The Essential Olive, Debbie McHugh
● By Enjoy Magazine
The Soap MakerDecember 2014
ENJOY: How did you begin making handmade, organic soaps?
DEBBIE: I love making all that I can from scratch. I believe homemade is the best, and the best for my family. I began with a neighbor teaching me how to make soap from rendered down tallow for the oil and water. My family also struggled with eczema and sensitive skin and was looking for more natural products. The soap is now made from organic olive, palm and coconut oils which have been great for our skin - no more eczema and no more skin irritations.
ENJOY: How did this evolve from a personal need into a business?
DEBBIE: I just loved making soap and seeing the whole process from start to finish, so you can imagine, I had more soap than my family could possibly use. When I moved to Redding, I had some customers encourage me that I had a really great product and I should go into business with my soap. I then got my business license and started making more. I also participated in local events like Roses & Rust and craft fairs, and I began selling in retail stores such as Enjoy the Store and Country Organics. The sales continue to grow.
ENJOY: What are the benefits of a product without additives?
DEBBIE: The product is actually benefiting your skin and not drying it out, causing allergic reactions or other intolerances to your body. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and everything that it absorbs goes into your bloodstream. Thus, you only want the good stuff, all natural, going into your body so that you can live a healthy, balanced life.
ENJOY: Who is your typical customer?
DEBBIE: My typical customer is a person looking for a quality product that will benefit their health, whether it be from soap, natural lip balms, organic sea salt scrubs, massage oils or body butters.
ENJOY: What are the benefits of essential oils?
DEBBIE: Essential oils are natural oils from plants that can be used for aromatherapy. For instance, lavender is calming and lemongrass is invigorating and lift your spirits. Peppermint is used for nausea and infections, and eucalyptus can be used for muscle aches and joint stiffness. By using them in soaps and other products, I have found that essential oils have helped me and others with headaches, sore muscles and nausea.
ENJOY: What is your philosophy?
DEBBIE: I believe in living simply, enjoying life to the fullest and becoming who God created you to be. Many times we are overextended and life can be complicated. One way I simplify my life is that I use my soap for different purposes. It is used as soap in the shower and at the sink, laundry soap, stain remover, shampoo and for washing dishes. Living simply ... one day at a time.