Bathed in Success

Bathed in Success
by Julia and Wayne Parker, North Carolina

Courtesy of Handmade Business

Julia and Wayne Parker of Whispering Willow Soap Co. are a husband and wife team committed to living and promoting a simpler and more natural way of living. They do this by selling natrual, handcrafted bath and beauty products made in their home using organic ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. Photo By Steven Gold.

We started making natural bath products because Julia has very sensitive skin and is not able to use store bought products. We had several local soap makers that we supported, but decided it would be something fun we could do together. After considerable research, several experiments, and a few mistakes, we finally arrived at a recipe that we were happy with. We started forcing our creations on friends and family members and found that not only did they not complain, they asked for more!

Over the past two and half years we have been blessed with wonderful support, a good bit of luck, and some of the best customers a small business could hope for. We peddle our wares online, at local farmers markets, and at regional craft shows and festivals. Our motto this year has been, 'have tent, will travel!' While all the activity can be tiring, it has given us a chance to see and learn more about our region and meet some wonderfully creative folks.

We are fortunate that the business has grown to the point where it can support me full time.

I left my "corporate" job in January and now enjoy the title of "professional crafter." While we believe Whispering Willow will continue to grow and be able to support Julia as well, we aren't sure what will happen beyond that. We don't know if we want to try to be the next big handmade soap company or remain content for the business to be just big enough for us to handle ourselves. We can only cross that bridge when we come to it!