I must have been born a buyer. For as long as I can recall, I have observed, tested and cataloged products for future reference for a life that I was clearly only aware of in my subconscious but clueless of in that day's reality.

Last summer I found Townsend Bay Soap Company at the Co-Op when visiting my mom in Port Townsend, Washington. For years I'd been combing the aisles of C.O. Bigelow, Whole Foods and every darn hippy-craft-grandma-menagerie-market I ran across. But on that day I found Woods of Washington soap, and my search was complete. Nothing had ever smelled so good. I finally found the soap I'd been looking for all this time.

A day or two before The Field House opened, I got to meet Carol and Bob for the first time. They drove our first order of 60 bars by car and by ferry from Pt. Townsend to Ballard just in time for our opening. Bob even gave us a slat wood display case he made by hand. At that point, I could care less if we ever sold a bar. I wanted them all for myself.

For our second order, I dropped by Carol and Bob's house, just about 10 blocks from my mom's place. I assumed that her studio was in the garage or some out-building, but as soon as Carol opened the door the smell of essential oils made it clear that her factory was in the basement.

Bob and Carol showed me around the "factory" where Carol makes soap on one side and Bob has his wood shop on the other. Carol told me that when she started Townsend Bay Soap Company, Bob would watch her work and find opportunities to help her improve her tools and systems. Carol makes the soap; Bob makes sure Carol can make the soap.

Carol (Bob not pictured)

Gutter downspouts used as soap molds.

Soap molds, three gutters per unit.

Essential oils!

Every tool has a place. Thanks Bob!

Hand-made, hand-operated soap block slicer. Yes... piano wire is used.

Bars of soap are placed on trays.

Bars waiting to be wrapped.

Each soap is wrapped in a paper label by hand.

These handmade bars of cold-process soap are loaded with olive, palm kernel and coconut oils - all great for your skin. They are scented with pure essential oils or fine fragrance oils.

Each soap is made entirely by hand, in small batches, using the best natural ingredients that can be found. Every bar is allowed to cure for a month. At the end of that time, these beautiful bars of soap emerge nutrient-rich, skin-softening, fragrant and full of lather.

Townsend Bay Soap is available at Blackbird and The Field House in these scents:
- Classic Lavender
- Classic Lavender-Clay
- Classic Lavender-Mint
- Classic Lavender-Oatmeal
- Woods of Washington
- Blue Sage
- Victorian Rose
- Sunny Citrus
- Eucalyptus-Mint
- Herbal Goat’s Milk
- Sweet Orange
- Sandalwood
- Townsend Bay Rum
- Lemongrass
- Rose Geranium
- Gardener's Grits: Peppermint
$5.50 each

"My great-grandmother used to make bread twice a week, grow her own vegetables, and make soap for her husband and their nine children. Such tasks, plus many more, were simply a routine part of her life as a homesteader in California's Mother Lode gold country back in the late 1800s.
Today at Townsend Bay Soap Company, the soap ingredients are finer and our methods more streamlined than those of my great-grandmother, but the basic concept is exactly the same. Our soaps are made entirely by hand, in small batches, using the best ingredients we can find, and are allowed to cure for one month. At the end of that time, we have beautiful bars of soap that are nutrient-rich, help soften skin, and provide wonderful fragrance and lather.

A few years ago our daughter joined the fold with a line of fine and gentle bath and body products. Just as each bar of our soap is handcrafted with care, using pure essential oils and fine fragrance oils, so is each item in our bath and body line.

Compared to the days of my great-grandmother, it's a whole new and very exciting bath and body world!"

~ Carol, Townsend Bay Soap Company Founder