Friday, 27 May 2011

Feature Friday - New Earth Soaps

This week's featured artist is another fellow Australian artisan and DUST member and I can personally attest to the beauty of her products.  Let me introduce Karen of New Earth Soaps.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you live? 
I currently live in Bunbury, Western Australia. It's a port city with lots of busy, hard working people. My artistic side is my escape from that world. I feel I don't fit in. I know I don't belong. But I have a future coming soon, in the most beautiful town on the south coast called Denmark. It's an artists feast. I can't wait for the first day of the rest of my life.
I do have a dayjob. I work in a little health shop with the most amazing people. My boss and co-worker are both Naturopaths and I learn from them something new everyday. I can use my knowledge of healthy skincare and the dangers of many toxic commercial ingredients to help customers make more informed decisions. I feel I am doing a little bit of good each day.

Describe yourself in five words.
Relentless
Dreamer
Tree-hugger
Intuitive
Respectful

When and how did you first start crafting/creating?
I sewed a lot when I was a kid. We lived in this big old house that had a few out-buildings. One used to be for the generator and the other for storing the coal. We had one converted to a sewing room. It was packed full of stuff and I used to make my own toys and dolls outfits from scraps. I'd watch an old black and white movie, then go and create a dolls costume modelled on what the leading lady wore.
I once upon a time could draw too. That ability seems to be MIA right now but I plan for it to return someday soon.
 


What do you create and what are your favourite materials with which to work?
I create handmade soaps and skincare items such as lip balms, creams and scrubs and I am just developing some new oil based perfumes right now. I am really enjoying that, putting my aromatherapy knowledge to use in blending my very own fragrances. It's a slow process, getting them just right, but I am loving it.
My favourite materials, well, thats a tough question. I love so many, but right now, I am enjoying using some new essential oils I have just introduced to my collection; sweet marjoram, clary sage, rosalina, rosewood and clementine. I love the healing properties of jojoba oil and rosehip oil too.
 

When and how did you start selling online?
It's been a little over 2 years ago I found etsy. It can be fun, especially since I became a part of the DUST team (www.dustteam.com.au) but I am frustrated at times that I can't give it my full and undivided attention. I need to work my day job right now, but when I move south, the story will be quite different.
Right now, my store, well my whole business really is having a bit of a transformation. A good friend is designing me a fresh new logo, something that represents new life. The overall look will be earthier, more natural. It's putting some things on hold till it's done, but it will be worth the wait. I just know it.
 


Describe your store in five words
Earthy and natural with much growing to be done. (You'll see lots of new things over winter. Watch this space!)
 

Who or what are the influences behind your creations?
I haven't really been influenced by anyone in particular recently, but in my early years of choosing a life devoid of chemicals and unnecessary additives, the great Anita Roddick of the original Body Shop was an inspiration, both in business and her pursuit of all natural and fair trade ingredients for her products.
I have always believed that a product doesn't need to be snow white or a pretty perfect pink to be beautiful and function well. It just needs to be of great quality and of a sympathetic blend to address the situation or problem. My recipes start off as a tiny idea, then I will research ingredients, looking for the best ones to use, then formulate, experiment and test, over and over till it's just right. And I know when it's just right, it just is.
 


Do you ever get "creator's block"?  And how do you get past it, if you do?
Creators block can be common, especially if you work hard at a day job too, have a lot going on in your life and sometimes your all important creative outlet which doubles as all important therapy gets left until last. I find that when I have some of that precious time and space, firstly you must look after yourself. Often I want to dive in to my soapy lab and get on with it, but I am better off taking time out and getting myself off to yoga or an afternoon exploring a beautiful beach or forest. It may feel a touch guilty at first, but creativity flows so much more after you spend some quality time in your happy place. 

Where can we find you online? (FB, Twitter, store, Flickr, blog, etc)
Website - http://www.newearthsoaps.com.au/
Web Store - http://www.newearthsoaps.com.au/shop.htm
Etsy Store - http://www.etsy.com/shop/newearthsoaps
FB - https://www.facebook.com/newearthsoaps
Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/newearthsoaps
 
SPECIAL OFFER:
Have you enjoyed reading about Karen and her beautiful soapy creations?  Karen is offering readers a discount on her soaps and body products.  She says:

"This time of the year is kinda like my end of season. My biggest soap production time is during the wet winter months, so please bear with me as my stock levels are a bit all over the place. Just use the coupon code "endofseasonsale2011" for a 15% discount off everything in my store."

7 comments:

  1. Yay for soapy goodness. Lovely to read more about you Karen. I hope your new life in Denmark comes sooner rather than later for you.

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  2. Loved reading that. I'm a huge fan of New Earth Soaps! :)

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  3. thanks beautiful people. Shelley, never thought one could fall in love with a place so hard. It has an incredible art culture, nature and community. When I get there, I want you all to come and visit. ;))

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  4. The soap looks edible!





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    Have a safe & fun weekend!
    http://christiecottage.blogspot.com

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  5. Will be great when you get down this way Kaz. We are heading out there tonight for an overnight stay and 40th party . It's going to be great. Will wave to your block on the way by :0)

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  6. Lovely reading Karen :-) Your soaps look delish.. and I love the sound of your sewing room when you were a kid... that gave me a lovely tingly feeling :-)

    ... and i don't know why I wasn't following this blog before... but I am now :-)

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I love finding out what my readers think, so thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment!

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