Why I started Homestead Soapery?
2020 sure has started with a bang. Bushfires, floods, pandemics and civil unrest, and we’ve only hit July.
After a personally horrible 2019, I was sure 2020 was going to be fundamentally better. The thing about being an eternal optimist is that even in bad situations, you find the silver lining, or the door which was really unlocked but because it wasn’t open you didn’t think to go through it.
And I am an eternal optimist. During the pandemic, other than physically not leaving my house during iso and working from home in my regular job, I didn’t feel that much different and my world didn’t change almost at all. See, I come from a culture where preparing and saving food for longer periods of time is totally normal and is a planned process. Whether you’re pickling food to preserve it, making your own sausages and bacon or converting excess fruit to jams, no food is wasted and due to some positively awful European winters, food has to last where your garden and livestock may not.
And while I live in Australia, very far from the homeland of my ancestors, I still have that in me, the need and want to preserve, save, store, create, make, produce. grow and prepare.
Homestead Soapery is only one element of a larger idea and ecosystem I have, but it’s the one I can start straight away. The need for natural, chemical free and clean ingredient soaps comes as a result of many reasons, driven by me and my allergies. Not only do I, as do many others, have a suite of different allergens to food stuffs, environment and medicine, but I also live my life based on a certain set of cultural vignettes, some learned, and some instinctive.
Living in the bush, at last where I live, means we chose to live here because we can aspire to live our lives a certain way. It is not unusual to speak to people around town who live very similarly. Maybe not entirely like us, but very much like us. People are mindful here. People practice zero waste, supporting community and local businesses, sharing food, eating locally (including sourcing produce from local farms and small producers) and mindfulness with the environment we live in.
Homestead Soapery aspires to be one with the environment and community we are part of. See, our soaps have been carefully formulated and created using local raw ingredients wherever possible to ensure that when you use one of our soaps, you can pick up the bar and be sent to a wonderful memory you had visiting here. Whether it was a BBQ with friends, trail rides by the Birman Range, or buying local produce from stalls in front of peoples houses or even the local co-op!
Because all our soaps are handcrafted and small batch, they may not be the same each time. They may look a little bit different, or smell more or less like the first bar you ever purchased. They may be fatter, taller, skinnier or have some fancy dried flower on the top as decoration. And that’s ok. When buying soaps from large chemical companies, you’re buying harsh chemically laden foaming agents that strip your body of its natural oils. And I’m sorry, but no amount of ‘this % amount is safe for human interaction’ is comfort enough for me. Hidden chemicals are everywhere, and the impacts of genetic modification on agriculture is devastating. We don’t support that, nor do we endorse that. We want our soapers to feel safe knowing that whenever they use a soap from Homestead Soapery, they are using something that is as clean and simple as humanly possible, driven by the need to keep things allergy free.
And so, here we are. I’ve heard of this concept of businesses born during the pandemic as corona babies. And I don’t think I’m the only one. Looking at the social media feeds of my friends, they’re all taking on new adventures. Whether they now offer online coaching, or provide educational material on Youtube, or whether they buy the gym in town that is part of their heart and soul – whatever it is they’re doing, it has come from a place of vulnerability and courage which I find absolutely thrilling.
Some people feared that they had to achieve something during the pandemic. And it’s ok if all you did was not have your normal meltdowns or levels of anxiety. But personally for me, and so many of mine, we have had more time to spend on doing everything we want. I personally have noticed a 75% drop in the use of social media, and in general grabbing my phone and looking at it for no reason at all. I write. I read more. I spend time in the garden pulling weeds. I sometimes sit out in the sun and do absolutely nothing at all. But overall, the pandemic has given me time to truly challenge my old limiting beliefs and have courage to face my vulnerability head on. Living my life aligned with my core values feels sublime, and I don’t want to ever not be doing it.
So there you have it. The story behind why we started. We hope you’ll stay with us for the ride, and become part of the Homestead family. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and follow our socials for updates on product launches and other fun stuff!