredible opportunity, and quite honestly it was entirely surreal. Opening the page to that feature in May really helped to validate the work it took to get to that point and the tough decisions that had to be made to get there.”

The product line includes soap and shampoo bars, bath melts, and salt soaks which are made with all-natural ingredients—and all but one are vegan. Natural oils, butters, salts, powders, and clays are used to create beautiful bath luxuries that are nourishing for the body and moisturizing for the skin.

Finding ways to sooth skin irritation was one of the reasons Alarie started to make her own line of skincare products.

“I started looking for alternatives to manage my eczema,” says Alarie. “I’ve always had a knack for arts and crafts, so naturally I started learning how to make soap from items in my pantry. After using soap and body care products made with oils and butters, not detergents, my eczema started to heal and I’m proud to report it has not come back since.”

Alarie’s decision to start SOAK stemmed from a passion for creative arts and finding the process of soap-making, blending colours, and experimenting with designs to be very fun. In 2018, she had enough soap boars to start attending craft shows, and in March 2019 she left a ten-year career in management to pursue making soap as a full-time business.

Alarie’s experience has given her a message to pass along for young entrepreneurs.

“Aim high. Dream big and stop playing small. It takes just as much energy to tell yourself why you can’t do something as it does to tell yourself you can do something,” says Alarie. “Start challenging the things you’ve told yourself you can’t do and dare to tell yourself you can do it. It can be life-changing and as an entrepreneur can make the difference between success or failure of your venture.”

Since the Toronto market and the House & Home feature, the business has grown quickly and SOAK products are now available at 50 retailers across Canada. Locally, you can find SOAK at Anya’s Hair Studio as well as locations in Steinbach, Winkler, and Winnipeg. Alarie will also be attending many upcoming craft shows and markets, including the Whitetail Meadow Market in Niverville on December 1.

For more information

For further details about which craft shows SOAK will be at, and where to find SOAK products, follow SOAK Bath Co. on Instagram: @cksoakbathco

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