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  • Toll Free: 888-918-2346
  • Store Address & Hours:
    3830 7th Street SE Calgary, Alberta
    Tues&Wed 11am to 5pm | Thurs Noon to 7pm | Fri Noon to 6pm | Sat Noon to 4pm
    Always closed on Long weekends

Press Releases

Bath bombs, away, at Soap & More

Retailer sells ingredients to make bodycare items

Gina Teel, Calgary Herald

Published: Monday, December 03, 2007

Small Business

Soap & More, The Learning Centre Inc.

- Carries everything needed to make natural soaps, lotions, shampoos and makeup from scratch;


Maureen Oliver, of Soap & More, The Learning Centre Inc., tosses a "snowball" (a.k.a. a bath bomb) which people can buy the ingredients for and learn to make at her store, which specializes in teaching people how to make many personal products.

Ted Jacob, Calgary Herald

- Provides recipes and offers workshops so customers can learn how to make their own products at home;

- Most popular essential oils are lavender, peppermint, sweet orange.

Be it through a sense of style or personal flair, people generally like to express their uniqueness at a far deeper level than what the latest fashion trend allows.

This personal statement can be taken one step farther at Soap & More, The Learning Centre Inc., which carries all the ingredients to custom-make natural bodycare products from scratch.

Store owner Maureen Oliver said, hands-down, customer favourites are lotions and soaps, both in terms of ingredients bought at the store or from her online shop, and demand for the how-to workshops Soap & More offers, the next lot due to start soon.

People just don't want to buy the soaps in the stores anymore, she said.

"Once you use a natural soap, it's like, 'Who wants to go back to that (store bought)?," Oliver said.

"People want to know what goes in it, and they want to control that in some way."

As the name suggests, Soap & More carries all the ingredients for, and offers workshops in, making mineral makeup for eyes, face and lips; natural personal hygiene items like deodorant and toothpaste; natural home cleaning products; baby products; and fun items like bath bombs, bath truffles and scented bath salts.

The store stocks a wide variety of dried botanicals which can be used for therapeutic, aromatic or decorative purposes; the latter in everything from soaps to bathbombs to potpourris.

There's a good selection of essential oils, one-third of which are pesticide-free, which can be used to scent a product, custom-blend a perfume, or make a therapeutic body balm or salve.

The most popular essential oil is lavender, followed by peppermint and sweet orange. The most expensive essential oil is a beautifully scented rose oil so dear it's stored behind the counter. The most expensive ingredient in the store is kukui nut oil, which is used in face products.

There's a separate line of man-made fragrance oils for use in soaps, lotions, and shampoos.

Coloured minerals, such as mica, titanium dioxide, zinc and iron oxides, as well as natural colourants, are used in makeup, eyeshadows, mascara and blushes or for colouring bath bombs. Zinc oxide can be blended into lotion or cream as a natural SPF.

Soap & More carries a range of coarse sea salts to make popular salt scrubs for the body. Choices range from organic salt from France to Dead Sea Salt from Jerusalem, to Bolivian Rose, Bali Reef and pink-hued Himalayan salt.

A variety sugar scrubs are available as well, as are a range of oils, including avocado, aloe vera, coconut, rice bran, evening primrose and borage. Shea butter and beeswax are popular ingredients, too.

Quality ingredients are key, Oliver said.

"If you have good ingredients, you can have a finished product as good as anything from Paris, as far as I'm concerned, because it's about what you put into the product," she said.

Of course, customers aren't just buying ingredients -- they're also getting the benefit of Oliver's knowledge and know-how, and that of her staff. Oliver said people love that she can help them accomplish their projects.

"Someone might come into my store and say, 'Look I've got this recipe and I don't like this ingredient -- how do I substitute it?' she said.

"So we'll help them with that, or to eliminate or substitute something, because in soap, for instance, you can't just substitute one oil for another because they have different values and the soap might not turn out."

In addition to ingredients, the store has soap cutters, plastic trays and moulds and thermometers. There's shaped moulds for bath bombs as well.

A natural melt-and-pour soap is available for those who yearn to make their own soap, just not from scratch.

Similarly, the store sells a lip balm base, which can be melted and added to using a scent, essential oils or flavour oils, and put it into a little container for personalized lip balms.

Soap & More carries a variety of containers with which to dispense finished product, right down to little bags for potpourri sachets.

Oliver, a former partner in a company that sold corporate insurance, started the business nearly 10 years ago, working out of the basement of her house.

She later moved to another home in Marda Loop, operating her business out of the attached garage. Oliver moved to her current 1,700-square-foot retail store-front location nearly five years ago, and grew her business from there.

Today, workshops comprise about 20 per cent of Oliver's business, the online store 25 per cent, and the rest is foot traffic.

