After making soap at a local community BOCES class just one time I became mesmerized with the process. It was if I had become immediately addicted.
Founder of Finger Lakes Soap Co.
History of Our Soaps
Finger Lakes Soap Co. began in 1997 in a small rural town in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Soap making has been my muse, master and canvas ever since discovering the lost “chore” in 1997 at a local community BOCES class. I don’t know if it was the complete transformation of the unseemingly paired basic household ingredients that ended in soap, or the creative efforts put forth in the colors, designs and scents that pulled me in. As I honed my soaping skills in my parent’s farmhouse kitchen in Van Etten I could only see ahead to become a Saippua Kauppias (Finnish Palindrome meaning Soap Merchant). I thought of nothing else. My long time Finnish comrade, Albert Bosk, asked me on more than one occasion “How can something as mundane as soap occupy so much time with a mind like yours?” I only knew that the way I saw the world all reflected back to me as soap. Colors, scents, herbs, road signs, the color of the lakes, whatever…could all be applied to soaping. This stream of input would become filed away to someday to be re-created as Impressionistic style artisanal soap.
The original name of my soap company was Sisu Soap. Sisu is a unique Finnish concept. It stands for the philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless of what it takes. Sisu is a special strength and persistent determination and resolve to continue and overcome in the moment of adversity…an almost magical quality, a combination of stamina, perseverance, courage, and determination held in reserve for hard times. Sisu was what it took to sell my soaps locally at the grocery store and Mc Ann’s Restaurant. I was working a full time job, beginning a newspaper (The Country Press), and self-marketing my soap. I recall those hard times, and deliriously long work days, now very fondly because I was unknowingly working towards building my dream. Jobs to pay the bills changed over the next few years, but my love of concocting common ingredients into soap never waned.
Birth of a New Company Name-
In 2005, I joined a small group of local artisans and handcrafters to form The ArtHouse! in my hometown. It was at that point that I decided to expand my soap business, change the company name, and pursue the goals of having my soaps be recognized by our region, and further. Since I am located at the hub the Finger Lakes Region, it became my natural market area and hence the birth of the new company name. It is my desire to become a common household finding. After all, most people do use soap.
So, why not use mine?
Rise. Shower. Shine On.