TAMPA, Fla. - For years, Maegan Griffin wanted to try making her own soap. Six years ago, she noticed her daughter would have skin reactions to many store-bought baby soaps. That was the final push she needed to try soap-making.
"We decided that we would try something that would make her have a little bit more fun a bath time," Griffin recalled.
Maegan and her husband Chris tried to make what is now known as a "Plain Jane" bar. It, like many of their homemade soaps, has a minimal amount of ingredients, usually consisting of lye, oils and butters.
The Griffins made soaps for themselves. Four years ago, friends and family caught on.
"We would have friends that would come over. They would just slide a $5 bill onto our mantle, and they would just take a bar as they left," Maegan Griffin said.
The Griffins now run Chopping Block Soap Company. They sell that original "Plain Jane" bar, along with 10 to 15 others, like customer-favorite "The Darkness," which has tea tree and eucalyptus in it.
The soaps all have fun names like "Gingah Bread," because, yes, it smells like a gingerbread cookie.
They sell online and at local markets, where presentation is key. They place bars of soaps on a wood chopping block board.
"When people have never met us before, they'll come over to us and say 'What is it?' We usually ask them 'What do you think it is?'. We've had multiple people say cheese. A lot of people have said fudge, so fudge is a little more of a good icebreaker," Maegan said. "That's when the fun comes in because that's when I can explain to them that it's actually soap, and then when their mind is blown, we can explain which soap is which."
The Griffins make two to six soap loaves a week. Each loaf makes about 10 bars.
LINK: For more information, you can visit: www.choppingblocksoap.com