Posted on November 11 2015
Since this is our 1st official blog post, I thought that it would be appropriate to introduce ourselves. I am Janet, Stephen's Mom. Stephen is the guy with the beard in the picture, holding his nephew, my Grandson, John Brooks. Stephen owns and operates Summer Shade Soap Company and as his Mom, I help him with what I can, like blogging when I am up to it. Since most of his customers are women, you can probably relate to me more that with a hippy guy in his 20's!
To help you understand why I am blogging, our back story should be helpful. This all started with the death of my sister, Sherry. Sherry was an Emergency Room Physician for over 27 years. Only July 6, 2012, Sherry passed away after a long and very brave battle with breast cancer. Being a medical doctor for so many years, it was Sherry's belief that most of the rise in terminal and chronic illness that she witnessed is caused by our environment, meaning the foods we eat and the products that we put into and on our bodies. The last several years of Sherry's life she changed the foods she ate and the products she used to much more natural alternatives. Sherry began eating a clean diet and using all natural, chemical free cleaning, bath and body products. She ended up living at least 3 years longer than any Doctor said that she had a chance to. She did have a hard time finding vegan options for a lot of her needs so we fixed that issue!
On the subject of chronic illness, I have Lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that effects my entire body. I suffer from horrible insomnia, chronic pain, extremely fatigue, just to name a few. Before Sherry's death, she and I had many conversations about illness and the effects our environment plays in everything that we do. With her encouragement, I started making changes in my life and began making my own vinegar based cleaning products for our home. One thing led to another and I tried my hand at making homemade soaps and body products.
Stephen is an artist by education and by trade. He is a sculptor to be exact. After gaining a degree in Ceramic Sculpture he ended up delivering pizza for a living. He came home once (probably to do his laundry) and watched me making soap. Being in a dead end job, Stephen decided that he was going to do something positive with his life and for our community. He begin researching soap making and everything that goes along with that. He researched herbs, essential oils and all things holistic. After many months of formulating his soap recipes he began selling his soaps at a very small, local farmers' market. The response has been overwhelming and his adventure to make a little extra money has turned into a full time job and a real business. He now has 22 retail locations and he participates weekly in many farmers' markets and festivals, in addition to having a online store. His products are handcrafted, natural (most are vegan), sustainable and eco-friendly and the BEST products that you can find anywhere!! Who would have ever guessed that he is a soap genius??
I will be the one blogging most of the time and whoever does the blogging will sign it so you are know who you are dealing with. Stephen will blog at least once a month from a male perspective but he signs his name with crazy things like "Cowboy Dog". Me, I am not so creative, I will just sign as Janet! We will blog about our products, of course, but also about things that influence our lives and our health. We invite for you to leave your comments, opinions, experiences, advice and thoughts. We will screen each response to make sure that it is aboveboard and relevant to our conversations. We will not tolerate anything crude, rude or political. There are a lot of places for that but this blog isn't it.
We will discuss topics like: Clean Eating, Making Your Own Cleaning Products, Homesteading, Great Recipes and just about anything else that you want to talk about. I will try to have a new blog post up every Saturday, a little more often if there is something blog worthy. I hope that you will join the conversations!