Customers range from teenagers to people simply fed up with buying store-bought soaps, she said.

Count Oliver and her husband among the latter.

"I make my own deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo. We do follow what we preach," she said.
 

Bath bombs, away, at Soap & More

Retailer sells ingredients to make bodycare items

Gina Teel, Calgary Herald

Published: Monday, December 03, 2007

Small Business

Soap & More, The Learning Centre Inc.

- Carries everything needed to make natural soaps, lotions, shampoos and makeup from scratch;

 

Maureen Oliver prepares items she calls snowballs, an effervescent bath bomb that adds some sparkle to bathing.

Photograph by : Ted Jacob, Calgary Herald
- Provides recipes and offers workshops so customers can learn how to make their own products at home;

- Most popular essential oils are lavender, peppermint, sweet orange.

Be it through a sense of style or personal flair, people generally like to express their uniqueness at a far deeper level than what the latest fashion trend allows.

This personal statement can be taken one step farther at Soap & More, The Learning Centre Inc., which carries all the ingredients to custom-make natural bodycare products from scratch.

Store owner Maureen Oliver said, hands-down, customer favourites are lotions and soaps, both in terms of ingredients bought at the store or from her online shop, and demand for the how-to workshops Soap & More offers, the next lot due to start soon.

People just don't want to buy the soaps in the stores anymore, she said.

"Once you use a natural soap, it's like, 'Who wants to go back to that (store bought)?," Oliver said.

"People want to know what goes in it, and they want to control that in some way."

As the name suggests, Soap & More carries all the ingredients for, and offers workshops in, making mineral makeup for eyes, face and lips; natural personal hygiene items like deodorant and toothpaste; natural home cleaning products; baby products; and fun items like bath bombs, bath truffles and scented bath salts.

The store stocks a wide variety of dried botanicals which can be used for therapeutic, aromatic or decorative purposes; the latter in everything from soaps to bathbombs to potpourris.

There's a good selection of essential oils, one-third of which are pesticide-free, which can be used to scent a product, custom-blend a perfume, or make a therapeutic body balm or salve.

The most popular essential oil is lavender, followed by peppermint and sweet orange. The most expensive essential oil is a beautifully scented rose oil so dear it's stored behind the counter. The most expensive ingredient in the store is kukui nut oil, which is used in face products.

There's a separate line of man-made fragrance oils for use in soaps, lotions, and shampoos.

Coloured minerals, such as mica, titanium dioxide, zinc and iron oxides, as well as natural colourants, are used in makeup, eyeshadows, mascara and blushes or for colouring bath bombs. Zinc oxide can be blended into lotion or cream as a natural SPF.

Soap & More carries a range of coarse sea salts to make popular salt scrubs for the body. Choices range from organic salt from France to Dead Sea Salt from Jerusalem, to Bolivian Rose, Bali Reef and pink-hued Himalayan salt.

A variety sugar scrubs are available as well, as are a range of oils, including avocado, aloe vera, coconut, rice bran, evening primrose and borage. Shea butter and beeswax are popular ingredients, too.

Quality ingredients are key, Oliver said.

"If you have good ingredients, you can have a finished product as good as anything from Paris, as far as I'm concerned, because it's about what you put into the product," she said.

Of course, customers aren't just buying ingredients -- they're also getting the benefit of Oliver's knowledge and know-how, and that of her staff. Oliver said people love that she can help them accomplish their projects.

"Someone might come into my store and say, 'Look I've got this recipe and I don't like this ingredient -- how do I substitute it?' she said.

"So we'll help them with that, or to eliminate or substitute something, because in soap, for instance, you can't just substitute one oil for another because they have different values and the soap might not turn out."

In addition to ingredients, the store has soap cutters, plastic trays and moulds and thermometers. There's shaped moulds for bath bombs as well.

A natural melt-and-pour soap is available for those who yearn to make their own soap, just not from scratch.

Similarly, the store sells a lip balm base, which can be melted and added to using a scent, essential oils or flavour oils, and put it into a little container for personalized lip balms.

Soap & More carries a variety of containers with which to dispense finished product, right down to little bags for potpourri sachets.

Oliver, a former partner in a company that sold corporate insurance, started the business nearly 10 years ago, working out of the basement of her house.

She later moved to another home in Marda Loop, operating her business out of the attached garage. Oliver moved to her current 1,700-square-foot retail store-front location nearly five years ago, and grew her business from there.

Today, workshops comprise about 20 per cent of Oliver's business, the online store 25 per cent, and the rest is foot traffic.

Customers range from teenagers to people simply fed up with buying store-bought soaps, she said.

Count Oliver and her husband among the latter.

"I make my own deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo. We do follow what we preach," she said.

gteel@theherald.canwest.com