Old Fort Soap Company: A Necessary Luxury
Dec10

Old Fort Soap Company: A Necessary Luxury

If a “necessary luxury” sounds like an oxymoron to you, you’re right. And apparently that’s why Old Fort Soap Company is making such a name for themselves. Talk to anyone who has used their products and it’s likely you’ll hear them tell you that they just can’t go back to anything else. I can’t even say that I was surprised when two (very manly) men at JK O’Donnell’s hovered over my Old Fort bag filled to the brim with soaps, lotions, and chapsticks searching for their favorites…and then began to barter with me on how they could get me to bring them some. It’s true, Old Fort Soap Company mixes up something special each time they create a fresh batch of their all-natural products. To say I have become a tad obsessed with them would be a bit of an understatement.  My first encounter with Gary Birch and Hagan Amburgey was this summer when I wrote a story about their business for my Barr Street Market Vendor Series.  At the time, I was hooked on a high priced bath and body boutique that made “natural” products. You still won’t hear me complain about the delicious soaps I continuously drained my wallet for each month. But, Gary and Hagan introduced me to something pretty awesome made right here in my own city. Not only are their products half the price of my other brand, they have met every expectation my demanding (and ever-so slightly aging) skin requires. Months later, my bathroom smells like a plethera of scents from lavendar to sandalwood. It’s not just soaps that have me hooked.  As a chapstick hoarder, their beeswax lip balms are in my car and all ten of my purses (clearly, I have more than one addiction here…) I use their giant bath bombs to fill my bathtub on nights when I just need to relax.  They fizz and bubble and the fragrance is literally an explosion of aroma that fills my whole room. Even their natural laundry detergent is to die for.  I love the fresh linen scent and they can be used in all types of washers. To be honest, I was hesitant to use the detergent at first. I mean, these are my clothes we’re talking about here. But at $5 for 64 loads, I was convinced to give it a try. My clothing is fresh, clean and there are no chemicals to break down the fabrics. At the risk of sounding too much like a commercial, I’ll move on.  There is more to Old Fort Soap Company than just their expertly made goods, and this is probably what makes...

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Barr Street Market Vendor Series: Old Fort Soap Company
Sep05

Barr Street Market Vendor Series: Old Fort Soap Company

It’s early September and most of us have fared the summer well.  We have a bronze in our skin, sun bleached hair and battered bare feet.  That’s why this week’s Barr Street Vendor post comes at the perfect time.  Old Fort Soap Company is just what our summer-laden bodies need. Take away all of the chemicals and dyes, instead think all natural, rich and pure ingredients.  That’s what you’re getting when you purchase from Gary Birch and Hagan Amburgey, owners of Old Fort Soap Company.  They want their customers to know they stand behind their product.  Their business began in 2005 when they were dealing with their own skin issues.  They searched for a product that would not irritate their skin, but keep it healthy.  Their search came up dry though, and Old Fort Soap Company came to be. “We both love scent.  Absolutely love fragrances.  This is why we have so many choices,” says Birch. They also carry unscented and medicinal soaps.  With nearly 80 varieties of soap on their website alone, they also have four featured summer soaps including one called ‘Jewelweed’ to help soothe skin from poison ivy, oak and sumac.  Another summer feature is their Coconut and Shea soap, consisting of (you guessed it) 100% coconut oil and a touch of shea…according to Hagan Amburgey, it’s been a “huge huge hit!”  They plan on having a supply of Coconut and Shea at this weekend’s market.  I asked Birch, what is it that makes their soap SO great for everyone?   “Our Natural Soaps are great for the skin for the following reasons… 1) We use natural vegetable oils that are rich in skin-loving nutrients such as: Olive Oil– rich in antioxidants, keeps skin looking young and restores elasticity.  Also, scientific reports show that use of olive oil on skin has repaired sun damage and protects your skin from cancer.  It’s also very mild to sensitive skin or people with skin allergies. Coconut Oil– this oil produces a fluffy, bubbly lather that people love in handmade soap.  The oil strengthens the layers of skin and removes the dry, dead skin cells for a smooth feel. Palm Oil–  high in vitamins A, E, D, and K which are valuable for healthy, radiant skin.  Helps to produce the rich fluffy lather. Sunflower Oil–  high in elastin and collagen that has proven to keep skin feeling and looking young.  Rich in antioxidants to heal or help prevent sun damage.  A rich emollient.  Brings moisture back into the skin. Shea Butter–  Rich in vitamin A and E.  Penetrates deep within the skin to help keep it soft and healthy. They also use a...

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