Meet The Team: Sheila Cooke

Who makes Apple Valley Natural Soap products? We actually have quite a few incredible team members who put a lot of love into the delicate process that is crafting Apple Valley Natural Soap products. Today is all about one of our senior soap makers, Sheila! Sheila makes both AVNS bar and liquid Castile soaps.

What does a day making soap look like?

“I often make 2 batches in a day. This includes mixing the lye, measuring out all the butters, oils, and those wonderful- smelling essential oils,  and pouring the soap into two 30 inch molds.  These get cut by hand 2 days later after they’ve hardened up.”

Sheila is one of our soap makers who makes soap out of her home. She is a huge blessing to AVNS because she’s very knowledgeable about soap and continues to research and grow that knowledge. Sheila has a space set up specifically designated for everything soap in her home, which is clean, efficient…and has a great commute.

What are some of your favorite products?

“I love so many of the soaps, and it’s too hard to pick just a few! I LOVE citrus- our Grapefruit Mint soap comes to mind. I also love the smell of cocoa butter- try our Cocoa Butter Vanilla Bean! A newer soap that I love is Root Beer Float- dreamy! This last soap is more complicated to make,  but it’s definitely worth it!” What makes a certain soap more complicated to make? Apple Valley Natural Soap prides itself on crafting soaps that not only work wonders for hair and skin, but also have a unique look and scent. The Root Beer Float soap is such a soap, as Sheila explains what goes into the intricacy of crafting such a creative bar of soap, “The Rootbeer Float soap is a layered soap- it has a dark brown bottom layer (colored with Rhassoul clay) and a lighter, frothy- looking top layer,  so there are extra steps involved.  It gets even trickier because of the essential oils used to give it that wonderful smell- they make the soap set up super quickly and therefore you need to work VERY efficiently.” Order and timing is everything when crafting small batches of artisan soap!

Had you ever made soap before joining Apple Valley Natural Soap?

“My family and I have always looked for natural products, and we were already AVNS customers to some extent. We made a few things ourselves- toothpaste and deodorant-   but making soap is something I had never tried before joining the AVNS team.”

Sheila’s Quilt!

What do you enjoy doing with your free time?

“My husband and I have 6 school-age children whom I have the privilege of homeschooling.  This, along with making soap,  doesn’t leave a lot of time for hobbies,  but any extra time I get,  I LOVE to go to my sewing room and work on one of my many quilting projects.”

And my favorite question: If there was a bar of soap called the Sheila Bar, what would it be like?!

“Hmmm, tough one! Maybe a lemon-based bar with hints of the essential oil ylang ylang? I’ll need to try that one personally! Another thought is a coffee/chocolate/mint combination,  since I’m such a coffee lover!”

Yum, I’m down to try either of those bars! Check out our other Featured Team Members, and keep an eye out for the next one!

Much Love,

Nora

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