January 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm  •  Posted in Featured by  •  10 Comments

Meet Kathy Green from Dragonfly Dew

 

Tell me how you started in soapmaking.

I started making other skincare products about 5 years ago because I have very sensitive skin and also I have migraines. Most products made my face break out and even gave me bleeding sores by my lips. The fragrances would give me headaches just by walking into some of the stores. So, as I started to make more and more products I kept thinking that handmade soap would help my skin too. I was always afraid of making soap with lye because I thought it would be dangerous so I tried MP soap for a little bit but that was too boring for me. I wanted to create my own recipes with no artificial ingredients so after researching for a year I took the plunge and made my first batch. Once I started, I was hooked and have been creating ever since. I’ve always a creative and “arty” person so I also wanted to make my soaps look beautiful while at the same time using only herbs, spices, clays and foods for color. This is a hard thing to do sometimes, since natural colorants are not as vibrant, eye catching or easy to work with as synthetics. Since I love challenges and know a lot about herbs and plants it’s what makes my soap making interesting and rewarding.

IMG_3113How long have you been making soap?

This will be my 3rd year of making Cold Process Soap. I have to say I love it!

Tell me about a project or experiment that you consider to be the most successful. It doesn’t have to be soap.

I would definitely say that my most successful project has been my Rose Hip Face Serum. I spent many hours researching each ingredient’s benefits and pitfalls before adding them to the serum, which is geared towards mature skin but can really be used for anyone. It contains only plant and essential oils and is wonderful for your face. Each ingredient is there for a purpose and blends with the others in perfect harmony.

If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in soap making, what did you achieve?

I would have achieved so much this year! My products are on the shelves of REI and Natural Grocers in Colorado as well as several small stores in the Rocky Mountains. My website finally has beautiful product photos, coupons/discounts and a functioning wholesale section. And I’ve spent many hours teaching people about the importance of natural ingredients and reading labels to make informed decisions.

Do you have a specific goals? In one year? In two years?

I try to set my goals at the beginning of each year and love to make lists for myself so I can look back to see how I did. This year one of my main goals is to secure a few wholesale accounts that appreciate all natural ingredients and that have to do with outdoors, nature and/or the environment. I would also like to teach classes on ingredients as well as using herbs and spices to infuse oils. In 2 years from now my goal is to triple my website sales and to create more skin care products.

If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?IMG_3073

I would make sure that everyone in the world had access to clean, pure drinking water for free. Water is vital to our bodies and also to the ecosystem and our water supply is getting more polluted every minute. Everyone deserves clean water and in many parts of the world it is not available, or if it is it comes at a high price.

Tell us about a time when soaping didn’t go the way you wanted. What was your “great catastrophe?

Well, I was trying to make a wine soap with a Blueberry Wine from Colorado where I live. I wanted to add blueberries to the soap since I was naming it “Blueberry Hills” and so I diced up some dried blueberries and mixed them in. The blueberries “leaked” sugars for months after I cut the soap, so then I cut each blueberry out and tried my first rebatch. Needless to say that didn’t work either so into the trash it went. But, I have to say that the soap smelled awesome!

All soap makers have them so tell me about your worst “lye burn”.

I’ve never had a lye burn but then again I’m probably overly cautious when I make soap. I always wear gloves, long sleeves, and safety goggles. I have had spatters of fresh soap hit my cheeks once or twice and that definitely does not feel good!

Do you get a lot of support from your family?

Yes and no – My husband has made all my wooden molds for me and he and my sons always load and unload my Suburban for my weekly markets. He’s one of my soap testers and tells me what he likes and doesn’t like about the soap or my other products. And, he’s very supportive when it comes to moving things around, getting me soaping gifts for holidays and such. Other than that, my family kids me a lot about making “Lotions and Potions” and laughs when I say “Gee, I can use that for making Soap!”

