Doing more good than harm has been my motto, a guiding force in my life.
I haven’t always lived like this, at some point things changed.
As a kid I had no idea about what was harm. I lived on a farm. My clothes were hand made which I thought awful at the time – fittings, fittings and more fittings was too much standing in one place for me. I wore furs from the time I could remember what I wore. Little fur coats, a fur hat with pom-poms and even a muff. I had no idea fur coats were not the best use for animals. And, if I were in the wild, I would wear a fur coat sans the pom-poms.
We ate all we raised, which means we killed our animals. There was a rule – we told someone when one of us went to the lift-top freeze in the garage. Occasionally we’d hear of someone who fell in and died. That put fear into the parents when our freezer supply got low and we had to reach in deep. All I knew of meat was white paper-wrapped pieces of meat with black marker names, “chicken”, “pheasants”, “quail”, “goose”, “duck”, “turkey”… We had a large garden too, which us-kids had to weed, canned all we produced and found great pride in not needing to go to the local grocer for anything other than milk. We didn’t have a cow.
My clothes – although originally were hand-sewn, which my Swedish-Lutheran mother proudly boasted over the top of my custom designed birthday cake – turned into hand-me-downs from my older cousin. No more custom clothes for me. One day mother was there controlling my clothes, the next… Evaporated. Gone.
I cherished my new-for-me cool clothes from my cousin, Billy Jean. She was cool and so, of course, her clothes were cool no matter what she gave me. Billy Jean was happy, laughed a lot and was so funny… She too evaporated. Gone.
That changed me.
As an adult I have done my level best to not be a burden to this world or those around me. I have recycled and bought recycled everything, in other words “used”, pass down, old, even though I can afford to buy new. My thinking has been, why create more if there already is enough?
I bought farm fresh free-range meat and eggs until the lovely little farm was closed. I sensed shenanigans were afoot, and that farm got the crap end of the political stick.
I even recycled horses, dogs, birds and cats for awhile. I took other people’s broken animals, unwanted creatures, healed them, trained them to understand humans (since humans are terrible at understanding animals) and re-homed them with loving, responsible people. You know what? The same people who created those wounded beings continued to do the same. They didn’t learn by my efforts. So I quit.
All this is from a person who didn’t talk about these things, but just got to the “doing” of them.
I’m doing my level best to make a low impact, good-for-you, enjoyable soaps. Its that simple. I also support those who seem similar minded in the industry. I want to make soaping fun and make tools available. So, I imported some fondant tools and cookie cutters, a custom ordered 60 piece set – all the things I thought someone could use.
It was a good deal of effort. It took us about six months to get it all together, but we started looking into it about a year ago. Forget what the youtubers say that importing can be done in a few weeks. Ugh. Just to get samples took weeks.
I’m looking into why we use silk in soap? What types are best and all the pros and cons of buying silk.
This world is an amazing place. I’ve forced myself to do without for most of my life. Now, I’m living with what is, verses what I want it to be. I use lard in soaps. I simply have not found a better ingredient than lard. Oh, and I did grow up with it, and it wasn’t bad for you then, (and is still not bad for you now). I don’t agree with the way we farm animals today, and still there are by-products that can be utilized. Do my dollars support horrible husbandry? Or do I offset it by not buying new (except for soap stuff)? A complex issue I do not have answer for, but I keep putting my motto forward, strive to do more good than harm. Now with the caveat, “do not sacrifice the self”.
P.S. Truman had been left on the side of the road along with his two litter mates, as puppies. When I met him, I knew he was a keeper-dog. He’s a kind, discriminating, clever dog and I’m glad to call him family. I see great value in things others do not, even in animals and people, what others have discarded. I was one, once.