I'm Julia, creator of Backwoods Trail Handcrafted Soap.
In 2013 my husband Rob and I escaped to a tiny home in rural New Brunswick to walk down a fresh trail. We wanted to spend our time with each other while learning the art of homesteading and ultimately remove ourselves from the hustle culture and instead immerse ourselves in a culture of peace and contentment.
Chickens, goats, bees, dogs (Standard Poodles to be specific), 61 acres and the many diverse activities country life has to offer followed.
Soaping was one of them.
My first recipe was a simple goat milk, coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and lavender bar. Needless to say, it turned out rustically amazing and I was hooked.
The name of my venture came easily. Our favourite time together is listening to nature, exploring our land, and cutting the trails.
"Backwoods", to me, signifies the way we've chosen to exist in this world - a permanent retreat in some ways. A way that might seem "alternative" to some; definitely not the path the modern world would have had us follow.
"Trail" signifies that there is a definite place for me right here; a way to move forward at my own pace.
I hope inspiration from the land, the water, the sunshine and my friendships is obvious in my work.
And most of all I hope the suds keep your skin clean and your soul fresh. <3
How is soap made?
My handmade soaps are made using the cold-process method.
Scientifically, soap is simply oil + lye. Art & creativity makes it a tad complicated.
Oils & butters are chosen, essentials oils added, while dried herbs, clays, grains & seeds are all used to create each hand-designed batch - my recipes are my own.
Why handcrafted soap?
Glycerin is a product of saponification (soap making), it draws moisture to your skin & softens it. Many store-bought soaps have taken this glycerin out, leaving you with an irritating, skin-drying soap bar.
This handcrafted soap contains no harmful additives.
Handcrafted soap is a perfect alternative to mass-produced soaps. It helps people with sensitive skin and all kinds of skin issues by finally pairing them with a product that makes their skin more moisturized & less irritated, which in turn makes your soul happy.
Although I try to keep consistency from batch to batch, each batch ends up totally unique. The swirls and patterns in your soap may differ from the pictures: but I can guarantee they won't be any less beautiful.
What's in it?
My chosen oils are nourishing to the skin - beef tallow, coconut oil, olive oil & shea butter are in most bars. Luxury oils like rice bran, avocado & cocoa butter can be found in some bars.
Activated charcoal & clays are ingredients I chose often, not only for colour. They absorb & exfoliate away built up toxins, dead skin & excessive oils to reduce the size of pores and help your skin' health.
Goat milk, from my goats, is an amazing addition to a soap bar. Packed full of essential nutrients & vitamins. Perfect for sensitive, dry skin.
My essential oils stand alone or are blended with others to help you reap the psychological benefits of aromatherapy, right from the bathtub.
Inhale, exhale & bask in the sensation.
And most of all, it's art & it represents freedom.
Freedom to work my own set hours at home, expanding or downsizing as needed. I can ride the waves of creativity, and sit in the crisp, silent focus that is the business side.
I can work with the season of hustle, the season of dreaming and the season of seeing it come to fruition.
Please keep supporting small businesses & artists as much as you can.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions, concerns or ideas.
Peace & eternal groviness to you.