IMG_0349-001If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

I really don’t know the answer to that question – there are several actors that I really like because they have the abilities to play many different types of roles but I wouldn’t know who to pick.

You’ve cast the main character, now what do you think the title should be?

“Choosing the Road Less Traveled”

What motivates you and what doesn’t?

Doing things that are challenging is my biggest motivation. I’ve always chosen to pick demanding fields of study (engineering), jobs (software engineering, garden design) and hobbies (native plant gardening, photography, drawing, hiking in the mountains). I love to learn new things and I love researching anything that interests me. Mother Nature motivates me most of all so everything I do in one form or another takes into account what happens in nature.

Things that don’t motivate me: status, doing things for recognition, because they are trendy, cool or because everyone is doing it.

How would your best friend describe you?

That I’m very passionate about the environment and Mother Nature; that I’m creative and smart; that I’m very shy until I get to know someone, and that I have the best smelling house.

What’s the biggest mistake you mistake you made in your life and what did you learn from it?

I think the biggest mistake has been to always worry about doing everything perfectly. What I mean by that is I used to think I needed a perfectly clean house, perfect kids, perfect job, perfect life – you get the picture. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that none of that really matters too much and so I try not to obsess about those types of issues. I’m much less stressed now!

If you had to give up ONE of your favorite foods, what would it be?

Fresh, crusty bread and rolls – I could eat them all day. I could never give up Chocolate, it’s my everyday little treat to me.

Tell me about your soap. What is your brand name and company philosophy.

The name of my company is Dragonfly Dew, which I chose because I love dragonflies and they are my good luck charms I wear around my neck everyday.  Dragonflies symbolize transformation and purity, so I added the “Dew” for describing the feeling my products give to your skin. I didn’t start out making soap, so there is no “Soap” in the name, and I wanted a company name that was memorable and not tied to any one product or myself. As far as my company philosophy it’s really pretty simple – everything I create and sell is made with plant and earth based ingredients, except for my products with beeswax and goats milk. Some companies use the word “natural” as a buzz word and that’s fine, but I try with all my products to be transparent in my labeling and to give honor to the earth and it’s many gifts. I’ve been a nature lover and gardener since as long as I can remember so my products and company represent that lifestyle.

1) Where can it be found?

Mmy products can be found:

-  online at my website http://www.dragonflydew.com
-  At the Woodland Park Farmers Market in Woodland Park, CO
- through my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/DragonflyDew

You can also follow me:

- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dragonflydew
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dragonflydew
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dragonflydew

2) What is your most popular soap –

I have 2 soap that consistently sell out faster than others – Coconut Lime Milk Soap and Patchouli soap. The Coconut Lime is one of my face soaps and people love the smell of the Lime Essential Oil and the creaminess of the Coconut Milk. The Patchouli soap has a following of people who buy several bars at a time.

  • Kathy Green

    Thank you Terri for the chance to tell my story, and for creating this wonderful website. There are so many creative soapers here!

    • Behindthesoap

      Hi Kathy, you are so very welcome. This is my chance to give back to the industry and the people I learned and earned so much from.

  • Cindi Quay

    Kathy is such a delightful person! I enjoyed reading this article about Kathy, her passions and life in general! Thanks Terri for doing this articles on Eco-friendly businesses :-) oh, and I had to laugh on the comment Kathy made about her house smelling so good..I can relate!

    • Kathy Green

      Thank you Cindy for the kind words and I’m sure your house smells as good as mine, if not better!

      • Cindi Quay

        :-)

    • Behindthesoap

      Hi Cindi, maybe you should do an interview!

      • Cindi Quay

        Terri, That would be really nice!

  • angela

    I enjoyed reading that Kathy’s husband makes her soap molds. My dad makes mine. I love the picture of her studio and soap racks, I’ll bet it does smell good in there!

    • Kathy Green

      Thank you Angela! Isn’t it nice to have soap molds exactly the way you want them to be?

      • angela

        Yes, it sure is!